Flushed Away Religious Commentary

Photo by New On Netflix.

Photo by New On Netflix.

The iconic 2006 movie, Flushed Away, is well known for its charming story following Roddy St. James, a rat that is flushed down a toilet, away from his house, and plunged into a whole new world where he learns of adventure, love and friendship. However, what is less known, is the allegories for Christianity that this movie contains. 

While this may initially seem like an outrageous claim, it becomes less so if you follow closely along to the movie’s storyline through the eyes of “Harold the Bread Prophet”. Harold is a rat who is seen within the underground city of Ratropolis that warns nearby characters of the Great Flood which is prophesied to occur shortly. He first appears to be a character that is made to poke fun at various extreme religious groups, however, his warning alludes to the actual plot of the movie. “The Great Flood” appears near the end of the film, stopped by none other than the main characters, Roddy St. James and Rita Malone. 

It took me multiple viewings of the movie to catch onto this concept, only first initially realizing through my dreary stupor as I fell asleep to the movie. However, when I woke up the next morning, this thought re-emerged. I rewatched it in order to see how much of this rang true, and much to my surprise there was a lot of content within the movie that proved this theory. 

Flushed Away begins by showing Roddy St. James and his house in Kensington. He appears to have the perfect life in this “upper world” (which has numerous connections to heaven itself), with plenty to eat, do for fun and have plenty of comforts. This house, however, is still largely empty to Roddy, as he has no real friends except his owners and various toys that he pretends are alive. Yet, in the middle of the night, an intruder suddenly appears out of the sink pipe in the kitchen; Sid. Roddy and Sid proceed to argue for a while, eventually creating a dynamic that forces Roddy to be a servant for Sid. Roddy, not very keen of this idea, tries to trick Sid into enjoying a “nice bath in a jacuzzi”. Unfortunately for Roddy, Sid knows that he is being tricked and reverses the role by flushing Roddy down the toilet instead. 

This alone becomes a metaphor for Satan, who was initially a part of heaven, before questioning God and turning his back on him. Though some time passed between this event and Jesus being sent down to Earth to remove sin, within a children’s movie it’s important to retain the audience for as long as possible. Because of this, it would make plenty of sense to speed up the plot, even more so if the movie is a metaphor for religion, not meant to be the cookie cutter explanation for events that occurred in the Bible. 

Now, if Sid is meant to be Satan within this metaphor, it is not a stretch to argue that Roddy St. James would play the role of Jesus in this film. Roddy is flushed down the toilet, leaving this metaphorical heaven, and is plunged into society with that of the average person. He is also found talking to all sorts of people within Ratropolis, both with those of “high society”, but even more importantly, with all of the “oddballs” found in the city. This includes a fisherman that accidentally grills Roddy’s hand (Roddy also sustains no real damage from this in the movie), a prophet — Harold — that preaches that “the end is near” and all of the odd family members of Rita Malone (each of which work as an intense stereotype, stretched out into a character and their personality). Not only does this match with the example that was set by Jesus, when he was known to talk to all of those that were “rejected” by societal norms at the time but also to help to save them and bring them joy. Roddy St. James, despite being confused by some of the citizens of Ratropolis, gives everybody a fair chance when he can. 

Yet the most important piece of evidence that Roddy would be Jesus is that he is the primary individual responsible for stopping the “great flood” that is seen at the end of the movie. At this point in the plot, Roddy had already returned to his house, that being the metaphorical heaven and returned to Ratropolis after realizing the great risk that the city he loved was at. He did this, despite the risks it would present to his own life, and ended up freezing the Great Flood and saves the city. This results in a similarity to Jesus dying on the cross to help save people from sin. While the film might not explain what literal sin is, the wave that nearly destroys the city (due to the selfishness and greediness of other characters) is more than adequate to symbolize the effects of sin upon society. Both the return of Roddy and Jesus allowed their people to be saved. 

Above, the main characters for Flushed Away can be seen. From left to right is: The Toad, Spike, Whitey, Le Frog, Roddy St. James, Rita Malone and a Henchfrog.
Photo by Orange County Register.

Other comparisons can be seen throughout the movie as well. For example, the villains of the movie: Le Frog, the henchfrogs, The Toad and the hench-rats (Whitey and Spike), create a dynamic like that of Roman soldiers, the emperor, Pontius Pilate, and the very crowd that condemned Jesus. This can be seen throughout multiple scenes, but the key of which is found when The Toad shares his great plan to flood the city in order to eliminate the rats and create a space for his tadpoles to grow up in. This explains further the effects that sin can have on people and relates to the idea that, when condemning Jesus, it was heavily influenced by sin that the individuals had let simmer into their life, especially considering that Le Frog suggested that The Toad move on from his plan, yet The Toad did not listen and instead continued to let sin and selfish desires control his life. 

While the entire movie itself is not a “by the book” portrayal of the Bible, there are still dozens of scenes that portray happenings of the Bible. This additional commentary that the movie contains adds more depth within the story and creates a whole new perspective within the characters themselves. I would highly suggest rewatching the movie, both from a lens of entertainment and a view of religion to get an even more well-rounded

viewing of the movie. 

(And no worries, Satan eventually gets defeated at the end of the movie).