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Ratatouille (2007)
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Review Date: February 18, 2008
Director: Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava
Writer: Brad Bird
Producers: Brad Lewis
Actors:
Patton Oswalt as Remy
Lou Romano as Linguini
Janeane Garofalo as Colette
Plot:
A rat with a penchant for cooking finds himself under one of the top French restaurants in Paris and decides to take a minute to visit its kitchen, and mix together a soup of his own. When the goofball garbage-boy gets the credit for the well-received soup, the rat and the boy secretly team up in order to keep the great tasting meals coming. At some point, the lead chef in the restaurant does become suspicious though, and delves deeper into the situation. Lots of stunning visuals ensue…
Critique:
Visually, this film is stunning! I mean, you can just turn the volume off and watch the amazing computer generated visuals and enjoy the film on that front, if you like, including the inspired direction by Brad Bird, with some neat perspective shots, a handful of fun action scenes and plenty of impressive graphics, including anything with hair or water (the wine in this film looked absolutely real). But an animated movie obviously has to come through on the “story and character” front as well, and in that regard, this film disappointed me quite a bit, which is even stranger to say as most everyone I know has been crowing about this movie since it was released this past summer. I personally don’t get the fuss. Other than the fact that it takes place in France and certainly attempts to tell an original tale (a rat chef…take that remake Hollywood!), the movie never really hooked me into its orbit, instead leaving me to awe at all of the wonderful goodies being showcased before my eyes, but without the additional benefit of an engaging storyline. More than that though, I think its lack of interesting characters ultimately led me to recommend it solely as a “video flick”, with the lead rat in question being the only real sympathetic character of the bunch, while the human lead was a goofball, the girl caught up in the film’s “romance” was whiny and unmemorable, the “bad guy” was the lead chef and didn’t really come off as a true threat to anyone (he just seemed bitter), and the second “bad guy” showed up with about 20 minutes left in the film and also didn’t really add much darkness to the proceedings.

For most animated films to really work for me, the bad guys truly have to inject the film with palpable dread and obstacles. I think this is one of the few Pixar films which, for me, seemed more geared toward just kids, as opposed to their usual balance of kid/adult themes. This movie featured too much emphasis on slapstick humor, rather than the pointed dialogue of their previous hits (although the cameo by THE INCREDIBLES’ Bonne Voyage was cute). Also, as much as the whole “rat” angle seemed like a horrible idea before I saw this movie (particularly when you attempt to mix rats into a friggin’ kitchen and food!!), it ultimately didn’t bother me too much, although I have to say, there were still several points throughout this movie – particularly when there was a wide shot of a school of rats scurrying around a floor – that I was disgusted by their presence, but maybe that’s because of my own personal affliction to rats? (then again, does anyone really like rats??) Also, the film was sort of reeling me into its lair early on, but when the lead rat Remy started to mesh into the human world, I got a little turned off again, as he suddenly became a mute and seemed content to be riding on top of the lead human’s skull and “handling his hair” in order to cook (you’ll understand when you see the film, but needless to say, it changed the film’s dynamics and went on for too long).

Again, I think this was a tactical mistake as Remy’s personality was growing on me, but once he became a mute and the focus was placed on the humans, I wasn’t as interested as before. And when on Earth did the lead human goof and the chick in the kitchen happen to “fall in love”? If someone can point this out to me, I’ll have to go back and watch it again, as the moment “love” was declared between them, I was as surprised as anyone, as there had been almost zero sparks or chemistry between them to that point. That said, the film will surely entertain the kids for hours, and as proven by the zillion other positive reviews out there, many adults will surely enjoy it as well, unless they too fall into the “meh” zone and agree with many of my negative points of view. The movie is a wonder to behold though, and makes you kinda wonder what animated films will look like in 5, 10 or 20 years? I mean…this is one good looking movie!! Too bad the characters weren’t all that interesting, and the storyline…meh.
(c) 2015 Berge Garabedian
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12:30AM on 01/22/2009
Really dont agree. No lie, I think this is one of the best films ever made. Yes, ever made.
Really dont agree. No lie, I think this is one of the best films ever made. Yes, ever made.
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3:52PM on 07/20/2008

Jon Lyrik

It's not an obvious film, it actually takes a few viewings to really absorb the wit and mood.
It's not an obvious film, it actually takes a few viewings to really absorb the wit and mood.
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12:26PM on 02/19/2008

I'm so in agreement with JoBlo

Visually stunning! Otherwise, Meh. Sparse funny moments, very preachy tone, & repetitive nature stop this movie from reaching the heights of any other Pixar work. Also it has too dark moments for young kids such as shooting at the rats and humans hating them, even though the movie tries to endear rats to audiences.
Visually stunning! Otherwise, Meh. Sparse funny moments, very preachy tone, & repetitive nature stop this movie from reaching the heights of any other Pixar work. Also it has too dark moments for young kids such as shooting at the rats and humans hating them, even though the movie tries to endear rats to audiences.
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7:34PM on 02/18/2008

Can't agree at all

Personally, this was one of the best movies I saw in 2007. Unlike most of the animated movies clogging theaters, this had a great degree of intelligence and charm that any age group could appreciate. The complaints about lack of realism smack of pure silliness.

The lack of a real "villain" does not bother me, as this is not that kind of story. Though I must say, as antagonists go, Anton Ego is quite unsettling with his venomous words, cadaverous appearance, and coffin-shaped office.

The
Personally, this was one of the best movies I saw in 2007. Unlike most of the animated movies clogging theaters, this had a great degree of intelligence and charm that any age group could appreciate. The complaints about lack of realism smack of pure silliness.

The lack of a real "villain" does not bother me, as this is not that kind of story. Though I must say, as antagonists go, Anton Ego is quite unsettling with his venomous words, cadaverous appearance, and coffin-shaped office.

The story was great, music perfectly fitting, and the animation was supurb! Here's hoping WALL-E does Pixar one better this June!
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5:24PM on 02/18/2008

Don't agree at all.

I just finished watching this movie again last night and still found it entertaining. How can we complain about unrealistic plot points in a movie with talking intelligent rats? Also, I don't need every movie to have a dark bad guy plotting the end of the world.
I just finished watching this movie again last night and still found it entertaining. How can we complain about unrealistic plot points in a movie with talking intelligent rats? Also, I don't need every movie to have a dark bad guy plotting the end of the world.
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1:07PM on 02/18/2008

Slightly agree

Okay, so that critical two points separates my rating from yours, but I gotta agree. Said two points are in large part because the animation is so spectacular, and also I liked how it payed homage to French movies of the last fifty years, however subtly. But the story I agree wasn't up to snuff. Something about a rat who loves to cook seems just...unnecessary.

Having said that, I think Brad Bird's work is unique among Pixar, and "The Incredibles" is still my favorite of the bunch. So
Okay, so that critical two points separates my rating from yours, but I gotta agree. Said two points are in large part because the animation is so spectacular, and also I liked how it payed homage to French movies of the last fifty years, however subtly. But the story I agree wasn't up to snuff. Something about a rat who loves to cook seems just...unnecessary.

Having said that, I think Brad Bird's work is unique among Pixar, and "The Incredibles" is still my favorite of the bunch. So there...
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9:47AM on 02/18/2008

Agreed, very over rated.

I don't understand why everyone loved this movie. Maybe it is because I grew up on REAL Disney films from the 80s and early 90's.

This film was decent, the animation was amazing but the story was just meh. It wasn't that funny either.
I don't understand why everyone loved this movie. Maybe it is because I grew up on REAL Disney films from the 80s and early 90's.

This film was decent, the animation was amazing but the story was just meh. It wasn't that funny either.
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7:32AM on 02/18/2008

Couldn't disagree more

Ratatouille is an instant classic. I loved every moment of it. Loved the story and how it started with the mouse and developed into a lot bigger story of him in a "new world". Two classic scenes that reminded me of the beauty of sitting in the movie theatre and watching a film: the mouse trying to escape and then changing his mind in a nice, rain-drenched setting at night, and the gang of mice cooking near the end. CLASSIC, and deserves every bit of praise it is getting. Excellent script,
Ratatouille is an instant classic. I loved every moment of it. Loved the story and how it started with the mouse and developed into a lot bigger story of him in a "new world". Two classic scenes that reminded me of the beauty of sitting in the movie theatre and watching a film: the mouse trying to escape and then changing his mind in a nice, rain-drenched setting at night, and the gang of mice cooking near the end. CLASSIC, and deserves every bit of praise it is getting. Excellent script, brilliant animation, beautiful music and a lovely story. I give it a 10 which I don't usually think any movie deserves it just siply because Ratatouille is a MASTERPIECE.
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3:33AM on 02/18/2008
i couldnt agree more about what he is sayin here. the movie looks fantastic i'll give it that but like he said i just didnt care about the characters at all, they didnt have the appeal or charm as any of the other fantastic characters pixar has created in my oppinion. but i do still tip my hat to the makers of this very original story.
i couldnt agree more about what he is sayin here. the movie looks fantastic i'll give it that but like he said i just didnt care about the characters at all, they didnt have the appeal or charm as any of the other fantastic characters pixar has created in my oppinion. but i do still tip my hat to the makers of this very original story.
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