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PHOTOGRAPHY

RATATOUILLE
DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 111 minutes, featurette, deleted scenes, two animated shorts
VIDEO: 2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English

STUDIO: Walt Disney Pictures/ Pixar Animation Studios
RELEASE DATE: 11-6-2007

RATATOUILLE in one of the more entertaining animated films from Pixar. It has great animation, a story with a few moments of fun and laughs, and the feeling like RATATOUILLE would have fit in with all of the classic Disney films from decades ago.

Remy, a rat, dreams of being a chef and ends up in Paris after getting lost away from his family of rats. He is guided by the imaginary ghost of famed inept French chep Gusteau to Gusteau's restaurant (now run by weasel chep Skinner). Remy agrees to help janitor Linguini be a great chep (even though Remy is pulling the strings by pulling Linguini's hair). Skinner wants to ruin Linguini and even sees Remy with him (after being told to dispose of the rat). It all started with a terrible soup that Remy made into fantastic tasting soup. Soon the restaurant is attracting business again for all the great meals that Remy makes through Linguini. Remy has to choose between his dreams and his family as a series of events sends RATATOUILLE to become an instant classic.

RATATOUILLE does have a few story elements that don't quite click like the romance between Linguini and fellow chef Colette. A few of the other chefs do come off as rather 2D, but this is Remy's story. It is a little too long. Peter O'Toole does perfect voice acting in his role as food critic Anton Ego. Brad Bird should be praised for the great story and direction (Bird was born in the same place I was- Kalispell, Montana). The action (Remy egtting chased by Skinner across town), humor, and incredible detail make this film a great dish.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The all new animated short with Remy & Emile called YOUR FRIEND THE RAT is even more entertaining than the feature film. It is an education and yet fun history lesson about the rat. I rather enjoyed all of the humor. The theatrical short LIFTED (that played befor RATATOUILLE) also is a gem.

The extra that doesn't quite work is FINE FOOD & FILM as writer/director Brad Bird and chef Thomas Keller are interviewed as you get to look at what each do. Bird and his fellow animators are much better when they give video commentary to the roughly animated deleted scenes where you see a couple of things that were altered for the film and even get to meet Gusteau (who Bird decided had to go because it just didn't fit the story).

FINAL ANALYSIS: RATATOUILLE is an instant classic to be enjoyed by all ages. The animated shorts and the deleted scenes provie extra value.

this DVD review is (c)11-8-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  

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