Pixar's stylishly atmospheric computer animated tale, filled with vibrant colors and sumptuous, dazzling visuals, about the adventures of a rat, Remy, who loves to cook. He's irresistible. Further, all of the varied characters are unique individuals. In addition to their personalities and actions, the generally great voice acting helps flesh them out. Regardless, though the last third is fantastic, I found my attention wandering throughout the first two-thirds. It would've helped to have another character with whom to identify or a consistent threat/problem/opposing force.
I want to commend many features of the film:
- Multiple visually stunning scenes, especially panoramas of Paris. They should be printed and framed.
- The amazing scene of the kitchen at work near the end of the movie. It's like ballet.
- A chase scene along the Seine. It's simply pretty. I especially liked the attention to the leaves and how they blow in the air.
- Two imaginative scenes showing visually what it's like to experience food.
- Good rendering of water, better than most computer animation.
- The consistency of Remy's actions. He's only able to talk to other rats, and only walks on four paws when in the presence of his father.
- The quick, funny image of a rat playing his whiskers as a musical instrument.
- The subtle death imagery about the restaurant critic who "killed Gusteau: his skull-shaped typewriter, and his casket-shaped study.
Some reviewers have aptly remarked that this film is a portrait of an artist. As such, it has an interesting message about art, talent, and success. Think about it.
The DVD includes a cute short special feature on the history of rats. I wish I knew how much of it is true. The DVD's special features also describe how some Pixar employees trained with Thomas Keller (of the French Laundry) in order to get restaurant details right, and how early versions of the film had Gusteau alive.