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17. Ratatouille

Another brilliant animated film directed by Brad Bird, Ratatouille is one of the absolute best Pixar films out there in my opinion, and it all starts with a really great concept. Take the conflict of trying to become a gourmet chef and apply it to literally the thing furthest from it, a rat. It's a stroke of genius like much of Pixar's body of work. Remy, the rat who is the protagonist of the film, wants more than anything to be a great chef, inspired by the words of a famous chef, "Anyone can cook."

Fortunately, he manages to find his way to the sewer right underneath one of the finest gourmet restaurants in Paris. What makes this concept so incredible is that it's the one of the best uses of the idea of an unlikely hero, someone who is so far from where he wants to go, it makes the conflict of the story just that much more incredible to watch because the character faces even longer odds to get there.

This is also in my opinion the best looking of all the pixar films, the animation in this film just has a beautiful quality to it unlike any of the other films (not to say that the other pixar films are in any way poorly animated, there's just something special about this particular one). Credit to the animation team for putting together this visual masterpiece.

I also appreciate the lesson that this film teaches. Every pixar film and most great children's movies in general have some overarching message for the film that's easy to grasp and very well articulated, something with substance that goes beyond just entertaining children to inspiring them. The lesson of this film is from my view that you should always go after your dreams and what inspires you even when it seems impossible. I mean anyone can cook right? So if a rat can make it as a chef, what can't you do? It's something that is especially meaningful for me as someone who wants to be a director one day since, y'know, it's not exactly a job that's known for ease of entry. It's one of the most difficult private sector jobs out there, but I'm going for it anyway despite the long odds because it's my dream.

Ratatouille is one of Pixar's finest films, and one that is especially powerful and meaningful for me.