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4.7 out of 5 stars
Ratatouille (Widescreen)
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
If you love quality films and think Pixar is leading the industry in innovation and storytelling, you owe it to yourself to see "Ratatouille." Pixar will only maintain creative control over its product so long as they are earning money for Disney. Unlike its predecessors Cars, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, and Monsters, Inc., Ratatouille failed to earn even $50 million in its opening weekend. A lot of money, yes, but not a good sign for the investors.

Money aside, Pixar has proved once again that they can do what no one else can: create fully realized CG worlds that are only secondary to the story being told. The CG here is simply marvelous. Paris comes to life, the food is so realistic you want to reach out and eat it, and the rats move with a delicate grace that is at the same time cartoonish and believable. But what truly sets Pixar apart from every other animation studio is that they can walk that line between animated reality and cartoon absurdity. The key, here, is the people that inhabit the worlds they've created. They don't look remotely realistic. They look, in fact, much like the humans in The Incredibles. Overlarge heads, exaggerated limbs, and a fluidity of movement that can only be recreated in a movie. Unlike Shrek, or Ice Age, or any other CG movie, Ratatouille allows it's humans be to be cartoons, but they surround them with the most realistic world imaginable. This effect isn't disconcerting, it frees the viewer to sit back and simply absorb everything.

Like their previous efforts, the story is everything. Remy is a rat who loves to cook and he befriends a young man who can't cook, but works in the kitchen of a famous restaurant. The story is both hilarious and exciting. It never falls into melodramatic traps, and the characters act in believable ways - they don't simply do what the writers think they should do to advance the plot to a happy conclusion.

In short, this is not a formulaic film. It balances ingenuity, wit, and skill, and produces one of the finest films in it's category. I don't know if this is the best Pixar film yet, but it's at least the equal of Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc, Toy Story, and The Incredibles. In fifty years, we'll all be looking back on Pixar as the finest example of a creative force in Hollywood. Let's hope Disney allows them to continue making films their way.

At the end of the day, the family and I have no problem with "Ratatouille". And I can find fault with just about every movie I see.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2011
Beautiful disc, like-new quality, all the usual inserts intact, delivered quickly and well-packaged.
It had been impossible to find this disc in French in the US. The cost of shipping was well worth the aggravation it saved me in further searching.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Ratatouille (animation, comedy, family)
Directed by Brad Bird and Jan Pinkava
Starring the voices of Patton Oswalt, Lou Romano, Ian Holm and Janeane Garofalo

Disney / Buena Vista | 2007 | 111 min | Rated G | Released Nov 06, 2007

Video:
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Audio:
English: LPCM 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles:
English SDH, French, Spanish

Disc:
Single 50GB Blu-ray Disc

The Film 5/5

Remy (Oswalt) is a young rat with an enhanced sense of taste and smell. When he saves his dad from eating food laced with poison, he's given a job as food tester for the whole colony. Remy quickly becomes bored with the job and dreams of better things. After seeing a TV cooking show, he decides that he would like to be a chef. Unfortunately, he's almost killed by the TVs owner and the entire colony is discovered and forced to leave her house.

Remy is separated from his family and talks to an illustration of Gusteau, the TV chef, because he's alone and there's nobody else to talk to. When he discovers Gusteau's restaurant, he finds that he knows the function of every member of the staff. Remy gets into trouble when entering the kitchen, but he adds ingredients to the soup and the customers love it. He's discovered when trying to leave and Linguini (Romano), the kitchen boy, is told to kill him. But the worried look on Remy's face stops Linguini in his tracks and he realizes that Remy fixed the soup. The two decide to work together.

Although Remy can be understood by other rats, that's not the case with humans. Instead, he uses gestures to communicate and is very expressive. His tiny shrugs and nods are easy to understand. Quite by accident, Remy discovers that he can control Linguini by pulling at strands of his hair. The two practice at home and come up with a plan to do the same at the restaurant. He hides under Linguini's hat and continues to prepare food by controlling him.

The story is well thought out and quite complex in places for an animated film. The 111-minute running time is necessary to show everything in detail. The streets of Paris look real and it's clear that the Pixar team researched the setting thoroughly.

Linguini is trained by Colette (Garofalo) and starts to develop feelings for her, but it's Remy's skill that wins the approval of the restaurant's customers. Linguini is deeply resented by the Head Chef (Holm), who knows that Linguini is Gusteau's son and the restaurant's rightful owner. The problem is, Linguini doesn't know that.

The film is full of peril, chase scenes and humor, and has a little action. The characters are well developed and Remy is easy to like. It's challenging to make a rat appear friendly and lovable, but Pixar somehow pulls it off. Remy is always happy and smiling and chooses to walk upright on two feet. I think that was done to make him appear more like a human and less like a rat. He's also very particular about cleanliness and washes his paws before preparing any food.

The restaurant eventually captures the attention of food critics and is visited by Anton Ego (Peter O'Toole), who is the most famous critic of them all. He's hard to impress and had written off Gusteau's as insignificant years ago, but decides to see why it's become relevant again. One of my favorite scenes happens in the restaurant when Ego takes his first bite of food, but I'll let you discover what happens for yourself.

The film has a lot of important messages. It shows us that it's wrong to steal and that family is important. But most of all, it's about following your dreams. Remy is a rat. How can he possibly become a chef? Even if he did, how could he succeed? I imagine that children watching the film could be inspired by Remy's achievements. Maybe a few will grow up wanting to be chefs, and they are rarely out of work.

I can't watch the film without thinking about Hans Landa's speech in Inglourious Basterds where he asks Perrier LaPadite what his reaction would be if a rat entered his home. How would that differ if a squirrel were to enter? It's true that humans often have a problem with rats, and many of us actually fear them. It's quite an achievement to invent a rat that we like and root for as he attempts to live out his dream.

All of Pixar's movies are worth owning, but Ratatouille just edges out Up as my favorite. If they ever decide to do another sequel, I hope that we get another story about Remy. It's aimed at older audiences more than the likes of Cars and A Bug's Life, but children will still be able to enjoy it.

Well done, Pixar.

Video Quality 5/5
Ratatouille looks fantastic on Blu-ray. You can see the individual hairs in Remy's fur and the way it beads when he gets wet. The colors are striking and the sheer amount of detail in background scenes tells you all you need to know. This is a reference quality presentation that's ideal for showing off your home theater.

Audio Quality 5/5
The lossless LPCM 5.1 track is full of subtle detail and delivers well during all of the louder scenes. Although there's very little traditional action, your system will receive a full workout during chase scenes and when Remy is trying to avoid being captured. The sound has good depth and you'll hear the surrounds highlight quieter effects such as vegetables being chopped or background conversation in the restaurant. Dialogue is crisp and clear throughout and there's really nothing that falls short of perfection.

Special Features 3.5/5

Lifted (5:02, HD) - One of my favorite short films from Pixar.

Your Friend the Rat (11:16, HD) - Remy and Emil talk about the history of rats in an amusing way.

Gusteau's Gourmet Game - Control Linguini and help him meet incoming orders.

Fine Food and Film (13:54, HD) - Director Brad Bird and chef Thomas Keller talk about some of their ideas for the film.

Animation Briefings

Documentary Shorts

Deleted Scenes (15:06) - Three scenes that were removed before they were finished.

Deleted Shots R.I.P. (3:12)

The Will (2:48) - With composer Michael Giacchino, featuring an alternate score for one of the scenes.

Remembering Dan Lee (3:00)

There are also five Easter eggs. Press the left button on your control while in the main menu. It works for the top or bottom item.

Ro-Dead Commercial (0:12, HD)

Yes! Shots (1:06)

How to Pronounce Ratatouille (0:55)

L'ecole Culinaire D'Pixar (1:02)

Producer Plays Trombone (0:50)

Pixar has produced some wonderful films and all are worth owning. The Blu-ray presentations are all just about perfect and Ratatouille is no exception. The film has heart and warmth and is a fun place to visit. It doesn't have the constant action of some titles, but the story is gripping throughout. Adults will be pleasantly surprised at the depth of the story, although very small children may lose interest. That would be a shame, because I rank it as Pixar's best, and that's saying a lot.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2011
I love animated films, and this one is sensationally done--great animation, great story, and funny as can be--well performed by the actors doing the voices, and synced so well with the animated expressions, etc. Simply excellent entertainment for all ages--how can you ask for more? I never tire of Disney films, and this one Rocks!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon January 28, 2008
A person (or writing team) must be pretty creative to come up with the concept of a French rat who desires something more out of life; the desire to create works of art through the culinary arts. The absurd idea that a rat has a personality and yearns to be something more than just a scavenger of garbage is in and of itself a humorous one. This crazy idea sets the tone of Ratatouille and the fun keeps building from there.

Mix that worldly rat's existential desires to take his gifts and become a creator of something with a bumbling young man who needs a job and you have the perfect recipe for a fun and entertaining film. The film is definitely absurd but that's what makes it fun. As an individual who loves to eat and loves to create dishes I was actually able to relate to the main character even though he is a rat!

As with any Pixar film, there are several great characters who do nothing short of improve the film and make it that much more enjoyable. Pixar has been highly successful, once again, in creating a film that an entire family can enjoy together and that in itself makes it worth buying and watching.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2007
A gourmet blend of solid storytelling, great voice acting, and some of the best computer animated visuals I've ever seen, which is as much a culinary delight for the eyes as the entrees made by Remy the rat are for the taste buds of Paris gourmands. Another hit from Brad Bird and his crew--this is why Pixar is top of the heap in animation these days, and why Dreamworks is just...dreaming.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon November 1, 2009
The blu-ray visuals on Ratatouille are astounding - the clarity and colour scheme details really bring the picture alive. Also the audio is uncompressed! If you like this film, I highly recommend the blu-ray - it truly showcases this film's artwork. I also like the cine-explore feature (which is often a pop-up pic-in-pic with deleted scenes and featurettes) - it's very entertaining. There is also a beat-the-clock type game involving many recipes, for any aspiring chefs. For me however, it's all about how fantastic this film looks on blu-ray.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2013
I use this in my French class.Even though I have seen it many times, I love the animation, characters, story, message, and I still enjoy it, every time
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Disney's Pixar is well known (and quite rightly so) for their animated family movies like Toy Story, The Incredibles and Finding Nemo. But they are less well known for their secondary titles like Wall E, the first Cars movie, Up and Ratatouille. Superb animated movies in their own right that not only appeal to kids but have deeper and more adult oriented themes running underneath.

In Up it was coming to terms with one's own mortality, in Cars the increasing urbanization and loss of the old values and in Wall E the growing dependence on machines and a sedentary lifestyle. And in this, Ratatouille; the belief that you must ultimately do what really makes you happy despite the cost!

So we have Remy, a young rat who dreams of becoming a great chef despite his family's wishes, Linguini who wants to become one despite his lack of talent, Colette a female chef who chaffs at the lack of respect from her male colleagues and a cynical food critic who has seen too much and eaten too much and has become much too jaded. And how all of their lives will forever be changed because of one young rat. The writing on this movie is just superb!

The animation is equally as good not surprising considering this movie won the 2007 Academy Award for best animated movie! Set in France, we have an amusing view of the world seen through a rat's eyes and beautiful vistas, both night and day of a Paris that the Bluray really brings out to it's fullest. And this is backed up by full Dolby Digital 5.1 EX soundtracks in English, French and Spanish. There is also on the BD an uncompressed high definition English 5.1 track as well but if you have a 6.1 or a 7.1 system, you'll lose the back channel. So personally, I preferred the DD 5.1 EX track.

As for extras, being a Pixar movie; there are tons. Everything from various making of's to full commentaries. Too numerous for me to list them all but among my favourites are a 5 min. high definition short called Lifted and a hilarious little 3 min. documentary piece from the Pixar animators called Deleted Scenes R.I.P. I didn't bother checking out the DVD but from the packaging, it appears most of them are on it as well.

Overall, I give this Oscar winner a strong 4 stars.

J. A.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon September 7, 2012
Are you hungry? Really really hungry? Want to see some great and wonderful food? All mouthwatering and delicious? And by the way, it's all made by a rat.

Okay, before you get all grossed out, the rat is very nice, and the food looks very good, so that makes it all right. Trust me.

Entree!
Hair pulling is fun. If you don't believe me, watch the scene where Remy the cooking rat (just go with it, okay?) is helping Linguini gets his groove on in the kitchen. Hidden under a chef's hat, Remy makes his friend into a cooking sensation. And no one is none the wiser. But how long can they keep this ruse going?

Main Course!!
What really sells Ratatouille is the wonderful voice work of Patton Oswalt, who brings excitement and fun to our rat hero Remy. Patton has always been funny, and this film showcases his great talents wonderfully. You can check out some of his stand-up routines on YouTube, but some are NSFW.

Dessert!!!
My non-cooking skills are legendary. Tales from my wife about dishes I have botched are common fodder to our friends. Remy the cooking rat fills even my talentless soul with hope. Someday I shall rally and move past toast as my culinary accomplishment. Someday I shall be better than a rat!

Your tummy will rumble with the tastiness of Ratatouille. It is yummy. It is tasty. And it makes you yearn for more morsels like this from Pixar.

Scoopriches
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