Okay, I just watched "Ratatouille" and I'm probably the only person in the world who feels this way, but...I just didn't like it.
My kids kept asking me at different points throughout the film, "Is this a 'feel-good' movie?" - to which I have to say, "No." It just didn't seem plausible to me. Yes, yes, I know - it's an animated movie, it's not SUPPOSED to be plausible, right? Well, I beg to differ...all the animated movies that I liked tended to have something believable in them, even if they were extremely fantasy-based. This to me was more like a hodgepodge of ideas thrown out around a table while a couple guys were getting drunk. It was, in essence, Pixar's Atlanta Nights if you will. Sure, the animation was top notch...but that just doesn't cut it to me.
Spoilers here...so don't read if you don't want to know more (altho I'm probably the last person to see this film as I always wait until they are out on dvd)...
A rat that can cook...then said rat being able to pull the guy's hair (who also just happens to be the lowest guy on the totem pole in the haute cuisine restaurant) to control his body movements, then him ending up being the guy who inherits the restaurant, then having it closed down due to rat infestation...only to open another restaurant which apparently caters to the "rat-friendly" who don't mind their meals prepared by vermin. Um...I just don't see anything plausible in the film nor anything fantasy-ish enough to make it credible. Each of these Pixar (or Pixarotype) films score high marks for their incredible art technique...but this one lacks what the others that I've seen had going for them: the ability to take you away for an hour and a half to a fun little world.
"Monsters, Inc." was plausible - a little world filled with the dreaded monster in all our inner child's heads...even if you were OLD like me, you'd hearken back memories of what you saw, i.e., imagined was under the bed, in the closet, scratching at the window, etc. Then to find out the monsters were as scared of us as we were of them...well, that was pretty darned brilliant.
"Toy Story" was plausible - a boy whose toys come to life because, well, we all wished our toys did when we were kids...and secretly thought they did when we weren't in the room...kinda like how all pets can talk only they don't let you know because you'd expect them to do subservient things for you then.
"A Bug's Life" was plausible because we really don't know what bugs do - and for all we know their social structures are far more elaborate (at least in their own realm) than we'd ever give them credit for...until you watched this film. And face it, we've all seen those ants who sacrifice their bodies by stringing themselves across water so the others can make it safely to the other side...so just right there it gains some redemption.
"The Incredibles" - oh, who hasn't wondered what a washed up Superman or Batman would do? And who wouldn't like the whole idea of being able to be useful and young again and save the world - plus have nifty superpowers to boot?
See? All of those have a lot going for them from the get-go - they didn't need 14 different angles to attempt to pull it all together, which to me, fails, except for the fact it has kick-ass computer effects.
Now...don't even get me started on the other film we watched the other day that the whole country went ga-ga about which my kids and I kept looking at each other with that "what the....???" look on our faces: "Happy Feet" - yes, that had a lot going for it - dancing penguins...everyone loves dancing penguins...let's just animate a bunch of penguins. Story? We don't need a story...we have cute dancing penguins! Look, I got my fill of dancing penguins in "Mary Poppins"...and the three minutes they were on screen in that - well, it held more plot (and my attention) than the 108 minutes they used up in "Happy Feet". My feet were only too happy to walk over to remove that disc from my player as well.
A Bit About Me
- Mariann Simms
- Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".