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FLUSHED AWAY

Team Players
No man – or mouse – is an island. Behind each of the memorable personalities gracing the screen in "Flushed Away,” there was a team of talented artists, animators, and actors working together to bring that character to life. 

"‘Flushed Away' has some great comic characters,” Lord continues. "I think the villains in particular tend to steal the show a bit. We've taken great pains to try and get real performances and a story that people really care about. And it is a strong, exciting story, with lots of very big laughs.”

"Our hero, Roddy St. James, is a privileged society mouse living a spoiled but solitary life in Kensington, an upscale London neighborhood,” Bowers reveals. "He thinks he has a wonderful life that involves a lot of play and very little responsibility. But he doesn't have any family or real friends, so he has to make do with the toys and bits and pieces around the apartment.”

"He doesn't really know much about the world,” Fell adds. "He lives in this bubble – albeit, a very beautiful and luxurious bubble – but he's quite naïve.”

When he takes an unanticipated tumble into London's sewer city, Roddy is faced with a world completely different from his own. It is immediately clear that this inadvertent adventure will be an eye-opening one.

Hugh Jackman, who gives voice to Roddy, explains his character's shock at his sudden change in circumstance. "When Roddy is flushed down the loo, it's not just like being a fish out of water – it's like being on Mars. He has never been outside his house before; he's always well-dressed, always clean, and always alone. All of a sudden, he's not only in a new world, he has to fend for himself among hordes of strangers.”

"Hugh made Roddy even more charming than we thought he could be,” Bowers says. "Hugh is obviously a very talented dramatic actor, but he's also got a lovely light comedy touch. Roddy became much more fun, really a nicer guy, when Hugh got involved. And he could sing! We didn't expect that, but once we heard him, we knew we had to find a way for Roddy to sing in the movie.”

Jackman, who won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical in 2004 for his portrayal of singer-songwriter Peter Allen in "The Boy from Oz,” admits, "I've done a little bit of singing. When we first started working, Sam and David said, ‘We have an idea for a scene where Rita kicks you off out of the boat. You're on a raft made from a rubber duck, and she throws you a guitar to use as a paddle. But instead, you use it to charm her by singing a song.' We made it up on the spot.”

Rita – played by Kate Winslet – is everything that Roddy isn't. She's an independent, street-smart skipper who lives in the moment and takes risks, but is also determined to support her enormous family. Roddy and Rita find themselves thrown together for the adventure of a lifetime.

"Roddy's given a tip that Rita is the only one brave enough to take him on the dangerous journey back to his home,” Winslet explains. "And the two of them develop an unlikely friendship that sort of turns into an even more unlikely romance. It's certainly a case of opposites attracting.”

Fell adds, "Rita and her dad make a living as scrap dealers on this boat called the Jammy Dodger. She's a bit wild, a little bit chaotic, a little vulgar – she's got some rough edges. But she's also brave and adventurous. So she might get into some trouble, but she always manages to get herself out of it.”

"We thought of her as a sort of ‘Indiana Joanna,'” says Kramer.

"Rita is really the quintessential street girl,” says Simon Otto, the supervising animator who developed Rita's look. "At first, we created a character that was attractive, but extremely tomboyish. Red-haired, scrappy, a bit disheveled. Kate added a feminine nuance in her voice work, and I think Rita really ends up as something of a cross b

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