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Pixar's Ratatouille

Starring: Some stunning computer generated animation, a rat and Paris but not Mrs Incredible. (Drat).

Rated: U

Story: Remy has a special talent for cooking and dreams of creating new culinary delights. Only problem is, he's a rat. After a series of mishaps, however, he finds himself separated from his clan and loitering around the kitchens of a famous Parisian restaurant.

Alfredo Linguini works as a garbage boy in the restaurant. He's not a rat. He's just a total klutz who can't cook to save his life.

The pair team up in an unlikely fashion and, erm... do some cooking.

Comments: Yes, we actually went to the pictures and saw a recent release! But don't worry, it's not the end of the world or anything. This improbable event is explained by two facts:
  1. It was a kid's movie.
  2. The grandparents paid.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - if you're planning to have children but don't have any yet, go to the cinema now, while you still can.

Off you go.

For the rest of you, Ratatouille is a big improvement over Pixar's last effort, Cars, but it's not one of the company's best. Although the artwork and animation are excellent as always, the plot is crazy and revolves around rats and food.

Having had a mouse invasion in the house recently, seeing rodents scurry over kitchen work surfaces was a little too close to home. My mind kept turning to Rentokil and bleach.

On top of this, I'm not a foodie. I have plain cheese sandwiches for lunch every day. If I'm being adventurous, I add mustard but usually I can't be bothered. I'm just not fussed. Remy's obsession with new taste sensations entirely passed me by. This made the film drag occasionally, especially in the middle where the story wanders a little.

As for the moral of the film? Possibly, it's that 'rats are people too', but it was probably meant to be more along the lines of 'anyone can follow their dreams'. Or something. It's hard to tell. The maxim that 'anyone can cook' is held in high esteem by the heroes of the film and yet the events of the story seem to affirm that 'anyone with a special talent for cooking can cook (even if they're a rodent)'. Which isn't quite the same thing. Apparently, the ham-fisted and hopeless amongst us can only cook if they have a particularly talented rat tugging on their hair...

Still, the action sequences are fantastic and the scenery is beautiful. Just a shame about the script.

You might want to wait until it's being shown cheap on a Saturday morning.

Conclusion: Decent but more on a par with A Bug's Life than The Incredibles or Toy Story. Give it an extra point if you're really into food, rats, France or dumb plots.

Explosions: None.
Female characters: Two (and one of those is a short-sighted lunatic with a shotgun).
Food: Plenty.
Rats: Swarms.
Number of times I'm likely to be forced to watch this on DVD: Countless.

Rating: 3/5.

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