Director: David Bowers, Sam Fell
Writer: Christopher Lloyd, David Bowers, Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, Joe Keenan, Paul Fisher, Peter Lord (story), Robert Nelson Jacobs, Sam Fell, Simon Nye, Tim Sullivan, William Davies
Cast: Hugh Jackman (Roderick “Roddy” St. James), Kate Winslet (Rita Malone), Ian McKellen (The Toad), Jean Reno (Le Frog), Andy Serkis (Spike), Bill Nighy (Whitey), Shane Richie (Sid)
Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family
Released: November 3, 2006 (USA)
Running time: 85 minutes
MPAA: PG — crude humor, some language
Roddy is a decidedly upper-crust “society mouse” who lives the life of a beloved pet in a posh Kensington flat. When a sewer rat named Sid comes spewing out of the sink and decides he’s hit the jackpot, Roddy schemes to rid himself of the pest by luring him into the “whirlpool.” Sid may be an ignorant slob, but he’s no fool, so it is Roddy who winds up being flushed away into the bustling sewer world of Ratropolis. There Roddy meets Rita, an enterprising scavenger who works the sewers in her faithful boat, the Jammy Dodger. Roddy immediately wants out, or rather, up; Rita wants to be paid for her trouble; and, speaking of trouble, the villainous Toad – who royally despises all rodents equally, making no distinction between mice and rats–wants them iced… literally. The Toad dispatches his two hapless hench-rats, Spike and Whitey, to get the job done. When they fail, the Toad has no choice but to send to France for his cousin – that dreaded mercenary, Le Frog.
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• In the first theatrical trailer, Roddy was not the only pet of the little human girl. There was also a cage with two small yellow gerbils, who seemed to be Roddy’s menservants. However, in the final cut of the film, these two characters were removed, probably to advance the story, and make Roddy appear to be a character who is more “alone” than “spoiled”. The first trailer also shows the discovery of Sid during the day instead of late at night.
• Aardman’s first fully-CGI feature film. The reason for using computer animation instead of the studio’s trademark clay animation was the large amount of scenes involving water, which is nearly impossible to do convincingly in stop motion.
• Hugh Jackman also provided the screams for the slug that Roddy first meets in the sewer.
• For security reasons, early prints of the film were shipped under the title “Leech”.
• When Roddy is selecting a movie for the movie premiere, the DVDs with real titles are all Dreamworks films.
• The animators nicknamed one of the Kung Fu Frogs’ attack moves “the Reindeer of Death”.
• At the beginning of the film, when Roddy is going through his wardrobe, the outfit he chooses is an Elvis Presley-style rhinestone jumpsuit.
• According to Peter Lord, co-founder of Aardman, this film’s original concept involved pirates, and was pitched to Dreamworks soon after the release of Chicken Run. However, Aardman were told that there was no market for pirate films (this was before Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was made), and were told to modernize the concept. By the time the writer had done this, the project was temporarily shelved to make way for the production of Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
• The film uses software that was developed for the rabbits floating around the Bun-Vac 6000 in Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. The software reproduces the ‘imperfections’ found in clay-mation (i.e. dropped frames, thumb-prints, etc.).
• Andy Serkis beat Robert De Niro and William Shatner to play the part of Spike.
• Jean Reno beat Stellan Skarsgård, Kevin Kline, and Johnny Depp to play the part of “Le Frog”.
• The Toad wears a Freemasons ring on his pinkie finger.
• The books on Toad’s shelf are “Warts and Peace” by Leo Toadstool, “Unfinished Verse” by Long Tung, “A Brief History of Slime,” and his scrapbooks, “The Tragic History of the Great Great Toad, Vol. I,” followed by Volumes II through VI.
• The frog dressed as a mime is named Marcel. This is a reference/homage to famed French mime artist Marcel Marceau. The frog in question is dressed as Marceau’s famed character named Bip.
• Nicole Kidman was considered for the role of Rita.
• Several of the names found in the DVDs and on Rita’s father’s cast belong to the children of producers, directors, and other people involved in the movie.
• When Roddy and Rita are about to be ‘iced’ in the fridge, you can see that the controls panel the Toad is using is an early Atari 2600 game console (all the controls on the front). The game plugged into the unit is called “Froggie”, a play on the old game “Frogger.” When facing the Toad, the label on the back of the unit warns of “no service usable parts inside”, and “opening the unit voids the warranty”.
• When the stove falls through the floor of Rita’s house, a cockroach that was sitting behind it can be seen holding a book. The book is Franz Kafka’s novella ‘Metamorphosis’, the protagonist of which turns into a (non specified) insect, which is often translated as a cockroach. The cockroach appears to be reading a French translation: the title “La métamorphose” is clearly seen, while the Ka- in Kafka is obscured by the insect’s ‘hand’.
Toad: Prepare to meet you maker. Your… “ice maker”.
Whitey: Hah hah, makes me laugh every time, that one.
Sid: You were going to flush me down the loo!
Roddy: No, no, no! It’s a big jacuzzi, the deluxe model!
Sid: Well then, you won’t mind if I get the bubbles going, will ya?
Roddy: No, not the lever! Have mercy! No! No! I can’t swim!
Sid: Bon voyage, me old cream cracker. Hold your nose.
Roddy: No, no, no! You can’t do this!
Sid: You were going to try and flush me? Let’s see how you like it!
Sid: Careful, mate. Those aren’t chocolate buttons.
Roddy: Will you please tell these people I’m not involved in this?
Rita: Fine. All right, all right, listen up. This gentleman, he’s not from around here.
Roddy: Thank you.
Rita: Just look how nicely he’s dressed.
Roddy: Ah, thank you.
Rita: And why? Because he’s an international jewel thief!
Roddy: Precisely… What? No, no!
Liam: Oy, mom! There’s a peeping Tom outside.
Rita’s Grandma: Tom? Oh, it’s Tom Jones!
Liam: He’s gonna steal your boat.
Rita: He won’t steal my boat.
Liam: He’s stealing your boat.
Rita: He isn’t stealing…
Liam: He stole your boat.
Liam: He’s like Robin Hood in reverse.
Tex: Where’s your helmets? Which one’s the quarterback? Pick up the ball! Pick up the ball! Aw, these Brits don’t know the first thing about football.
Whitey: Oh, I love a happy ending.
Spike: Oh, you’ve gone soft. I like unhappy endings, with lots of violence.
Toad: You wretched vermin! I’ll make you pay for this!
Le Frog: Ah, give it a rest, cousin… and get your kids a puppy.
Le Frog: You stupid English, with your Yorkshire puddings and your chips and fish!
[as Roddy is sent flying through a clothesline]
Passerby: Is it a bird?
Passerby #2: Is it a plane?
Passerby #3: Is that guy wearing my underpants?
Toad: Huzzah, a man of quality!
Rita: Tell me about yourself, Roddy.
Roddy: Well, there’s not much to tell.
Rita: You know everything about me, warts and all. I don’t even know what you do.
Roddy: I’m… I’m in a boy band.
Roddy: Yeah. Yeah, I’m the posh one.
[Roddy is using a cell phone as a shield as Rita throws crayons at him; the crayons dial a number]
Take Out: Ha Chin Chinese takeout.
Roddy: Yes, I’m being attacked by a madwoman! She’s got crayons!
Take Out: One chicken chow mein. With wonton?
Roddy: No, crayons!
Take Out: No wonton! You want rice? Fried or white?
Roddy: Fried. No, wait!
Take Out: You want wonton or what?
Spike: Blimy, it’s cold.
Whitey: That’s why I wore me mittens.
Spike: Wha… Hitmen don’t wear mittens! Take them off! You’re embarrassing me!
Whitey: It’s all right for you. You’ve got little hands. They don’t freeze as much.
Rita: What are you, some kind of rat boomerang? Give me back my ruby!
Roddy: I haven’t got your ruby!
[the ruby falls on his hand]
Roddy: Okay. Well, now I’ve got your ruby.
[Talking about Spike’s hands]
Spike: They’re small but these are lethal weapons, these are.
Whitey: You got your mother’s hands.
Slug: High five!
[He realizes he has no hands]
Slug: Oh, yeah.
[Le Frog Has brought a cable necessary for the Toad’s plan]
Toad: At last, it’s mine!
[the Toad laughs for half a minute and is annoying Le Frog]
Le Frog: Just take it!
Rita: It’s impossible!
Roddy: ENGLAND is winning! ANYTHING’S possible!
Le Frog: To action!
Henchfrogs: We surrender!
Le Frog: Not that action, you idiots! The kung-fu thing!
Le Frog: We leave immediately!
Henchfrog: What about dinner?
Le Frog: We leave… in five hours.
Fly: He’s a mad man! Run away, run…
[the Toad swallows the fly]
Toad: Pardon me, my fly’s undone.
Toad: You find my pain funny?
Le Frog: I find everyone’s pain funny but my own. I’m French.
Toad: You are late.
Le Frog: Fashionably late, my warty English cousin. I know no other way.
Whitey: Are you sure about this, Spike? These things are dangerous.
Spike: Danger is my middle name!
Whitey: I thought it was Lesley.
Roddy: When the cat’s away, the mice will play!
Whitey: It’s just that curry you had last night, Spike. I’m the same, I’ve got a bum like the Japanese flag.
Le Frog: This bizarre obsession with rats; it is not good for you. You are becoming what we French call “le fruitcake!”
Roddy: Maybe I can make it up to you?
Rita: Get stuffed.
Rita: We Malones never go back on our word.
Thimblenose Ted: Hey guys, I just had a tipoff. They’re heading west, to Kensington.
Spike: Enough games! To the Ratmobiles!
Le Frog: [after Rita hit him] You will pay for this, my little chocolate croissant.
Le Frog: He’s cuckoo, but family!
Whitey: [after spotting the ruby in Rita’a back pocket] The booty’s in the booty!
Rita’s Dad: Wave. Wave!
Crowd: [shouting] England!
Rita’s Dad: No! Giant wave!
[everybody turns around and screams]
[Roddy and Rita are running from the thugs]
Roddy: Rita could we please go a little faster.
Rita: We don’t have to. [hits a button] Go go purple custard.
Roddy: [Showing Sid the toilet] After a hard day navigating the sewer pipes, there’s nothing better than relaxing in a Jacuzzi whirlpool bath.
Sid: [to Roddy] I’ll be seeing you my friend.