*****NOMINATED FOR 5 OSCARS, WON 1*****
I do not know how many times I have seen Ratatouille, it’s one of those films that always has a grand feeling about it, and feels fresh each time it’s viewed. You don’t need me to tell you how good it is, for those that have seen it, but for those that haven’t seen it, I hope this review will serve as encouragement, because Ratatouille is one of the best animated features ever!
Ratatouille really marked a shift in the Pixar filmography. Perhaps the first noticeable change was the colour and lighting. Ratatouille makes use of very romantic lighting, whilst at the same time keeping the colour palette relatively dark. There are a lot of blacks in this film, and shades of black, very different to anything else Pixar had made up to this point. Consider Toy Story, very plastic and toy based colours, A Bug’s Life was full of greens and purples. Finding Nemo, oranges and ocean blues. With Ratatouille you can tell that the artistic team really challenged themselves, to animate the most authentic version of this tale. The elegant mix between light and darkness produces a beautiful result, and Paris has never looked this good! Food has never looked this good! Ratatouille’s cinematography is genius.
With Monster’s Inc. Pixar had managed to master the animation of hair, not just head hair, but particularly fur. The scene where Sully falls on the mountain side, and he get’s covered in snow, and the blizzard blasts his fur, in this particular moment Pixar stands out as CGI animating royalty, because it really looks surreal! With Ratatouille, it was a wonderful opportunity for these amazing artists to challenge themselves again, considering Remy, the main protagonist in this film, is a rat. I think Remy gets saturated in water about 5 or 6 times in this film, and each time, the animation of the water, and the water-look is phenomenal. All good artists challenge themselves. Ratatouille is a technical marvel!
Remy is a rat, who wants to cook, this is the premise for this film, seems wild at first glance, but this film is one of the few that can make you cry because of joy, as opposed to sadness. Joy is such a core emotion, that has potential to express itself through tears, but is an expression level, rarely attained, Ratatouille has the power to get you there. It doesn’t matter if you don’t enjoy cooking, but the message is clear, “if you want to be an artist, what is stopping you!?” Whatever it is that we are passionate about, Remy inspires us to keep at it. Collete, the only female chef in Gusteau’s kitchen, inspires us to keep striving in our art, whatever it may been, regardless of the setbacks of silly ‘traditions’. No matter who we are, if we have passion for our art, we can perform, we can express our creativity, we can be like Remy!
Michael Giannchino received his first Oscar Nomination for best score, for his work on Ratatouille. Ratatouille’s Original Soundtrack is fantastic. It’s the score to this film that elates you and makes you want to get up and dance around the room, never has a film been so profound and ever so well-rounded. It is essential viewing because of it’s originality and loveable characters. Please, let Ratatouille inspire you!
TRIVIA COOKIES: Peter O’Toole delivers an amazing performance as Anton Ego. Anton Ego’s final critical review of Gusteau’s restaurant is the pinnacle moment of this film, and is one of my favourite scenes of all time!
In typical Pixar fashion there are awesome easter eggs hidden for our enjoyment. I am going to highlight three for you, but I am sure there are others! Up was an upcoming feature, and Pixar has a habit of teasing us with an easter egg pointing at one of their next film, notice who’s shadow this is?
Pixar also includes a reference to the classroom A113 in all it’s films, and this is where it appears in Ratatouille:
If you look closely enough you can see the Pizza Planet truck on the bridge: