Movie Reviews 02: Ratatouille

Pixar's latest movie is another winner.

Ratatouille is the story of a rat who strives to be more than just a rat. He isn't content to eat garbage; he want to savor all the delicacies life has to offer. He finds himself in Paris at a formerly 5 star restaurant that has lost some of its sparkle, and two of it's stars. The rat meets up with an incompetent garbage boy in the kitchen whose main goal in life is to not get fired -- again. The rat and boy team soon turns the kitchen upside down.

While the film occasionally drags a bit in the middle, overall it is well done. The story is filled with surprising plot twists. Just when I though I knew which way it was going, the film changed direction. It's nice to see a family-friendly movie that is still full of surprises.

The animation is incredible. Early in the movie is chase scene through the kitchen with most of it shown from the rat's perspective. It's fast paced and inventive. They illuminate the wide array of hazards a rodent faces in a french kitchen. At it is beautifully done.

Pixar is also getting better at animating people. From hardly seeing humans in Toy Story to the comical glances in Finding Nemo, and on to the superheroes of The Incredibles, Pixar has gotten progressively better at humanizing its humans. They each have a different flavor for their appropriate role, and the characters in Ratatouille are definitely cartoon-ey, but they are also more human than any of Pixar's earlier people.

If you are squeamish about rats, be warned there are some creepy sequences, where hundreds of rats suddenly stampede across the screen. You can almost feel their tiny rat feet rumbling through the theater and across your lap.

If there is a place where the animation fails, it's early in the film. During a river action sequence, the water looks amazing. Flowing and rushing water is on of the toughest things to create in computer graphics. Here Pixar succeeded in creating real water.

And that's the problem. There water looks too real compared to animated rats. It looks like the rats were superimposed on actual video of rushing water. The water is too good for animated sequences.

For strong story, amazing animation, interesting characters, and surprises throughout, go see Ratatouille.
Some behind the scenes clips:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the movie Ratatouille and also reading through your detailed review of the same.

You might be interested in reading my review of Ratatouille in my blog post "Anyone can cook".

Keep up the good work!