Remy (Patton Oswalt – from television's The King of Queens) is not your average rat. He is one who does not like to steal food or eat garbage, has a heightened sense of smell in regards to food and secretly dreams of cooking. This is certainly strange. So strange that even his whole rat colony, including his father (Brian Dennehy – Presumed Innocent, Gorky Park) and his brother Emile (Peter Sohn – The Incredibles) don't know what to make of him. His father is so perplexed that all he can think of for Remy to do in his life is to sniff the garbage the rats eat in order to check for rat poison. He is not happy as Remy dreams about more for himself in life. This yen for more prods him to sneak into an old woman's house in order to read the cookbooks and watch the television show of the famous Parisian chef Gusteau (Brad Garrett – from television's Everyone Loves Raymond).
A series of mishaps occur that lead to Remy's colony having to move from their homes in the house and heading out to find somewhere else to live. As they are fleeing from the gunshots, Remy and the others get separated and he now is lost and alone in the big city of Paris. As luck would have it Remy finds himself at the now deceased Chef Gusteau's restaurant. He is in heaven with all the smells, good food and haute cuisine being cooked there. Oddly enough, the creature who should be the bane of any kitchen becomes the unsung hero of it as Remy becomes the man/rat behind the cooking of the clueless Linguini (Lou Romano – The Incredibles). All Remy's dreams start to come true as he is able to cook, has found a true friend and a place where he feels he fits in. The whole ball of string begins to unravel for Remy and Linguini when the jealous Chef Skinner (Ian Holm – Chariots of Fire, The Aviator) discovers the truth behind Linguini's talent. Will this spell the end for our two heroes? Tune in to find out.
Everytime I see a new Pixar/Disney animated film I believe that that is the best animation can look on the big screen and everytime I am surprised how they have surpassed themselves. With the film "Cars" I foolishly thought that the animation could not look any more true to life and the colours no more clear. Oh, how I was wrong! Every hair on the rats' bodies looks like an individual strand of real hair, every facial expression is so lifelike and every colour explodes off the screen. It all adds up to wow! for the eyes! Everything looks so real that you forget that it's animation.
Now, you might be reading this thinking that I am getting all technical about what basically amounts to a film for children. But I am not so sure that with this release the Pixar/Disney geniuses were aiming it at children. I believe that "Ratatouille" was mainly meant for adults with kids able to like it as well. As opposed to the usual vice versa. Most of the humour and cultural references would be beyond kids. Not to say that there is not your share of slapstick in the film, but for the most part it is a fairly advanced script. Much attention is paid to detail (not only with the animation) and as a result you get a high level of intelligence and witty in the story. I mean, even the concept of a rat in a kitchen is turning every commonly held modicum of hygiene on its ear. The rat is one of the more hated creatures on the entire Earth and yet we are schooled about even the most despised creatures have more to them than we think. We end up losing our disgust for rats due to Disney. Now, that is something! Normally the stories behind animated pictures are just rehashes, but that is not so here. Director/screenwriter Brad Bird (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles) has served us up something as fresh and spicy as one of Remy's innovative recipes. And boy is it every tasty! For more than any of these reasons you should go see "Ratatouille" as it is just plain fun.
-Your Friend the Rat
-Fine Food & Film