Sunday, July 15, 2007
A Lovable Rat
I saw Ratatouille last Friday, and was impressed by just about all of it: realistic and amazing animation, enticing restaurant food, a happy ending and interesting themes. The best part was that I was able to forget about Remy, the protagonist, being a rat. His family and friends were creepy and a little gross, but Remy was separate from them in the best possible way. Walking on two legs, savoring his food, and not eating from the trash were certainly some of the qualities that allowed me to relate to and care about the leading character.
Imagination always plays a large role in children's movies, but the food in Ratatouille didn't necessitate any creative thought. A few months before the film came out, I read an article about the animators' great effort not to make the cuisine look too lifelike. In my opinion, there was just enough cartoonishness in the kitchen to mesh with the people, who were the least convicing aspect in terms of realism. However, I still left the theater feeling a little hungry. When Remy encounters a fresh loaf of bread, it is appealingly crusty, with textured crevices and a crunchy exterior. The famous soup bubbles happily on the stove, and watching the characters inhale its aromas made my mouth water.
Without giving anything away (there were a few twists, surprisingly), I have to point out my favorite moment in the film. Anton Ego, upon taking his first bite of ratatouille, is immediately transported to his childhood. The filmmakers quickly and elegantly capture the powerful influence food has through our lives in about five seconds, but that scene will be stuck in my head indefinitely. Not too shabby for a kid flick about a rodent.