This week saw the release in theaters of another Pixar classic, Coco. It was beautiful and exquisite and reminded us how wonderful Pixar could be.
Internet vlogger and movie commentator John Campea took that opportunity to create a top ten list of his favorite Pixar movies of all time. Now, I have been doing some Top Ten lists with the Top Ten Show each week and I did not want to break that order. However, John mentioned a movie in his top ten, #3, if I remember correctly, that I had never seen before.
Ratatouille came out in 2007, before I started seeing movies on such a regular basis, and I have heard many people, including John Campea, say that it is an overlooked gem of the Pixar movies. Because of that, instead of doing a Top Ten Pixar list at this time (Toy Story 3 would be number one, btw), I decided to search out this movie with the cooking rat and to see if it deserves to be remembered so fondly.
Short answer: it does.
Separated from his family, Remy finds himself in Paris at a restaurant where he could, somehow, show his great skill of cooking. Meeting with a clumsy and pathetic garbage boy named Linguini (Lou Romano), Remy found his chance. Playing Linguini like a marionette, Remy was able to create wonderful food and reinvigorate the restaurant.
I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. The set up was clever. As in any Pixar movie, the animation was great. I enjoyed the villains of the piece very much as their motivations made sense, in particular Chef Skinner, voiced by Ian Holm (from The Fifth Element). Patton Oswald as Remy the “Little Chef” was a solid voice performance. Brad Garrett was great as the “figment of Remy’s imagination” Gasteau. Peter O’Toole was absolutely terrifying as Anton Ego, the restaurant critic from Hell.
Although I enjoyed the film, there were some problems I had with it. I must say though that Linguini and his constant screaming voice performance rubbed on my nerves the wrong way and it was a definite negative to the film. I was also not a big fan of the rest of the rats as the story told with them felt a little cliched. Honestly, much of the film felt pretty familiar.
None of those drawbacks for me would cause me not to enjoy the film, but I would not put it in my top three Pixar movies of all time. It might make the top ten (for the time when I actually do that list) and I am glad that I watched it.