Wednesday, January 09, 2008

REVIEW: Ratatouille


Year: 2007
Director: Brad Bird
Starring: Patton Oswalt, Lou Romano, Ian Holm, Brian Dennehy, Brad Garrett
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures
MPAA: Rated G

When I first saw the trailer for Ratatouille, I thought it just just going to be another Disney movie that's going to be good for kids and gross alot of money worldwide. To no surprise, I was right. Grossing over $600 million worldwide and being well received by critics, Ratatouille was a success. Many people I talked to said it was one of the best animated movies ever. When someone says something like that, it always intrigues me. Having not seen it in theaters, I didn't know what to expect from this film on DVD.

Plot Outline:
Remy (Patton Oswalt) is a rat that has been graced with a powerful nose, which allows him to tell what kinds of food are good or bad based on the smell. During one of his expeditions looking for different types of ingredient's to add to his food, he is accidentally separated from his family. After traveling for awhile, he finds himself in the middle of Paris. He discovers that his favorite restaurant who he has seen on TV, has lost three of its five stars. Now the restaurant has a new boss, Skinner (Ian Holm) who is simply interested in business and doesn't care about the food's quality. Remy has taken Gusteau's motto "Anyone can cook" to heart and guides a clumsy, but good hearted person named Linguini (Lou Romano). Together they make a great team trying to restore the restaurant's reputation.

The story of Ratatouille is very good. I never knew an animated film like this could have such a good story. The plot gets very enjoyable, but at the same time, alittle encouraging. The film has many ways to make the story very cinematic and lovable. I thought there were many moments in the film where I was just hooked by its cleaver story with very nice narration. What bugs me is that this is a Disney film, but to me, it feels like it could very much suit anyone at any age. While saying that, the story of Ratatouille might not be too much enjoyable for younger audiences. This film may be another Disney film with cartoon animated characters, but the story of it feels alittle better suited for more mature audiences. I don't think little kids will appreciate the witty, but smart dialogue.

The cast of Ratatouille is just plain great. I was expecting a Disney animated flick like this to feature top named celebrities to voice these characters, but we don't get that. Instead we get a series of other low key characters that just happen to do the job very well. The cast displayed very clear voices that you can tell, time was spent on it. Patton Oswalt as Remy sounded very clear and precise. He sounded very suited for the role and I'm very glad Disney went with him instead of some other high paid actor because his voice just seems to match the characters body flow. Lou Romano also voiced a very nice, but clumsy Linguini. As for the other cast, I felt they were solid and very well voiced.

The visual effects for Ratatouille is simply outstanding. I know that this film being another animated film from Disney, it was going to feature great visuals, but damn does Ratatouille look gorgeous. The film features amazing visuals that are displayed in high resolution with detail being very apparent through out the film. I never expected animated films to come this far in terms of technology, but I was proven wrong. Theirs no film grain and everything is as crystal clear as it is. Colors are bold and very vibrant. Everything is eye popping and just wonderful to look at. Detail is great and reveals many things about the movie. This is the best animated film I have ever seen.

The soundtrack for the film is very much used through out the film. The music is very lively and goes with the flow. There are moments where theirs tension needed and the music certainly delivers. The film also makes use of alot of dialogue that younger audiences might not find entertaining, but even then the music is very good. While I thought in the beginning that the music kind of didn't belong with what was being shown, but it definitely picked up and sooner or later I didn't notice anything. The bass didn't impressive me as much as the visuals did, but its still good. Its mostly about the general music and not the bass.

While Ratatouille might have been targeted towards younger audiences, it certainly can be viewed by anyone. I thought the story was very good with the music being very sweet and charming to listen to. I thought the visuals were amazing and the best I have seen of an animated title. If there is a bad thing about this movie its that younger audiences might not enjoy the story too much since theirs heavy use of dialogue and the overall feel of the movie feels better suited for more older people, but if your a fan of animated films or just looking for a great film then Ratatouille is obviously a great choice. This is another winner from Disney.

Grade: A-

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