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Animation and Anime

Capone's Review Of RATATOUILLE!

Hey folks. Capone in Chicago here. Director Brad Bird has single handedly made it impossible to lump all Pixar movies into one category. Sure, Pixar works are all varying degrees of great, but with his last film, THE INCREDIBLES, Bird took the kid-centric animation house and allowed older kids and adults into the fold a little easier. In fact, it almost seems that he's more concerned with appealing to a slightly older crowd by populating all his films (including his first, THE IRON GIANT) with almost entirely human characters. I'm sure kids will find a whole lot to love about Bird's latest, RATATOUILLE. The images and energy are as strong as anything the Pixar crew has done to this point. But beyond that, the story about a rat living Paris who is obsessed with eating and creating fine cuisine is clearly a theme that adults can embrace and get the most out of in terms of the full movie-going experience. Even the idea that a character would dream of living in Paris just for the food is something that might not make the most sense to an 8-year-old, but I've been there. RATATOUILLE's star is a rat named Remy (voiced by stand-up comic Patton Oswalt), who seems all-too willing to leave his comfortable rat colony family (including his father, voiced by Brian Dennehy) and life of rummaging for garbage to eat. What he wants more than anything is to create meals like those in the cookbook of his hero, renowned French chef Auguste Gusteau (Brad Garrett), whose theory about cooking is "Anyone can cook." After his rat hive is forced to leave their cozy confines, Remy finds himself swept away in the local sewer system only to pop up in the heart of downtown Paris, directly in front of Gusteau's famed restaurant. Although Gusteau has recently passed away, that doesn't stop the ghost of the great chef (or at least a figment of Remy's imagination) from advising Remy on his life choices from time to time. Around the time of Remy's arrival in the kitchen of Gusteau's dining establishment, a young man named Linguini (Lou Romano) also arrives looking for a job in the kitchen. It's clear early on that the man in charge, a little Napoleon of a dictator named Skinner (Ian Holm), is a right bastard, but he hires Linguini as a garbage boy and dishwasher. It doesn't take long for Linguini and Remy to find each other, and the pair form an unlikely alliance as Remy's skills as a cook (driven primarily by his heightened sense of smell) are put to use with Linguini as his hands. Remy literally lives under Linguini's hat and directs his actions like a puppet by tugging on certain strands of hair. There are several dramas building up heads of steam at the same time in RATATOUILLE, some more welcome than others. Linguini develops a sweet crush on fellow chef Colette (voiced almost unrecognizably by Janeane Garofalo), but his Remy-driven creations actually threaten her getting a promotion in the kitchen; Skinner suspects Remy's creations are rat inspired; Remy's family discovers his whereabouts and show up on the restaurant's doorstep looking for food; the ownership of the restaurant is in jeopardy; and a terrifying food critic (and one-time enemy of Gusteau) has decided to pay a return visit to the establishment, which has been generating buzz in town thanks to a certain new chef. The food critics name is Anton Ego, and thanks to a downright evil voice provided by Peter O'Toole, he might be my favorite Pixar character ever. O'Toole lends an almost Vincent Price quality to his performance; Ego belongs in whatever the next Tim Burton animated film might be. But the only thing more inspired than how nasty the man can be is his character's brief but complete story arc. And his reaction to his first bite of Remy's cooking is funnier than anything I've seen in ages. It should almost go without saying that the attention to detail in the animation style is flawless. People are going to go on about how perfectly the Remy's hair is rendered, but I also loved the way he looked after getting wet, that sort of sheen that wet rats get. I also liked that technically Remy and his fellow rats are not talking animals. They understand each other (as do we), but to the human characters, all they hear are squeaks. But more than anything the lessons learned in RATATOUILLE are well worth the extended running time. This is film about accepting who you are, never forgetting where you come from, and staying true to your calling. This is easily one of my top three favorite Pixar films, and I promise you will eat this one up as well. And in case you hadn't heard, as a little Pixar bonus, RATATOUILLE is prefaced by the studio's Oscar-nominated short LIFTED, a funny little nugget about a pair of extraterrestrials attempting to use a tractor beam to take a man from his bed without waking him. You'll never think of alien abductions quite the same again. Capone

Readers Talkback
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  • June 29, 2007, 8:01 p.m. CST

    Thirdish.

    by broken ring

    Just saw it. Good stuff.

  • June 29, 2007, 8:02 p.m. CST

    ...and

    by broken ring

    I'm the only one that laughed at the Gusteaus with different accents.

  • June 29, 2007, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Is this like

    by Kamala

    the 20th friggin review for this movie on this site? taking my kids tommorrow any how...

  • June 29, 2007, 8:49 p.m. CST

    R.I.P. Joel Siegel

    by Wazoo

    Always liked him and his reviews.

  • June 29, 2007, 9:13 p.m. CST

    I am the only person on this planet who didnt like it

    by McKrakalaka

    I feel like an ugly mutant who's soul is unpure after not enjoying this "masterpiece". Nobody, I mean nobody loves brad bird more than I do (except maybe my son). But this is not a Bird film - its pickup work he took over from another writer and director - and one that he really didnt want at first - he did the best he could but the film is schismed - it has great idiological concepts - that are inaccessible to young children and boring and almost tediously pendantic for adults. The film is lush, beautiful, and painfully dull to sit through. Its genius moments (and it does have heartfelt and glorious moments) are spread too far and few between in an overbloated film that could have been tolerable at 70 min (vs its 110 min). The epic scope and grandeur generated in Iron Giant and the Incredibles are completely missing here. Fundamentally, I was never interested in the rat and his food. The film is full of neat concepts - but the execution always felt forced and the scope always felt tiny. When we pan up to see le gran Paris for the first time - the movie wants so much for you to be in awe. Its a cinescope 2:35 film - its wide its big - but yet it never captures that feeling of grandeur for me - Thats when it hit me for the first time - the scale of Bird's other films felt totally missing. Like Miyazaki filming in the darkness in an underwater cave, totally limited and constrained And the subject - a RAT - so small in the big city should be exactly the opposite! Instead every shot is almost uncomfortably zoomed in to the Rat's level but rarely from the Rat's POV. With my son's obbsession with tiny people in huge environments I have been inundated lately with these amazing films that give you the perspective of this tiny creature in a world filled with GIANTS! The incredible shrinking man and Stuart Little are both amazing examples - and Ratatoullie doesnt even come close. I do think there is a strong audience for 6-12 year olds, and culinophiles. My 3 year old said multiple times to me - DAD IM BORED! Me too son, me too. The beginning and end were near perfect - but the bloated midsection stunk up the whole experience, and put me to sleep. I hated the Linguini character. Peter O'tool's critic chews screen for the little he is on the page. I think critics felt like they couldnt say anything bad about this film because its final message is so forced but its so true (the whole thing is like Bird post-modernly and BLATANTLY speaking driectly to critics telling them haha, you suck if you rip on my movie and your criticism is meaningless anway - I agree)- and it is a visionary attempt at making a very dull and boring concept film into something great - I cant imagine how terrible this would have been in a weaker directors shoes. My son could tell you the names of every character in every other pixar, disney, and especially Miyazaki film, and he worships the Iron Giant - but at the end of this film I said - what did you think of "Remy"? He said - who is Remy dad? Exactly.

  • June 29, 2007, 9:13 p.m. CST

    Amazing movie!

    by jimmy_009

    Probably the best animated feature in years (decades?). Everything was perfect: the character designs, animation, acting, music, story. All note perfect. I can't recommend this one highly enough. GO SEE IT!

  • June 29, 2007, 9:17 p.m. CST

    Peter O'Toole was definitely the suprise of the film

    by jimmy_009

    He almost steals the show. The character is fantastic, and with very little screen time. The scene Capone mentions where Anton Ego takes that bite is not only funny, it's very moving. Praise be to Pixar!

  • June 29, 2007, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Yet another Pixar masterpiece.

    by Zarles

    Viva la Bird!

  • June 29, 2007, 9:26 p.m. CST

    The idiot at Orlando Weekly gave it a bad review

    by jhpiii

    It was the only bad review I have seen on this movie ANYWHERE!....and the same IDIOT praised the Aqua Team Hunger FOrce Movie!!!!!! I loved it. I easily thinks its the Years BEST movie!

  • June 29, 2007, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Agreed, Best Movie of the Year, animated or otherwise

    by jimmy_009

    It's a shame it could never win the Best Picture Oscar.

  • June 29, 2007, 10:05 p.m. CST

    What is it about those Orlando critics, anyway?

    by Larry of Arabia

    6 out of 119 critics at Rotten Tomatoes didn't like it either, and 2 of them are from Orlando. I LOVED it, and will see it again in theaters. I haven't done that since Batman Returns.

  • June 29, 2007, 10:07 p.m. CST

    jhpii...

    by Zarles

    Check out the negative reviews page over at Rotten Tomatoes. There are five of them in total, and each one of them reads like the ramblings of the most obnoxious, snooty fanboy snob ever conceived. And you thought there were a lot of them at this site...

  • June 29, 2007, 10:08 p.m. CST

    Really enjoyable film.

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    It starts out well, has an engaging middle, and finishes very strong. The animation is stunning, and a new high in realism. There are scenes that are drawn so precisely that you'll start to wonder if they slipped some live action footage in on you, and there's even a big disclaimer during the credits that says everything is animated just in case you doubt it. My only concern is that much of the rest of the audience didn't seem to be enjoying it. A few groups of kids even walked out half way through (hopefully they were just theater hopping). I can't help but wonder if this is going to underperform at the box office, which would sad since it's a very good film.

  • June 29, 2007, 10:11 p.m. CST

    I wasn't crazy about it...

    by quis custodiet ipsos custodes

    Nemo and Incredibles set the bar really high for what I except out of pixar. It was a beautiful movie, some chuckly parts, but the story and characters left a lot to be desired. On par with Cars.

  • June 29, 2007, 10:14 p.m. CST

    Don't let the rat characters keep you away from going.

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    The movie is about pursuing your dreams, and just uses a cute rat as a device to show that anyone can do it.

  • June 29, 2007, 10:15 p.m. CST

    McKrakalaka - Flee! Pixar Police Come For You

    by gad

    Sincere and honest words against the movie which must not be criticized. Cool. I've not seen it, won't be spending money to see it, it just doesn't feel right to me. It looks odd, seems odd and more importantly, when I was in a Wal-Mart a Remy the Rat robotiton, blue rat haired thingee screeched some dialog from the movie, most unsettling. I thought the lack of product tie in for this thing was a bonus but apparently not. But you know, you will be made to pay for your blasphemous words. Prepare for the onslaught.

  • June 29, 2007, 10:32 p.m. CST

    dammit maybe I have to go see this

    by Rupee88

    I didn't like Finding Nemo or Cars, but I may get suckered into this one at the theater...Nemo had great reviews too though and it sucked, but I trust Brad Bird.

  • June 29, 2007, 10:35 p.m. CST

    Hilarious audience moment...

    by Osmosis Jones

    ...at the end of the short Lifted that played before the movie, the screen fades to black, and there's a Wilhelm Scream on the soundtrack...and a kid in the audience imitated the scream immediately afterward! Anyways, the film was wonderful, and the animation was stunning. Can't wait to see Wall-E next summer.

  • June 29, 2007, 10:42 p.m. CST

    Is it just me or...

    by Myles_Falworth

    Does this look like the story of Pixar to anyone else? Whether intended or not, this film, in ways, mirrors the struggles between Pixar and the Disney company. Bear with me for a moment. And beware of spoilers! A great chef (Walt) dies and leaves behind a kitchen staff filled with cooks who try to meticulously follow the old recipes. But something is missing. Chef Gusteau had some spark of originality which made his dishes supreme. Since his passing, the kitchen has been run by a grim little tyrant (read Eisner?) who not only inspires fear in the staff, but who markets the good name of the restaurant on cheap freezer case treats meant to be uncritically consumed by the unwashed masses. In steps the lost son of the chef, who-though he himself isn't a chef, knows one when he sees one, and is willing to try something new. Then chef tries to discover this secret, and steal it for himself, but in the end, the rats leave the sinking ship, so to speak, and found their own eatery. Pixar? Maybe it's just me. And don't ask me who the rest of the staff is supposed to be. I'll venture one other guess though. Remy is Brad Bird.

  • June 29, 2007, 10:48 p.m. CST

    The Wilhelm scream was great!

    by Zarles

    I was hoping for a good old-fashioned Goofy yell, but that was fantastic. It takes balls to put one of those out in the open like that.

  • June 29, 2007, 10:49 p.m. CST

    Bravo

    by nate26322000

    this film was nothing short of amazing. ****Not sure if its a spoiler but ehhh****** im surprised there hasn't been any discussion pertaining to ego's monolouge/ review towards the end of the film. to me that was one of the films highest points. It allowed the audiance more insight into the humanization of the character that is Anton Ego (besides the flashback sequence, which also evoked unwarrented emotions) ****Spoiler Ends***** but anyway, the film was great. Might not be as huge a success as Finding Nemo, but i hope it can at least compare box office wise............ did anyone else feel squirmish at all when all the rats fall from the ceiling??? P.S. The Wall~E Trailer rules.

  • June 29, 2007, 10:58 p.m. CST

    ah Pixar,

    by JFilm101

    they REALLY make it look too easy don't they? Not including 'Wall-E' they had 4 other trailers for family films that were so mind-numbingly obvious. I love that Pixar actually puts thought into the story they are telling and that they realize that you don't have to sacrifice intelligence and wit for entertainment ('Daddy Day Camp' -- shudder).

  • June 29, 2007, 11:01 p.m. CST

    My review of Ratatouille

    by RubenDaniel

    here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=At6b24utQpQ

  • June 29, 2007, 11:02 p.m. CST

    GRANDMA... WITH A SHOTGUN!

    by Zarles

    You know you're going to see a good movie when the first chase scene involves a gas mask-wearing granny with a shotgun.

  • June 29, 2007, 11:08 p.m. CST

    Brilliant

    by Banky the Hack

    You gotta see it. That's all.

  • June 29, 2007, 11:10 p.m. CST

    Yeah, I thought I heard a Wilhelm scream!

    by jimmy_009

    During Taken. Hilarious!

  • June 29, 2007, 11:12 p.m. CST

    Myles...

    by jimmy_009

    That actually is a pretty interesting parallel. Pixar didn't spawn off from Disney though, they just worked together until Disney bought Pixar. Still some food for thought.

  • June 29, 2007, 11:18 p.m. CST

    I assume since Patton Oswalt is doing the lead voice...

    by Zeke25:17

    ...we probably won't be seeing a review of this film by Neil Cumpston anytime soon...righto?

  • June 29, 2007, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Absolutely Excellent

    by Christopher_atUC

    I watched Ratatouille this afternoon, and I need to eat my words. When I first saw the trailers, I didn't like the looks of this movie and I didn't think I would enjoy it, but I was completely wrong. I was horribly wrong. Ratatouille is a truly great film. I was in awe of the visual beauty Pixar presented on screen. It's just gorgeous to behold. The characters are amazing, and Anton Ego is the most non-villainous villain to ever be created. He's not a bad guy, but he has a wonderfully menacing introduction. Also, his critique at the end was a revealing, refreshing, and eloquent piece of dialog, unlike anything you'll hear in most modern films anymore. The writing was well-paced and honest. The visuals are beautiful. The characters are fun. The story is compelling, heart-felt, and smart. I was entertained from beginning to end and I even got a little choked-up during a certain "flash-back" scene. This movie is absolutely brilliant! I loved it and plan to see it again. Oh, and by the way ... if you can, see this movie in a digital theater. The clarity and beauty of the picture are quite spectacular.

  • June 29, 2007, 11:37 p.m. CST

    jimmy-009

    by Myles_Falworth

    Yeah, I know it's not 100%, but to me, those standees of Chef Gusteau doing Mexican, Chinese, Gorton Fisherman, Col Sanders, etc., smacked of "Lady and the Tramp II" "Bambi II" "Jungle Book II" and other similar mass-produced garbage the Disney studio has churned out in recent years trying to cash in on the goodwill once generated by the Disney name. Perhaps the cafe scene at the end was merely a tip of the hat to what Pixar tried to do. I'm really looking forward to the making of videos on the DVD. But I'm pretty sure they won't be edgy enough to draw the same parallels.

  • June 30, 2007, 12:14 a.m. CST

    It's not really irony, but it should be.

    by Evilmike2

    One of the idiot Orlando reviewers complaining about Bird's treatment of critics: http://tinyurl.com/2wgoo8 I think he's got an email link on that page too if anyone is interested...

  • June 30, 2007, 12:35 a.m. CST

    Orlando Critics.. too close to the Mouse

    by MST3KPIMP

    I think many who live near Disneyworld are so sick of the tourism and product that Disney produces as they are constanly exposed to it that they are almost predisposed to dismissing it as if to preserve theyre objectivity and artistic merit. Familiarity breeds contempt as they say.

  • June 30, 2007, 12:48 a.m. CST

    Deeply Moved - Not to be Missed

    by Spykid the 13th

    Honestly, this movie is phenomenal. I cried at a certain part, toward the end, that I will not spoil. You'll know it when it comes. Voice actors are awesome, animation is superb in a way words can't even describe. See this, and enjoy it. Relax for a change.

  • June 30, 2007, 12:49 a.m. CST

    To be fair, Myles_Falworth...

    by Spykid the 13th

    As a longtime Disney fan, I had to nevertheless admit I really liked BAMBI II.

  • June 30, 2007, 2:10 a.m. CST

    Brad Bird's mistreatment of critics?! (minor spoilers)

    by drave117

    Did they even watch the same movie? Pfah. I have heard a lot of reviews describing the many different things people have been getting out of this movie, but saying Bird is snubbing critics? That's just idiotic. For me, in addition to the standard Pixar themes of being true to yourself and finding your own way, I saw it as a meditation on the importance of art and passion. And I definitely feel that Brad Bird was expressing his respect and admiration for critics, and his understanding of what they go through. Anton Ego is absolutely a sympathetic character, not a villain. Yes, his introduction is sinister, but his response when Linguini says "Well, you're thin for someone who likes food!" clearly establishes him as someone who is deeply passionate about food. A lot of movie critics become jaded. They are critics primarily because they have a great love of film. Because they are so emotionally invested in the art, they are constantly disappointed. It takes a special work of art to remind them of the passion for the subject that caused them to become critics in the first place. When Ego takes his first bite of ratatouille, the pure excellence of something simple, but crafted with love and artistry, reminds him of what it's all about. Seeing <i>Ratatouille</i>, I felt exactly the way Ego must have when he took that bite. A simple story, but crafted with the utmost love and artistry, reminded me what movies are all about, and why I see so many of them, even though they often disappoint me.

  • June 30, 2007, 3:08 a.m. CST

    Best movie of the summer and definitely in my top 10

    by kikuchiyoboy

    of the year. Well crafted and well executed.

  • June 30, 2007, 5:46 a.m. CST

    ...with this thumb!

    by Big Bad Clone

    What an absolutely wonderful film. And Paris looks so damn good, I swear I started to tear up.

  • June 30, 2007, 7:10 a.m. CST

    Orlando likes Aqua Teen Hunger Forcebut not Ratatouille

    by jhpiii

    the same bone head reviewers who didnt like this movie praise Aqua Teen Hunger force movie..RIDICULOUS

  • June 30, 2007, 9:36 a.m. CST

    BDT

    by BDT

    Not only did I LOVE Ratatouille, but kudos above all for not adding one pinch of infantile potty humor. I hate movies that resort to some kind of dumbing down for the kids for a cheap laugh. As a parent, I have never noticed that adding fart jokes is valuable in making a movie wonderful. I loved this movie for the character development (I agree completely with the review of the character arc of Anton Ego) and the art (OMG...I've never seen Pixar take it to this height). Although the story had, IMHO, a few flaws, they were, in no way were major distractions. I guess Linguini as a "non-hero" exemplifies that some of the best managers/leaders anywhere are those who value and allow the people who work for them to shine and encourage them to do so.

  • June 30, 2007, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Soylent, Actually it was 3D

    by Pixeldriver

    Take another look at the illustration scene -- it was really well done "toon" shading.

  • June 30, 2007, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Infantile potty humor

    by Zarles

    There was actually a little bit, (Rat Patootie! The mention of this had all the little kids in my theater howling) but nothing like the condescending nonsense in the Shrek movies. Best thing about Pixar is that they know how to talk to kids in an intelligent way.

  • June 30, 2007, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Amazing

    by Smokin Doc Cottle

    The only thing that would make Brad Bird's works better? A little titty!

  • June 30, 2007, 11:04 a.m. CST

    McKrakalaka

    by all your base

    Does your son ride the short bus? How cute.

  • June 30, 2007, 11:44 a.m. CST

    i'm with mckrakalaka

    by seansheer

    i almost walked out... and i'm certainly a fan of the genre... a fan of bird's... and a foodie. it was pretty. but dull dull dull.

  • June 30, 2007, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Best line in the movie (SPOILER).

    by Dwarf Sidious

    "We hate to be rude, but...we're French!"

  • June 30, 2007, 1:04 p.m. CST

    drave117 gets it right, BDT too! (*SPOILERS*)

    by Spykid the 13th

    I loved the character of Ego, who starts out seeming a villain but who you realize just cares so much and loves so much he has no time for anything but his greatest passion, which has sort of colored his life. The final act with him made me well up with tears and cry. It was amazing, and his final speech/review is just so right and so perfect, and shows a depth of character you wouldn't expect in a movie like this. There isn't even really a villain in the traditional Disney sense. The villain is, sort of, ignorance. Brilliant. And not a person is going to go see it, sadly, as it looks to make less than CARS in its opening weekend. Pity. I've been thinking of seeing it again today.

  • June 30, 2007, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Fridays Box Office Report

    by nate26322000

    http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/ratatouille-rules-box-office-and-die-hard-moores-sicko-has-healthy-debut/ Disney / Pixar's Ratatouille cooked up a winning recipe as America's No. 1 movie, opening big with $16.5 mil Friday from a hefty 3,940 theaters. This means it should make major moolah from today's kiddie matinees already crowded with family fare. Projections are for the toon to serve up weekend numbers around $48 mil to $50 mil. That's good, but still well below the last Disney / Pixar toon Cars, which debuted in 2006 to $60 mil and earned less than 2003's Finding Nemo ($70 mil) and 2004's The Incredibles ($70 mil). (Plus, Ratatouille can't merchandise itself like the other toons -- not with a rat as the main character.) I hear the incredibly well reviewed film (95% "fresh" reviews at Rotten Tomatoes) played right across the board. And, while Los Angelenos are used to applause as the credits roll, there are anecdotal reports of lotsa clapping across the country.

  • June 30, 2007, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Applause at my theater

    by Spykid the 13th

    At my theater, the movie got STANDING applause from a very appreciative crowd of adults!

  • June 30, 2007, 2:56 p.m. CST

    i bet RaTatouille will make more than INcredibles

    by pipergates

    "The most recent four Pixar movies have generated huge opening-weekend ticket sales, ranging from $70.5 million for "The Incredibles" in 2004 to $60.1 for "Cars" last year, according to Media By Numbers. Predictions for the three-day debut of "Ratatouille" vary widely from $50 million to $65 million." --i say Rat' will make at least...75. anyone wanna bet against me?

  • June 30, 2007, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Best "Summer" Film So Far

    by Robots In Das Guys

    I too was about to cry around the third act....I feel like this is movie is more interested in telling a story than in being a "summer comedy" and that is a GREAT thing for me. (That's not to say that the movie is boring, not at all, actually it's pretty darn funny) It's probably not gonna be so popular with the kiddies though. Oh well, fuck them. I loved the movie and I want to see it again!

  • June 30, 2007, 3:31 p.m. CST

    I can see why....

    by Sparhawk38

    Some people may not like it. It is a more mature piece of story and story telling than any animated film I can think of. Iron Giant is singular in its own way, too. It is great and sets the bar for anything to follow. I usually get my hopes built up and then the movie disappoints me because I expected too much. I couldn't expect too much from "Ratatouille".

  • June 30, 2007, 3:45 p.m. CST

    McKrakalaka, you can have your own opinion.

    by L.H.Puttgrass

    Everyone does. I have yet to see this movie, but I looked it up on Rotten Tomatoes to see how it was stacking up. At the time, there were only two bad reviews. Both, oddly enough, were from Orlando, Florida newspaper critics!?! Maybe they have some sort of a beef with Disney World being in their hometown? I don't know. The only thing I do know is that they are vastly out numbered. Movies hit everyone differently. We're all different and so are our reactions to different things. I remember seeing Cronenberg's The Fly for the first time. I hated it. I just sat there not getting it. Was I in a bad mood or what? It bothered me for few days. I felt like I missed something somehow. So I saw it again. It was like I had seen a completely different movie before. I enjoyed the hell out of it. I still don't know why I reacted to it that way the first time. Shit happens. Even movies you loved as a kid can seem cheesy today. And vice versa. So don't feel put upon by the masses. You didn't like it and they did. Big deal. From the little bit that I've seen from the movie I'll probably love it. Just like all the other Pixar movies... ...as long as I don't get a headache from my $5.00 ice-cold Jumbo-Sized Coke.

  • June 30, 2007, 4:08 p.m. CST

    SoylentMean, i think word will spread on the quality

    by pipergates

    Your opinion is the financial expert's too, that it will make decent on opening and great on the long run. But i think knowledge of this films topgrade quality will spread so fast that people will stream to it as soon as they can. Just look at Birds smug grin, he knows what's coming. Buy those Disney shares now.

  • June 30, 2007, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Yeah, I really enjoyed this too, especially Anton Ego

    by Drath

    I guess you gotta love a character who gets to be that playfully evil and then at the end turns out to have more integrity than most of the characters you thought were "good guys." I didn't take the speech at the end as some kind of "FU" to critics, and I think only someone with a 13-year-old's brain would go there. He summed up everything that's both right and wrong about critics in society, and ultimately why they matter and at the same time we can want them to matter--it was idealistic perhaps but it was an ending I bought--just as I bought a great white keeping a tank of gas in its mouth long enough for Roy Scheidor to blow it up with a rifle shot. And the movie even got away with that major twist of character without it being contrived! I was kind of sorry not to get more of a finish with Skinner--for some reason I thought there would be a big chase with him in the finale of the movie, but there wasn't and it didn't bother me. Remy is a great character, and holy crap I actually liked a character played by a Ramono in Linguini, and even Collette had a worthy arc. I'm delighted to have liked it better than CARS--my biggest fear was that CARS would be the beginning of the end of my complete enjoyment of Pixar movies--not that they'd get bad, just they wouldn't be my thing anymore. I'm so glad that's not the case! I hope for more from Brad Bird. I hope he gets to make his own complete movie next and (even if that's not an INCREDIBLES sequel despite me wanting that waaaaay more than Toy Story 3). Another Pixar classic. I hope the Box Office reflects the quality, it may suffer from not appealing enough to kids. That said I saw this with an audience full of squeamish kids, and realizing I had not beaten the kiddie crowd by going t the earliest possible showing I dreaded the noise and crap that would possibly ruin my first viewing--only the kids settled right down and were good for most of the movie--even the supposedly dragging middle (what bull). So I don't know, maybe kids will like it after all.

  • June 30, 2007, 5:50 p.m. CST

    SPOILERS in previus post! Draht you, drath!

    by pipergates

    heh

  • June 30, 2007, 7:14 p.m. CST

    So McKrakalaka by your ill-informed reasoning

    by half vader

    Iron Giant isn't a 'Brad Bird' film either. Have you never heard of the Ted Hughes book, or the Pete Townshend musical? Geez man, take a second to know what you're talking about! By YOUR own argument that wasn't a "Brad Bird" film. <p> I'm not saying you're wrong at all for not liking it. I admire your honesty and respect your reaction. I guess it's all subjective (especially as your wide view is based on a total of 2 people's views - yours and your son). Just try to use a coherent argument that's all if you're going to use an objective justification. If you had said "it didn't FEEL like a Bird film to ME", then that's all cool. So anyway, just sayin'. Cheers.

  • June 30, 2007, 7:26 p.m. CST

    Re: McKrakalaka's review

    by mrdinky

    I really enjoyed RATTATOUILLE yesterday (alone). Today, I watched one of THE LITTLE MERMAID with my 2.5 year old niece. I thought I'd mention that she has the book and knows who Ariel and Eric are, and she completely lost interest after the first 20 minutes of the movie. LM is one of the best animated features of all time. The fact that it doesn't hold a toddler's attention isn't much of a problem for me. It is, however, a problem for Disney. And that's one thing I REALLY felt while watching RATTATOUILLE. Now on to the quote: "My son could tell you the names of every character in every other pixar, disney, and especially Miyazaki film, and he worships the Iron Giant - but at the end of this film I said - what did you think of "Remy"? He said - who is Remy dad? Exactly." That's a real problem, but it's not an aesthetic problem at all. It's a marketing problem. It's a Disney problem because Disney's stock in trade is movie merchandise and movie tie-ins. Your son remembers every other Pixar et al. movies, not simply because they're good movies (most of them are very good) but because they're DESIGNED to sell toys, to fit the Disney model. That was the strange gnawing at the back of my brain as I watched this "how could something so...independent - for lack of a better word - come from the deep, mainstream pockets of Disney?" I know there's that really hip Pixar studio between the big D and the final product. But still, this film is risky. And I think it's brilliant. It does have great aspirations, and it doesn't carry the kiddies along the way SHREK does (another animated feature aimed squarely at mom and dad). It's not outrageous. It's not particularly cuddly. It's not hyped-up on sap the way every hollywood movie, almost by definition, is. I know I'm talking about a rat that reads and understands human speech, but it's a movie that tells it like it is. iunno. I'm not denying McKrakalaka's criticisms; in fact, I disagree with most, but they're well thoughtout and certainly reasonable. But dayum! Did I ever eat this thing up.

  • June 30, 2007, 8:43 p.m. CST

    yeah Rat's beat Die Hard but only made 16.6

    by pipergates

    maybe you're right Soylent and it wont make that much at first. we'll see who estimated best. Kinda seems like taking the "R" away from Die Hard took away its appeal.

  • June 30, 2007, 9:13 p.m. CST

    Here's my problem.

    by Bagheera

    I loved this movie--the story was great, it was rendered gorgeously and looked fabulous--but was anyone paying heed to the actual movements of the characters? There was a certain realism in their movements and their gestures, my gripe is that there was no individualism. Linguini moved basically the same way that Colette, Skinner, Borscht, and Anton Ego moved. When the characters aren't acting like they're their own person, regardless of their story arcs, they become stock characters. And the fact that they all wore uniforms, I expected emphasis to be placed on making characters stand out through their mannerisms, but I was missing it. I noticed more individualism in the Incredibles, but not here for some reason. Perhaps more attention was paid to moving the story along (there was so much of it) that individualism got lost along the way.

  • June 30, 2007, 9:18 p.m. CST

    give the Rat time. time is $.

    by pipergates

    i think it will do very well but maybe not as quickly as i imagined. i forgot it's kind of too fine in its artistic content for the ignorant masses.

  • June 30, 2007, 9:19 p.m. CST

    maybe if it was about a fastfood-chef instead

    by pipergates

    in texas, not paris

  • June 30, 2007, 9:29 p.m. CST

    For those concerned about the movie's appeal

    by Bagheera

    Personally I think it's got plenty of appeal, but who decided that every animated movie instantly has to be accessible to all walks of life? So your four year old is bored halfway through it. This movie wasn't necessarily made for your kids. I think the 'kid appeal' factor in animation is a stigma that one way or another needs to be shed. This doesn't mean people have to make ugly animations so they don't appeal to kids, but that you don't automatically walk into a film like Ratatouille and expect to be shown "kiddie entertainment," as opposed to having a normal moviegoing experience.

  • June 30, 2007, 9:45 p.m. CST

    Bird's best, Pixar's best..

    by BeatsMe

    And probably the best animated movie since the vintage Disney fims. The story dragged a tiny bit in the middle, but other than that, a completely charming classic.

  • June 30, 2007, 10:25 p.m. CST

    yes them studios does whine a lot, bunch of crooks

    by pipergates

    Bagheera, so right what you say about kid-appeal. Which is why in the end this movie should break records because it sounds like an instant classic.

  • June 30, 2007, 11:55 p.m. CST

    Myles_Falworth

    by TonyH987

    Myles, that was by far one of the most intelligent and insightful message board posts that I've ever seen on here. I just got back from the theater, and this is my favorite Pixar film yet. Other animation companies may be able to produce enjoyable entertainment, but Pixar remains to be the most gifted group of STORYTELLERS in any genre, over any studio, live action or animation. Walt, robotic spider legs and all, has a giant smile on his face right now.

  • July 1, 2007, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Great great great movie

    by bralli

    Just got back. I haven't read the whole talkback but I absolutely loved this movie. This is really an adult theme. Other than the final scenes which were a little over-the-top this was a really heartfelt movie that I have to admit brought a tear to my eye (the "Ratatouille scene" with the critic). My 3 year old got a little bored but I'd confidently put this up there as Pixars best.

  • July 1, 2007, 4:38 p.m. CST

    So people are apprehensive about this movie...

    by Christopher3

    Because their 3 year olds are restless and didn't like the movie? Yet more evidence of the decline of Western fucking civilization. Kudos to Brad Bird for sticking to his principles and Pixar/Disney for staying out of his way on this one.

  • July 1, 2007, 10:26 p.m. CST

    A True Classic: A Gustatory Delight

    by Shub-Wankalot

    Rats. Cooking. Self-Discovery. Truth. And even an unlikely romance, to boot. This movie is an exotic dish, that should be on everyone's menu.

  • July 1, 2007, 10:46 p.m. CST

    Is Ratatouille Pixar's first try at more mature movies?

    by Zarles

    mrdinky has a good point up there - this movie is a lot more adult-oriented than it is for kids. Sure, it's got all the stuff in it that kids will love. Funny characters, spit takes, funny-sounding words, etc.<p>However, let's not forget the scene where Collette has a container of pepper spray up to Linguini's eye. I'm not sure a lot of kids would get that, and it's certainly not the only thing in it that's a little more grown-up than the average fart joke in Shrek. I think that Ratatouille is rather evolutionary for Pixar. I wouldn't doubt if Wall-E continued this new premise in the same fashion.

  • July 1, 2007, 10:51 p.m. CST

    My Two-Year Old Loved It

    by stevesabol

    To be fair, we had the 9 minute trailer on the AppleTV and she insisted on watching it instead of Beauty and the Best or Sleeping Beauty or Little Mermaid ("more Remy" as soon as it was done). So when we told her we were going to see "Remy on the Big Screen", we could hardly keep her in her car seat on the way to the drive in. She was bored with Lifted, however, as she is with One Man Band. (She does like Boundin'.)

  • July 2, 2007, 12:01 a.m. CST

    Had to add...

    by Zarles

    A large percentage of the younger kids in the screening I attended were extremely well-behaved for the entire movie. It was mid-afternoon on opening day, so there were a LOT of 4-13 year olds who pretty much kept their mouths shut from beginning to end, 'Lifted' included. I was shocked.

  • July 2, 2007, 7:10 a.m. CST

    best movie i've seen so far this year....

    by jig98

    probably one of the best i've ever seen in years. i was first forced to lower my expections because it didn't have the same whiz-bang appeal that all the other pixars had. but i was fucking blown away by the voice acting, animation, music and the fucking wonderous look of paris. peter o'toole was the standout of this movie, towards the end when he takes a bite of ratatouille made by remy, and he has that flashback of when his mother made it for him, and then suddenly changes into this nice pushover, i choked up. i'm not a pussy, but, it was surprisingly touching how they resolved things in this movie. and i hadn't done that since monster house. i just hope transformers and the simpsons movie are this good. since the big may 3 were just fun to watch and nothing else. i also may skip the next pixar flick or two and just wait for toy story 3 if they are still doing it. so ratatouille was, by far, the best yet. nuff said.

  • July 6, 2007, 12:53 a.m. CST

    Subtle details

    by AbidingDude

    As always, Pixar has included plenty of subtle details to pick up in repeat viewings... anyone else notice that Anton's office was shaped like a coffin?

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