Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5. USA, 2007. Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures. Story by Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird, Screenplay by Brad Bird, additional story material by Emily Cook, Kathy Greenberg, Bob Peterson. Produced by Brad Lewis. Music by Michael Giacchino. Production Design by Harley Jessup. Film Editing by Darren T. Holmes. Academy Awards 2007. Golden Globe Awards 2007.
Brad Bird, the artist behind Pixar’s superhit The Incredibles, returns with another full-scale charmer. Remy is an adorable country rat with a sharp sense of taste and smell who longs to be more than just a thief of food: he wants to be a world-class chef! His dream finds its way to him when he gets separated from his family during an escape from their home and, thanks to the confusing maze of sewers he navigates, he ends up at the restaurant of the late, great chef who is also his inspiration. When a lowly garbage boy discovers Remy’s talent for cooking creations, the two pair up and make themselves the toast of the town, a distinction threatened by the menace of a snooty food critic (voiced hilariously by Peter O’Toole) dead-set on destroying any culinary aspirant who dares call themselves great. Beautiful animation (the rats’ expressions are to die for) and sharp writing and direction have been keynote in Pixar’s films and will come as no surprise to the experienced audience member, but this one distinguishes itself by being permeated with a warm glow that it holds onto until its heartwarming close.