Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Ratatouille and Pixar's Appeal

I just saw the Disney Pixar movie Ratatouille: it's a very unique and fun film that like Remy the rat transcends preconceptions about a animated film with cooking and rodents as the theme. It's really a film for everyone, taking the best aspects of animated and live action genres and combining them into a singular achievement for Pixar. While some previous Pixar films were targeted at the childrens' audience with a youthful central character, Cars and Ratatouille appeal to the older audiences with their themes of finding one's way in society. Like classic films of the 1940s and 1950s they are movies that everyone can watch but adults will connect with on a different level to children. Pixar movies like the early Disney animated films don't target stories down to children but earn their respect by making the films entertaining to people of any age.

In Ratatouille Remy and his human friend Linguini both want to be accepted by the restaurant community. It's a theme that continues on the special features on the DVD, where Remy gives a funny and informative history of the position of rats around the world in an effort to rehabilitate their reputation, in the cartoon "Lifted" a young alien tries to impress his superior in levitating a human, and the film's writer/director Brad Bird and chef Thomas Keller talk about their mentors in following their ambitions and how they motivate their associates. This DVD is recommended for increasing interest in both cooking and animated films as art forms.

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