Slug: ratatouille Date: 2007-06-19 Title: Ratatouille layout: post
Jodi and I and the kiddo went to a sneak peak showing of Ratatouille Saturday night, and I cannot encourage everyone enough to go see it. It was FANTASTIC - easily the best movie I've seen in ages. The writing is excellent, the story is both conceptually simple yet complex in its depth. Jason Kottke captures a lot of my reaction to the film in his review of Ratatouille (my apologies for the large-scale quoting, but I want to preserve these bits):
>With its latest film, Pixar manages to achieve something that few other big Hollywood films do these days: a convincing reality. The body language & emotions of the characters, the machinations of the kitchen, the sights and sounds of Paris, and the dice of the celery, Ratatouille gets it all right, down to the seemingly insignificant details.
>…I'm not quite sure how this is possible, but the people in Ratatouille acted more like real people than the actors in many recent live action movies (especially the rats), like they had realistic histories and motivations that governed their actions instead of feeling scripted and fake. The world of the movie felt as though it had existed before the opening credits and would continue after the curtain fell.
>Pixar's search for this quality in the making of Ratatouille is impressive. And in a way, necessary. In order to draw the audience into the film and make them forget that they're watching animated characters in an animated world, the filmmakers need to get everything right. Motions too exaggerated, motivations glossed over, plot too uncoordinated, and the whole thing loses its sense of authenticity. People need to act like people, omelettes need to sag off of spatulas like omelettes, and the only woman chef in a haute cuisine French kitchen needs to behave accordingly.
Jodi and I laughed all the way through the movie - not the sniggering laughs you get from off-color jokes in Shrek and the like - but uncontrollable belly laughs, the kind that Donald Duck and Goofy used to be able to draw from our little hearts as kids. Even Adelina, whose hearing and language are not on par with her peers, was rolling. Ratatouille is a visual feast (pun intended) that never relies too much on it's looks and is satisfactory down to the last scene.
PS. I should stop on that note but I have to give huge props to Brad Bird and his voice character casting. I knew going who a couple of the voice actors were, but was never caught up in hearing them instead of the characters. There are even a couple of voices that I had to look up later and was shocked to find that I knew the actors - their voices were unrecognizable in the roles, and yet were perfect for them.
5 out of 5, um, whatevers. Go see this movie, take your kids, grandkids, cousins, neices, nephews, or random strangers. You will come out a better person!