Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ratatouille (2007)

Not Bad....
But Not Among The Disney-Pixar Elite

- Yet again, the Disney-Pixar think-tank came up with another unique story for their 2007 animated feature Ratatouille.

Remy (voiced by Patton Oswalt) is an intelligent, cultured – um.... rat. But that is not all; he is also a food connoisseur and class-A chef. In a rodent society where he is expected to hate humans and just eat garbage, Remy's dream of becoming a world-class chef like his idol (and personal force ghost) Anton Gusteau will not become a reality. However, Remy is one tough Muroidea, and he teams up with the erratic and clumsy human teen, named Linguini, to achieve his goal. Unfortunately, their road to success is a difficult one as Linguini is distracted by a girl, Remy has a disapproving family to overcome, and they both have a rigid food critic to impress and an inquisitive head chef on their tail.

While the overall story is creative, Ratatouille ultimately fails in the character and dialogue department: The characters are not particularly endearing or fun to watch and the dialogue is not very humorous (though it tries to be) and lacks a certain spice (no pun intended). The Disney-Pixar films have a knack for appealing to people of all ages, but Ratatouille does not - it feels like it is geared more towards the kids.

I am left with an expression of utter puzzlement on my face when I see that this film praised so highly and considered by many as the best Disney-Pixar film. Ratatouille is the best? Far from it! It lacks the power of WALL·E (2008), the heart of Finding Nemo (2003), the jokes of Monsters Inc. (2001), the characters of Toy Story (1995), the overall entertainment value of The Incredibles (2004), etc. - I would actually say that Ratatouille sits near the bottom of the Disney-Pixar film totem pole (and Cars (2006) at least had fun racing scenes and Paul Newman).

However, in all the ways that Ratatouille failed to measure up to the rest of the Disney-Pixar films, the film still remains a marginally entertaining animated movie, including first-rate animation and managing to squeeze out a couple of laughs out of the audience here and there.

CBC Rating: 6/10

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