"Ratatouille": compliments to the chef

July 2, 2007, midnight | By Kiera Zitelman | 16 years, 9 months ago

Pixar serves up another finely animated masterpiece

A superb meal pays homage to greats before it, as well as creating daring new innovations that showcase the chef's creativity and skill. "Ratatouille," the latest masterpiece from director Brad Bird ("The Incredibles") and Disney/Pixar, the studio that brought the world "Toy Story," "Finding Nemo" and "Cars," is yet another delectable creation from some of animation's master chefs.

"Ratatouille" is the story of Remy the rat (Patton Oswalt) and his dream of becoming a gourmet chef. Unlike his brother, father and fellow rats – connoisseurs of garbage –Remy has a finely developed sense of smell and taste, and can only be satisfied by the finest food. Remy's love for excellent cuisine separates him from his family and takes him to Gusteau's, a five-star restaurant in Paris.

Remy the rat surprises his new human friend with breakfast in the morning. Photo courtesy of Disney

While scouting the kitchens, the garbage boy, Alfredo Linguini (Lou Romano) discovers Remy and takes him to a nearby river to drown him. But Linguini has a change of heart, instead enlisting Remy to help him cook and keep his job. With the help of his "little chef" and colleague Colette (Janeane Garofalo), Linguini rises in the ranks, much to the dismay of head chef Skinner (Ian Holm).

Each of the seven Disney/Pixar films has received critical acclaim, and, in some cases, prestigious awards. "Ratatouille" includes some of the most groundbreaking and innovative animation that can be seen in any of the films. Between the rat fur, complex food dishes, scenes of Remy running through the chaotic kitchens or fighting for his life in the sewers below Paris and the movie's relatively long runtime of 110 minutes, the Pixar animators have indeed solidified their positions as the masters of computer animation.

Liquids, foods, and fur or hair are some of the hardest items to computer-animate realistically, but Bird and the Pixar crew manage to pull off their main course without a second of doubt from the audience, creating an unbelievably fun movie that can be seen over and over again.
Michael Giacchino's masterful score has all the elements of a great sauce, with an authentic Parisian flavor. Used as sparingly as one would use seasoning on a salmon, the score works perfectly to provide a light touch of romance to the film.

And for dessert? The wonderful voices of Oswalt, Romano, Garofalo and Holm (and even a few quick appearances from Peter O'Toole as the formidable food critic Anton Ego) match their characters so well that it is surprisingly easy to forget "Ratatouille" is animated. The authenticity of the frenzied kitchen scenes, the food, and the character movement all but sweep the viewers off their feet in a dazzling display of computer animation that feels just a whisker away from live action.

"Ratatouille" cannot fail in entertaining everyone, from age three to 97. It is nearly impossible to stop smiling until several minutes after the credits stop rolling. For viewers young and old, experienced or inexperienced in the art of fine cooking, "Ratatouille" is a film to be savored.

Ratatouille is rated G with mild cartoon violence. Now playing everywhere.

Kiera Zitelman. Kiera Zitelman goes by many names and Photo Booth effects. She enjoys being able to drive and representing Kensington. She likes her dog, Sophie, and her human friend of the same name. Kiera owns one-third of a hot dog toaster and one-fourth of a movie … More »

Show comments


Please ensure that all comments are mature and responsible; they will go through moderation.