Sunday, November 4, 2007

Ratatouille DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Charming Rodent-as-Chef Cartoon Comes to DVD

Remy (Patton Oswalt), a well-read rat who has always wanted to be a chef, has been living with his father (Brian Dennehy) and brother (Peter Sohn) among a colony of rodents hiding in the attic of a French country home. While the rest are content with simply foraging for garbage and eating scraps, he is a connoisseur with a taste for fine food.
Everything changes the fateful day they’re discovered and suddenly flushed out of the house. Remy, separated from the others, is forced to fend for himself and to find other accommodations. As a gourmet, it only makes sense that he would choose to move to Gusteau’s, a five-star restaurant located in the heart of Paris.
As luck would have it, the establishment’s extraordinarily-talented proprietor, Gusteau (Brad Garrett), is recently deceased, which means Remy might just have a chance to pursue his dream. The problem, of course, is that he’s still a rat, so he befriends Linguini (Lou Romano), a lowly janitor with no training in the kitchen.
With the anthropomorphic animal whispering in his ear, the custodian is gradually transformed into the new toast of the town, even winning grudging accolades for his piece de resistance, Ratatouille, from the city’s caustic food critic, Anton Ego (Peter O’Toole). Of course, Linguini’s secret eventually comes out and the question then becomes whether Remy will be accepted despite his humble rat roots.
Thus, tolerance is the driving theme underpinning Ratatouille, another winning animated adventure from the good folks at Pixar. Not only funny, engaging and entertaining from beginning to end, but a picture which delivers an abundance of heartwarming messages.
That rare film which can be heartily recommended for the whole family, except maybe for those tykes who might be scared by its super-realistic depiction of rodents.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated G
Running time: 111 minutes
Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment DVD Extras: Deleted scenes with an introduction by director/scriptwriter Brad Bird, an all-new animated short, another Pixar cartoon called “Lifted,” and a “Behind-the-scenes documentary featuring the director and critically-acclaimed chef Thomas Keller.

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