Most helpful critical review
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A decent companion for the film
on December 11, 2009
Ratatouille is an amazing movie. Even after watching Wall-E and UP! I can still say that this is their best movie yet. Delightful and brilliant in every level, so I was really excited to buy the artbook of the movie. So is it as good?? In that matter, I have to agree with anoter reviewer here, that stated that in comparison with the film, the book is indeed lacking the same quality.
Overall, the book is divided in three aspects of the creation of the film: environments, character development and story. So, the very first "but" of the book is its length. Covering roughly 160 pages in which we are presented with the evolution of design and style of the film, albeit superficially. The images, sketches and paintings are integrated with small commentaries of the animators and the director Brad Bird. Those aren't really informative or insightful, but are interesting additions to the art. Another issue is that the book isn't well balanced in the content: for example, a lot of pages are dedicated to the development of Emille, Remis brother, while other much more interesting characters (like the brilliant "villain" of the film Anton Ego) are presented in a couple of pages. Finally, something that I really didn't like (and it seems this is a problem with most of Pixar artbooks) is that most of what you can called "art" in the book are mainly sketches and digital paintings. Some are great and others are so-so at best. Worse is the fact that all of this space could have been filled with comparisons of the art vs the finish scenes in the film. Some of those in the final movie look certainly beatiful and look like art in its own right. In that matter, this book is pretty much a registry of the early "development" of Ratatouille: the research trip made to Paris, the development of the character designs and the detail put on the backgrounds and environments.
If you're a fan of the movie (like me) or if you're interested in its development, buying the artbook is pretty much a no-brainer. Even with all of its flaws is still a decent companion for the DVD and it's a really good and beatiful cofee table book. The edition is a glossy harcover with an afterword by John Lasseter.