I saw RATATOUILLE last night at one of the advertised pre-screenings on Saturday night and while not perfect I really loved it. In fact I think that its one of my favorite Pixar movies. I won’t spoil it for everyone, but will talk about a number of the elements that I liked and didn’t like. The thing that really struck me was that it reminded me of some of the classic Disney movies, in particular 101 Dalmatians. Since I have studied animation in art school and also done some freelance work in character design I really appreciated the wonderful use of different shapes that they used to design the human and rat characters. I loved how the Rats looked like they came from the Muppets. 101 Dalmatians was also a very stylistic movie.
I felt that the story was very classic Disney also, very magical while being grounded in reality. It showed the imperfections of France with its sewers and personalities while still being able to reveal the true beauty and magic of Paris. The story moved at a quick pace, I brought my four year old and the whole time he was just entranced. He loved the part near the end where the Rats all got together and cooked the Ratatouille best.
Besides the great designs I really loved the characters and how we even learn the stories of the background chief characters. The little head chief even reminded me a little of Cruella Deville, during the chase scene I could just see her in my head as she slowly drove by and the puppies were hiding from her. I would almost have to say though that while all of the voice actors did an exceptional job the one that I really thought did great was Peter O’ Toole as Anton Ego the Critic. I just loved that rich voice.
I also liked the fact that it was totally clean, since I have my four year old with me. We saw Surfs Up and while it was also a great movie and technically very beautiful. I didn’t like the fact that the first half had a lot of words like pecker and crap and a scene with Tank making out with his trophies. I’m glad that I can count on Pixar for a clean kid friendly movie.
The movie did have a few flaws though, like how nimble the old granny with the shotgun was at the beginning. She was a lot faster then Geri from Geri’s Game. I also thought that the ending was a little choppy. Another thing that bugged me was the Lifted short the main alien reminded me to much of the “I Will Survive” animation that was everywhere online about five years ago where the alien was singing “I Will Survive” and then at the end a disco ball falls on it and flattens it. There were some funny parts, but not great.
All in all it was a very enjoyable movie.