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One of Pixar's best
MartinHafer9 July 2007
This film is exactly what Pixar needed to steal the thunder from Dreamworks' latest release, SHREK III. In many ways, this is very ironic, as one of Pixar's best films, MONSTERS INC., was overwhelmed when it was released due to the first SHREK's success. I honestly think if SHREK hadn't been such a wonderful movie, people would have noticed that MONSTERS INC. was an exceptional film. Now, Pixar gets some payback with one of their best, RATATOUILLE.

Actually, RATATOUILLE is probably Pixar's best film, though I did enjoy TOY STORY II and THE INCREDIBLES. The reason I was so overwhelmed by this story was that it was so highly original and creative--I simply cannot compare the plot to any other film (something you can do with THE INCREDIBLES and TOY STORY II). Plus, after years of making CG movies, the look is taken to a whole new level in this film--it just looks breathtaking.

Now I need to point out that RATATOUILLE is not as much a kid's movie as its predecessors. Sure, it can be enjoyed by the kids, but the story line is a tad darker and covers an adult concept (illegitimate birth) and includes a swear word (though not one the really "bad" ones, you can be sure). Also, while the rats are kind of cute (and a marketer's dream), most of the rest of the story isn't and there are no catchy kid's tunes. No, instead this film is aimed more at teens and adults in its sensibilities--something that really helped make SHREK a financial gold mine and cursed MONSTERS INC. to be seen (incorrectly) as "just a kid's movie".

Amazing animation, excellent writing and, the rarest of rare, a completely original and captivating plot make this a winner and film that will be long remembered. I can't wait to see it again.
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An unexpected surprise of a film, with a great message.
TheLittleSongbird31 July 2009
I really loved Ratatouille, it was original, sweet and lots of fun. While not as laugh-out-loud funny as the two Toy Story films, it is definitely one of the better Pixars, and a complete delight from start to finish. Honestly, the whole family will find it just as delightful as I did, and the film has a great message "a great cook can come from anywhere", summed up perfectly by Anton Ego. The story was highly original, if a little slow at the beginning, and deliciously engaging up to the last minute, and the animation was just spellbinding. The script, while not as irreverent as Toy Story, was very entertaining and touching, and I loved the characters- everyone was likable and unique, but what made Remy stand out for me was because he was so adorable, and his voice actor did a delightful job voicing him. The voice cast were very talented, and all did a superb job, especially Peter O'Toole in a marvellous turn as the "nasty" food critic Anton Ego. All in all, a brilliant film, that fully succeeded in what it promised to do, to make us want to cook. 8.5/10 Bethany Cox.
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tasty treat
SnoopyStyle28 May 2016
The late Auguste Gusteau was the best chef in Paris. He wrote a cooking book for everyone which is dismissed by snooty food critic Anton Ego. Remy (Patton Oswalt) is a rat with impeccable tastes. He is also dismissed by his patriarchal father until he is discovered to be able to taste for poison. He becomes the clan's poison detector. He is still unhappy with eating garbage. After stealing the Gusteau cookbook, he gets separated from the family and arrives at late Gusteau's failing restaurant in Paris. Linguini is the new garbage boy. Linguini ruins the soup and Remy fixes it to new heights for a critic. Linguini is given the credit. With Remy's help, the garbage boy becomes one of the best chef in the kitchen. Skinner was Gusteau's sous chef and is the beneficiary in his will except Linguini may be Gusteau's love child.

Brad Bird and company have cooked up a nice stew of traditional animated fare. Remy is an appealing protagonist. The message is good. The animation is impeccable. Pixar delivers something very traditional from a less than traditional source. The only change I would do is have Remy wash his hands more. There is an aversion to rats when dealing with food. The movie needs to alleviate some of that hesitation. After all, Remy goes everywhere including the sewer.
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Among the Greatest Animated Features
Hitchcoc4 May 2019
The absolutely absurd premise of a rat becoming a great French chef is brought to fruition by Pixar. It starts by being amazingly colorful and capturing the world of food. Secondly, it is downright funny but does not insult the intelligence of the viewers. Food becomes the background for everything and as the tiny rodent gains popularity, we are pulling for him. This is such an intelligent film and it works at every level.
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a modern hero
Kirpianuscus7 July 2016
long time , for me, the axis of this beautiful animation was the voice of Peter O Toole. after few years, the story was perceived in its small adorable details. a lovely story about passion, friendship and success. about joy to become yourself. and part of the other universe. the secret- inspired simplicity. and a strange hero who seems be so original than the film could be adaptation of a fable. because Ratatouille is one of characters who remains always a surprise. or revelation about the most inspired manner to drive the life. about courage, tenacity and science to be yourself in any situation. and to guide the other in his right direction. short, a kind of fire work of imagination and good life story.
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Anyone Can Cook
claudio_carvalho19 December 2007
In the country of France, the rat Remy has accurate taste and smell, and he worships the chef Auguste Gusteau. People uses to say that the best food in the world is in Paris, more precisely in Gusteau's, and Remy dreams on becoming a chef. On the same day that his idol dies after reading a bad review of the arrogant critic Anton Ego, Remy gets lost from the clan of his father in the sewers and ends in Paris in front of the famous restaurant. Remy does not resist and goes to the kitchen, improving the soap that is being prepared with ingredients and spices. The clumsy garbage boy Linguini receives the credits for the successful recipe; he is promoted to cook and starts a partnership with the little chef. But the greedy chef Skinner is not happy with the success of Linguini that is jeopardizing his future project for Gusteau's.

"Ratatouille" is a delightful animation, with a very funny and original story. It is inconceivable to imagine a rat in the fanciest restaurant of Paris; imagine a rat as a prominent chef, having a clan of rats in the kitchen helping him to prepare sophisticated meals for the upper-class of Paris and a harsh critic of restaurants. Only this sequence would be enough to make laugh. But the story has nice characters and good messages about the importance of making a dream come true and creativity in your work, friendship and loyalty. The story has many plot points and the resolution is great. In the end, I loved this animation. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Ratatouille"
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Rat in mi kitchen
Prismark1011 December 2016
Ratatouille had a troubled history despite Brad Bird getting the screenwriter and director credit as well as taking the Best Oscar for Animation. The original director was (Czech born) British Oscar winning animator Jan Pinkava who only now gets a story co-credit for this this film. His vision apparently needed to be Pixar-fied.

Yet underlying this movie is Pinkava's vision, when the story gets boring and predictable I see Hollywood at play as the film gets derivative, you know joining the dots from A-Z.

Maybe the dirty smelly scavenging rats represent humans with Remy being the most well read and cultured example. Remy does not want to go through rubbish every night he wants to cook and is inspired after taking legendary chef, the late Auguste Gusteau's cookbook, 'Anyone Can Cook.'

Remy rises from the sewers of Paris to Gusteau's restaurant where he sees Gusteau's ghost or is it a figment of the rat's imagination? The restaurant is now run by head chef Skinner who believes in the commercialisation of Gusteau's name.

Remy hides under the hat of the incompetent, bumbling Linguini new to the kitchen and shows him how to cook by pulling his curly hair, fellow chef Collete teaches him the basic but it is Remy who provides the inspiration that wows the customers and arouses the interest of renowned and intimidating food critic Anton Ego who took one of the stars away from Gusteau. Skinner is also suspicious of Linguini's skills, in fact he smells a rat.

This is a breezy film, with rats in the kitchen cooking the food rather than taking it away although we do see that as well. The love angle is boring and predictable as are the few obligatory chase scenes in the streets and river of Paris. Yet I could not help wondering how Pinkava's film would had turned out.
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Lacks the usual quick-fire one-liners of other Pixar films but is up to the usual quality in every other regard
bob the moo5 May 2008
Evicted from his home and separated from his family, rat Remy is living the dream as an unwelcome guest in the kitchen of the famous Gusteau Restaurant in Paris. His passion and gift is cookery and a series of events sees him with soup that had been messed by garbage boy Linguini. Chef Skinner is ready to fire Linguini for his meddling until the customers love "his" improvised soup. Skinner keeps him on but Linguini knows the truth, striking a deal with Remy where the latter provides the cookery and the former provides the "looking like a human" bit.

Although it won the Oscar for best film, Ratatouille got mixed reviews from critics on release. Watching it for myself I must admit that it exposes the long-term value of the "best animated feature" aware because it is not a film that should show up as "best" unless it is in a very short list (which of course it was). This is not to say that the film is no good though and indeed it is a perfectly good story told in a very slick, amusing and engaging way with all the usual quality one would expect from Pixar in regards animation. The story has the usual moral about the importance of the heart over appearance and in this regard it works really well, with a touching character at the core. I refer of course to Remy, because Linguini is all a bit wet as a character.

This doesn't matter too much because Linguini is rarely the sole focus in the way that Remy is. The story develops well across the running time and I was never bored once but, and here's the thing, I didn't laugh that often. For me the story was strong enough so that the lack of really good consistent laughs didn't bother me but I can understand why it is an issue for others. In many ways it is because Pixar are victims of their own success and we now expect the strong heartfelt story to be underlain by constant quick fire gags and one-liners. The lack of the latter is not a weakness in the film but it does slightly disappoint until you get into the story.

It is not without laughs though but they are more general and less smart than you might expect. The big colourful action is amusing and entertaining and it all drives the good story forward effectively. The voice cast for once is not filled with famous A-list names but you don't feel their absence. Oswalt is the best main character and is better served than Romano with material. Holm is nearly unrecognisable but good, although I'm not so sure about Garofalo's mixed attempt at accent. Dennehy and Sohn are fun in support while O'Toole is a real good piece of casting.

Overall this is a really good film that delivers a consistently engaging story with heart and humour. It is not the usual quick-fire one-liner stuff one might expect but it is still an very enjoyable film that both parents and children will enjoy.
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Smells like ...
kosmasp27 January 2008
... another Pixar hit. And it tastes and looks like one too! Concerning the latter: We're used that Pixar movies look good (other animation studios can keep up with the looks), but it's the story, the characters and maybe a magic ingredient, that differentiates Pixar from other studios ...

So maybe Cars wasn't really Pixars best movie (it really wasn't, although if that's the baddest they get, than they don't have to worry at all!), but they made up for that with this movie. While the low expectations (mine) for a movie involving a car were met, some people might have been more than surprised, that the "rat"-story did work out! I can only recommend this very highly (doesn't matter if you're young or old, or even in-between), all you have to do is watch it ... unless you have a fear of rats and/or animated movies of course!
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"Food always comes to those who love to cook."
classicsoncall21 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The first thing one has to do here is get beyond the idea of a rat becoming an accomplished French chef. Having spent my entire career in the food industry, and knowing that even one mouse dropping can fail a business's health and safety inspection, I had to cast a wary eye for this animated feature. But beyond the initial hesitation, the story turned out to be fairly creative, and I enjoyed all the clever animated sequences the artists came up with to make the story work. My best takeaway was how to tell if bread is fresh by it's 'symphony of crackle'. That didn't sound like a very technical term to me, but melodious enough to make me remember it the next time I'm in a bake shop. When Remy's creation brings food critic Anton Ego all the way back to his own Mom's home cooking, it served to make Remy the toast of Paris cuisine, proving that at least in the world of Pixar, anyone can cook.
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Decent Pixar
gavin694210 December 2014
A rat who can cook makes an unusual alliance with a young kitchen worker at a famous restaurant.

This film is given high praise, and many seem to think it is among Pixar's best work. That seems a tad overblown. While the film is certainly good, it does not seem to go above and beyond anything else the studio has done. The animation (again, good) is no better than anything else they have released.

Even the message is the same old story: someone (or thing) from one group wants to be in another. His current group says no, the new one is hesitant, but he has to be himself. Now, that is a good message, and this may be an extreme example (rats in a kitchen a la "Muppets Take Manhattan") but it is still nothing new.
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jboothmillard27 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
From Pixar, the geniuses behind Toy Story and Monsters, Inc., and director Brad Bird (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles) this is another pleasant experience. Basically, young rat Remy (Patton Oswalt) lives with his brother Emile (Peter Sohn) and father, leader of the pack of rats, Django (Brian Dennehy), and because of his great sense of taste and smell, he is a rat poison checker. But he dreams of becoming a great chef, like his hero Auguste Gusteau (Brad Garrett), who he often imagines talking to. The rats escape the house when the old woman living there discovers them, but Remy is separated from his family, however he does find good luck when he sees that he has been living under Paris for all long, and he heads to Gusteau's restaurant. There he encounters Linguini (Lou Romano), who spots the rat putting ingredients into a soup that he almost spoilt, and when it is taken away to a customer, who they didn't realise was a food critic, everyone believes it was Linguini, and chef Colette (Janeane Garofalo) convinces nasty owner Skinner (Sir Ian Holm) not to fire him, as long as he can recreate the same soup. Linguini realises Remy knows how to cook and can understand him, so they soon form a "partnership", and to make Linguini do what he wants Remy controls him by pulling his hair. After a long while, Linguini is made to look like a great chef, and unfortunately for Skinner, he may be the heir of Gusteau, and obviously later it turns out to be true. Oh, and there is a small bit of love story with Linguini and Colette. Of course there are negative turns, when Skinner discovers it's Remy that is the genius, Remy sees the bad side to human when he is reunited with his family, but there is a happy ending, and the man they are desperate to please, food critic Anton Ego (Peter O'Toole) gives his praise, and the kitchen is revealed to run by all the rats. Also starring Will Arnett as Horst, Julius Callahan as Lalo/Francois, James Remar as Larousse, John Ratzenberger as Mustafa, Teddy Newton as Lawyer (Talon Labarthe), and if you have the British version, it would be Jamie Oliver as The Health Inspector. The animation is (as always) impeccable, the characters are all well thought out, and the story is good fun and gives a great perspective into the restaurant and recipe creating world, all the family will enjoy this charming animated comedy. It won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year, and it was nominated for Best Music, Original Score for Michael Giacchino, Best Sound, Best Sound Editing, and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, it won the BAFTA for Best Animated Film, and it won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Film. Very good!
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Very Rich Colors Are Fantastic; Mouse Is Great; Humans Not So
ccthemovieman-13 February 2009
I agree this Blu-Ray transfer is stunning, magnificent to view in many spots with very, very rich colors. Yet, I couldn't get into this story and was turned off my several of the main characters. I gave it two shots: on regular DVD and Blu-Ray and both times I never finished the film. I just interest. Only the mouse was likable enough for me. The humans were all too annoying to enjoy the film.

These other characters were either too loud, obnoxious, nasty or irritating including the kid whom the rat helped! In other words - except for the mouse - both the good and bad guys were unlikable.

All they these characters did was give me a headache with all their yelling and screaming. You have to love the silent mouse, though.
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Remy the Rat wants to be a chef
Tweekums4 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Having enjoyed several other Pixar films; The Toy Story Trilogy, Wall-E and The Incredibles, I was keen to see this when it was on television recently, and while I don't think it was quite as good as those it was entertaining and as one would expect from Pixar it was beautifully animated.

This film tells the story of Remy the rat; he isn't any old rat though; he has a nose for the finest foods and has even learnt how to cook from watching the great chef Auguste Gusteau on television. One day he is forced to flee from his rural home and is separated from his family in the sewers; when he climbs out he finds himself in the heart of Paris within sight of his hero's restaurant. When he looks through the window he sees garbage boy Linguini making some additions to the soup; realising the soup is being ruined he sneaks in and adds a few touches of his own... the soup is served to a critic and is a triumph... which doesn't please Skinner, the chef who took over after Gusteau died. Linguini is told he must make it again... something he can't do until he meets Remy. Being a rat Remy can't talk but they find a way to communicate and his cooking gets more and more popular; of course he can't tell anybody who is really doing the cooking! While this is going on we have a romantic subplot involving Linguini and Chef Colette, Skinner worrying that Linguini may be the rightful heir to Gusteau's restaurant and a visit from a famous critic who caused the establishment to loose one of its stars on his last visit.

At almost two hours in length this did feel a little bit too long but not hugely so; the story was enjoyably and provided a decent number of laughs; largely from the deliberately unlikeable Skinner; although I suspect the biggest laughs for younger viewers will come from Remy's method of controlling Linguini. As well as laughs there were plenty of thrills, although none too scary; it is rated 'U' after all. The animation is absolutely stunning with the virtual camera moving in ways that gives shots that would be almost impossible in a live action film. As mentioned before this film is rated 'U' but that doesn't mean only children will enjoy it; there is plenty here to entertain viewers of all ages.
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Wonderful, clever, entertaining movie. How do they think up these things??
TxMike9 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Remy is your usual neighborhood rat that has a gift, of discerning smell. He is a born chef, but who ever heard of a rat as a chef? Rats in the kitchen means the health department will close you down!!

One fateful day Remy and his family and friends are chased into a sewer system and when Remy emerges and checks out where he is above ground, it is in Paris. And, right next to the restaurant that his idol owns, Chef Auguste Gusteau, who wrote a book, "Anyone can cook." Unfortunately for Remy, the chef had just died.

At that same time a new boy, Linguini, shows up look for work, so he is put to cleaning up in the kitchen. He not only can't cook, he also makes a big mess wherever he goes. But Remy's cooking instinct is so strong, when he sees Linguini trying to "repair" a pot of soup, badly, Remy ends up adding ingredients he thinks will work, and the soup is a big hit with all the customers. Everyone thinks Linguini can cook, when it is really Remy.

So, most of the movie is to see how Remy will be able to interact with Linguini to create great dishes. Including one for the local feared food critic that can make or break the restaurant.

All the voice acting is good, but the animation is superb. You "almost" forget that it is animation. And the story is a fine one too. Great entertainment.
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truly devilish fun and mind-blowingly entertaining as classic cartoon style, but also very successful in storytelling- magnifique!
Quinoa198429 June 2007
It's pretty easy to make little rodents charming and fun characters (just ask Disney himself, to a clichéd extent), but it's even harder to make them work in such a way that's original and exciting as comedy in conventional ways for today's audiences. But Brad Bird shouldn't be lumped into the group of today's CGI animators. He doesn't really think in those terms, but rather in how to make things look real, and yet at the same time keeping in full mind that it's a cartoon, not reality. This goes not simply for the rats themselves- the funniest, probably even funnier, that Disney's remotely had to market since the Great Mouse Detective- but the human characters too, who have their own distinct shapes and qualities based on personality and relevance to the story (whether they're good or bad, or maybe even more complex too). He places the designs for the characters right up there with the rest of the atmosphere, and then also adds in just the right way to make that wonderfully formulaic Pixar storyline- you know a lot of what may unfold, though not everything, and you know that you're in excellent hands because of the levels of detail and nuance in the comedy chaos at times. It'll be hard to beat this (to put it in a corny phrase) 'gourmet selection' as the best animated film of the year, and certainly the best that Pixar's done since, um, the last Brad Bird movie!

The story is the fish out of water, or in this case rat, where a little rodent named Remy, who is totally immersed in the style of Augustus Gusteau, a famous French chef who dies, and who's position is filled by a lowly garbageman named Linguini. He can't cook, of course, but somehow Remy, separated from his rat family, cooks something up on the spot as a not-quite accident, sending Linguini as the one who supposedly made it. On the fluke, he becomes the new chef at Gusteau's...only, the chef's a rat, literally, hilariously pulling Linguini's hair to make him a cooking puppet (early on this makes for some of the best physical comedy of any Pixar movie). This fluke becomes the start of the usual ball of string unraveled bit by bit, involving an heir to Gusteau's fortune, a love interest in aggressive chef Colette, and Remy's reconnection and estrangement from his huge rat clan and his father. All the while Bird throws in such dangerous and downright devilish comedy for a *G* rated animated movie. And there's morales to be learned too, or sort of taken away, I guess, only this time in the true Disney form instead of Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket, it's Remy and the, well, illusion of Gusteau's ghost appearing to him as a quasi-conscious.

What makes Ratatouille stand out of the pack from the fellow summer far of the moment, particularly 4th of July fare, is how there's such deft to Bird and his team navigating along the lines of making the comedy work to its excessive lengths while always keeping a firm grip on which turn the story will take next (the moments I didn't quite expect- the whole heir angle involving Linguini, and the climactic scenes with the rats preparing the restaurant's dinners, all washed before going to work, and keeping 'under wraps' the health inspector at the same time!). I probably laughed just as much during this film as I would at something much raunchier like Knocked Up or Grindhouse, to give recent examples, but as mentioned there's a riskiness to Bird's style here.

One scene I particularly loved is when Remy is training linguini to command the muscle-controlled hair pulling scheme at his home, and there's a build-up to what seems like a knife going to cut into his fingers while he's chopping vegetables (up to this point he's been hopeless in his training), but at this very point where we should expect the worst, which is funny unto itself, it starts to level out and he's sort of under control. Sort of in that he'll still be naturally clumsy enough to spill the wine on his own head. Same goes for little things like the quite silhouetted bit Remy passes by with the lover about to shoot the other and then falling into full embrace, or the actual fellow employees at Gusteau's, one of who has the wildest thumb ever shown in a movie, least of all a 'family' movie, that I can remember (albeit Bird does come out of working on the Simpsons).

So many masterstrokes of comedy go on that it's almost neglected to note how exciting a lot of the film is too, the run-around Remy has in the kitchen first time he comes in or the chase through Paris between the crooked head cook Skinner and Remy, and how seamless voice-work and the (now highly expected) advances in Pixar's technical innovations go together. It was a good guessing game who was the voice of Ego (it's O'Toole, but then it could be any given old regal British person), and to pick out that it's Ian Holm or Garofolo voicing some of the other parts, but it's not something that is immediately meant to be stand-out like in other CGI movies where it's being sold mostly on celebrity voice talent. It's almost like a lot of this comes quite naturally to Bird and his team, and yet because it isn't it reverts to becoming all the more remarkable. Ratatouille is simply an exceptionally fun picture, loaded with sight gags and puns and slips of behavior, and never overbearing with any of the usual messages that come pre-packaged for kids in these movies, all the more remarkable as it comes nearer to Pixar reusing previous ones.
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Ratatouille is another highly enjoyable Disney/Pixar animated feature
tavm30 June 2007
Ratatouille is another highly enjoyable Pixar/Disney animated feature film that should do very well at the box office in its opening weekend. Having just said that, I must admit that the constant laughs I was expecting mainly seemed to come in fits and starts. Despite that, however, I found the story very enjoyable especially near the end when All is revealed. I found myself crying when that came so this movie definitely touched me on some level. Now that I think about it, I can't think of anything I would cut out or shorten so if the humor doesn't always flow smoothly, when the laughs come from me or the audience I feel they are deserved for the most part. Loved the scenes involving the old lady discovering the rats in her house and her attempts to shoot them all. Loved the constant weird movements involving the garbage-boy-turned-chef-with-a-rat-in-him that made the other staff look at him. And definitely loved the relationship between that garbage boy and the rat Remy and the way they cooperated together. Not to mention Remy's constant speaking to an image of his idol, Gusteau. So while not the funniest Pixar feature (The first Toy Story probably deserves that distinction), Ratatouille is certainly one of the most touching. So on that note, I definitely recommended it.
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Excellent animation
Gordon-1118 October 2007
This film is about a culinary rat who befriends a young man, and displays his cooking skills in a fine Parisian restaurant.

After watching this highly anticipated film, I can only say that the positive word of mouth is highly justified. The characters are lovely and cute, and they are all unique in their own way. The main character the culinary rat, is dedicated and determined. He develops an unlikely friendship with Linguini, who works at a restaurant but is clueless about cooking. The adventures they have together is exciting and engaging. The animation is excellent, everything is realistic and attractive. It is such a joy to see hundreds of rats cooking, which is a scene that could otherwise be unpleasant. The major theme of being able to succeed if you are dedicated and hard working is inspiring and encouraging. "Ratatouille" is a gem that mixes entertainment and positive encouragement. It makes me happy, satisfied and fulfilled.
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If you only knew who prepared your favorite dish.
michaelRokeefe8 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
From the makers of THE INCREDIBLES and CARS a comedy with a little of this and a touch of that and enough for seconds. Its a view of Paris that begins ...under the city. Remy(Patton Oswalt)is a determined rat with big ambitions of becoming a great French chef. Fate places Remy and his family in the Parisian sewer system right beneath a restaurant made famous by Remy's hero, Auguste Gusteau(Brad Garrett). Torn between his own dreams and his family's wishes, Remy and a hapless human pal named Linguini(Lou Romano)set in motion events that will have the elite of Paris diners clamoring for just a taste of new culinary concoctions. Other recognizable voices bringing life to these new characters are: Peter O'Toole, Janeane Garofalo, John Ratzenberger and Brian Dennehy.
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Another Excellent Pixar Animated Film
sunwarrior1321 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Ratatouille is a computer-animated comedy produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the eighth film produced by Pixar, and was directed by Brad Bird. The title refers to a French dish which is served in the film, and is also a play on words about the species of the main character. The film stars the voices of Patton Oswalt as Remy, an anthropomorphic rat who is interested in cooking; Lou Romano as Linguini, a young garbage boy who befriends Remy; Ian Holm as Skinner, the head chef of Auguste Gusteau's restaurant; Janeane Garofalo as Colette, a rôtisseur at Gusteau's restaurant; Peter O'Toole as Anton Ego, a restaurant critic; Brian Dennehy as Django, Remy's father and leader of his clan; Peter Sohn as Emile, Remy's brother; Brad Garrett as Auguste Gusteau, a recently deceased chef; and Will Arnett as Horst, the sous-chef at Gusteau's restaurant.

The plot follows Remy, who dreams of becoming a chef and tries to achieve his goal by forming an alliance with a Parisian restaurant's garbage boy.A said scrawny rat named Remy finds his dreams of culinary superstardom stirring up sizable controversy in the kitchen of a fine French restaurant in director Brad Bird's madcap computer-animated comedy. It's hard being a rat with culinary aspirations, but Remy is convinced he has what it takes to break the stereotypes and follow in the footsteps of star chef Auguste Gusteau. As fate would have it, Remy is currently situated in the sewers directly beneath Gusteau's elegant restaurant. Soon Remy teams up with a young chef with little talent named Linguini. Together they are able to create some fabulous dishes, but they live in fear that someone will discover their secret and object strenuously to a rat being in a kitchen. When Remy's passion for cooking turns the haughty world of French cuisine upside down, the rat who would be king of the kitchen learns important lessons about life, friends, and family while questioning whether he should pursue his culinary calling or simply go back underground and return to his life as a sewer rat.

One key point: if you can get over the natural gag reflex of seeing hundreds of rodents swarming over a restaurant kitchen, you will be free to enjoy the glory of Ratatouille. Our hero is Remy, a rat who rises from his humble beginnings to become head chef at a Paris restaurant. How this happens is the stuff of Pixar magic, that ineffable blend of headlong comedy, seamless technology, and wonder.As classically as "Babe",it turns animal-kingdom expectations on their ear for a unique, generous and gleeful gastronomic masterpiece that knows it's not much fun to look out, or cook, only for yourself.Director Brad Bird doesn't quite keep all his spinning plates in the air, but the gags are great and the animation amazingly expressive.Added to that,it's hard to complain about a movie that cooks up such bountiful pleasure.It is surely a must-see.
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Pixar do it again!
studioAT21 July 2011
While it will never be my favourite Pixar film Ratatouille is an enjoyable enough film that is visually stunning and full of all the heart and humour that we've come to expect from this company.

The story is more complex than an average Pixar film perhaps but the characters are so strong that this never becomes an issue. This film has some lovely moments and the animation is getting better and better.

Brad Bird shows off his talents again by making this a film that is relatable to everyone and it truly is a tale about friendship and loyalty and that is endearing.

Pixar have done it again and long may their reign as the kings of animation continue!
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Hyper Reality
tedg15 July 2007
Its easy to see how this story came about. Animators are puppeteers first. So if you asked an animator to come up with a story, naturally you will find two features: one would involve two on-screen characters, one the animator of the other. We have many jokes associated with how imperfectly the on-screen animator (our hero) works his puppet at first. Incidentally, this movie is preceded in the theater by a short: "Lifting." It features a novice "animator" of precisely this type, being graded. Notice the infinite panel of switches in that short.

Count on Pixar to find yet another way to fold introspection into the form. This is elaborated by the character of a critic. We see him first in a coffin-like office. He's only capable of destruction it seems. Voiced by Peter O'Toole in a stentorian voice-about-theater, he likes what he sees (tastes). Its a great trick you see. Usually this trick is in the form of an on screen audience watching some sort of climactic performance. When they cheer, we do too, as we become folded into the story.

In this case, that is handled by a place made for us and occupied by "the critic." So we have a place in the story for the animator and the viewer. What else? We'll need a place for the animation, right? And we have it.

It appears first as a book by a now dead, corpulent chef. This book, natch, comes alive. Look how "Ted's law" is followed: the distance between the "real" world of ourselves and the animated movie is the same as that from the animated movie and the "living cartoon" within. Its an explicit fold. And the fact that the inner cartoon has an open, personal feel to it conveys to the personal feel we are intended to have with the Pixar movie.

So these three folds: in the story is the story, the animator and the viewer. And the introductory short sets this up too.

Having said that, there are a couple noteworthy segments. In terms of the actual craft, Pixar has two areas in which it innovates.

One of these in how space is handled. The Pixar guys realized early on that if the three dimensions are going to be modeled anyway, you can zip the camera around in new ways. Early in the game they did this in an overt way. That's been picked up by the summer action films, the best of them, including the Depp pirate business. (Another Disney project benefiting from the eye motion lab.)

You can see this throughout the project: there are both all sorts of well managed, unusual perspectives, and a constant overlay of new shots. By this I mean that every shot is just a little different than what you've seen. Just a little canted. A little closer perhaps. A little movement that a physical camera cannot do well.

But there are some big production sequences as well. I'm particularly interested in architectural water. Its a unique cinematic challenge. Its not one done well in animation because the mathematics of simply making water look real is daunting. Pixar has done what needs to be done: they have made water hyper-real, dramatic. There's a sequence here that is something like that Pinnochio sequence of 67 years ago with the whale. But its so new and fresh and exciting. Look at the water and see that it has a million tiny agents all seeking to be angry — to do damage but never reaching consensus on just how to attack. This alone is worth the admission.

There's another thing that is uniquely Pixar: how characters move. Its a tricky thing, that. As with the water, it is not ever enough that they move realistically. You can make realistic movements by outfitting actors with sensors and translating that to the created beings. It captures nuance. And if you have a particularly skilled source actor, he or she will move not as a real person would, but as an actor would to convey reality. Real isn't real. We need hyperreal in special ways to get- read the reality.

The credits of this movie ostentatiously say that ""Our Quality Assurance Guarantee: 100% Genuine Animation! No motion capture or any other performance shortcuts were used in the production of this film." You can see it. We are entering a new era where both the cameras and the characters can use dramatic motions not possible with human eyes and bodies.

Its a challenge for viewers. What do we accept as embodiment? So far, the answer is that the non-natural movements must always be in the service of conveying or seeming natural. But I imagine at the speed this is developing, we may soon see something more.

One character note: Colette is voiced by the remarkable Janeane Garofalo. As with our hero, she has that French nose. As the love develops between these two, she becomes decidedly more sexy, both in voice and appearance. Its the appearance that I remark on here. Its all done with postures and a motorcycle. That motorcycle is there in part to allow her to bend forward, and change her lower anatomy.

These folks at Pixar are good. Darn good. Glad its Steve Jobs as the creative inspiration instead of that evil other guy.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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Good but not that good comedy doesn't hit its stride until the last half hour
dbborroughs30 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The story of Remy a rat with a unique sense of taste and smell who wants nothing more than to cook. Ending up in Paris at the restaurant run by his idol Remy links up with a garbage boy named Linguini in the quest for culinary greatness.

Sue me I'm not in love with this film. Certainly the voice cast is great with a wonderful turn by Peter O'Toole and another by Ian Holm, and the animation pushes American animation farther than its gone before but the story was too unfocused and too much of been there done that.

I'm a heathen I know but while I was watching this all I could think of was where I had seen this before from Looney Tunes to Pinky and The Brain to Peter Greenaway to Fantasia 2000 to Iron Giant to I don't know how many other films that seem to have been cribbed from. I don't mind borrowing but please don't give me the time to notice all of the riffs as I'm watching the movie. Clearly I've seen way too many movies for my own good since so much of this film seems borrowed.

Its doesn't help that to me the film is unfocused for much of its running time. Once the film gets set in motion and Remy is introduced the film sort of staggers about trying to find its footing. There is no real conflict of consequence until the final half hour. Certainly there is the question of whether Remy and Linguini will make a team, but its not much of a threat since you know how it will have to play out, and the same can be said for Ian Holm's Skinner who is such a non threat that they have to add in a couple of out of left field plot twists just to keep things going (The letter from Linguini's mother and all that follows). Its not until Peter O'Toole's food critic resurfaces in the final reels that the film really begins to fire on all cylinders.

This isn't to say its a bad film, it not, its just not the spectacular one that everyone sees in its animated frames. There are some great set pieces, the escape from the farm is wonderful for example, that are wonderfully animated pieces of art. And with out a doubt the final sequences as Remmy and Linguini have to come up with a plan to over come the "evil" O'Toole are some of Brad Birds best work, but it comes at the end of a long meandering journey, which both lifts whats gone before and diminishes whats there.

I like the film, probably more than I realize (hence the 7 out of 10 rating) but I'm not in love with it.
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Always beware of a chef with a tall hat!
CinemaSerf7 May 2021
As modern animated features go, this is certainly up there as one of the best written and more creative. It all centres on an ambitious rat called "Remy" who has a penchant for cooking. Now I don't just mean egg and chips, I mean your finest gastronomical efforts that would have Michelin salivating wildly. One lucky day, he gets washed away from his family through the sewers of Paris, alighting underneath the restaurant of "Gusteau". After hanging around for a few days, he hooks up with the aspiring young factotum "Linguini" and soon, utilising a peculiarly effective sort of stirrup arrangement that steers his young protegé from underneath his chef's hat, "Remy" is working his culinary wonders and the young man - and the restaurant - are the talk of the city. It all gets risky, though, when arch critic "Anton Ego" - voiced by Peter O'Toole - schedules a visit and the pressure is on... Meantime, of course, the young super-chef has plenty in his kitchen who would like nothing better than to see the young man unceremoniously booted out, so can he keep his secret and impress the gourmand? This is great fun, this film - the dialogue is pithy and the characterisations are engaging, warm and amusing. There are plenty of opportunities for top class animations, yep - we even get a food fight - and the story has plenty going on for everyone. Michael Giacchino provides us with a suitably jolly Gallic-style score and the ending, though not what you might expect, is the icing on the cake! Very enjoyable fayre.
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RATATOUILLE (Brad Bird and Jan Pinkava, 2007) ***
Bunuel19767 February 2009
Surprising exploring rodents in the kitchen is every restaurateur's (or housewife's) nightmare but the makers of this amiable animated movie turn that situation nicely on its head by making their protagonist a first-class gourmet that conveniently guides his artless master to fame and fortune in the culinary arts. Despite being the secret son of a famous (but subsequently) disgraced chef, he is engaged as a caretaker in his late father's bistro and mistreated by just everybody, especially the ambitious Head Chef who has his own designs on the place. However, his biggest nemesis is the fearsome food critic (splendidly voiced by Peter O'Toole) whose scathing review had sent his own father to an early grave and is intent on finding out just what the fuss of the revamped restaurant is all about. Aiding him in ditching his persecutors (including the belated appearance of a sanitary official) are a tough but conventional female cook, the friendly and constantly inventive mouse and, at the climax – just when everything seems lost after his employees quit him en masse upon discovering who the true gastronomical genius really is – the rat's entire family who find themselves engaged as impromptu cooks! RATATOUILLE won the Best Animated Feature Oscar and received a handful of other nominations including Best Screenplay and Best Music Score.
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