Pixar Animation Studios is without a doubt one of the most creative animation studios to be working in the industry today and the track record they've had with their films has been amazing. With a few exceptions, every single animated movie they have made is top notch and shows the amazing passion and skill they have. One of their finest examples of showing this passion and creativity is "Ratatouille". Easily one of the most creative and dare I say mature animated films they have made, this is simply a delight to watch from start to finish and a film I really love to watch every now and then.
A rat named Remy (Patton Oswalt) dreams of being a gourmet chef-inspired his idol, the late Auguste Gusteau (Brad Garrett). After his clan is discovered in the home of an old woman in the French countryside, he is separated from them and ends up in Paris at the restaurant of his idol, Guestau's which is now being run by Gusteau's former sous chef, Skinner (Ian Holm). When Remy encounters a disgusting soup at the restaurant, he ends up fixing it only to be caught by the garbage boy of the restaurant, Linguini (Lou Romano) who sees his talent. The staff at the restaurant believe Linguini cooked the soup however and Skinner forces him to remake the soup after a critic it is served to gives it a glowing review. After Remy and Linguini discover that Remy can manipulate Linguini by pulling on his hair like a marionette, the two form a plan to continue cooking using this plan with Linguini's help of line cook, Collete (Jennae Garofalo) so Linguini can keep his job and Remy can live his dream being a chef.
One of the things that amazes me about this film is how it was able to be such a great film even with the troubled and rushed production. The film started back in 2000 when "Geri's Game" director, Jan Pinkava, came up with the concept, characters, and core storyline. However, it wasn't working out the way it intended, even after Pixar brought on Bob Peterson as co-director and gave him exclusive control over the story. In 2005, Pixar eventually took Pinkava and Peterson off the project and handed the film to Brad Bird who had just come off directing "The Incredibles" which took home two Academy Awards. Bird didn't have much time to direct the film only having about only two years to make the film which is half the time a typical animated movie gets. Fortunately, Bird was able to turn the film around and really make it something special in the end. I just love how creative and funny this story is. There's something clever about a rat wanting to be a gourmet chef even though his kind is shunned by the entire world, especially at restaurants and the twists and turns that happen in this film work out perfectly. I also really love how sharp the screenplay is. Brad Bird is a director that can really turn out sharp, funny and tightly written screenplays with endlessly quotable dialogue. I still often recite the opening dialogue of Remy from time to time. As far as the animation goes, it's amazing as to be expected. I just love looking at how gorgeously rendered everything in this film is. Paris looks absolutely stunning in this film. Though the real highlight of this movie is the food. No animated film has had food that has made me as hungry as this film. Everything that is cooked in the film looks absolutely delicious and tasty to eat. I always feel very hungry after watching this film. As far as the characters go, every single one of them is perfect. Remy is a very likable protagonist and has a lot of personalities. You can understand his goals and the struggle he has to obtain it due to the complicated nature he has been put into. Linguini is a good example of how to do a bumbling character correctly, Collette is very fun to watch and is extremely interesting and I'm glad Bird expanded her character because she had minimal presence in the original drafts. Even the villains like Skinner and critic Anton Ego (Peter O'Toole) also are fun and have very memorable moments. I also really love the voice acting in this film especially. Every single actor gives it their all with Oswalt, Holm, Garofalo, and especially O'Toole being the standouts. I just simply love this cast.
And personally, I think "Ratatouille" is still a delightful film to watch. The story is creative and very fun, the animation is beautiful and looks divine, and the characters are all distinct and memorable. This is another highlight from Pixar and I really recommend this film if you haven't watched it already. Though I'll say one thing before watching this film if you haven't already. I highly recommend not watching it on an empty stomach. You'll highly regret it.