Tonight, I took the three boys to Ratatouille. Younger son had a friend sleeping over (well, that was the plan-he missed dad and went home) and my two. As is typical, if older son didn't come up with the idea, he's a stick in the mud. I hadn't seen much in the way of previews of this one, mainly because I don't work for Disney anymore and I honestly do not turn on the TV myself the majority of the time. Until last week, it hadn't even clicked that this was Pixar's newest offering.

We got to the theatre in the middle of the first preview and that movie looked interesting. Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman, "Mr. Magorium's Magic Emporium". Then one for "Underdog "(ugh-didn't like the cartoon and now it's live action?), and then a promo that made me a little sad. It's the promo for "Wall-E" that started out telling of a meeting in 1994 between John Lassetter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter and the late Joe Ranft. See that one phrase "the late Joe Ranft" still upsets me-he was one of the main contributors to the success of Pixar's animation efforts and you hear his voice in many of their movies (Heimlich, Wheezy, and Lenny among others). Time will tell if this one will be among the successes that Pixar produces.

Then the short. Pixar has kept up a great tradition of old time movie making in that they have a five minute short before every feature. Once again, words are not part of this short-nor do they need to be. "Lifted" is hilarious and had the full theatre cracking up at its end.

Now the feature, Ratatouille. This, in my opinion, is the best Pixar movie yet made. Technically and visually, they've raised the bar and met their standards of beating the last movie. I've always wanted to visit France, and this movie makes the longing to visit Paris grow-it is amazing how realistic they make it look. The French Tourism Board should be kissing the feet of those involved in animating their country! There is a caveat with this one, though. The G rating? It's suitable for kids, but it's not at all a kiddie flick. The storyline is too complex. That said, if your child can follow a Harry Potter or Star Wars movie and not lose interest, you'll be fine.

Our budding chef was probably more intrigued by food as a career after seeing the movie. After working in a few restaurant kitchens, I'll say that the depiction of that enviornment was spot on, though many kitchens don't have that much room for the staff to move around in!

A word of warning, there is a 'happy ending' type scene that leads one to believe the movie is over. Nope, got about 25 minutes after that, but in true Pixar fashion, it is great storytelling from start to 'fin'. Go, see and you WILL enjoy. My stick in the mud son, who protested vigorously that he did NOT want to see it, was the first to rave on and on about the movie once we'd left.

Now, off to look up the recipe for some ratatouille...


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