Monday, July 02, 2007

Delicious Story of a Rat Who Can Cook (rated 5 stars)

by Brad Bird

Right from the short subject, “Lifted” to the end credit roll of “Ratatouille” I loved the whole experience. In thinking about the film the underlying appeal and the reason that it worked so well could be because of nostalgia. While most computer-animated films are driven technologically or by stunt casting of big stars, the genius of the direction of Brad Bird is in focusing on the characters and being inspired by great films and filmmakers of the past.
It’s a lot of fun and has the feeling at times of Hitchcock and Billy Wilder. There is an innocence in some ways, but never a sense that the film is condescending in any way. I never thought that the animation was amazing (but it is), but I was sucked in to the story and the characters, which is what all great filmmaking does.
Ultimately the film is about being an artist and accepting who you are, no matter how difficult it is. It’s fun and inspirational and doesn’t hit you over the head with anything. Subtle and beautiful, it’s a film that happens to be animated.

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