Refined. That's the best thing I can call Ratatouille. Refined. And that's a great compliment. No humor. No drama. No yuk yuk ribbing. No slick lessons. Just a bunch of charmingly chubby personalities. And that's a-okay.
Whereas Dreamworks' crown jewel Over the Hedge(Shrek is no longer for me), sought to rip into our average joe lifestyles and make us chuckle over our foibles, Pixar's shiny new pet revels in the haute couture. Maybe if you've got no taste for French cuisine, you might not like this movie, as the two main characters are easily outshined by the villain and the furry friends of the show. The concept of Remy controlling Linguini's actions through his hair was a bit much to swallow, but I liked Linguini and Colette's growing romance. But Ego was hands down the most refreshing villain in quite a while. It ends just as quietly as it began. Probably too much bright sunshiney for my taste. It didn't have the usual Brad Bird "punch". But still tasty.
"100 Genuine Animation! No motion capture or any other performance shortcuts were used in the production of this film."
In case you didn't catch that, you might want to pull out your copy of this movie. Skim around the ending credits, you can't miss it! A bit of a slap on the wrist to past animated features, such as "Happy Feet" and "Monster House"(2006).
I had extremely high expectations for this film. Brad Bird is one of my favorite directors for animated films and he has already directed and wrote for 2 other fantastic films. "The Incredibles"(2004), which is one of my favorite Pixar films and "The Iron Giant"(1999), which is one of my favorite animated films, period. I am very happy to say, Bird has kept up his nearly flawless resumé by making another animated film of the utmost quality.
Ratatouille was great. The animation is sumptuous and easily exceeds anything that Pixar has previously done. Many times throughout I had to do a few double takes at the backgrounds. They were gorgeous. I have never complained about CGI, but if I did, this film would probably shut me up. And everything else is just as splendid. I did have a problem with the narrating during my first viewing, but after watching it a couple more times I realized it was actually the best choice of storytelling for Ratatouille. And as with all Pixar films, comedy, action, and drama were all mixed together and boiled down into one fine sauce(cooking puns, how original).
Yet, I have to admit...I don't think I enjoyed it as much as many others did(at the time I am writing this, it is the second most highest rated animated feature on IMDb). It is obviously an amazing achievement and I really don't have any more than 1 or 2 complaints and this review is pretty much nothing but praises. There is just something that I can't quite put my finger on that didn't floor me as much as I had hoped. But, you know, now that I think about it, I am only saying this because I didn't give it an absolute perfect score. I still loved it and my rating shows that.
Pixar has done it again. Will they ever disappoint me? Every Pixar fan needs to pick this one up.
edit: dammit. I'm going to do it. I'm upgrading this to four stars. That's like winning a Gold Medal at the Los Angeles Olympics.
If you're Russian!
I should probably mention that I have not seen 'Flushed Away'. so this is in no way a comparison to that movie.
It's a coming-of-age, finding-your-own-path type story. All that usual junk. Rémy rises above this though - not because he's a rat, but because he's a great character. Admittedly a few of the other characters are wishy-washy, but Rémy shines, as does his human pal, and that does the trick.
Rather than cringing from rubbery CGI characters, this time I found myself admiring, even straight out liking them (the rats, anyway). This is no small step for me.
And the choice of my absolute favourite actor, Peter O'Toole, as the food critic Anton Ego, nailed this for me.
Although it maybe makes 4 stars less convincingly than 'Bambi' or 'Secret of NIMH', and notwithstanding my long-running burn-out with 3D, there is no gainsaying the quality of this movie.
I think Pixar started out with two incredible films (the 'Toy Story(s)), then went into a period of just 'very good', which lasted from 'Bugs Life' until 'Finding Nemo'. The last two of their movies have really impressed me, though, and I think this is their best movie since 'Toy Story 2'
BTW, did anyone else notice that in the closing credits, a logo comes up which reads, '100 per cent animation - no motion capture'?
If there were a rating for 'perfect', above '4 stars', this might not make it, but - oh hell, look, this is a terrific movie. It battered down my sensibilities and my dislike of CGI. Like most great rock singles, it could be better, but it rocks.
The effort that Pixar put into making Ratatouille a stunner is evident in every gorgeous, breath-taking scene. Not only are the sets amazing, but the character designs are adorable. The animation has been done with careful attention to every detail--no formulaic walk cycles here. If anything, I wondered whether it was necessary to make Linguini trip and stumble quite so often. The rats are adorably ratty, right down to their slinky movements. The bittersweet ending put the cap on what was a remarkable movie experience.
The only fly in this delectible soup is the number of cliched themes it uses. Maybe 'follow your dreams' can't be said often enough, but there sure as heck are enough scenes where the disapproving parent figure relents and says, "If that's what you really wanna do, we're behind you!" And, naturally, the short ugly guy is the villain. And one must wonder what will happen when the health inspector gets around to checking out...oh, well, never mind.
If you've seen too many cartoons, the cliches will reek like a single rotten mushroom in an enormous and gorgeous salad. For the non-over-exposed, this movie must rank as a treasure which other films must only attempt to match.
Awwww! How cute!
Normally, I would prefer traditional 2D but Pixar is an exception. I think the only Pixar disappointment was "Cars".
"Ratatouille" was an enjoyable film to watch especially with family. I was watching it with my cousins and then the "grown-ups" came in and were engrossed into the movie too. We can count on Disney to bring out the little kid in adults and Pixar did a wonderful job in the creation of this film. I liked the many embedded messages of being true to your word and how you can be successful if you try and persevere.
WATCH THIS MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!
I am a huge fan of Pixar Animation . . . especially since the quality of every movie this company makes just seems to make the high price of the movie ticket worth it. (or in my case, the price of the DVD)
Ratatouille clearly follows the proud line of memorable films, and makes sure to create an appealing film about something that is, in reality, not a very appealing subject: rodents inside of a kitchen.
Yes, you heard what I said. (LOL)
The story surrounds a young rat out of many named Remy, who has a peculiar sense of smell that makes him stand out from the others within his father's rat clan. However the case, Remy is no ordinary rat: he has the taste for the finer things in life and wishes to follow the words of his muse, a French chef named Gusteau who states that "anyone can cook", by becoming a chef. Obviously, his dreams cause major trouble for his family when they are swept away from their cozy home and Remy is suddenly separated from them, landing in the one place that he believes would make his dreams come true: Paris, France.
Again, since Pixar is animating the film, the characters are uniquely designed and almost realistic. The voice acting is perfect, and the musical background is well suited for each scene. However, the best parts of the entire film is the backgrounds and the details of the food. Never before have I ever wanted to reach into my TV set and grab the food from the film! Also, the backdrop of the City of Lights has never looked better! You will ooh and ahh once you see it for the first time - trust me.
However, the story was a bit slow in the middle and the dramatically entertaining scenes of Remy's new companionship with the main human Linguini (no offense, but who in there right mind would name their child after food?) was interesting and funny at parts, but the ending cleared everything for me. I was satisfied with what I saw and heard, and it was indeed worth every moment of the nearly two-hour film time. (actually, I want to watch it again . . . and I probably will too!)
Ratatouille is one of those films that makes you think again about the world around you and second guess certain creatures out there (kinda like how "Charlotte's Web" would make you reconsider how spiders are . . . in a sense). Brad Bird has done it again - created a masterpiece of a film.
My Rating: 3.5 stars
(I know, you're probably wondering, "Why not a perfect four?" Well, the idea wasn't that original, but what was I gonna do, give it a three? No way! I loved it enough to give it an extra half-star.)
Well, Brad Bird has done it again. Ratatouille is an excellent animated piece that deserves the reputation it has earned. The amount of love and attention that was put into this film shines onto the viewer through fantastic cinematography, breathtaking animation, and a charming story. This movie, and only a few other recent Pixar films, are proof that 3D animation has finally caught up, stylistically, to 2D animation. That is to say, there are countless shots in Ratatouille where, if I had been looking at a still frame instead of a moving picture, I might have been convinced I was looking at a professional digital painting rather than a three-dimensional scene. So, the rhetorical question arises: Why only three stars?
It truly pains me to say it, but three stars is the highest rating I can bring myself to give; it might even be a stretch. I love watching an animated feature that is done this well, but at a certain point I just cannot continue to praise a dried-up film strategy. About a decade ago, Pixar came out with a fresh new formula. The formula has been proven to work...and if it ain't broken, why fix it? So, a decade later, Pixar continues to make their formulaic films which, I admit, are consistently original in subject matter, but which are also consistently predictable. If this formula were written out, it would have a few different postulates that might look something like this:
1) Protagonist is faced with a life-altering conflict, but ultimately achieves victory upon realizing the concepts of "believe in yourself" and/or "follow your dreams."
2) Male protagonist + male antagonist + male supporting cast + single token female love interest for male protagonist = Entire cast of characters.
3) Story action aims to provide suspense without stepping beyond the box of ethical boundaries provided by a largely pre-teen demographic.
So, while I think this was another extremely well-done Pixar film, I also think this was just another extremely well-done Pixar film. That is to say, I give stars for originality, not only in story but in method and execution, and the latter is something you won't find here. That said, I still can't deny that I strongly recommend this film to you.
Normally I would stick with good old-fashion 2D animation. But I will make an exception with this CGI animated film from Pixar along with "The Incredibles". Though the film is a Disney/Pixar collaboration, I still consider it a Pixar film. Also I love movies that are set in Paris like "The Last Time I Saw Paris" starring Elizabeth Taylor (one of my favorite actresses) and Van Johnson; also the 1962 animated feline film "Gay Purr-ee."
You know in real-life, I really hate rats. Not mice, RATS! But certainly not Remy. Also another reason I like this film because it's all about chasing a big dream, like what Remy is trying to do. That is something that I don't mind at all, because my big dream is to a fiction writer. So anyway, I love this film from beginning to end.
Rats, face it, are not the most popular creature on Earth, even if they are one the most numerous. Look at the vile creature that sneaks into the baby's room in Lady and the Tramp and you'll get a good idea of Man's perception on these little creatures.
But Pixar transforms these 'vile little beasties' into something completely adorable and lovable. And so, we get Remy.
Remy's dream is to become a chef and eat real food instead of the rubbish that rats usually feast upon. After being seperated from his family in an 'American Tail'-esque way, he goes on a crazy ride through the sewers (in the style of 'Fievel goes West') and ends up under Paris.
Meanwhile, a young man named Linguinie, on the wishes of his dead mother,
is given a job at the three (formely five) star restaurant Gusteau's. When the two finally meet after a near-miss with some soup, the talent-less Linguinie realises his cooking potential in the little animal...
Sure, it might seem a bit far fetched with the whole 'rat knows how to cook' theme, but Ratatouille is just such a funny, sweet and charming film that you'll forget all about it. It's touching without getting too overly sentimental and it's funny without becoming too juvenile and forced (that one too often sees in todays numerous CGI flicks).
The food in the film looks very delicious. It doesn't look like plastic at all. I know this is going to sound weird, but even the cake in the rubbish heap looked tasty. Ratatouille will not only evoke emotions, it''ll evoke your stomach too! The rendering and imagery is just fantastic.
The plot is fun and more importantly, unpredictable - which was a real problem in Pixar's previous films. The characters are memorable too.
If I had to sum up Ratatouille in one word, it would be 'sweet.' Linguinie's somewhat odd friendship with Remy is sweet, all of the rats look sweet, just the entire film is sweet and funny. Go see Ratatouille - it's a delightful offering in today's animated wasteland.