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A Rat Chef Dishes Up Delights...Bon Appetit!
Gerard D. Launay | Berkeley, California | 08/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Once again, the creative minds behind Pixar have created enchantment ... possibly their best film in years. Everyone loves Ratatouille...even though he is a rat in the kitchen.
Indeed, the idea of rats in an upscale restaurant would normally have us run for cover. Nevertheless, the movie successfully blends the themes of the Ugly Duckling with Cyrano de Bergerac to come up with a fantastic story. Remy is a simple rat with an extraordinary nose. His idol is a great French chef who lectures on the Food Channel. "Anyone Can Cook" is his mantra. So when Remy and his rat family have to leave their homes, Remy accidentally ends up in the very kitchen of this great Chef. Alas, the great chef has passed away, and the food standards are falling, as well as the Michelin stars. To reverse this trend, Remy - the rat - teams up with a clueless scullery boy in the kitchen to whip up some wonderful recipes. Indeed, the rat's food creations are a hit with the customers. The problem, as in all Cyrano stories, is that no one knows who is really behind those wonderful recipes. And most important, will the most difficult restaurant critic in Paris condemn or praise the food that Remy prepares?
Everything about this film is wonderful...the streets of Paris are recreated in rich colors and exquisite detail. I haven't seen a European city look this good in an animated film since Disney's "Pinocchio." Yes, it is definitely worth experiencing this delight on Blu-Ray. Oh my, even the French copper pots look authentic.
The most wonderful moment of the film is the food review given by Anton Ego - one of the "big" restaurant critics of France - of the menu prepared by the rat chefs. And what is so memorable is how "poetic" his review is. This is a testament to the excellent care to the script writing by the Pixar team.
On another point, I laughed hysterically throughout the film...particularly the times when the rat conceals himself in a chef hat and rides the garbage boy like a cowboy on a bronco. Please don't miss this treat. Highly recommended."
M. Rausseo | Planet Earth | 09/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Considering the Disney empire was founded on a mouse, it would be harsh to dismiss Ratatouille simply because it's about a rat as even the most rodent-phobic will be melting for this charming dish.
This is Pixar's second collaboration with Disney since it's fusion. And while Ratatouille may lack the pioneering invention and sardonic wit of some of Pixar's previous films, there is plenty to enjoy.
Ratatouille has a culinary flavour as it tells the story of Remy, a rat with a passion for cooking. Much of the film is set in the kitchen of Gusteau's, a restaurant so realistically rendered it's possible to almost smell the mouthwatering aromas lingering around.
Remy is possessed with a more sophisticated taste than his brother Emile and the rest of his rat colony. He is visited by the ghost of his cooking hero, Gusteau, whose motto is 'Anyone can cook' and encourages Remy to use his catering skills to rescue his restaurant whose reputation has floundered since his passing.
Once there, Remy befriends Linguini, the garbage boy. Hiding under Linguini's chef's hat, Remy indicates the talentless boy how to create fabulous dishes, quickly raising both Linguini's and the restaurant's reputation. Ratatouille cleverly explores the restaurant world with its envious rivalries and turbulent kitchen politics. Through stories of jealousy, intrigue, friendship and love, Ratatouille tells us what it takes to overcome a lack of self esteem and to become the person (or rat) you were meant to be.
Ratatouille is also filled with other life's lessons. How do you deal with family members who don't see the potential in you? How do you handle people who are emotionally close to you who want you to bend the law for their benefit? Do you become something bigger than you are, or can you achieve the same results by just being honest?
Like any good story, this one operates at many levels. Children will love the simplicity of the message, the funny chases, while adults will love the complexity and reality of the relationships. Ratatouille is the name of a simple peasant food that if prepared with care, will rival anything you can serve in the best restaurants of the world. It is also symbolic of our own lives. It may be simple, but if we lead it with care, love and kindness, it will be as good and valuable as the life of the most notorius man in the world."
A Feast for the Eyes
Jerrod Maruyama | San Jose, CA USA | 11/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ratatouille is a beautiful film and a wonderful showcase for your new Blu-ray player. As beautiful as this film was on screen, it's even more breathtaking on Blu-ray. Every detail and subtle color shine. I was truly blown away by the quality of the picture.
As for the film itself, it holds up even better the second or third time around. Definitely a more sophisticated tale than what's usually expected in an animated film. And while really young children may squirm through a lot of this, that doesn't at all detract from the quality of this great film. Creative, amusing, heartfelt and ultimately satisfying, Ratatouille defies the genre - raising the bar once again on American animated films. PIXAR continues to create in an entirely different league than it's competitors. You can't even compare this film to anything else. It makes the ridiculously popular Shrek look, well, green.
Bonus features are entertaining, particularly the well-concieved short on the history of Rats. New Blu-ray Bonus materials let you interact with the film in new ways making the "Making Of" featurette quite imersive. Most of the info is for student's and hard core fans of animation. The short LIFTED also appears on this disc as well as the just released PIXAR SHORTS DVD/Blu-ray.
While it lacks the high adventure and fan-boy characters of some of Pixar's earlier works, Rataouille will be regarded with more and more acclaim as time goes by. Critic's rightfully praised the film in it's theatrical release but American audiences didn't take to it as eagerly as past films. The overseas market has been strong, bringing in quite a bit more Internationally than other Pixar hits, which is an interesting side note I think. What it says about American tastes and tolerance for animation that isn't Happy Meal ready is sobering."
Another great movie courtesy of Pixar and Disney
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 05/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ratatouille tells the most unlikely story of Remy, a rat who disdains garbage and wants nothing more than to cook and eat gourmet food. Ratatouille progresses at a good pace and it held my attention all the way! The animation is excellent and the voiceovers are very nicely done.
When the action begins, we meet Remy (voiced by Patton Oswalt), a rat who must run for safety along with the other rats when they are discovered by the old woman whose attic they inhabit; and this is after poor Remy has already been "relegated" to food inspector to make sure that no food is poisoned. Remy's father only complains that his son Remy is way too picky about food; and Remy's brother Emile (voiced by Peter Sohn) "tolerates" Remy even though he doesn't understand Remy's desire for gourmet food.
After a harrowing, close escape from the woman whose house they inhabited, Remy finds himself alone in the sewers of Paris. He has lost his way and he doesn't know where his fellow rats and his family are. However, he soon discovers that he is underneath the kitchen of his idol chef, Chef Gusteau (voiced by Brad Garrett) who has written a book entitled "Anyone Can Cook." Eventually Remy wanders into the kitchen and risks his life to see what goes on there, although he is saddened when he earlier discovers that Chef Gusteau is now deceased.
Things become even wilder! Remy saves the day for a young, newly hired garbage boy named Linguini (voiced by Lou Romano); Linguini cooks a terrible soup and Remy secretly adds a few things to make the soup even more then perfect. Pretty soon Remy and Linguini actually form a partnership with Remy hiding under Linguini's chef cap and tugging on Linguini's hair (either left or right with his rat paws) to tell Linguini what to put in the soup to make it wonderful. Linguini's subsequent success is extremely disturbing to the crude, bullying chef in charge Chef Skinner (voiced by Ian Holm). Chef Skinner tries to get Linguini to admit that a rat is behind his success; but Linguini never admits anything even when Skinner gets him drunk.
Of course, from here the plot can go anywhere. Will Skinner be able to hide the secret that the restaurant belongs to Chef Gusteau's son--Linguini? What if Linguini and Colette (voiced by Janeane Garofalo), another cook in the kitchen, begin a romance--will this complicate things or help things along? What becomes of Remy--will he stay in the kitchen working with Linguini? Will Remy ever find his family? And what happens when the nasty restaurant critic Anton Ego (voiced by Peter O'Toole) wants to destroy Chef Gusteau's restaurant's reputation? No plot spoilers here, folks--just watch the movie and find out!
The DVD has a plethora of extras. You get an interview with the writer and producer; and there are three deleted scenes. There's also a short animated film entitled Lifted.
Ratatouille is a strong film from Disney and Pixar, although I do agree with other reviewers that the film could have been tightened up a bit to run a few minutes shorter. This is an excellent family movie but there is, of course, the possibility that some won't be enchanted by the images of rats running en masse through restaurant kitchens. However, all of this didn't bother me too much, so I heartily recommend this movie.