Ratatouille (2007) – Brad Bird, and Jan Pinkava

The Oscar winning Ratatouille (Best Animated Feature) is the next title on the What Else to Watch list following the recommendation in DK Canada’s The Movie Book for Toy Story.

Featuring an incredibly talented voice cast including Patton Oswalt, Peter O’Toole, Ian Holm, Janeane Garofalo, Will Arnett, Brian Dennehy and Lou Romano the story follows a rat, Remy (Oswalt) who dreams of something more than just eating the garbage his clan steals.

He wants to cook!

When he gets separated from the clan he learns he is in Paris, right next door, in fact, to Gusteau’s famed restaurant. Here through a series of mishaps he pairs up with a young man, Linguini (Romano), who has no cooking ability, but has a secret that even he isn’t aware of.

The story recommends you follow your dreams, and that your origins don’t define your capabilities. It doesn’t matter where you come from… in this case, it’s Remy following his dream, inspired by Gusteau’s book, Anyone Can Cook.

It’s amazing to see how eight films in, the folks at Pixar have created some photo real environments, and have an incredible level of detail which is just stunning to see… the Paris cityscape is especially stunning, but even the level of attention given to cracks in stone, stains on utensils, ingredients, it’s stunning.

remy

But of course, that would mean nothing without a great story to support it, and it’s there. Oswalt is wonderful as Remy, and Romano’s goofy Linguini makes for a lot of laughs, and consequently, you’re care about them before the last act comes along and things get out of hand.

The film takes its time telling its story, and its worth every moment, the character building, the playful sense of humor, and the sheer love of cooking that the film imbues to its audience.

It’s a lot of fun.

Like all Pixar films this one is firmly in the family genre entertaining younger and older viewers, though to really get into it, older viewers might enjoy a glass of wine to go with it… it is set in Paris after all.

I remember being stunned the first time I saw it, whether it was the way the animated water looked (just so real), or the fact that each individual strand of Remy’s fur (not to mention the rest of the rat clan) had to be animated, and react to the environment around it, to the sheer joy of the story, including the perfect climax with O’Toole’s food critic Anton Ego.

I came out believing anyone can cook… now if only I had the time.

Check this one out again (or for the first time) or pick up a copy of DK Books’ The Movie Book and find a new to you classic to watch tonight!

ratatouille

 

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