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Ratatouille - Reinventing the Rat... Remy is Top Chef!

Jul 1, 2007 (Updated Jul 7, 2007)
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Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Bang For The Buck

Pros:Sweet story, charming characters, very child appropriate`

Cons:not a lot of action, may be a bit slow for some children

The Bottom Line: No matter which way you spell it, Ratatouille is a delicious movie!

With two children (ages six, and two) you can bet I'd heard about Ratatouille for some time before it hit the theatres. So, off to the movies we went on opening weekend to catch the latest kiddie flick.

What's Ratatouille?
From the winning combination of Disney Studios & Pixar Animation comes Ratatouille. Ratatouille is this summer's first animated movie for the kids that carries a G-rating after the recent slew of PG movies aimed at young children (Dreamworks Shrek and Sony Pictures Surf's Up!). With running time of just under 2 hours (1 hour and 51 minutes), Ratatouille is a charming tale of a small rat named Remy.

Remy is not an ordinary rat, so put your rodent killer away. Born with an extremely keen sense of smell, his family decides his job in life is to become the sniff-tester (for rat poison) of all the food his family and rat colony has stolen from the trash. Remy, however, has another idea and a dream. He wants to be a chef and sneaks down and watch cooking shows on the TV, especially his hero the famous Gusteau who has written a book "Anyone can cook". Remy wants to prove that anyone can cook, even a rat.

An unfortunate discovery occurs and Remy, his family and the entire rat colony must evacuate from their country home and through the sewers. Remy lands himself in the heart of Paris underneath none other than Gusteau's former 5 star restaurant, now demised to 3 stars since the death of Gusteau. The voice of Gusteau speaks to Remy and he ends up pairing with Linguini, a lowly garbage boy at Gusteau's to work against all odds and bring Gusteau's back into favor with tough restaurant critic Anton Ego. Everything changes for Remy the day that Linguini messes up the soup and Remy steps up to keep it savory.

Will Remy save the soup?

Can Remy's partnership with Linguini remain a secret with rat hating former sous chef turned villain, Skinner running the restaurant?

How does Remy communicate with Linguini to teach him how to cook?

What happens when Anton Ego visits Gusteau's?

Who is this Linguini, character, after-all?

Does Linguini get the girl, in the end?

Parent's Perspective
I was pleasantly surprised by Ratatouille from the moment the picture started til its end about 2 hours later. Let's face it, this is a story about rats in the kitchen of a fine restaurant. Yuck, Yuck, and more Yuck. Yet, somehow I found myself completely mesmorized by Remy (voiced by Patton Oswalt from TV show King of Queens). The voice cast includes Janeane Garafolo playing the only female in the kitchen, Collete and the voice of Tony Romano (he also voiced in Cars and The Incredibles) as the leading human character, Linguini. Of course, there is a small love story sub-plot in the film which was to be expected.

The story of Ratatouille is completely unbelievable and yet another story from Disney about an under-dog turned 'hero' of sorts. As far as the plot goes as far-fetched as it is, its Disney predictable. But, thats not such a bad thing really. What I found in Ratatouille is an extremely family friendly film that is appropriate for children even the younger crowd and still very much enjoyable for adults. Lets face it, as a parent of small kids I've sat through my share of movies that the kids loved that were painful through and through. On the other hand, I've also sat through several that I found extremely funny and entertaining yet questioned their whole appropriateness for kids. Thanks to Ratatouille I'm now convinced that G-rating can still stand for Great if you slice and dice it just right.

The animation, as expected from Disney & Pixar was "spot-on". I admit that one of my guilty pleasures includes watching cooking shows, and yes - reality TV cooking shows like Top Chef and Hell's Kitchen. So I had to laugh because the show at times was like watching an animated version of my favorite reality shows.. with a twist, one of the competitors is a rat. If I never get to go Paris to see the Eiffel tower and dine in a 5 star french restaurant, I've enjoyed it in Ratatouille, and you will too.

Move over penguins.. Rats are in!

In 2006, Flushed Away, another rodent tale, was a hit with my children - my son especially. Unlike Flushed Away, Ratatouille, proves that potty humor need not be included. My 2 year old sat from start to finish through the entire almost 2 hour movie and thoroughly enjoyed watching Remy "make cooking", as she calls it. Ok, so my 6 year old seems mildly obsessed with rats falling to plumbing because Remy falls (or jumps) into the sink at one point. But, aside from that he really got into Ratatouille too. I know that at times he was a bit antsy during Ratatouille. The movie has a few mildly suspenseful action scenes but overall a kitchen is just not nearly as exciting or inspiring to him, as say surfing.. Despite being a little antsy he left the movie happy as can be and would go back for a second helping of Ratatouille (the movie). Now, if only it could get him eating vegetables.

Kids Love Ratatouille

Recommend this product? Yes

Movie Mood: Good for Kids
Viewing Method: Other
Film Completeness: Looked complete to me.
Worst Part of this Film: Nothing

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