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Ratatouille

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Ratatouille, the second Pixar animated feature directed (mostly) by Brad Bird, is a wonderful, funny, refreshing work of art. For some reason the local theater was showing one advanced screening, and I bought a ticket in time. The original story, set in France, is great, with some uplifting themes like do what you do best/do what you love, be honest, and be who you want.

But that's only half of it. The movie is a masterpiece of film, with incredible, beautiful animation. Many times I found myself thinking, "Wow, you don't see that in other movies," for even simple things like camera angles and traveling sequences. And the humor happened for all the right reasons.

At the end, I was grinning from ear to ear. Highly recommended! When Ratatouille is released in your neighborhood, post your thoughts!

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That's great. I generally enjoy Pixar films, but the last one I saw (Cars) wasn't that good, in my opinion. The animation was great and it was pretty funny, but the ending was too cheesy. If this movie is funny, then I will definitely like to see it. Pixar's other qualities, like animation and such, are usually top-notch.

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I was disappointed by Cars, too, more so than most people I've talked to about it. The animation was great as usual, but the story was boring, and I thought the premise wasn't executed in a believable way. For some reason I had a real problem with a society that in every way resembled our own, except the people were replaced by cars!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I loved, loved, loved Ratatouille. I haven't seen Cars and so can't comment on how it compares, but I will say that Ratatouille is every bit as good as, and maybe even better than, another of Pixar's great achievements, The Incredibles.

What I loved about this movie was how joyful it was. Remy the rat goes after what he wants, no matter what it takes -- he's a very human little hero in a rat's body. And, while this very easily could have turned into a humans-versus-rats movie, Ratatouille doesn't go there. In fact, Remy at one point says he admires humans because they invent things, instead of stealing things like rats, and that that's what he wants to do himself. Even better, Remy's adventures are totally inventive and original -- not the usual summer retread fare.

The comedy in this movie is brilliant. If I have a complaint, it's only that the movie had me laughing so hard I couldn't hear the next line of dialogue! When I wasn't laughing, I was smiling from ear to ear.

This one is worth seeing again and again.

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I absolutely loved this movie. I highly recommend it. It was very enjoyable and has some great ideas behind it.

For example, don't steal like a looter, create & build like a proud ethical reasonable man... er rat.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I saw the movie and was pleasantly surprised. Although I love Pixar's other movies, (I've only seen part of Cars, but I didn't find it interesting in the least) I think Ratatouille is my absolute favorite. I couldn't stop talking about this movie for days after I saw it.

I read this awful editorial in the New York Times (I can't find it online, though) that accused Ratatouille of "discrimination" against, essentially, bottom-feeders (people who chose not to indulge in good things). While I think the New York Times is right, the writer of the article seemed to consider this the movie's weak point, while I considered this its virtue. One of Ratatouille's largest themes was that talent was universal and could come from anywhere. In other words, it stripped thieves and "looters", as Rand would call them, of an excuse to "scrape by" in life without ever seeking something better. Essentially, it said that no one had to live like a rat if they chose not to, and naturally, people are angered by that.

Edited by Catherine
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I finally saw this movie, and thought it was pretty mediocre by pixar standards. That still makes it a decent movie, but I expected more. I agree it did have a handful of Objectivist compatible themes, but I thought the actual movie was pretty un-interesting.

I don't think it was nearly as good as The Incredibles as a film or as a philosophical work.

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I saw the movie and was pleasantly surprised. Although I love Pixar's other movies, (I've only seen part of Cars, but I didn't find it interesting in the least) I think Ratatouille is my absolute favorite. I couldn't stop talking about this movie for days after I saw it.

I read this awful editorial in the New York Times (I can't find it online, though) that accused Ratatouille of "discrimination" against, essentially, bottom-feeders (people who chose not to indulge in good things). While I think the New York Times is right, the writer of the article seemed to consider this the movie's weak point, while I considered this its virtue. One of Ratatouille's largest themes was that talent was universal and could come from anywhere. In other words, it stripped thieves and "looters", as Rand would call them, of an excuse to "scrape by" in life without ever seeking something better. Essentially, it said that no one had to live like a rat if they chose not to, and naturally, people are angered by that.

I highly recommend the Incredibles if you have not already seen it. For me it's almost a toss up between Ratatouille and Incredibles for the title of best pixar movie.

As for New York Times: It's one thing to not enjoy a movie like Ratatouille and not know why, but to truly understand it and then publish an article against it is completely despicable and unforgivable. I'll add New York Times to my mental list of new sources to never trust or support.

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  • 3 months later...

I'm surprised at the comments that place the Incredibles even near Ratatouille. I thought the Incredibles was great until the last 15 minutes or so. I thought the closing actions and statements were in praise of mediocrity; I can't go for that.

Ratatouille is not only a great film, but an incredibly unique film. It's rife with implicit and explicit symbolism for the greatness of man, when he chooses to be so. The thing that differentiates it from most hero-triumphs-over-villain films is the fact that the villain is not only destroyed in spirit, but the parasite becomes a creator! I'd say the only animation film that comes close to being as good as Ratatouille is Antz.

Edited by West
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Is anyone having trouble with the DVD? It kepy lagging up for us; we are using my little brothers Playstation, one of those mini-ones. My computer wouldn't run it too, it said it was the drivers, so I downloaded new ones and it still wouldn't work. My computer is brand new and I have all the codecs I could ever need.

I don't know what was up with it.

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btw re: the villain known as skinner

"The bad guy in this movie is Skinner, who tries to put Remy in a box. The character was named after behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner, who was known for the Skinner Box, where rats were placed and trained to push a button for food."

imdb

Ha...that's great. I didn't even catch that.

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Is anyone having trouble with the DVD? It kepy lagging up for us; we are using my little brothers Playstation, one of those mini-ones. My computer wouldn't run it too, it said it was the drivers, so I downloaded new ones and it still wouldn't work. My computer is brand new and I have all the codecs I could ever need.

I don't know what was up with it.

Try using VLC: http://www.videolan.org/

If it still doesn't play it is the disk and not your computer.

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We got the DVD player to work so I finally saw it all the way through.

It didn't make me laugh as much as cars, maybe some of the humour went over my head. But, it really reminded me of The Fountainhead for some reason. Not directly, but Remy the Rat was alot like Roarke, the human kid he was with was a lot like Peter Keating, the head chef and Aton Ego were alot like Toohey. Gustua(sp?) was a lot like that arctitect that Roarke liked, who mentored him. Remy's father was kind of like Gail Wynand.

Maybe I'm just crazy or something...

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  • 3 months later...

I finally managed to see it yesterday. I love dit. I think this is Pixar's best work to date (and that's saying a lot).

I was moved nearly to tears at the climax. that is, when we listen to Ego's review of his meal prepared by Remy, once he knows a rat cooked his meal. The preceding scene when Ego tastes the ratatouille and smiles, harking back to his happy childhood memories, is just stunning and shows the reason why he defends Remy's work.

The review stands out in the part where he says he understands Gusteau's motto "Everyone can cook," and he interprets it thus: "In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more."

That's fine writing. Clear, concise, precise and it shows Ego's integrity. He claims to love food, well, he also loves those who provide him with fine food, to the point where he will accept Remy as a genius, "nothing less than the finest chef in France."

I like what Brad Bird is doing. He wrote The Incredibles, which I also liked, and now this. I'll have to see his previous works (I saw bits of The Iron Giant, I'll ahve to see it all again), and pay close attention to his future ventures.

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