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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 13.79%
Average: 8.05%
Pretty Bad: 1.15%
Total Crap: 1.15%

8 reviews, 39 user ratings

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by Jason Whyte

"Bon appetit."
5 stars

How does Pixar do it? How do they constantly create such a great product that leaps off the screen and into your heart? Ratatouille is the kind of gem that they are known to deliver, yet they seem to have outdone themselves here. There's something wonderfully fascinating in this tale of a rat that can communicate his love for life through the love of cooking. It comes as no surprise that it comes from writer/director Brad Bird, who is a bit animated himself. Here is not just a great piece of animation, but also one of the best films of the year.

Remy, who sounds a bit like Paul Giamatti (but is instead wonderfully voiced by Patton Oswalt) loves to cook. He adores the creation of food and the serving of it, as we first witness with Patton and friends outside of a small house in the french country. When Remy is washed away into a sewer, he comes across a famous restaurant in Paris called Gusteau's that takes pride in its all-important star rating.

Quickly, Remy is hooked. He wants to cook. But what is a rat to do? Simple: he will befriend Linguini (voice of Lou Romano), the "garbage boy" who is vulnerable and doesn't want to get into any trouble. Remy eventually befriends Linguini and convinces him that he can cook, so the two bring together a plan: Remy will provide all the work by staying on Linguini's body, while Linguini does all the show.

Ratatouille is two-fold: it is about the love of food and the creation of it, but it is also about someone who fights to do what he loves despite adversity. In this case, Remy is a rodent, he knows this and accepts that he is not human. But that does not stop him from forging a relationship with a human, who himself wants more out of life than what he has. Remy and Linguini's stories are fairly parallel, and their interplay as they each fault and stumble through the film is fascinating to watch.

These themes are brought carefully by Brad Bird, who with his team of animators and storytellers use subtlety and careful storytelling to their advantage; it reminds me of the storytelling of Hayao Miyazaki, who is known for accurately balancing his characters and their situations instead of trying to wow us with how great the drawing is. Mr. Bird is no exception; his 1999 film "The Iron Giant" is one of the best animated films of all time, and his 2004 film "The Incredibles" is a joy that will last generations.

Ratatouille may be his best work, however, as he is at the top of his game in how he tells this story. Nearly the entire film takes place in the restaurant, especially the kitchen, where Remy belongs. Mr. Bird reveals things slowly, taking his time to let us savor the experience, much like a good meal. I don't want to reveal much of the film's final act, which was something I was not expecting, and was blown away at the audacity pf how far it is taken. It brings everything to such an emotional high that I floated out of the cinema happy as a clam, and I'm still on cloud nine as I write this.

Which reminds me of a point that I have made time and again: animation is supposed to look animated. During the end credits for Ratatouille, there is a statement that guarantees that no motion capture has been used to animate any of the film whatsoever. This is a curious remark, as motion capture can be wonderful in its own right (see "Monster House") but Pixar's approach to storytelling is to take you out of the bounds of reality and let you loose into their own world. And there's nothing quite like it.

Ratatouille is a glorious entertainment, the kind of animated film that we should be seeing more often. It is a film for everyone, not just kids or the parents that accompany, but for every man, woman and child who loves a great story and the filmmaking that goes with it. This year has been a three-knockout punch for the mouse house known as Walt Disney Pictures; with Ratatouille, Bridge to Terabithia and Meet The Robinsons all stellar films, I have no doubt that we will be seeing great things in the future. Disney just isn't a cool new logo; with new people in charge of their filmed entertainment division (including Pixar head honcho himself, John Lassiter), they are quickly earning back their reign as the best in their game.

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originally posted: 06/30/07 03:50:56
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User Comments

6/06/18 bored mom The ultimate allegory for great artists pursuing their dreams. Remy is the best! 5 stars
1/06/15 Mario is the Best Not as good as most of Pixar's other movies. 3 stars
9/11/12 marta gilson I can watch this over and over and over 5 stars
10/19/11 Magic Essentially perfect in every way. Lighting, script, cinematography, character design, yeah. 5 stars
3/31/11 TG A truly enjoyable family film. Will make you want cheese. 5 stars
10/24/09 Alex71 A routine is established for rest and play. , 5 stars
10/23/09 Alex41 Democratic Party candidates as a partisan publication. , 4 stars
10/16/09 Billy cute 1 stars
1/10/09 Anonymous. if you're on a diet, don't watch this. :P 4 stars
9/08/08 Carol Durbin I absolutely love this movie and watch it often with my son. Awesome!!! 5 stars
8/15/08 Shaun Wallner My daughter loves this movie! 5 stars
3/04/08 Matt Raises the bar and stands out as the best animated film ever. Remy's the man! 5 stars
2/10/08 pixie dust More quality animation from the curent masters, a cute gem 4 stars
12/29/07 David Cohen The first Pixar movie that did not make me laugh once 2 stars
11/09/07 Charles Tatum Strong, but long, Pixar 4 stars
10/24/07 William Goss First Pixar film to appeal to the soul rather than the heart, and it works. Kudos, O'Toole. 4 stars
10/21/07 katsat There is so much to love about this film. A masterpiece! 5 stars
10/01/07 Jason great movie! 5 stars
9/02/07 Mindyh This movie has everything a great animated film has. 5 stars
8/13/07 katsat Amazing on so many different levels - my favorite Pixar film ever. 5 stars
7/20/07 Pokejedservo What can I say? This is another great Pixar film... 5 stars
7/15/07 Jason it was a really great funny movie 5 stars
7/11/07 Tiffany Losco my daughter loved this movie. So cute, and funny 5 stars
7/08/07 critic's critic This review is more about you showing off than about the movie. 5 stars
7/08/07 Russ Gladchenko An excellent movie for the everyone. I've enjoyed almost every Pixar movie made to date. 5 stars
7/07/07 AnnieG Excellent film - seems to be more for adults than kids. 5 stars
7/06/07 Mike J Best film from the best film studio out there 5 stars
7/06/07 Crispin My 6 yr old daughter and I both loved it. My humorless wife merely enjoyed it. 5 stars
7/05/07 stepalone Magnificient 5 stars
7/04/07 PamE Terrific film. Pixar does it again Way to go Patton Oswalt 5 stars
7/03/07 laura bennett loved it..... 4 stars
7/02/07 Mr X Another Pixar blockbuster, nuff said. 5 stars
7/01/07 BritishKnights Bird's story was written and finished before Cars was released, do your research! 5 stars
7/01/07 Dark Enchantress the best disney-pixar movie ever! I loved it! 5 stars
7/01/07 Sano Pixar has cooked up a charming treat of a movie! 5 stars
7/01/07 Faimen At the end of the film, my son turned to me and asked "Can we buy this?" Says it all. 5 stars
6/30/07 Ole Man Bourbon Easily one of the best films this decade. 5 stars
6/30/07 Quigley Amazingly delicious Pixar film. These guys make the best movies these days, hands-down 5 stars
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  29-Jun-2007 (G)
  DVD: 06-Nov-2007



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