Director: Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava (co-director)
Writers: Brad Bird (screenplay), Jan Pinkava (original story by)
Cast: Brad Garrett, Lou Romano, Patton Oswalt
Storyline: “A rat who can cook makes an unusual alliance with a young kitchen worker at a famous restaurant.” IMDB
This like many Disney films since I have had kids is one that I have owned on DVD since its release but never watched in its entirety. I am familiar with the stories premise but have no recollection of anything else. I’m really looking forward to watching this, to see what I have missed for all of these years.
Shockingly I have never seen this movie, granted I wouldn’t say I am “excited” to watch it. Rats? Cooking? Cartoon? Hmmmm, not sure this is really going to be “my thing”, but I am willing to give it a try! A lot of the big kids really like this movie, so they join us for the viewing.
Set The Scene
As its the school holidays and once again we are watching a Disney classic we have curled up in the afternoon with kids in tow.
Well what can I say? I loved it!! Its really unfortunate in a way that we watched this film so closely after Beauty and the Beast as I couldn’t help compare them in so many ways.
Firstly Ratatouille was visually stunning, it was incredibly easy to feel as if you were stood next to the action watching as a spectator what was going on. Whether that was in a farmhouse in rural France or in the hustle and bustle of a Paris kitchen. Its interesting that Beauty and the Beast was also based in France but gave us such a different view, I much preferred the vision that Ratatouille gave us.
I agree, immediately I recognized how amazing the animation is. You can really see how far technology has come from Beauty and the Beast (released in 1991) compared to this which was released in 2007. I had to check if this was “Disney” or “Pixar” only to find out it was a collaboration. Which led me down a rat hole (pun intended), where I found that Disney and Pixar merged in 1991, their first “collaboration” was “Toy Story” and clearly it has grown from there. There is something magic when Disney and Pixar make a film, the animation sucks you in, and you can always count on Disney for a heartwarming story that will entertain young and old. This movie is no exception and doesn’t disappoint.
The characterization was brilliant, that of the lovable Remy our principal antagonist, through the bumbling Linguini, to Anton Ego the food critic voiced by Peter O’Toole. Anton Ego I think was based around the famous food critic of the 50’s and 60’s Egon Ronay, the Hungarian restauranteur was credited with raising the quality of British food cuisine offered in public eating places through his guides to British and Irish restaurants.
This movie is actually one of the longest Pixar films (beat only by “The Incredibles” and “Cars”); which is evident in the characterization and story line. However, it never gets boring. I enjoyed myself so much watching it, to the point I would get irritated when our toddlers weren’t paying attention and would distract me from the story. In fact I even made Brit Boy rewind a few times when I thought I had missed something, which I rarely do for an animation. It was very refreshing to watch an animation that had nothing to do with princesses, castles, falling in love. In fact, there is only a very small subplot that touches on romance at all. Instead, it focuses on friendships (new and old) and the ebbs and flows that those entail.
I loved the storytelling, which was more than your standard Disney fair with a plot which was not by any stretch complex, but intelligent and aimed at adults as much as children. I would heartily recommend this movie and I would not be disappointed if I watched it again very soon, in fact I am sure I would find subtleties quite quickly which I missed during my first sitting. This definitely deserves a place on the list and almost certainly higher up.
I was so surprised by this movie, and it exceeded my expectations completely! It definitely deserves to have a spot on the list, and hopefully it will remain in the top 250 for years to come. It is a refreshing story that I don’t feel has been told before, or over done in anyway. I wouldn’t recommend this film for very young children, not due to content, but it’s not geared towards the toddler set. However, because of that, it is really enjoyable to watch for older kids and adults, much inline with Toy Story. I wonder if there will ever be a sequel….?
Footnote – Six Degrees of Sir Richard Attenborough
This films link to Sir Richard is fairly straight forward, as I mentioned earlier Anton Ego is voiced by Peter O’Toole who appeared with Sir Richard in the film “Rosebud” (1975).