In my free time I sometimes help out my girlfriend’s cousin and her husband at their café near where we live. I’m no chef but I help do some prep work and I am the man in charge of getting pots, plates, cutlery etc nice and clean. Once a month we do a themed supper club, it’s been going on for a few months and our latest theme was French. It was lovely and delicious and I particularly like it because when practising for the nights we get to try all these new foods that I’ve never eaten before.
So after our tiring weekend we said we would watch a Disney film that we could just sit back and relax whilst watching. I was looking through our collection but nothing inspired us, I then had a quick browse through Netflix and stopped at a film that seemed fitting of the Supper Club we had just completed. It is of course, Ratatouille.
I attempted to watch it a few years ago but I wasn’t paying much attention and therefore gave up relatively quickly. So we both agreed to give this a go and to give it our full attention.
The film follows Remey, a rat who has a sensitive smell and knows more than most humans about cooking. In a fortunate turn of events he befriends a newly employed kitchen worker and together they create masterpiece after masterpiece and must impress a tough as nails food critic.
The clumsy human that Remey uses in order to fulfil his culinary destiny, Linguini, is lovable and just wants to prove himself, much like his rat compatriot. And together they set out to achieve it with some hilarious results.
The villain of the film comes in the form of head chef Skinner, who attempts to stop the rat and also stop Linguini. There’s also a “villain who’s not quite a villain”, and that is the food critic Anton Ego who is voiced by the late, great Peter O’Toole. He is expecting to ridicule the restaurant (called Gusteau’s) that at one point in time was the finest in Paris. I would barely call him a villain, as he is not out to stop anyone, he is merely doing his job.
It also has its fair share of despair and sadness thrown in like all good Pixar films do. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing of course, it’s part of the Pixar story and nine times out of ten will have me shedding a tear, and in Ratatouille’s case, this was one of those nine times.
This is what you would call an underrated film and I (like many others) fell in to the trap thinking it was going to be dull and boring. I feel almost guilty that I didn’t give this the time of day back in 2007 but better late than never I suppose and it is now in my top picks of Pixar films.
It’s such a beautiful film to watch and the camera work is great, for instance, when we get a 360-degree view of Remey concocting a soup it almost feels like an action scene as we watch the ingredients being thrown in at such frantic pace.
So if like me, you always skipped this little Pixar gem in order to watch Toy Story for a tenth time, please, give it a go and your undivided attention and I hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Thanks for reading.