With its array of developed characters, clever humor, and over all good-natured story, Ratatouille makes us wonder if the dream team that is Disney-Pixar can do no bad. Directed by Brad Bird, along with the production team who created other known films such as Cars and The Incredibles, the animated film focuses around Remy, a rat who has a peculiar talent/fascination with cooking and whose point of view that story is told. The adventures of our hero and his friends are told in a well thought out plot that anyone will enjoy watching whether you are five or eighty-five.
A major theme that I found prevalent throughout the story was the act of figuring out who you are. Remy, the primary character has a passion for cooking and whose idol is the fictionally created top chef in Paris Auguste Gousteau. He has trouble relating to his fellow rats and is disgusted at the fact that they steal their food. By a chance of fate, Remy is separated from his family and friends. Extremely upset and alone by this event, the slow, depressing violin music plays in the background to help establish RemyÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s despair. However, our favorite ratÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s spirits are uplifted when he realizes that he is in Paris, the culinary capital of the world. After wondering about Paris Remy ends up at the formally famed fine dining restaurant, GousteauÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s where the rat also starts experiencing hallucinations of the deceased chef, he cannot resist fixing a soup in which a newly hired garbage boy has ruined. The garbage boy is referred to by his last name as Linguini. The son of GousteauÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s former mistress, Linguini himself posses no cooking ability and tends to be rather clumsy, is not sure of himself and tends to ramble when put in stressful or awkward situations. He lives in the stereotypical Parisian apartment that consists of one room with a bathroom off to the side, while the bedroom is a sofa located in front of a tiny door in which the ratÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s future friend can barley get through. The majority of the apartment is a kitchen with faded leaf patterned wallpaper, old, rough unfinished floors and a huge window overlooking the city. The soup incidence will bring this unlikely pair, who compliment each other, together.
Many conflicts surround Remy during his stay in Paris. The first conflict in which Remy and Linguini solve is the solution that allows the rat to cook. Remy sits atop LinguiniÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s head and pulls his hair that will move his arms. Eye level camera angles are almost always shown when Remy is cooking or even when he or his rat family are scurrying away. The arrangement with Linguini to supply the hands and for him to supply the cooking skills will prove to be difficult to keep a secret, especially when the head chef of GousteauÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s is working endlessly to prove that a rat is the reason for LinguiniÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s success. Remy is also confronted with his family who arrives in Paris and want free food from the restaurant. The head chef of GousteauÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s is ruining his former bossÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s legacy and prestige by marketing a mass amount of frozen dinners under his name. I will only say that as this is a Disney-Pixar film, the ending will be happy and satisfying.
While the fact that a rat could control a humanÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s motor movements through the tugging of oneÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s hair both confused and perturbed me, I realized that this is a PG rated movie and that animated films are purely fictional and is done in good nature. There were actually segments in which I found genuinely humorous. For example I laughed out loud when the rats chased after and tied up the health inspector and placed him in the pantry. The animation and acting were superb as it is in my opinion harder to convey true emotion without the presence of a camera on your face. Overall, I highly recommend this film to every one of all ages. Sometimes we all need an escape from all the seriousness life throws at us.