Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ratatouille (2007)

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Ratatouille is a success because like its main character, it never gives in. Disney Pixar comes through again with its story about a rat who wants to be a cook, and this may be its greatest achievement. Written and directed by Brad Bird, the story stars Remy (voiced by Patton Oswalt), a rat who aspires to be a chef despite family and peer pressures to stay with the clan and do what is safe. Ratatouille is loaded with allegory, fable, and life lessons but presents them in a fresh and funny way that never follows the beaten path. Another Pixar film enjoyable for both kids and adults, a viewer of any age can relate to the characters and situations in this film and can learn about themselves and others. There is equal doses of touching scenes involving decisions to be made and lives to be affected, and hilarious jokes, one-liners, and uncomfortable situations. Ratatouille never succumbs to gag jokes and never plays down to its intended young audience. The script and animation combine to yield some truly laugh-out-loud scenes and all of the voice-over work is spot-on. Somehow, beyond explanation, Pixar has yet again managed to make this film even more visually stunning than their previous efforts. The animation is remarkable and bring the viewer into a stunningly unique environment that is both engaging and entertaining. What makes this film important is the guts Bird, Pixar, and Disney had to stick to their instincts and make a movie that tackles issues ranging from leaving the family, pursuing goals, going against the grain, resisting peer pressure, and leaving a mark on the world without falling victim to cliche or using a preachy tone. The score sets the scene perfectly and the editing provides a fast-moving, appropriate length film that dashes fable, humor, and art like salt, pepper, and oregano. Ratoutouille approaches real-life issues facing children and adults through the eyes of an animated rat chasing his dream, and results in one of the best animated features of all time.

Good for: kids and adults of all ages, fans of Pixar's previous movies

Bad for: mean people, those afraid to go against the establishment

The Gallery
The Film Maker: * * * *
The Writer * * * * *


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