Yes. From the moment I saw Ratatouille, I was in love, and I have never been able to shake that unconditional adoration. Brad Bird is, I think, the best of the filmmakers Pixar has worked with, and if The Incredibles was his bold, artistic passion piece, Ratatouille is his ultimate triumph of character, visuals, and heart.
Character, visuals, and heart. Those are the words that define Pixar, and for me, Ratatouille is the ultimate embodiment of each. I can never get over what a wonderful, fully-realized character Remy is, voiced so perfectly by Patton Oswalt, nor can I believe what a wonderful supporting cast Bird has created. The other rats are, of course, comic highlights, but consider how flawlessly Bird crafts a crucial-yet-minor character like food critic Anton Ego. The film is an unabashed triumph of characterization.
Visually, it is Pixar’s lushest creation. Bird’s vision of Paris is grand, romantic, and sweeping. His design of the central kitchen is detailed and enveloping. The motions of the characters are impossibly fluid, making for some superior comic slapstick. The stylized nature of the human characters makes for my favorite CGI depiction of human beings, and Bird even manages to make rats – filthy, filthy rats – look cute and cuddly.
And as for heart…where to even begin? As a story of following one’s dreams, few films are as sincere and inspiring as Ratatouille. As a poignant love letter to the romanticism of food, nothing else even comes close. As a parable for the nature of artistic drive, Ratatouille stands generally uncontested. You want heart? Ratatouille has nothing but, and more to give around every gorgeous corner.
I do not assume for a second that most will agree that Ratatouille is Pixar’s best feature, but that’s the beauty of this company, isn’t it? That they have crafted so many flawless worlds, so many wonderful characters and stories, that each viewer is swept up in different ways, their hearts affected uniquely. Ratatouille resonates strongest with me. Your favorite will no doubt differ. That is the gift Pixar has given us, and I cannot praise them highly enough.
What is your favorite Pixar feature? Your least favorite? Sound off in the comments!Previous