Summary: As good a film as Pixar has ever put out, "Ratatouille" is a frantic, innovative movie, boasting some of the finest quality animation ever put on the screen.
"Ratatouille" tells the story of wannabe-chef Remy The Rat, who becomes drawn into the mantra of legendary cook Gusteau, that anyone can cook. The deceased Gusteau’s ghostly image appears to Remy, and guides him to his restaurant, whose standards have been slipping since his death. Remy, through the manipulation of a lowly restaurant worker called Linguini, soon starts secretly cooking the food, and this unusual set up proves to be a trove of treasures that Pixar carefully picks through.
"Ratatouille"’s trick is to tie its cutting edge animation techniques to old-school essentials. At times harking back to the frenetic style you’d expect of Chuck Jones, it threads an original narrative through its story, which itself is packed with memorable characters (none more so than Peter O’Toole’s superbly-voiced restaurant critic). It perhaps runs a little too long, but it’s so well-written and so lavishly entertaining that it’s a churlish complaint to have.
For in an era of cynically-produced family movies, "Ratatouille" is really something special. With an appeal that spreads across generations, and a quality that puts it right up there with Pixar’s finest, it’s an outstanding piece of cinema, and one set to be enjoyed for many, many years. Unmissable. --"Simon Brew"