Ratatouille

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I saw it on opening day and absolutely loved it!! This ain't a kiddy movie folks.
Yes, it's rated G, yes, it's animated... but that doesn't make it a kids movie.

This is a movie aimed at an older audience like all of Brad Bird's films. Most younger kids will enjoy it but won't really get as much out of it.

Anyway, this movie is worth seeing... with kids or not.
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I just saw it, it's the first movie this summer that I want to watch again right now, and possibly one of my favorite Pixar movies. I just wrote this review at another forum, which I'll paste here:

SPOILERS




What a great movie. Several times during it I thought Remy's voice sounded a little like (play write) Wallace Shawn's, but a bit deeper. Now I suspect that may have been an intended association when they casted voices, because at the end we find out that the whole thing is a story being told over dinner at a restaurant. Shawn's most famous film role is in My Dinner With Andre, a movie about a dinner conversation, and he was later in a film (Melinda & Melinda) framed as two different versions (one comic, one tragic) of a story told at a restaurant. Does this comparison sound like a stretch? Perhaps, but there's a joke at the end based on just this idea, where another dining rat says something like "it's a better story when I tell it."

So this has a self aware angle to it in the self-referential story about storytelling, and in referencing other such films (one of them - Andre - a touchstone of the 'genre'). The picture inside this frame stands up with Pixar's other movies on all the usual technical levels, and surpasses many of them as a story. Even the required moral (a critique of the insipid notion that everyone can grow up to do great things) is more sophisticated than most moralizing movies, whether compared with those aimed at kids or adults. Not everyone in the movie has the talent or vision to become great, in fact most everyone lacks either one or both. One of the two heroes is a completely average person, whose only talent (besides being a nice person) is as a proxy for the genius chef. The chef happens to be a skilled rat, and the guileless person happens to have a scalp that can override the conscious control of his limbs with a little tug -- an incredible coincidence, but one that makes for some amusing situations.

Some viewers might think that the rat-controls-human plot device is a bit out of left field but I found it completely appropriate. This is a movie about movie making and movie watching, and better yet, one that worries about what the trade offs are of appealing to a larger audience, about corruption of vision, and how to create something that is worth consuming.

The hidden rat is the director, or the creative mind, who literally animates everything. The kitchen is his crew and his studio (the villain is a typically greedy scam artist, whose energy is spent on selling mass-produced meals using the face of a known artist). And we're the diners.

You should be insulted if you sense hypocrisy in this "message" or how it's presented. I don't. Nothing about the movie appears cheap, careless or "mass produced." The aspects which recall other films (Melinda & Melinda, for example) are if anything improvements.

I would very much like to know what goes on inside Pixar's kitchen, and who (if any one person) is the genius behind this movie. I think everyone would benefit from knowing what they do differently from other corporate film makers. Their films have shown a consistency of quality that eludes Disney's other studios and Dream Works, and thankfully seems to have survived the hand-over from Steve Jobs to Disney.



Lets put a smile on that block
Great review. I can not fricking wait to see this. I think Pixar may have redeemed themselves after the bore fest that was Cars.



Best animation I've seen in years. Truly entertaining. Disney and Pixar together works like magic!
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Here's my two cents, posted in the reviews area:

Ratatouille

Making a good children's film is not as easy as it seems. It's not enough to pick a tired moral and conjure up a goofy sidekick. It takes a host of ingredients; the best contain timeless humor, dress old messages up in new ways, and captivate the entire family.

With Ratatouille, Pixar has done all three, and it's done them with the studio's characteristic gutsiness and considerable polish. It is doubtful that any other studio would try to capture the hearts and minds of American audiences with a French rat. It is also doubtful that any other studio would pull it off so effectively.

The story takes place in France, where a rat named Remy (voiced by comedian Patton Oswalt) finds that he possesses a deep appreciation for food, especially compared to the rest of his species. Before long, Remy is separated from his colony and finds himself in the sewers beneath Gusteau's, a famous Parisian restaurant, where he gets a front-row seat to the goings-on in the kitchen.

Cue Linguini, a klutzy young man whose mother has just passed away, and who's looking for a job. He's hired as a garbage boy, but oversteps his authority and starts fiddling with a pot of soup. Remy sees it all, knows the soup is being ruined, and decides to intervene. His unique concoction pleases the customer, who happens to be a food critic, and Linguini gets the credit. He also earns the suspicion of Chef Skinner (Ian Holm), who owns Gusteau's, and is dismantling its reputation piece-by-piece with a line of cheap frozen foods.

In the aftermath, Remy is discovered, and Linguini is ordered to discard him. In the process of doing so, he realizes that the rat can understand his words, and is the one responsible for the soup's sudden deliciousness. The two settle into an uneven partnership, and shortly discover that Remy can control Linguini's movements by hiding underneath his hat and strategically tugging at his hair.

The idea of Linguini being involuntarily controlled through his hair is a bit dubious, but it fits the tone of the film and leads to a hysterical sequence wherein the two of them try to perfect the technique before trying it in the restaurant.

The film's technical prowess is barely worth describing; it is crisp and predictably gorgeous, a given with any Pixar film.

Where Ratatouille does surprise is with its subject matter. In addition to broad, innocuous issues like tolerance, the film also touches on more adult themes, such as illegitimacy and death. This is definitely the most mature Pixar film since The Incredibles. Not surprisingly, both films were written and directed by Brad Bird.

Though it doesn't really need it, the movie also builds steadily towards a resolution, as the ominous figure of notoriously picky food critic Anton Ego (Peter O'Toole) looms over the film's events. His visit to Gusteau's will obviously figure heavily into the film's climax (and it produces a lovely speech on the nature of criticism) but there are several other, less cliché plotlines which command just as much attention.

With Ratatouille, Pixar has once again made the distinction between a children's film, and a family film. It is a work of grace and charm that any generation can enjoy.

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Put me in your pocket...
I would very much like to know what goes on inside Pixar's kitchen, and who (if any one person) is the genius behind this movie. I think everyone would benefit from knowing what they do differently from other corporate film makers. Their films have shown a consistency of quality that eludes Disney's other studios and Dream Works, and thankfully seems to have survived the hand-over from Steve Jobs to Disney.

Nice review linespalsy (I liked yours too Yoda ). I loved Ratatouille also...and would also love to know how Pixar does it. Disney should pick their brains and study their work habits...and apply their methods to their other branches. I'd love to see a documentary on a day in the life of the Pixar worker bees (not just the higher ups).

Back to Ratatouille though....if anyone has't seen it yet..it's great for any age group. I can see this one as a DVD must have for families when it comes out.



Thanks for the review.

I saw this movie again, for the third time yesterday (this time I didn't even pay attention to the story and just watched the animation). If you stick around through all of the credits, at the end you'll see a disclaimer saying something to the effect of "100% genuine animation. no motion capture used in making this film." Thought that neat.

The second time I saw it I thought the movie kind of slowed down in the middle and got a lot tamer visually. This time I think it made a bit more sense in terms of the way the story progressed: the first part is introducing Remy and the way he moves and his environment, so the camera moves a lot more oddly, but the second half is devoted more to the human characters (and the way Remy controls Linguini), so it makes sense for the camera to be a bit more staid to let the dynamics of that interaction take the spotlight. Just thought that -among many other things -- was pretty well done.



This is a movie about movie making and movie watching, and better yet, one that worries about what the trade offs are of appealing to a larger audience, about corruption of vision, and how to create something that is worth consuming.

The hidden rat is the director, or the creative mind, who literally animates everything. The kitchen is his crew and his studio (the villain is a typically greedy scam artist, whose energy is spent on selling mass-produced meals using the face of a known artist). And we're the diners.
I understand where you're coming from, here, but it may be a bit of a stretch to suggest that this is was the film was about. To me, the narrative wasnt working so much with the concept of creation as it was with the concepts of achievement, equality, and dreaming.

And did anyone else notice those nice little Christian Morality Easter Eggs? How many times did this flick try to tell us that stealing is wrong? Not a big deal, but i felt as if it was beginning to conflict with the greater message of the piece.

I think Pixar really hit their mark with the visuals. The food looked simply amazing; the way the soup boiled, textures, etc. The rat fur looked fantastic, and the character movements were incredible. It goes to show that you can have a cartoon and still make it impressively realistic.

It's not quite up to the level of Incredibles, but i'd probably pay to see it again.



I understand where you're coming from, here, but it may be a bit of a stretch to suggest that this is was the film was about. To me, the narrative wasnt working so much with the concept of creation as it was with the concepts of achievement, equality, and dreaming.
I disagree, but with the qualifier that yes, the movie has all those things you mentioned in it too. I should say the movie isn't only about one thing (what good movie is?). Anyway, it's worth noting that all the best gags in the movie are about Remy "animating" Linguini. Further, all the best aspects of the movie are self-referential in some way or another. The plot thread about facing a jaded food critic, the already-mentioned animation, and the metaphors about creation (which Remy, the hero of the movie, talks about from the very beginning of the movie as his goal and reason for admiring humans). I agree that it is about achievement and dreaming (and these things map just as well to things other than film-making), but that's all still within this specific context of creating art that reaches people in a non-trivial way, not just a vague prescription for life. If it were the other way around, I reckon it might end with Linguini finding it within himself to become a great chef, which is actually what I expected to see with the background of other movies aimed at kids in mind.



I watched this movie lately and it is good has good animation and plot...I like the value that the story impart to the viewers too...



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
My vote for the best movie of the year, at least which I've seen, but Holden would probably vouch that that's not too unusual.

I also liked Zodiac, The Bourne Ultimatum, Black Book, Grindhouse and a few more, but I'm pretty behind right now.
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I have watch this movie and it was great!! I also think that, if only you could have a rat with talent like that you could be rich...but thinking that it still a rat that cook food it creeps me out!!!

Why don't they turn it into a dog or cat perhaps!!!..... Rats has a bad reputation where ever country you went on...don't you think, well anyway it's just me!!!!!.....



I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
With all the positive reviews it has been getting, I know I really should watch this film, but I'm scared of rats so I just don't know!

One thing bugs me about this film though, can anyone explain to me why wherever you see this advertised (posters, trailers, outside cinemas, tv ads) it has Ratatouille (rat.a.too.ee). I know it's for kids, but what is with the phonetics? You don't have Finding Nemo (nee.moe) or Cinderella (sin.duh.rel.a) so why? Can't parents just tell their kids how to pronounce it??



I'm a bunch of a hell!
it's one of a kind movie,the story is unique that somehow touch my heart.



Registered User
this movie is not only for kids.. i love the animation of this movie



it's one of a kind movie,the story is unique that somehow touch my heart.
Yeah somehow touch the heart...This movie is awesome...



There are some lesson in the movie like "Keeping your food clean before eating them".. the movie is really nice and highly recommended..