Rated G, Run Time: 110 minutes
Through the years, I have always anticipated a new Pixar film. Pixar, being the minds behind Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, and more, has a reputation for excellent quality animated films. Most of Pixar's success is contributed to how much time and effort they spend on the story. It is no different in Ratatouille. The amazing film has an engaging storyline that pulls you in, while the visuals are top-notch. It is interesting to note that although the animation in this film is splendid, you don't really notice it unless you take a moment to really appreciate the building in the background or the incredibly real water. The film actually manages to make you forget you are watching an animated film about rats and get emotionally invested in the story. Quite a feat, especially when most people will consider this a kid's movie. That is a wrong assumption. The film doesn't cater to a child audience but rather to an adult audience. It is evident that adults may like this movie more than their children due to the relative lack of conventional 'kid jokes'. Ratatouille doesn't rely on old standard site gags, shock jokes, and the like that have come to be so standard with less than stellar films like Shrek 3, Over the Hedge, Ice Age Series, and more. Ratatouille carves out an original space for animated films.
Enough cannot be said of the story. It truly is the centerpiece to a most worthy film. The visuals are beyond compare. Each year, Pixar releases a new movie, and each time, the visuals get better and better. The animation appears completely real with flawless movement. Pixar takes the next step in animation with Ratatouille by delivering a product that is NOT a copy of the last successful animated film.
This film doesn't rely on jokes to move the story forward which is a refreshing change after Shrek 3, which only existed to throw one joke at you after the other. Ratatouille moves forward at a brisk pace while only dragging in a few scenes. I found myself marveling at the action scenes and genuinely interested in the fate of this rat. Most of that, is from the director, Brad Bird. Brad last directed The Incredibles for Pixar and before that, a small animated film, called The Iron Giant. Both previous films have great stories, characters, and action, so it is no suprise that Mr. Bird puts those same elements into Ratatouille. He expands on action scenes in Ratatouille and comes out with some exquisitely animated, ultra realistic 'chase and peril' scenes. Brad Bird will be a person to watch in the coming years for more great films.
Overall, I found very few flaws with this movie. The soundtrack was very good, however, there were parts that the sound mixing seemed to be a bit off. Mainly, the score was too loud for the voices in some parts. A very small complaint indeed. Their was also a few points where the story, although great, needed to go a little faster. It had a few slight dragging pieces that left me wishing they would get to the point a bit faster. If you liked any of Pixar's previous films, this will no doubt be an enjoyable experience for you. The film is rated G and for good reason, it is a great family film that offers a lot for the parents as well. Children could very well get interested in cooking after this movie, so be prepared to go home and make some ratatouille.
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