Sunday, July 01, 2007


I've said it before that it's just no use talking about the incredible graphics created by Pixar - but each successive film just gets better and better. The latest, Ratatouille, takes place in Paris, where those geniuses of animation have a chance to really wow us. It's really almost distracting how beautiful the lighting is, how crisp the detail - but they also manage (with very few exceptions) to back all of that with solid characters and wonderful scripts as well.

Ratatouille is about a rat who has an advanced sense of smell. I have an advanced sense of smell too, and I can tell you, it's a curse. Most things in the world don't smell that good. The same is true for the rat, who is put to work smelling out rat poison in the trash for his colony. Eventually he finds himself in Paris, working in restaurant. I'll leave it for you to discover the rest. But what I found interesting was how this movie defied convention over and over again. I kept anticipating the "Disney" part of the production to lead to a more conventional script, but was continually surprised. It even addresses the little-known phenomenon of synesthesia (where one sense is experienced along with an another - ie, a person might experience the smell of something as a low note or squares as orange). There's a lovely bit at the end (I don't think I'm ruining it for you by mentioning) where (voiced by the inimitable Peter O'Toole) the virtues of trying new things and being open to change is voiced.

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