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Ratatouille

Ratatouille is possibly the most under-rated Pixar film of all time, however it has seen something of a resurgence in recent years with an Albert Hall concert and a 4D ride at Disneyland Paris (which I cannot wait to go on when I return to Disneyland Paris 10 years after my last visit next year). It still doesn't get the appreciation it deserves though.

The film tells the story of a rat called Remy (voiced by Patton Oswalt) who dreams of being a chef. Problem is, rats are not allowed in the kitchen and only humans are chefs. Guided by the ghost of celebrity chef Gusteau (Brad Garrett), Remy pursues his dream with a little help from Linguini's (Lou Romano) hair. It's a very charming tale of 'don't judge a book by its cover' in that just because Remy is a rat and therefore considered vermin doesn't mean he isn't capable of being a chef and as with other Pixar films, it doesn't feel like the message is rammed down our throats as the audience to prove that it 'teaches' kids something (there's nothing more irritating for that - who says animated films have to be purely for kids, after all?).

It is also refreshing to see a film with Paris as a setting instead of the usual UK or U.S. location. As much as I enjoy seeing my country's capital London on the big screen, it is often a location that's over-used in cinema and as for American cities, I can name quite a number of films off the top of my head set somewhere across the pond, whereas France in general is not used very much as a setting (apart from in romantic comedies for an obvious reason). Paris is also a clever thematic choice considering the French are world famous for their quality food, although somehow I doubt they have a rat running their kitchen.

As for the voice acting, I honestly think it is among the finest I have seen in any animated film. Each voice perfectly suits the character, especially Patton Oswalt as Remy (I even know someone who's favourite character in any Disney film is Remy out of all the top characters she could have chosen). This is possibly Pixar's finest casting since the Toy Story movies, although Tom Hanks and Tim Allen as Woody and Buzz still takes a lot of beating.

Overall, Ratatouille is an underrated Pixar gem and one that deserves more recognition. It's a shame that this film was released after the re-emergence of 3D as it would have been perfect for the 3D treatment (although a Ratatouille 3D Bluray is available to buy from Amazon and other outlets).