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FLUSHED AWAY

A pampered pet mouse, flushed down the toilet, discovers a subterranean world populated by working-class rodents, singing slugs, French ninja frogs and an evil toad. This family comedy, co-directed by David Bowers and Sam Fell, merges the talents of two studios, Dreamworks Animation (Shrek) and Ardmore (Wallace and Gromit), resulting in a computer animation that looks like Claymation. And it's a winner: A simple, fast-paced story should keep the kids amused, while the dense fantastic environment yields loads of visual treats for the older folks (the winks are well integrated -- the Veggie Tales shout-out was so seamlessly incorporated I almost missed it). And considering that nearly the entire film takes places in the sewer, great restraint was shown regarding potty humor. An A-list of voices includes Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Jean Reno and Ian McKellen. (AH)

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