Ratatouille (2007) Poster

(2007)

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10/10
Incredible
stalcup17 June 2007
Remember how everyone was talking about Toy Story when it first came out? The incredible visuals, unique style, vividly imagined world? The next time people were talking that way with such enthusiasm about a computer animated movie was Finding Nemo. I'm excited to say that Ratatouille will be the next one to redefine the visual creativity and technical detail of computer animated movies. Honest to goodness, I was awestruck by the animation, and that never happens to me. It is a visual masterpiece of a movie if ever the term applies.

The next thing to talk about is the "genre" of the movie. As Pixar enthusiasts will tell you, Brad Bird, the director of Ratatouille, also directed The Incredibles, which has the most inspired and creative action sequences from any of the Pixar movies. Ratatouille, while not so straightforward with its action, has almost as much as The Incredibles did, in unique ways. Most memorable is the shotgun scene near the beginning. (You'll know what I'm talking about when you see it). Other than that, this is the expected comedy-with-heart movie from Pixar that so many have grown to love.

The voice acting? Spot on. Every voice is distinctive, and it never feels like a celebrity's voice tacked on to a character (Shrek, I'm looking at you), it feels like the characters themselves speaking. You can't ask for more from voice acting.

And finally, the script and the story. The entire irony of the story -- a street rat with a passion for fine food -- is beautiful, and a tight, smart, wonderful script flows from this. The pacing of the story is odd and choppy at places, but this is a very forgivable grievance. The only other minor fault is that a few of the dramatic one-liners feel a bit forced. Other than that, this is the most layered, complex, and satisfying script from Pixar since The Incredibles.

Overall, I recommend that everyone see this movie when it hits theaters (I was lucky enough to see a pre-release screening). Though not perfect, it is an animated masterpiece in true Pixar form with breathtaking animation and visual design.

10/10
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10/10
Excellent movie!
superfan1811 June 2007
Tonight I went to see Ratatouille during a preview offered to Myspace users in Boston. Overall the movie was GREAT! It was really funny, often in unexpected places, the storyline kept you engaged the entire time and the overall mood was lighthearted and inspiring. A real "feel-good" movie. I admit I was a bit skeptical going in, I mean the idea of a rat in a kitchen kind of left me queasy, but I left the theater excited to see it again when it is released. The voice actors are excellent and the animation is amazing. I've been to Paris before and the overall views were very accurate. At times I could tell exactly where in the city the events were taking place. Overall a fabulous movie, I highly recommend it!
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10/10
A fantastic story that adds to Pixar's stellar reputation
Tripper2717 June 2007
I checked out a sneak preview of Ratatouille last night, and I must say I truly loved this movie. Everything from the animation to the score to the voice acting to the story (and especially the story) was EXCELLENT.

I don't know if it appeals to kids as much as other Pixar offerings, but this one upholds their legacy of excellence.

Casting Patton Oswalt as Remy was PERFECT. The rest of the voice cast was outstanding as well...including Pixar "house voice" John Ratzenberger. See if you can tell which guy he is without foreknowledge (as in, don't read the cast list).

Michael Giacchino's score was as perfect for this story as the award-winning one he created for "The Incredibles" and the incredible music he has created for most of J.J. Abrams' recent projects, including "Alias" and "Lost".

Even with my 3-year-old son making it really hard to concentrate, and our "we got to the theater late and had to sit up front" seats, this movie was fantastic. Everyone should go see it, even if they don't have kids.

Brad Bird - you done right by us movie fans again...Ratatouille is great!
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10/10
Pixar's best yet !
Mike TheMovieAddict17 June 2007
Fantastic ! ... Can't wait to get the DVD ! The technical / animation / lighting ..etc aspects of the film are awesome. Pixar has raised the bar again.

The best thing about the movie, is that it showcases Pixar's "mantra" , that being story, story ...story. That along with having great characters/animation/dialog, which you just forget ... or never even consider are digital puppets.

The humor was great too, the gags / situations character acting all contributing to making situations that "kids of all ages " could "get".

There is on one level the entire story, of Remy and Linguini, but then there are 3 or 4 or more subplots and a number of dramatic scene changes which almost felt like separate chapters of the main story. That all contributed ..for me at least... to keeping the movie very interesting right to the end.

While I found a few things predictable, there were also quite a few twists and and unexpected events / scenes, that just kept giving me more new "stuff" to enjoy 10 / 10 Mike
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10/10
An Amazing film, made for film lovers, with an artistic/indie appeal
willden2117 June 2007
I caught a sneak peak yesterday, and must say, this film is a classic. It is not as flashy as cars, or as action packed as Incredibles, but it is a masterpiece of restraint and heart, that matches the classics from the golden age of the film industry. Pixar has always been groundbreaking for smart and fun animated features, but Ratatouille might just be what puts them over the top as one of the BEST all around film-making teams in history.

Ratatouille is a treat for film lovers. It feels like a classic. The animationis absolutely beautiful, especially the scenery of Paris which evoked awes from the audience, as if we were seeing a grandiose fireworks show.

The story is oh so classy and universal, especially when you look at it as a parable to yourself and society. Sometimes the story seems familiar, yet it is packed with so much genuine heart and individuality, that it might even be too "indie" for most audiences. But those who are patient and willing to open their minds and hearts, even when it may challenge the viewers to rethink their own personal biases, will find within this entertaining, sweet, simple film a remarkable message about challenging societal norms and not letting anything stand in your way of your dreams. When you follow your dreams, you never know what an impact it will have upon you, or those you might encounter on the journey. Just see the film, and be open to its message, and I am sure if you allow it too, it will touch you as well.

P.S. : The short in front of the feature is the funniest animated short film pixar has ever done, so even if ratatouille might not be as flashy as many might want it to be, the short film will have everyone in stitches, as it did our entire theater. So just go and see it, and be prepared for a wonderful two hours.
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10/10
Another Disney-Pixar Masterpiece!
ashowen16 June 2007
This film is fantastic! Pixar has yet another great film to add to their impressive repertoire. Oscar-winning director and screenwriter Brad Bird, who wrote and directed "The Incredibles", has produced a film with subtle humor, heart, and very profound truth. The voice actors are so great, and it is especially great to hear Peter O'Toole on the screen. The animation is beautiful and it is all around an excellently made film. Its message is one that holds so much truth for everyone, especially today's youth: it tells people that no, not anyone can do anything, but if you have the talent you don't have to be limited by your surroundings or your upbringing. I think this is refreshing to hear because often, children are lied to when they are told they can do anything, when actually not all of them can. But it offers hope to the ones who may feel limited by their social class. It also exposes the fact that most people try to put up false facades of themselves to hide who they are in order to feel accepted by the social standards we create in our society; it shows characters with this flaw, but ultimately they accept this reality and learn to be true to themselves. This thread, I think, is very common throughout the Pixar films, and they present it very well. "Ratatouille" is my new Disney-Pixar favorite! "Ce film a pleine de joie de vivre!"
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10/10
Best Animated Film in Creation
PoisonKeyblade17 June 2007
The combination of Disney and Pixar never ceases to amaze, but with Ratatouille, their newest effort, animated features are brought to new heights with the best one to date. Ratatouille is stunning, surreal while at the same time realistic, and a joy to watch. The writing is, in one word, just amazing, and the voice acting is sensational. The characters are poetic and real, and the rats are some of Disney/Pixar's cutest creations. Ratatouille is written and directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles), and features stellar voice acting from Peter O'Toole, Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Brian Dennehy, Lou Romano, Brad Garrett, and Janeane Garofalo.

Remy (voiced by Patton Oswalt) is a little rat who dreams of becoming a chef just like his idol, the human Gusteau (voiced by Brad Garrett). After a mishap, Remy loses his family in the sewers and comes upon a fading restaurant that had previously been owned by Gusteau before his untimely death. He comes upon a lowly garbage boy, Linguini (voiced by Lou Romano), and together they set out to revive the once-legendary restaurant.

Ratatouille is filled with loads of surprises and lots of twists and turns. The animation is even more stunning here than in some of the other Disney/Pixar productions, and the breathtaking landscape of Paris, France, really adds a layer of realism to the film. The food looks so real and delicious, and the humans and rats look incredibly realistic. Remy and Linguini are both lovable characters, and the audience is rooting for them the entire way. Surprisingly enough, this movie is the funniest of the Disney/Pixar films, with very subtle and unique humor.

As previously stated, the voice acting really makes the film different, and each actor is perfectly suited to his or her role. The best among the bunch happens to be Lou Romano, as he deals with his character extremely well and is incredibly believable. There are times when the acting and animation is so excellent that you forget you are watching an animated film altogether. Brad Garrett is actually tolerable for once, and is excellent in his role as Gusteau, who acts as Remy's conscience for the majority of the film. Some of the funniest scenes in the movie are rooted from Gusteau's chats with Remy and many others come from the relationship between Linguini and Remy. On another note, Patton Oswalt does a magnificent job voicing Remy, and Peter O' Toole is very memorable as Anton Ego, the food critic for 'The Grim Eater'.

Overall, you can't ask for a better film than Ratatouille, a new classic from Disney/Pixar that is filled with humor, amazing animation, and, most importantly, lots of heart. Some of the scenes are so poetic and perfect that they just bring tears to your eyes. It may be hard to believe, but Ratatouille is far better than any other animated films you will see this year, or perhaps that you will ever see. It manages to be better than Toy Story, better than Finding Nemo, even better than the fantastic Meet the Robinsons. I saw a pre-screening of the film on Saturday, June 16, but I cannot wait to see it again once it hits theaters everywhere on June 29. See Ratatouille—it is highly original, heartwarming, uplifting, and a very thrilling movie that has to be the best animated feature of the last few decades.
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10/10
Pure brilliance... beats Nemo, Cars, etc !!
Movie Lover18 June 2007
I saw this movie in the sneak preview, and I just loved it! You will be amazed by its creativity and brilliance. I would easily vote it to be the best animation movie ever beating nemo, cars, monster inc, etc by a mile! This movie is for people of all age groups. Kids, adults and even those who do not like animations will love it.

I do not want to say anything else here and spoil it for you. All I can say is if you do not watch it, you will be missing out on a very very very special movie.

I have never written a review on here before, but this movie made me write one. Ratatouille is pure brilliance!
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9/10
A First Rate Film
robcat207517 June 2007
I just saw "Ratatouille" tonight.

It's a first class movie. Several thoughts come to mind...

-The character performances are so good, I think there's no sort of movie they couldn't make. I've heard Pixar's John Carter of Mars is going to be live action? No! I want them to do it all animated.

-"Cars" definitely _was_ a lower-value softball they threw to finish out that original Disney-gets-half-of-everything-plus-sequel-rights contract they were in at the time. I remember all the clucking last summer about how Pixar had lost its way.

-There were a few moments when they seemed to lose that stylized reality they had established and things looked merely "real".

-There was one scene in the latter part of the film where I thought "I can't believe they are doing this tired movie cliché" but they pulled out of it at the last second and made it something new.

-The 2D-ish end credits were great. Stick it out to the very end to see the mo-cap disclaimer!

-With this, Brad Bird is certainly one of the animation gods now.
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9/10
GREAT addition to the Pixar family of films...
Mort Shuman17 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I attended a sneak preview of Ratatouille, and I have to say, Pixar has done it again. I enjoyed Cars, but didn't LOVE it like some of the other Pixar Films (Monsters Inc and The Incredibles are my favorites). This movie, however, was just about perfect. If I had one complaint (and it's VERY small) it was a just a little too long, but not by much. But the voices, the computer animation, the music, and above all the story were all top notch. I'm continually amazed at how Pixar continues to crank out great films like these that both children and adults can appreciate. I have a feeling most critics and film goers alike will rate this one very high. I wholeheartedly recommend the film - it really was a fun night out at the movies! Congrats Pixar!! Oh, and they also continue to do wonderful shorts that appear before the feature. This one involving aliens(that's all I'll say) is really cute and continues that fine tradition.

Can't wait for the DVD!
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10/10
A classic of the computer animation films
bedoyama1 July 2007
To me this is one of the best animated movies of the last years. It has a very inspiring story and has a timeless signature. It has many comedy elements but is not overloaded with jokes that make reference to the present time (like Shrek).

This movie integrates a very nice story, with attractive characters and the last advances in computer animation. Is a real art work in the sense that it integrates all its elements without oversizing one of them: an inspirational cartoon tale that uses the computer graphics with some elements of comedy.

The facial and corporal language of the main characters is amazing. I love too that its makes reference to the typical problems that sometimes you have to get all the things you love at the same time.

This movie also has many other goodies inside, but it's up to you to discover them.
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10/10
The best yet!
verdie30 June 2007
At this point, Brad Bird is no longer making great animated movies -- he's making great movies, end of sentence.

From the standpoint of writing, this one keeps an astonishing number of themes going, creates great multifaceted characters, and maintains believable suspense and motivation, all without ever seeming strained or "written." From the standpoint of animation, it's unbelievable. The translucency of a rat's paw, the dented shine of a copper kettle, the complex texture of a crumb of bread, are all rendered with breathtaking accuracy. (And Paris has never looked lovelier -- if the French tourist board didn't subsidize this production, they should have.) From the standpoint of voice acting, it ranges from believable and unshowoffy (unlike the annoying star turns we're seeing in a lot of these days) to the stentorian sneer of the great Peter O'Toole.

And, most of all, the character creation and animation is beyond belief. The facial expressions, the unique-to-each-character body movements, the sense of weight and texture are so incredibly closely observed and reproduced that at times I had to work to remember that what I was seeing was animation and not Oscar-caliber acting.

If this one doesn't go up in the Best Picture category instead of simply Best Animated Feature, there's no justice in Oscar-land.
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7/10
Pulls the most out of an okay story
GSmith907217 June 2007
Ratatouille is a major step up from a lot of last year's animated fare, and a vast improvement from last year's Oscar winner for best animated feature. Here we re-discover sweet simplicity amped up with the expected story-telling techniques of Pixar, and here's the kicker, no heavy handed messages hammered in with a drill, but there certainly is a message and it's delivered with subtler grace despite some flaws. Although, aspects to the message are borderline confusing if you over analyze the reality that occurs in the film, but the film doesn't scream for over-analyzation in the same fashion as "Finding Nemo". For me, the animation slightly overpowers the story, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. The film is directed, camera-wise, with the same interesting techniques as "Happy Feet", but the film has more in store. We get to see the world mainly from Remmy's perspective, and it's visually exciting. The camera-work is what makes the film's physical humor work so well. More on the artistic scheme, the film looks really great. Particularly the lighting stands out. The colors are very lush and detailed; very accurate toward a real city-scape. Then the rat's fur are very impressive, it moves against the wind and gets wet very much like real rat hair. Don't let the detail in the clothes get past you either. The film manages to find a balance between superficial realism and animated characters. The character designs for the humans are marvelous (Bird seems to get much humor out of the smaller villains as seen in the past "Incredibles" and the non-Pixar film "Shrek") and the rats, while moving a lot like real rats still have acceptable personalities and animated form. So we feel like we're entering an animated world that is fleshy and real. Speaking of such, other animated marvels are the organic forms of the food. As real as the food in the film is, the film rightfully capture the spirit of the plot it pursues. It introduces the viewer into the world of fine-dinning and develops something rare in today's animation, a bleeding heart.

Story-wise, that's the only area where I can detect any trace of criticism. I felt at times, dare I say it, that the emotion was a little bit forced. There were just certain times I didn't understand a certain character's frustration. Also, I felt uneasy about the films unusual balance of fantasy and realistic themes, such as how the reactions to rats were carried our toward the end of the film and how it blends into the films major theme and other suspend disbelief occurrences. That lack of coherent continuity gives a writer a lot more flexibility in how to tell the story. In other words, it's kind of a shortcut. But it's an observation that is made up for by other successes in the film. The film very impressively for an animated film delivers some conventional themes with a little more depth (to truly enjoy it, I'd recommend erasing the fact that rats often carry disease from your mind). It's cute without embarrassingly forcing it and unpretentious. The very fact that what makes it work may fly over the heads of small children isn't a reason to condemn it. It's true though that I feel that younger kids may get a little restless halfway though, and not just through my own experience at the theater. however, this is another great film for an older audience to enjoy a simple well told story. As for whether it will have that lasting effect that Pixar films usually carry, only time will tell.
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10/10
Charming movie and Remy is adorable.
BigWhiskers17 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
My only regret is that I let this movie slip by without seeing it on the big screen. It's not even playing in those cheap theaters that charge a buck after the movie has been out for a while. I picked up the DVD and watched it 3 times. Remy is adorable and I fell in love with him ,his facial expressions and body language are so sweet, you care what happens to him,there is one scene where he is trapped in a jar and Linguini is going to drop him in the water,you can see the fear in his eyes and how vulnerable he is,it pulls at your heart and you want to just rescue him and take him into your arms. Once the kitchen show gets going though it really rocks.. Linguini is hilarious and Colette a wonderful tough lady chef who falls in love with Linguini. Hijinks in the kitchen as both Remy and Linguini pull off the most hilarious illusion of cooking with Remy pulling his hair to make him do things and Linguini's incredible Jim Caerryesque slapstick bodygags. The supporting cast is equally marvelous with various big stars doing voiceovers like Brian Dennehy ,Peter O'Toole and others adding to it's charm. I'm usually OK with most animated Disney movies that have come out lately but this one really moved me and I'm a 42 y/o man. It was very adult in nature since it appealed more to the older crowd then just kids. I do hope they do a sequel as I would most like to see what happens to Remy next. Bravo Brad Bird and the cast and crew . 10 out of 10
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10/10
You Dirty Ratatouille
snorlax311198424 July 2007
Today I had the privilege of seeing Pixar's 8 feature-length release, and the current front-runner to receive the 2007 Best Animated Oscar.

That film is Ratatouille. It revolves around Remy an adorable little rodent who desires to be a great chef, and Linguine, a bumbling but well-intentioned nerd who helps Remy become a great chief. The movie begins in a French country-side house where Remy and his disapproving rat brethren ("shutup and eat your garbage" says Remy's father when Remy complains about wanting high-quality food) are driven away by a miserable elderly French hag. Through his escape from the French hag, Remy lands in a Parisian restaurant created by a famous French chef named Gusteau. Gusteau took his own live after a bad review from a famous food critic named Anton Ego, but Gusteau still appears in Remy's imagination to offer various pieces of advice, such as "anybody can cook" and "stealing is wrong". Through Gusteau's inspiration and Linguini's bumbling nature, Remy and Linguini become cooks in a partnership that may bring Gusteau's restaurant back to it's former glory. Complicating matters are a feisty female cook, an asshole of a head chef, the reunion between Remy and his disapproving family, and snarling food critic Anton Ego.

Do not be afraid of Ratatouille's 110-minute running time, this movie has a far-quicker pace that some 90-minute movies. If you are a kid, you'll love the Looney Tune-esqe slapstick. Through accident, Remy can control Linguini like a puppet by pulling on his hair. It's a real thrill to see Linguini make body motions that are completely against his will. If you are older, you will appreciate the message this movie provides: no dream is too important, if you work hard enough and never stop believing you can achieve anything. This not the first time that message has been told in an animated film, but it's a lesson that's worth repeating. That is not the only thing this movie has to tell us. Like Remy, we as humans must decide whether to go our own way or do what our family tells us. We must also decide whether it's better to be respected doing things that make us miserable or to be disrespected doing things that make us feel happy. Not since Amadeus has such an enjoyable movie asked such serious questions.

I left this movie feeling really wonderful and enchanted. Enchanted because I saw the good guys get what they deserve, enchanted because I saw the jerks get what they deserve. I felt enchanted because I witnessed the marvelous performance of Peter O'Toole as the crusty but lovable food critic Anton Ego. The way Peter O'Toole used the word "Perspective", I couldn't help but get goosebumps, and I mean that as a high compliment.

While I still await The Simpsons Movie with great anticipation, now I highly doubt it will win the Best Animated Feature Oscar, because it'll have to be really good to beat Ratatouille's magic.

My grade (out of 4 stars): 4
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8/10
A scrumptious Pixar pastry that is only harmed by some hollowness in its middle
L. Lion1 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Ratatouille, Brad Bird's third feature (after the scintillating Iron Giant and The Incredibles) measures up to his oeuvre. It's a fine film with wonderful animation, a charming story, and a slam bang finale that had me laughing. The story, in brief, is that Remy the Rat has the dream (and the talented nose) to be a great chef. Through a series of misadventures, he finds himself in the kitchen of Gusteau's, a former five-star restaurant now clicking over on the reputation of its deceased former owner, the great chef Gusteau, whose ghost (or else figment of Remy's imagination) is mentor to Remy. Remy develops a relationship with the hapless Linguini, a garbage boy in the kitchen with a secret past, and through him begins to return the restaurant to its greatness.

If the film has a weakness, it is in the second act. The baddie here is the head chef, Skinner, who is anxious to retain control of Gusteau's in order to launch lines of frozen foods. The problems here are that the main conflicts do not really play out. Once the relationship with Remy is established, Linguini becomes more interested in the only female chef in the kitchen, Colette (voiced by Janeane Garofalo) and for whatever reason begins to treat Remy as an afterthought. Since Remy is his only link to culinary glory, he has to be an idiot to treat the rat this way. Remy's personal inner conflict is based on the fact that he longs to treat humans to new culinary delights, while he is made all too aware of how humans feel about rats. Last, Skinner is concerned that a secret from Linguini's past will loosen his hold on Gusteau's. This is dealt with in the most perfunctory manner - Remy finds out, steals some documents, there is a chase (which is very well done) and then Skinner is out. Skinner never truly develops as a villain anyway, and his performance is probably the least weighty. Remy's conflict about how humans feel about rats never feels authentic. He knew about this all along, and he obtains far too much joy from creating new dishes to ever walk away from Gusteau's once has gotten his foot in the door.

However, once Linguini gains control of Gusteau's, and has wowed customers through Remy's genius, comes the big test - Anton Ego, the Simon Cowell of food critics, whose word can make or break a restaurant. He is initially developed as the baddie of the food world, but in fact this character is the heart of the film - he may be terrifying, but in fact he loves food, loathes mediocrity, and is honest. His visit to the restaurant, while Linguini is dealing with a full-scale kitchen mutiny, is the comic and action highlight of the picture. It is one of the best, and funniest, climaxes of any films on screen this year. And to understand how this can be, in a scene where the interaction is primarily between the kitchen and dining room, requires someone to see the film. Peter O'Toole does a superb job in voicing Ego, and his take on the evening, and his discovery about Remy (when he insists on meeting the chef), that he later writes up in his review is one of the most sterling pieces of critical journalism to ever appear in a film, ever. I highly recommend Ratatouille. The performances are terrific, the animation is wonderful, and so what if some parts of the plot drag or are never adequately realized. It is nonetheless a terrific movie.
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10/10
Delight
Donica1 July 2007
Okay, I admit, I haven't seen an animated film in a theatre in a long time...but when I saw the previews for this I thought it looked cute, had nothing else to do, bought a ticket and went in and saw it. I was extremely pleased with what I saw. The animation was great...the characters were cute. (What can I say? I have a fondness for rats, I had a pat rat myself when I was younger). It almost had an "American Tail" feel at the beginning. Delightful to watch, and some really funny parts in it. The kids will love this, and if it's doesn't win an award for best animated feature, something is definitely wrong with the Academy.
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10/10
"Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere."
Galina17 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
When "Ratatouille" (2007) was released last summer, I was not too eager to see the animated 106 minutes long film about a rat in a kitchen of a five-star Parisian restaurant. The idea seemed too original and brave for my taste. As film had been shown all over the world, I kept reading and hearing only great reviews for it. Then, my brother who usually does not get exited about any movie, told me that "Ratatouille" was absolutely charming, captivating, funny and moving at the same time, and the most charming about it was Remy, a rat, "little chef" with huge talent in the fine art of cooking. I saw the movie last weekend and I am happy to agree with my brother completely. "Ratatouille" has everything for every viewer to enjoy - technical excellence, amazing colors, highly original images, and the voices that matched the characters perfectly. The film is a clever satire and the moving story that will be interesting for the adults and children alike. Where the movie succeeds admirably - in showing on the screen the process of cooking which can be as inspiring and creative as painting, writing, or composing the music: "How can I describe it? Good food is like music you can taste, color you can smell. There is excellence all around you. You need only to be aware to stop and savor it." Speaking of how the movies sometimes affect our life - after we saw "Ratatouille" together with my husband, he demanded that I cooked him a Ratatouille that would take him back to his happy childhood days and rock him to his core just like the one that Remy prepared for a "grim eater", the universally feared food critic Anton Ego.

Not every year, an animated film is nominated for five Academy awards, and I wish "Ratatouille" victories in every category. It deserves them all.
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10/10
Amazing, spectacular, and perfect.
bobsgrock22 January 2008
The greatest test of whether or not a film is truly admirable is how well it holds up years after its release. It has been almost three years since Ratatouille has been released and I have now seen it at least four times, maybe more. I am proud and thrilled to say that it has not lost any of its charm, still looks amazing and holds up better than almost any film I've seen as many times as I've seen this.

It's hard to put your finger on, but why exactly is Pixar able to create these astonishingly good films that aren't just entertaining and delightful, although they certainly are that. They are able to tap into the very realms of the human condition, and with this bring to the surface emotions and feelings you come to not expect from an animated film because after all, animated automatically infers a film for children.

Of course Ratatouille breaks that mold and I am just so pleased that I got caught up in the world of Remy once again. With their endless budget from Disney, Pixar can create and explore any aspect necessary and writer/director Brad Bird does just that. The story here comprises elements of drama, sadness, family relations, job pressures, as well as a wonderful monologue near the end by a critic for critics. The story is pitch-perfect, always understandable and the foundation for which the film is made.

And, since it is Pixar and Disney, the look and feel of the film is so engrossing, it looks better than other animated films made after it. One of the things Pixar does so well is find the middle ground in making elements of the frame look real but not too real, thus still maintaining an animated universe. They did it with the water in Finding Nemo, the cars in Cars, and they do it here with the food, which at times looks so real you want to taste it.

I really can't say anything bad about Ratatouille. Even the story elements of how Remy and his human counterpart, Linguini, are able to work together work because this is the animated world which lends itself to more freedoms than our world. The voices are terrific from Patton Oswalt to Ian Holm to the great Peter O'Toole as deathly-thin food critic Anton Ego. There really isn't anything here that doesn't work and Michael Giacchino's score emits the spirit of Paris that sets the background for this story. This is just a great film, perfect in its story, its characters and the wonderful, vibrant world it creates. Years after its release, Ratatouille continues and will continue to impress and immerse viewers in a touching story with beautiful surroundings about the cutest rat in the world becoming a chef in Paris. Only animation, and only Pixar, could make this a film and succeed.
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10/10
A Nutshell Review: Ratatouille
DICK STEEL10 August 2007
The Pixar juggernaut continues! I've always been enthralled by the movies that Pixar puts out ever since Toy Story, and through the years, Pixar has built a brand of trust amongst movie goers, with quality storytelling using animation as a tool to tell them, not because it's cool to do things through the medium, but that it adds a certain powerful, believable dimension, with stories rooted to universal themes, yet jazzed up by the structure in which it's told. The Incredibles ranked amongst my favourite so far, but writer-director Brad Bird has topped that with Ratatouille, a story about a rat, and probably the most mature of the Pixar stories to date.

One of the rare successful rats in the animated genre is Mickey, but Remy here (voiced by Patton Oswalt) has more character, and with that photo realistic quality to him, will give Mickey a run for his money. It's a class act story about a rat who dreams of being somebody, of wanting to follow that dream in becoming a chef in Paris, and is undeterred by his size, and well, form, even though in any kitchen, the last thing you want is a rat in it. And to realize his dream, he forms a symbiotic friendship with bumbling Linguini (Lou Romano), a garbage boy who just joined the restaurant which Remy's idol, the late renowned chef Gusteau (Brad Garrett), founded.

It's a story about the tussle between friendship and family, with the latter providing an added emphasis, and you'll happen to just about find a familiar chord to it. Remember the time when your folks frown upon the friends you keep, and how sometimes, through their good intentions, unwittingly stifle your hopes and desires? Or how family becomes that obstructing stone on the pathway to success, or being taken for granted to provide for greedy, unabashed family and so-called friends? Ratatouille explores these and more, though they're kept veiled and subtle for the narrative to move on, and never provided a dull moment for kids and adults alike.

Pixar's animation continues to astound, and provide inspiration to the many 3D animators out there - they have always set new benchmarks for others to follow, and I think they're on top of their game with the excellent animated portrayal of Paris, the kitchen, and of course, the rats, with that touch of photo realistic quality to it all, which does wonders to the food presented. Amongst the food, I like the crusty breads best - you can almost feel the texture, and the rustling sound is just to die for. And the cheese, you can just feel it melt in your mouth. Mmm mmm!

The story's adversaries might be familiar - a mean boss Skinner (Ian Holm) and a mightier- than-though food critic Anton Ego (Peter O'Toole), but it's the latter, despite his shorter screen time, that does its best to chill, and it was such an obvious jab with making him English. The comedy's here top notch, not necessarily relying solely on slapstick to bring on the laughs, but possessing many sly moments throughout as you root for little Remy and his escapades, less so for Linguini though, who comes off as that perfect loser in life.

Ratatouille is a perfectly delicious offering worthy of that Pixar stamp, and definitely gonna be a crowd pleaser. I'm not sure why the delay in getting it released here, and having to suffer watching poor quality animation along the way. But the wait is well worth it, and I bet everyone will be pleasantly surprised indeed, with all the ingredients coming together for that wonderful presentation, that tastes and looks ju st wonderful. Despite the overkill of trailers, pre-screening warnings to turn off your mobile phones, etc, continue to put your trust in that little rat Remy, and savour what Ratatouille has to offer. No regrets - highly recommended, and another contender for my top movie of the year listing.

Ratatouille is preceded by the trailer for the next Pixar movie Wall-E, and a short Pixar featurette titled Lifted, about two aliens and one of their attempts in passing the Alien Abduction course. Stay throughout the animated end credits for a little coda at the end.
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8/10
Third Best Pixar Movie
ajja944011 July 2007
I may get some flak for this, but here goes. I ranked Ratatouille third best ever in Pixar movies. It may be because I'm older, but that doesn't mean it isn't a good movie. The voices are good, the animation is stellar like all Pixar movies, and the jokes appeal to me. But it doesn't have the hilarious supporting actor/voice, like in Finding Nemo with Dory (my absolute favourite Pixar movie ever), and The Incredibles (E). Emile and Linguini just don't have that funny flair like Dory and E did. In Finding Nemo and The Incredibles, I found myself saying memorable quotes a lot (Dory speaking whale and E showing Helen the new suits). Ratatouille had me with none of these, except for the one from the trailer (Don't just hork it down!). Overall, 8/10. To rank it perfect is not true, and to give it anything less than 8 should be a sin. Also, what may have made it bad, was this annoying woman behind, laughing at the most unfunny things in the movie.
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8/10
Great movie, maybe too intense for small kids
AK-kimkatt6 July 2007
This is a great film. Pixar has done it again, in a silly, serious, very fun way. The animation is top-notch. I agree with other posters that the scenery is extremely well done. The colors are magnificent, especially the sunsets in Paris. Makes you want to move there right now. There are several laugh-out-loud moments, and even a couple that brought a tear to my eye. However, I'm glad I pre-screened it before I brought my four-year-old. There are some scenes that are too intense for her to handle on the big screen. I will definitely purchase the DVD, but will not be bringing her to the theatre. Oh, and that cartoon before the movie was gut-busting. What fun!
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10/10
Dinner is Served...Spectacularly
alec_willard19 October 2007
Brad Bird's latest creation takes place in Paris, the city that is thought by many to be the city of the worlds greatest food. However, there are some problems. Mainly, that our hero, Remy (Patton Oswalt), is a rat. A rat that is a brilliant chef with a taste for fine food, but a rat none the less. Running from a mad old granny with a shotgun, being separated from his family, being flushed down one of the biggest pipes EVER! and being followed by the ghost of the late, great Gusteau, the chef that says "Anyone can cook", are just some of the problems the poor rat has to face.

While this is a sweeping statement, a food critic named Anton Ego (voiced brilliantly by Peter O'Toole) takes it a bit too literally,making sure Gusteau's restaurant isn't as popular as it was. When Remy meets Linguini (Lou Romano), a terrible garbage boy/wannabe chef, he takes him under his wing (rat paw) and controls him through a strange method of pulling his hair??? The film has an excellent screenplay, amazing animations, brilliant art and mostly superb voices. The rats, normally horrible and dirty, are cute and clean. Brad Bird's screenplay is rich with jokes (Remy waves to a cyclist, who, disgusted, isn't looking where he's going and crashes into a car in a cloud of shopping and bike parts), passion (Linguini's love, Colette) and tiny details which would amaze even the greatest director (Remy's oven-glove bed, the rat poison/exterminator shop, Gusteau's ghost telling Remy what to do). It's all there, you've just got to look for it.

There is only one bad thing about 'Ratatouille'. The character and voice of Languini, is in my opinion, not as fantastic as the rest of the film. Lou Romano doesn't quite seem to hit the right note, one brick short of a house or whatever you want to say. Linguini's character is too whiny, even for someone in his position. If he whines about the cooking, and at some points Remy, ditch the rat and go get a different job. He just doesn't seem to have his heart in it to me.

Peter O'Toole, Ian Holm, Patton Oswalt and all the others, however, make it a very grand dish indeed. Patton Oswalt relies mainly on ear twitching and eyebrow raising, but when he does talk, you listen. Ian Holm, the small, evil chef who need a stool to taste soup, is, as ever, brilliant and Peter O'Toole seems to relish being the bad guy, just as Anton Ego loves to criticise the lack of relish (forgive the pun, had to be done...and the rhyme!). Dark, mysterious and even scary, Peter O'Toole brings an edge to another great Pixar villain.

All in all, the film is a masterpiece, definitely Pixar's and Brad Bird's best dish yet, but hopefully there is more to come. Consider it a starter, an "amuse de bouche", and just wait for Pixar's next dish, whatever it is, and hope it's just as delicious . In the words of Anton Ego, "Surprise me!". Parents, just hope your kid's don't want a rat
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8/10
The film that launched a thousand rats
Igenlode Wordsmith6 October 2007
"Ratatouille", to pick a culinary metaphor, is, like the curate's egg, excellent... in parts. That is, parts of it are excellent, some parts grate, and a good deal of it is good without being especially outstanding. The film has the disarming forethought to get its riposte against criticism in first, in the person of the critic Anton Ego.

But my feelings about this picture are on the whole approbatory, while undoubtedly mixed. I didn't like it as much as "The Incredibles", and, thinking back, I wonder how much of that stems from Pixar being simply less comfortable out of the familiar territory of the American suburbs. A good deal of what grated on me was the perceived Americanisms, from the gun-toting granny to the unsubtle nature of the self-help message (and just what is a 'patootie' or a 'burrito' anyway? 'Corn dog' was at least explained...) The use of accents is also somewhat scattershot: the villains (inevitably) are played by English actors, the rat-heroes (inevitably) are Americans, while the one female speaking role is played with a comedy French accent -- as if the characters were not all (presumably) talking French.

Pixar's animators have obviously spent a lot of time studying rats, as well as -- I would guess -- researching the professional kitchen. These aren't your classic Disney characters with gloved hands, human bodies, and a token animal head and tail. No-one except the owners of pet rats will care that the depiction massively downplays the importance (and size) of the rats' tails and whiskers: a rat's tail is as long as his body and as strong as an extra limb, while he doesn't so much sniff at things as feel them with his impressive 270-degree array of whiskers. My only other caveat would be that the rats in the film seem to spend an awful lot of their time with ears laid back: a real rat's ears are swivelling radar-dishes, high and round and on the alert, and relocating them for most of the shots to a more 'human' position, low down on the head, has a rather odd effect on the characters' expression.

But since I for one am a rat owner, I appreciated the way that Pixar have captured their heels-up scamper and their funny trundling walk, their habit of carrying things with their chins raised, their athletic climbing abilities and above all their superb sense of smell; if anyone could design a new dish for a restaurant simply by sniffing it, it would undoubtedly be a rat! I also appreciated the fact that the rats in this story can't actually talk to the humans -- in fact, there's one shot towards the beginning that makes it plain that all they hear is squeaking. This isn't, as it might have been, the story of a boy who can magically converse with animals; rats and humans have to learn to communicate without words. (It's a tribute to the plot that it didn't even occur to me until after the film was over that it was in any way odd that the rats, on the other hand, could not only understand but read every word the humans used!) The process by which Remy discovers that he can remote-control Linguini is, I suppose, ridiculous in a real-life context, but seemed to make sense at the time...

Plot-wise, I found the start of the film fairly slow, with all the emotional depth of your average Mickey Mouse, though I did like the concept of the rats' having an organised escape plan. The main picture was preceded by a brief short centred around the quintessential US theme of alien abduction, which had the young audience in stitches but which I'm afraid I failed to find funny in the least -- slapstick cruelties were never my thing -- and this may have jaundiced me.

Things looked up once Remy reached Paris, although I found the heavy moral emphasis on the theft of a crumb absurd from a rodent view: how else can a rat eat? Plough his own fields, sow his own wheat, set up his own bakery? In the context of the rest of the story, "Don't foul your own nest" might have been more apt than "Thou shalt not steal".

The turn of events by which Remy becomes an undercover cook is effective, funny and strangely plausible, and from this point the film's quality remains fairly consistent throughout. One bonus is that there is no quasi-obligatory zany sidekick character; the nearest this film comes is in the shape of Remy's brother, and he doesn't get much screen time. But then generally speaking I didn't care much for the 'family' scenes. They mostly seemed to consist of spelling out moral messages in letters a yard high, plus the usual father-son bond fixation.

Towards the end the film makes some brave choices, and it is at this point that it rises into the category of 'excellent' and gains some actual emotional depth. It doesn't stop with the fairy-tale ending of the rightful heir, nor yet with the victory over the ogre. The name of the film turns out to be highly significant after all, and our heroes are rewarded not by a pinnacle of magic inheritance, but with fruits of their own earning. A warning: there are some scenes at this point that may be genuinely distressing to young children... as opposed to the cartoon violence of the opening, at which they merely roared with laughter...

The pictures of dead rats -- far more realistic than the cartoon-type characters -- I myself found very hard to bear because one of my own pets had died the previous day; the half-open mouth and fragile, curled limbs were the last I'd seen of her, too. I didn't weep when I buried her body, but there were several places during this film about rats when I missed her horribly. Which is, I suppose, a salute to its success.
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9/10
He calls it his Tiny Chef…Ratatouille
jaredmobarak23 July 2007
Brad Bird is by far the best writer/director of animated films coming out of America in a long time. Besides a Hayao Miyazaki, there is no one else with the track record that this guy has. From The Iron Giant to the Incredibles to now Ratatouille, Bird just gets better and better with each new move. This new Pixar installment is definitely the most intellectually stimulating yet, but really which of his films haven't been intelligent first, kiddie-catering second? Ratatouille is by all means cinematic in scope and execution. There is nothing to this movie that screams animation besides the fact that it is a cartoon. The characters are all well fleshed out with emotions and inner struggle to survive the lives they want at the expense of that laid before them. Each frame is also composed with a sense of cinematography for real life. The expanses of Paris are breathtaking to behold and many camera movements stay within the constraints of a true machine there to capture the action. Bird's world on display is all encompassing and you will be fully immersed into the tale, no matter what age, because it never loses its integrity or ability to surprise with its never ceasing authenticity.

Pixar will always be at the top of the computer graphic echelon because they have never catered to the increasing trend of dumbing down to the lowest common denominator. It appears that the current trend in America has been to try and make everything too equal, thus simplifying things in order for those less motivated souls to understand and laugh at, at the expense of the intellectuals which should be allowed some intellectual stimulation as well. Rather than go for the "fart jokes" and clichéd old-hat humor, Disney's newly bought animation studio has proved time and again that story is paramount and that without it, no means of skill or effects can survive. Locking up a talent like Bird for his most recent two films shows the dedication they have in getting the right people involved in the creative process.

The backbone impetus of this story is not at all truly original. It is very much an ugly- duckling type tale of someone who has decided to go along a path different then his people have for generations. While being slightly ostracized at home, he goes into the world in order to find meaning and a use for his extraordinary skill. Since that skill is a keen sense of smell, what better occupation than gourmet chef is there for mixing those flavors at his service in unique and wonderful ways? Unfortunately, our hero is a rat, and we all know that they don't go with hygienic kitchens very well. He must find a kind soul to help him do what he was born to do, and with that fateful meeting in Gusteau's restaurant, our tale unfolds. By going against the stealing mentality of his fellow rats and living amongst the humans, I was starting to think we would eventually get to a point where his clan speaks of how he has angered the rat Gods and their supply of garbage has been cleaned up by environmentalists around Europe. I quickly hit myself in the head, remembered that this wasn't Happy Feet with rats, and sat back to enjoy a real fairytale story that didn't try to shove an agenda down my throat. Fairy tales tell of morals and happiness and originality succeeding over prejudice and Disney/ Pixar still knows how to deliver.

Animation-wise, Ratatouille is a sight to behold. The fur on each rat is as tactile as that on Sully from Monsters Inc. and the liquids on display are gorgeous. Whether sewer water, Parisian streams, or blood red wine, each fluid is rendered with amazing clarity and realism. Even the human characters, something not often attempted by Pixar, are caricatured enough to make them slightly abnormal so that instead of looking at their humanistic flaws, we see them as just other animated creatures in a world of their own. Also, the set pieces are elaborate and highly detailed. The restaurant dining room is fantastically displayed and each swoop through the double doors of the kitchen brings you into a new world beyond the sinks and utensils. Even the underbelly passages of the rats are highly detailed as we go through them fast and furiously while our hero Remy runs to get above ground, going past numerous rooms that are seen through cracks—a comically French domestic dispute among them— until we get our first glimpse at the grandeur of Paris.

Despite the beautiful graphics and the unobtrusively effective voice-overs—when you find you aren't wondering who is who, you know the acting is successfully integrated into the whole—it is the story that really shines. Bird has culled his imagery from many sources, including a bit of what I feel is Tim Burton for the nemesis food critic Anton Ego who eerily reminded me of Christopher Lee, yet has made everything his own. Remy the rat must fight against his heritage and his very being in order to live his life the way he wants to. There is a lot of comedy involved in getting the human Linguini to become his friend and partner on the journey to culinary perfection, but there is even more heart behind it all. We are treated to some nicely quirky supporting roles, but none are ever put to the forefront in order to overshadow the real stars. While not the ensemble these types of films usually are, our leads are strong and never falter to the point you wish we had more of the others. I accepted the terms of the plot early on and never tired of the journey Brad Bird and company led me on. Pitch-perfect at every turn.
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