CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

""Ratatouille" is the Best Animated Feature of the Year

On paper, "Ratatouille" was not an inspiring pitch. The previews revealed the story of a rat who runs a French bistro. This premise did not distinguish itself from other animal movies created by cgi computer technology. Yet given track record of "Toy Story" and "Monster's Inc," one must remember that Pixar Studios is the conscience of family entertainment for Walt Disney Studios. Instead "Ratatouille" has become the front runner for best animated feature of 2007.

The prologue reveals that Gusteau (voiced by Brad Garrett) was a prominent Parisian chef who was destroyed by an elitist food critic Anton Ego (Peter O' Toole). Gusteau's philosophy is that “Anybody can cook.” As he watches Gusteau's cooking show, Remy the Rat (Patton Oswalt) takes these words to heart and develops an appreciation for fine cuisine. After becoming separated from his family, Remy ventures to Paris and aids Linguini (Lou Romano), a misfit who works in the Gusteau Restaurant as a garbage boy.

Remy and Linguini profit from their symbiotic relationship and, after much conflict, learn to live happily ever. While the film is pure family entertainment, one can see a self conscious subtext to "Ratatouille," most notably between Pixar and the departed Disney boss Michael Eisner. While not physical, there is a strong resemblance between Skinner and Eisner, both exploit a reputable name (Disney = Gusteau) to reap a quick dollar over long term profits. Those not seeking such subtext, can kick back and enjoy the positive entertainment values of "Ratatouille," which is supplemented by Michael Giacchino's musical score.
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