Posh pet mouse Roddy is pushed into the toilet by an unwelcome houseguest, and ends up in the rat-infested world of the London sewer system.
This animated adventure from the makers of Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit braves new territory as it heads down the pipes to reveal the mysterious workings of the underground to a young audience enthralled with potty humor. The bustling community beneath the sidewalk is so rich and stimulating, kids may not feel as bad anymore when they have to flush their own pet goldfish down the toilet.
Three- to five-year-olds are likely to be fascinated by what happens when they flush the toilet, and may spend some time looking down it to see if they can glimpse the community of Ratropolis! Very young children probably won't be able to follow the convoluted story as it winds through the British sewer system, and they may find the accents a bit difficult to understand. Because the characters aren't exactly warm and fuzzy, they might not be very appealing to preschoolers.
They'll enjoy the variety of characters, especially the bitter and villainous Toad--an aristocratic amphibian who was once Prince Charles's pet until he was replaced by a cute little mouse--and Rita, a smart scavenger who runs her own boating business and has a close-knit family with dozens of siblings. You may have to warn kids in this age group not to copy the handshake Rita and Roddy share when they make a deal, which involves spitting on their own palms and then shaking them with each other.
Ten-year-olds may appreciate the wordplay and puns and will crack up when one rat says, "Bingo!" and another quickly adds, "Scrabble!" They'll laugh when the Toad reveals an undigested bug on his tongue and announces, "My fly's undone," and when Roddy--who states that he is an "innocent bystander"--is mistakenly introduced as "Millicent Bystander." Older tweens probably won't be interested in this toilet tale although they may think the sewer pipes would make a great amusement park ride!