May 27, 2009

Looking Back to Look "Up": Ratatouille

In anticipation of "Up," I will be discussing PIXAR films this week.
"Ratatouille" is my favorite of all the PIXAR films. With it's huge library of consistently amazing movies, the choice should have been a hard one, but for me, it was super easy. Easier than choosing if "Die Hard with a Vengeance" over "Die Hard" or "Spiderman 2" above "X2." The story of Remy the rat is the superior PIXAR film because not only does it have strong characters, a great story, and delicious ending, but it was the film that brought PIXAR into the stratosphere of cinematic greatness.

From a technical standpoint every PIXAR film up to the Parisian masterpiece was just a warm up. The "Toy Story & A Bug's Life" established the groundwork, "Monsters Inc" gave us realistic looking fur, "Finding Nemo" dazzling water effects, "Incredibles" fluid human animations, and "Cars" enhanced action effects. All of these elements come to fruition in "Ratatouille," but PIXAR films are never about the technology are they?

"Ratatouille" for me is about companionship. It's about the relationship that Remy has with the other rats who think he's silly cause he wants to eat gourmet delicacies not trash, who call him naive for trusting humans. The film soars on the strength of the relationship of Remy with his human partner Linguini, and although they can't speak to each other, form an amazing friendship. Linguini has a great relationship with Colete, who is the lone woman in the male dominated kitchen. And finally, it's about our, and when I say our, I mean the entire animal kingdom's relationship with food. If there is any doubt about how tantalizing this film is, just peep the clip below which should serve up a reminder.

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