Ratatouille – Review

Even if this is a movie review, I felt like the subject of the film was so closely connected to food that I had to share my thoughts.

I am, as they say, a Pixar fanboy.  With the exception of Cars, which was just ok, I am crazy for cocoa puffs over the animation company.  When Brad Bird joined their team, I nearly went into a catatonic state of Euphoria.  Iron Giant was easily my favorite animated film; at least until The Incredibles came along.  Now they have a never ending battle for supremacy…in my head…

Truth be told, I was a little nervous for Ratatouille after Cars.  Cars was the first film from Pixar that I didn’t fall in love with.  And the trailers for Ratatouille hadn’t grabbed me like the previous films; but I trusted Brad Bird to do his thing.

Across the country this past weekend there was a sneak preview of the film, which Katie and I attended.  The verdict? Excellent.  It’s the first time I’ve called a movie charming.  And for people who love to cook (or just eat), it truly encapsulates the reasons why you do.

It’s not a fast paced film, like many other animated films are.  It very relaxed…very European, which makes sense since it’s set in France.  Living under the streets of Paris, Remy is a rat with big dreams and bigger tastes.  He’s not happy with eating garbage or living the life of a rat, so he sneaks off to a small cottage and learns to cook under the sleeping nose of an old lady.  When his pack is forced to move out, he gets separated and decides to explore the aboveground.

What he sees is breathtaking.  I’ve read in some reviews that the imagery of France in this film gives you a better feel of France than La Vie En Rose, a film that was actually FILMED there.  The attention to detail during that first night scene, with the night sky lit up, it looks real.  It makes you envy people who live there, who get to soak in that atmosphere daily.

When Remy first takes a bite of some fresh food, he sees color and hears music.  Each food individual.  Each taste a different experience.  With the belief that “Anyone can cook” behind him, he sneaks into a former 5-Star restaurant to work some magic.  When he’s caught, he works out a deal with Alfredo Linguini, a young man with zero experience, to work together to make some food magic.

And that’s all the trailer really tells you.  There’s so much more to this film that you need to discover on your own.  The final voice over left me misty, and made me want to try even harder at my passions, because that’s what passions are far.

If you love food, or quality films, do yourself a favor and see this film when it comes out June 29.

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