Welcome back to Pixar Countdown Reviews, which we take a look at and review all seventeen theatrical Pixar films every Friday leading up to the release of Pixar’s Cars 3 this summer. Take a look back at some of our previous entries and stay tuned every Friday as we cover all of Pixar’s incredible films.
Ratatouille is one of those films that shows how original Pixar is with their films. All of their films are something we have never seen before. Ratatouille is no exception, with its truly out there concept, great sense of humor and authentic world building.
Ratatouille has the type of original ingenuity that only Pixar can pull off. Pixar is known for their original stories, and this film shines at succeeding at what Pixar does best. It’s about a rat who wants to cook. Any other studio wouldn’t dare to tackle that idea. But Pixar isn’t like that. They managed to pack in the heart, humor, and originality of any other Pixar film and created a masterpiece out of something so out there, giving us something that we haven’t seen before.
The film has a great cast of characters. The ambitious Remy, our main character, is one who you root for and want to see succeed. He also has a brother, Emile, who makes me laugh every second he’s on-screen and is even voiced by Pixar’s own Pete Sohn. Linguini is also a humorously awkward character, and Colette is a feisty character who begins a romance with Linguini which is also very well-integrated into the plot. The antagonists are great as well, particularly Anton Ego, a satirical caricature of the “snobby critic,” who has a particularly heartwarming moment at the end of the film and develops greatly.
The film is definitely one of the more humorous Pixar films. The jokes hit you nonstop from all of the out there situations the concept provides, and they all work. I’d probably compare its humor to A Bug’s Life as both films feature smaller characters. The stakes are raised in the snap of a finger. For example, there’s a scene early on in the film where a senile lady notices Remy in her house and tries to shoot him. It’s a hilarious, off the wall moment that you, in a way, kind of expected. You expected her to see him and want to get rid of him, but it goes from 1 to 1000 really quick once she pulls out that gun. It comes out of nowhere and makes for a scene that’s as humorous as it is intense. I would like to see another Pixar film that has that sort of off the wall sense of humor.
The animation is stunning. Every frame is beautiful to look at, and the film, which takes place in Paris, builds its world in a very authentic way, focusing on even the smallest details. For example, things such as newspapers are written in French. It doesn’t matter if we as an audience can’t understand it. Ultimately, that’s not what’s important. We don’t need to understand what those newspapers say. What matters more is making the setting feel as authentic as possible. That, at the end, is what we as an audience care most about and what helps maintain the accuracy and authenticity of the film’s world. The film also likes to play with scale, again much like A Bug’s Life, which leads to many moments that are fun to look at and watch unfold. The intensity is heightened by the small size of our main character, and with a Remy being a rat, it creates a lot of conflict between him and the human characters.
The directing is fantastic. Ratatouille had a bit of a troubled production, resulting in a change of directors just two years before the film’s release. Enter Brad Bird, the director of The Incredibles who swooped in and saved this production, turning it into the masterpiece that it is. The way in which the film plays with scale makes for a lot of well-shot scenes, with a bunch of moments that really shine in that regard. these scenes are also made even better with the beautiful score by Michael Giacchino, which helps in making the world of the film feel even more authentic.
Ratatouille is another excellent work of art from Pixar. It took a lot of trial and error to make this film what it is, but ultimately, it ended up being yet another Pixar masterpiece. It just goes to show that they can take anything and spin it into gold.
Film Grade: A+
Ratatouille is available to own on Blu-Ray and DVD. Pixar Countdown Reviews returns next week with a review of WALL-E.