Sometimes I think that kids these days don’t have “the magic” we used to have some good years ago. It’s true they have tons of games, internet, information, etcetera etcetera but most of these are just “quantity” instead of “quality”. Some gems appear from time to time, but few manage to give the “timeless masterpiece” or “true soul enchanter” feeling. And even among these, most of them are retellings of old wonderful stories we used to read at our grandparents’.
Ratatouillle (also highly rated here) is by all means a “feast” for the soul. Pixar has what it takes when it comes to technique, but even they don’t always hit the right recipe (can’t help the puns, sorry :P). Cars, for example, was far from great, good, but never great. Incredibles was loads of fun, but all based on reinterpreting comics and action-movies cliches. Bug’s life.. Woody Allen is a genius, can’t beat that.
And here comes Ratatouille. It looks jaw-dropping, sounds excellent, but the story.. the characters.. That’s where it truly is wonderful. The expressions, the looks, the tiny gestures, the nods, sighs, grimaces, they all make you believe, absorb, watch in awe as Remy’s wonderful universe engulfs you. Every single character is a joy to watch, you can’t help laughing heartily, the voices are perfect (funny thing to see who the people actually are, you get the feeling that they are just some people voiced by Remy and the other characters). Peter O’Toole as Ego has one of the best “villain-esque” characters ever, reminding a lot of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas :) and having one of the best scenes in the movie, the Marcel Proust’s madeleine effect.
This movie will surely earn itself an Oscar, and if it doesn’t then it will either be beaten by another “chef d’oeuvre” or it will be one of the worst cases of Academy forgeries and set-ups :P
In the end, this is what kids nowadays have, gems that are not only on the pages of a book, but right in front of their very eyes, moving, breathing, living by themselves. And just like all truly wonderful stories, Ratatouille manages to enchant anyone, from kid to grown-up.