Ratatouille (U)



Family (2007)
111mins US

Starring: Patton Oswalt, Brian Dennehy, Brad Garrett, Janeane Garofalo
Director: Brad Bird
Writer(s): Brad Bird
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

A Paris street rat dreams of becoming a top chef in the beguiling new computer animated feature from Pixar (Toy Story, The Incredibles).

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LondonNet Film Review
Ratatouille

The word 'masterpiece' is overused, but in the case of the computer-animated wizardry of Pixar, no other word will suffice...

In the new animated-adventure, RATATOUILLE, a rat named Remy (pictured) dreams of becoming a great French chef. RATATOUILLE is directed by Academy Award®-winning Brad Bird (The Incredibles) and co-directed by Academy Award®-winning Jan Pinkava (Geri's Game). ©WALT DISNEY PICTURES/PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS IMAGE IS APPROVED FOR ALL MEDIA.Since its dazzling 1995 debut with Toy Story, the company founded by John Lasseter has revolutionized attitudes towards animated films with dazzling stories such as Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. Huge technological advances have continued to blur the boundaries between the live action and digital worlds; Pixar's work is nothing if not visually stunning. Yet there is equal attention to detail in the screenplays, creating lovable characters who leap off the screen and into our hearts.

With Ratatouille, director Brad Bird delivers a glorious modern day fable about a diminutive hero who dares to pursue his lifelong ambition on the rues of Paris. The dreamer in question is Remy (voiced by Patton Oswalt), a rat who fantasizes about becoming a top chef like his rotund hero, Auguste Gusteau (Brad Garrett). "If you are what you eat, I only want to eat the good stuff," Remy declares, desperate to escape the drudgery of foraging for festering scraps. "Food is fuel," counters his father Django (Brian Dennehy), who doesn't want his son getting ideas above his station.

Remy and Linguini team up to become one great chef in the new animated-adventure, RATATOUILLE. RATATOUILLE is directed by Academy Award®-winning Brad Bird (The Incredibles) and co-directed by Academy Award®-winning Jan Pinkava (Geri's Game). ©WALT DISNEY PICTURES/PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVEDBy chance, Remy emerges from the sewers into the middle of the French capital and creeps into his idol's restaurant. The plucky vermin concocts a delicious soup, only for kitchen worker Linguini (Lou Romano) to take the credit. With chef Skinner (Ian Holm) demanding a repeat performance, Linguini joins forces with Remy to create more culinary delights, the rat controlling his human cohort's movements by tugging tufts of hair under the chef's cap. Can Remy and Linguini achieve the impossible: earn a glowing review from notoriously sardonic food critic Anton Ego (Peter O'Toole) and win the admiration of beautiful colleague Colette (Janeane Garofalo)?

Ratatouille deserves three Michelin stars for its well-crafted script, garnished with laugh-out loud comic interludes such as Remy's make believe conversations with Gusteau. Gorgeous visuals will have you salivating from the very first sizzling scallop, before a breathtaking, high-speed tour of the kitchen, seen from Remy's point of view as he darts under workstations and through the wheels of trolleys.

The spirit of late Auguste Gusteau lives on in Remy's imagination ? the great chef is a recurring figure as Remy's imaginary soul mate and counselor. ©WALT DISNEY PICTURES/PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVEDVocal performances are strong, from O'Toole's oily reviewer with a penchant for caustic critique, to Oswalt's lovable fur-ball who dares to shoot for the moon. "Every bird has to fly the nest," he concludes. "You're not a bird, you're a rat," retorts his verminous father. "Rats don't leave the nest, they make it bigger." Remy is the exception to the rule. Bird's film, it's truly exceptional.

The main feature is preceded by the Oscar nominated short Lifted, in which a young alien attempts his first time abduction of a sleeping farmer. As his instructor watches with mounting frustration and impatience, the trainee furiously pushes various levers and knobs to extricate the human subject... to no avail.

- Kim Hu


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