Friday, April 24, 2009


by Tobias
> view trailer

I can be militantly critical of childrens movies sometimes, even above most other screen genres (with the possible exception of the comedy), but when they have great artisans behind the wheel, they can be some of my favourites. Ex. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, TOY STORY, and FANTASIA. Brad Bird is consistently a solid storyteller. I personally favor his 1999 masterpiece THE IRON GIANT a bit more than this, but I feel like this is just as great and adventurous in a different way. It has a deep respect for the culinary arts as a legitimate art medium and acknowledges the notion in a phenomenally entertaining way, with its tiny protagonist's passion for cooking. RATATOUILLE is a breath of fresh air this year. An escape from the loads of animated filler and sub-mediocrity that are crammed into many cinplexes as of late (BRATZ, FLY ME TO THE MOON, OPEN SEASON, etc., I can barely tell some of this crap apart.) John Lasseter and the Pixar heads have a knack for staffing creative writers and great directors. For me, they have yet to release a flimsy project. Also, it's worth mentioning that I suffer from the classic American male low-brow syndrome as far as humor goes sometimes and it's hard to make me genuinely laugh without being crude or vulgar, and this film passes with flying colors while staying family friendly. I laugh through the whole damn movie. Enough to annoy others sitting around me anyway. It really takes talent to achieve that level of comic payoff on the page and then have it translate well to the screen. And you can tell how tightly written RATATOUILLE is. All of the characters are wonderful. And you gotta love the way Bird relates his images to the narrative momentum of this story. It's already one of Pixar's more unique films. Brad Bird and his collaborators are now officially animation greats for me. With this, THE INCREDIBLES, his bulk of THE SIMPSONS series, and of course THE IRON GIANT, Bird has joined the animation ranks of Hayao Miyazaki, Satoshi Kon, Nick Park, John Lasseter and good ol' Walt Disney (the man, not purely the studio of the same name). Also, It takes tremendous creative abilities to not make rodents seem appalling, and the filmmakers really pull that off somehow.

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