Posted by: Ken Brown | September 11, 2009

Ratatouille

RatatouilleImage copyright Pixar/Walt Disney.

Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.

I saw Ratatouille for the first time tonight–the only Pixar film I had not yet seen. It’s remarkable that a movie starring a rat can make me hungry and wish I could cook something extraordinary, but it is a remarkable movie. It’s funny and touching and utterly ridiculous. It’s Pixar, what did I expect?

So why is it that I had an easier time believing that a rat could be a gourmet chef, than that he could control a person’s arms by pulling their hair? Seriously, it bugged me the whole time.

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Responses

  1. I also thought that was bit of a stretch, but a good movie overall. With four kids, Pixar is a staple here!

  2. Pixar can do no wrong, as far as I’m concerned. Even their weakest entries (like Cars) are better than the vast majority of animated films, and at their best they are outstanding.

  3. Loved that movie. It’s thesis nicely compliments that of The Incredibles, which Brad Bird also directed.

    • That’s a good point. Not only the theme about greatness being found in unexpected places, but also the importance of being true to yourself and faithful to your family and friends are very similar in each film. The same is true of most of Pixar’s movies, really, especially the more recent ones like Finding Nemo, WALL-E and UP.

      Though one thing I preferred about Ratatouille over The Incredibles is that Ratatouille does a better job of redeeming the enemy (at least in the case of the food critic, if not the head chef) whereas The Incredibles ends by destroying the enemy (though Syndrome is, to be sure, a much more evil character than anyone in Ratatouille).

  4. Good points. As an educator, I was thinking more about excellence and opportunity. In school, we preach “excellence for all” which doesn’t always deliver as promised. Bob & Dash struggled to find balance between fitting in with others and excelling in their talents. Anton learned that those who uplift excellence should also look for excellence in common places.

    Brad Bird has said he’s struggled to find a story worthy of an Incredible’s sequel. One question I’d like to see answered is if supers can fit in and yet also excel without wearing masks. But Ratatouille already answered this, in a way. Remy only fit in with his family when they learned to appreciate his talents, which he provided as a loving service to his family. But cooking for them, enlightening their experience, gave him more joy than just poison checking, which he also did in service and love, but not joyfully.


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