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Pixar's Ratatouille
Review by Mr. Stinkhead

I wasn't able to see Ratatouille in theaters due to my wife being pregnant at the time. I've been chomping at the bit, to finally be able to see this movie. Now that I have, I'm as pleased as punch.

The thing about Pixar movies (aside from Cars) is that I have a hard time putting them in order of favorites. They're just all so good. I liked the Toy Storys, but I lovvved Bugs Life, Monsters Inc., The Incredibles and damn, if I can't wait to watch Finding Nemo with my son in a few years, more than any other movie.

The Movie
I loved the premise of a rat with an overdeveloped sense of smell longing to be a chef. I really enjoyed the physical antics that came with him controlling the gangly garbage boy, Linguinis by hiding under his hat. If you haven't seen this movie, but enjoy the other Pixar movies, you will certainly enjoy this film. The humor is fresh, and animation quality is top notch, and the story doesn't rely on an abundance of celebrity voices and pop culture references. This movie will be a hit with kids even 10 years from now. Most of the other drek out there will not make anysense in another couple of years.

I won't spoil the ending, but it completely caught me off guard. It was unexpected, and I guess, satisfying. I'm glad it wasn't the cliche'd ending, and the more I think about it, I don't know how I would have done it differently.

Overall, I think this is the best animated movie since The Incredibles. (Pssst... though not Pixar, Monster House is a lot of fun, but not for the wee little kids)

The Extras
We have the Monsters Inc two-disc set. It has games, Japanese TV spots, behind the scenes, way too much to lst here. The extras on Ratatouille are a tiny bit lacking. My number one complaint, I don't think the little kids will enjoy the extras all that much. There are some animated storyboards showing some deleted scenes, but those are bumpered by director Brad Bird, and are clearly intended for animation afficiando. It's good stuff, but I don't know if the little kids will like it. There is one feature I really liked called Your Friend, The Rat, an animated history of the relationship between rats and people. Inspired by filmstrips of the 50s, it's hosted by Remy and Emile, and was a lot of fun. If your kid took an interest in rats at all, then this will be entertaining. There weren't a lot of big name celebrities the kids would recognize, so the Making-Of documentary is mainly Bird talking about story decisions. Also included was the theatrical short Lifted, about an alien on some type of driving test. Though funny, it didn't have the heart of For the Birds, or the one with the old guy playing chess with himself.

Final Verdict
I really enjoyed this movie, and am glad to have it on DVD. There weren't a lot of extras, but they're really not necessary. You don't want the kids spending that long in front of the TV anyway. If you're a film buff or aspire to a world of animation, you'll enjoy some of the behind the scenes material.

Pick up Ratatouille today from Amazon.com.

Click here to get tix
Click to buy from Amazon.com

Pixar Shorts on DVD

Also available today is the first collection of Pixar shorts, all on one DVD. You'll get the ones you've seen prior to the big theatrical movies, such as Geri's Game, for the Birds, Boundin' but you'll also get the shorts that helped put Pixar on the map, such as Luxo Jr. and Tin Toy. I didn't know about the unicycle short Red's Dream or The Adventures of Andre and Wally B. Other than those two, these have all appeared on DVD in some shape or form, but it's great getting them all together in one spot. Running just under an hour, this is more for the animation buffs. But the kids will probably enjoy them as well. There are commentaries and some behind-the-scenes features as well.

You can buy Pixar Short Films on DVD from Amazon.com




 
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