RATATOUILLE (Brad Bird, 2007)
Brad Bird is a genius. The Iron Giant is my personal favorite animated film of all time. Like Hayao Miyazaki and Satoshi Kon, he is in a class of his own, and like his equals, shall be rightfully remembered as one of the highlights in the history of animated films. Underneath all those cute and cuddly cartoon characters, slapstick jokes, and simple storyline, lies therein a significant amount of depth, and most importantly, a large heart. That, should easily puts it high above its other competitors. Just when I thought that Pixar is starting to lose some of its magic with the somewhat disappointing Cars, they are now back on track. That said, Ratatouille is pure GOLD! Brad Bird and Pixar has proven to be an invincible combination.
Ratatouille is not just about a rat who loves to cook, as preposterous as that may sounds. It's not just about being funny and appealing for kids. It's a lot more than that. This is both a movie for adults and children alike. Children will marvel at the amazing animation, cute characters, and hilarious slapsticks. Adults, will notice its deep thematic undercurrent. It's a mature examination on the power of art. The arts and crafts of creating something. The true appreciation of any form art: culinary or otherwise(be it paintings, music, or yours truly: films). A great piece of art can even pierce through the dark recesses of the soul, and resurface the things that was once thought lost (as happens to Anton Ego: voiced by Peter O'Toole that quite possibly be the best voice acting ever). Indeed, at the same time Bird has crafted a loving abode to film, to filmmakers for pouring their heart and soul in their creation, and to film lovers who appreciate the greatness of that creation.
Like any exquisite dish, Ratatouille is a film that needs to be savored slowly. Let the flavors seep in, and by the end of it all, the film leaves a delightening aftertaste. An envelope of warmth and wholesomeness, that I came out smiling all the way home.