REVIEW: Ratatouille

Over the years, Pixar Animation Studios have charmed us with their beautiful stories and strong characters but I think Ratatouille became their most extraordinary and perhaps their most adult friendly picture at the time so at first I wasn’t really sure what to expect out of this one. However, I watched it and despite that it is perhaps more for adults than for kids, there still are many child-friendly moments within the film. Of course, people are going to find it a tad bit odd where a rat cooks but the deep story behind it makes it an underdog story that is an inspiration. The only weakness that Ratatouille has is that it lacked humour. According to critics and to Pixar themselves, they class this as a comedy but I wouldn’t really call it a comedy at all because the film is too serious to be funny.

How often do we see films based on food or chefs? I can only think of this one, obviously, and Julie & Julia so food is a very rare theme for cinema. The only way where films about food can work are either ones based on true stories or animated films (which is exactly what Ratatouille and Julie & Julia are). Plus, it can be quite hard to write a film about food without them being too similar to each other. Anyway, Ratatouille is literally a film on its own and no other film in the future based on this theme can ever be repeated or even surpassed.

Many times over the years we have seen films made in a certain country by a certain organization but is set somewhere else with different characters who either speak that language or at least speak the same language in the country where it was made but with an accent but at the same time, there are films that are set in a different country to what organization made the film and some actors speak in either that very accent or language. Ratatouille was made by an American organization but is set in Paris, France and the majority of actors who are American themselves speak English but with a French accent and that makes the film even better, even more understanding for children and doesn’t wreck the realism of the film at all. The only characters who don’t speak in French accents are Remy, Linguini, Emile and Remy and Emile’s father Django. In every Pixar film, there is normally at least one Hollywood actor or for that matter, at least one famous actor but I hadn’t even heard of one single actor involved in Ratatouille except for Ian Holm who provided the voice of Skinner. If there is any message that the characters within bring out is that even one so small and one who perhaps has the opposite chance of succeeding, if you’ve got your heart set on something, don’t give up and that is exactly what Remy did.

Director Brad Bird became a huge success after superhero action-comedy The Incredibles and he once again, manages to do the same thing all over again but this time, he gave us something more personal but not something funnier than before. Bird rightfully deserves his award for Best Animated Picture for both films and if he decides to direct another Pixar animated film, I will definitely be there to see it! Ratatouilleis perhaps the closest to a foreign film because every other Pixar film (even WALL-E despite it is set in space and Monsters, Inc. which is set in a totally different world) are very American. The script was incredible and for the first time, Pixar used narration. I think the reason for this was because it was Remy telling his story from the very beginning and then we see him at the present time towards the very end of the film. His narrated speeches and when Ego narrated his review on Gusteau’s restaurant was written perfectly!

Overall, Ratatouille is Pixar’s most adult film to date, one of their best films and it is a very powerful story on inspiration, courage and pride. It may have quite an adult story but it is charming enough for both adults and children to enjoy. The entire film is a pleasure to watch but another moment of pleasure you will get whilst watching Ratatouille is that you will feel hungry! I hope there won’t be a sequel to this because, quite frankly, there doesn’t even need to be.

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~ by SJMJ91 on 18/05/2012.

2 Responses to “REVIEW: Ratatouille”

  1. Beautifully written! I completely agree with you – Ratatouille appeals to all audiences and is a sweet, touching story that will leave you feeling warm-and-fuzzy.

    • Thank you very much! I really appreciate your feedback.
      It certainly does. Quite possibly the most adult Pixar film to date. The only thing it lacks in comparison to most of the others is the laugh-out-loud humor. Doesn’t really matter because the film was more of an inspirational film with a message.
      The film was actually the source that inspired me into reviewing and thinking critically about films.

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