Sunday, September 2, 2007

The unformulaic Ratatoullie

As I wrote last year, Pixar seem to have a formula about their movies -- a good one -- and Cars exemplified that. Well, this year's installment, Ratatoullie, is anything but formulaic. There were no popular songs, no quick jokes intended to play on some bit of popular culture and a setting that was hardly wistful but instead a reminder of how rat infested Paris must be.

I went to see this movie with high expectations. This review in Slate will explain why. Clearly, the critics loved it. Now that review encompasses my impression too -- it did not disappoint. But more amusingly, if there was one big risk the movie took, it was to try and appeal to critics by, in part, being about them. It would have been so easy for critics to play on that with a snappy angle should the movie have failed in its goal. But it didn't and so instead the critics were humbled. When you see this movie you will see why that is so. The analogy will hit you over the head. And for those of us who consume the critics' output, it makes this movie and all the more satisfying dish.

Now, the children want some ratatoullie; anyone got any good recipes?