Ratatouille (2007)

Jan Pinkava and Brad Bird direct Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm and Lou Romano in this Paris set cartoon of a rat who wants to become a chef.

Like Marvel I think I’ve been inoculated from the Pixar formula. Built up a resistance that means it takes a particularly unusual or exemplary entry for me to not shrug my shoulders at one. Think of the man hours and passion that went into building the arcs, relationships, worlds, set pieces, simulacrum, the artificial magic, the synthetic emotional resonance here and I just nod along blankly to it. Appreciative but unimpressed. I’m not saying a Pixar contraption cannot get me ever again… but when it doesn’t my opinion of it plummets from masterpiece to standard operating procedure swiftly. There is no middle ground… I need to love it or it rings false and forced. Ratatouille doesn’t feel special enough, doesn’t feel different enough, actually plays out unevenly and slightly ungainly. Like a different shaped beast trying to cram itself into the Pixar mould. There will be Ups and Toy Story 3s again, they work too hard on these fantasias for one not to hook me in eventually. But Ratatouille just felt like more of the gorgeous same. Rats.


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