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From the creators of CARS and THE INCREDIBLES comes a break-through comedy with something for everyone. With delightful new characters, experience Paris from an all-new perspective. It's "terrific movie making" raves Leonard Maltin of ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT. In one of Paris' finest restaurants, Remy, a determined young rat, dreams of becoming a renowned French chef. Torn between his family's wishes and his true calling, Remy and his pal Linguini set in motion a hilarious chain of events that turns the City of Lights upside down. RATATOUILLE is a treat you'll want to enjoy again and again.
One key point: if you can get over the natural gag reflex of seeing hundreds of rodents swarming over a restaurant kitchen, you will be free to enjoy the glory of Ratatouille, a delectable Pixar hit. Our hero is Remy, a French rat (voiced by Patton Oswalt) with a cultivated palate, who rises from his humble beginnings to become head chef at a Paris restaurant. How this happens is the stuff of Pixar magic, that ineffable blend of headlong comedy, seamless technology, and wonder (in the latter department, this movie's views of nighttime Paris are on a par with French cinema at its most lyrical). Director Brad Bird (The Incredibles) doesn't quite keep all his spinning plates in the air, but the gags are great and the animation amazingly expressive--Remy's shrugs and nods are nimbler than many flesh-and-blood actors can manage. Refreshingly, the movie's characters aren't celebrity-reliant, with the most recognizable voice coming from Peter O'Toole's snide food critic. (This fellow provides the film's sole sour note--an oddly pointed slap at critics, those craven souls who have done nothing but rave about Pixar's movies over the years.) Brad Bird's style is more quick-hit and less resonant than the approach of Pixar honcho John Lasseter, but it's hard to complain about a movie that cooks up such bountiful pleasure. --Robert Horton
Beyond Ratatouille on DVD
Ratatouille on Blu-ray
Ratatouille Toys & More
Other Classic Pixar Hits
Stills from Ratatouille (Click for larger image)
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For Amazon's part, since my children have a horrible habit of ruining DVDs and since I have a horrible habit of hoarding Disney Pixar films, I love the fact that they've made the special features available on digital download. Finally a way to safeguard my collection.
We love digital movies! No more having to search for the DVD. No more worry about our son destroying the disk. Just turn it on. If you have Internet and have not tried digital movies, you are missing out! I refuse to buy anything that is not digital anymore.
Ratatouille is likely our favorite Disney movie. Remi is so cute. The storyline is fun. It is a great, lighthearted movie. I want to go to Paris!
Then I reminded them we own it dvd since they were little kids and it was in the shelf under the TV.
I have to add, as much as I love animals, it was really hard to get past rats cooking in a kitchen, especially when there are more than one in the final scene! This doesn't take away from the enjoyment of a lovely family film, and I'm sure it won't bother anyone else, but I kept wanting to disinfect the counters after the little rat and hoped on everything. Clearly, I have been living in New York for too long.
Prior to viewing this movie, I hadn't seen any Disney/Pixar films since Toy Story. I know, I'm out of the loop, but thank goodness I found this gem in Ratatouille. Never had I been so brought back to the joys of childhood where I could watch a movie and have it bring about so many forms of sheer joy and innocent emotion and feel like I actually was a kid again. But at the same time, I found a very subtle maturity to the story and characters of this movie as well. The amazement of cooking and food, the exotic backdrop of Paris, the silly, yet serious interactions of a rat and his handler, then the denouement of a hard-nosed food critic who rediscovered himself and reasserted the happiness of which only food can do to a person; all of these elements make for a very light-hearted comedy about what it means to find something in life that you can dedicate yourself to, pursue, and enjoy to your heart's content. In particular, I was every impressed with the script and screenplay. Remy's conscience being played by an imaginary version of Gusteau was brilliant in studying his overall character as the audience gets a clear, basic understanding of what Remy is thinking to himself. Linguini is a "lovable loser" archetype that tries so hard, but always manages to bumble things. There's a sort of coyness that makes him fun to root for and his "ambitions" are commendable, kind of like an "everyman," so I really enjoyed watching him as well. Then, there are all of the other supporting characters in Chef Skinner, Anton Ego, Collette, Remy's family, etc. that ultimately make the film one very enjoyable experience. Top that off with a great soundtrack by Michael Giacchino who captures much of the same exoticism that makes Paris so intriguing, and you've got this lovely Oscar-wining feature.
Video - 5.0
Being a direct digital transfer of CG to BD, the result is flawless. Colors are vibrant with lots of yellows and golds accentuating the color palette of the kitchen at Gusteau's. Black levels and contrast are perfect in revealing all the fine detailed lines from the hugeness of Linguini's nose down to the tiny hairs and whiskers of Remy and his clan. Images are always sharp, and the image itself provides for some great example of depth and dimensionality. There are no signs of aliasing, color banding, or any other hiccups making for some beautiful shots of photography amongst the backdrop of Paris, and even some of the inner housing of Linguini's apartment, the kitchen, and the sewers. There also appear to be no signs of artificial enhancement or manipulation, making this a transfer as perfect as you can get and ready to be showcased for all.
Audio - 5.0
Using an uncompressed PCM 5.1 track, Ratatouille is equally as stunning as it's video counterpart. Dialogue is clear, and directionality is particularly precise during kitchen scenes with the clanging of pots and pans, whooshing of flames, and dribbles of liquid all over the place. Music accompanies the sound effects perfectly and immerses the viewer with some wonderful and adventurous melodies that really compliment the story telling, never overdoing itself or intruding over the dialogue. LFEs are most prominent during musical numbers and when things are being chopped up. There really are no flaws with the general sound design and placement and should be enjoyable by the ears of any.
Extras - 4.5
Personally, I found the extras to be very fun and informative. But the only gripe I have is that they didn't put the "making of" featurettes on as separate 25GB disc by itself. Instead of SD specials, they could've well been HD. Other than that, though, they're all very enjoyable. The Pixar animated shorts are always a nice addition, while the "rat history" as narrated by Remy and Emile served as a cute parody of how rats could be thought of under a different light (not that it'll ever happen since rats aren't as smart as this, but the effort is appreciated). Then of course there's the production segments, which continue to amaze me in how hard it really is to produce films of this caliber. I highly respect and give thanks to all the people involved in these types of projects.
Overall - 5.0
The only thing that would've made this release any better is an extra disc specifically reserved for the special features. But other than that, it's an extreme delight to have watched this film for its cheery and lovable narrative about personal passion and the following of one's dreams. With immaculate A/V quality and an excellent set of extras and special features, I can't recommend this title enough for both kids and adults.