I’m not entirely sure what it is that separates Pixar animated films from all the other production houses’ efforts out there. And while I am not able to spell out how or why they completely overshadow the competition with compelling, beautiful and entertaining films, my high opinion of them is bolstered with every one of their efforts I see. Ratatouille is the latest to add to that list. I don’t mean to say that everything Pixar puts out is gold (a Bug’s Life was not the strong follow up to Toy Story I had hoped, and Finding Nemo lacked much more than gorgeous visuals), but there is a certain je-ne-sais-quoi to the overall quality of a Pixar piece when compared to all the ogres and penguins out there.
Ratatouille takes liberties with a far fetched plot, even for a Pixar fantasy, but pulls it all together with a rich cast of characters, a simple, yet compelling plotline, and visuals to die for. The refreshingly low key celebrity voice cast works wonders for the characters and beats any star-studded lineup seen recently. Character design is flawless, in both animal and human categories. The villainous Anton Ego is something straight out of a Tim Burton inspired nightmare and illustrates how much high-caliber character development can really pay off. The water and fur effects are breathtakingly complex and the environment modeling brings the Parisian night to life in a stylized way fit for a canvas.My only issues are with the ending, which I won’t detail, but sufficed to say it seemed cobbled together and not as resolute as I’d have hoped. But with many laughs along the way, great characters and top notch production values, this movie is a must see that wont leave a bad taste in your mouth.