Earlier this summer, my family here at the Fortress of Ineptitude decided to embark on an entertainment adventure by watching the Pixar feature films in chronological order and I would post about it. The last post of The Pixar Project was for the movie Cars and that was back on August 8th. Now, six weeks later and we're back. Not really sure what the delay was; it's not like our social calendar is THAT full. In fact, our social calendar occasionally lifts its head, gives a faint and dejected sigh then goes back to sleep in its lonely little corner.
Whatever the reason, I'm back to recount my family's viewing of the next Pixar film in sequence, Ratatouille.
Ratatouille is a compelling story but an oddly structured one. It’s essentially two movies that cross paths in Paris, France. One movie is about a rat named Remy who is different from other rats in that Remy has a very refined sense of smell and taste. It is a refinement that leads Remy to disdain the garbage favored by his fellow rats. Remy doesn’t want to take leftovers, he wants to make food that is to be enjoyed and savored. Remy is particularly inspired by the human chef Gusteau, an avuncular chef who has gained fame with his credo, “Anyone can cook.” A series of events separates Remy from the rest of his rat clan and deposits him inside Gusteau’s restaurant. Gusteau’s has seen better days since the tragic death of Gusteau himself and it is here that Remy’s movie meets up with the other movie.
There are several visual flourishes, not the least of which are spectacular vistas of Paris, especially at night. Meanwhile, character comes through via design with the gangly Linguini, the rotund Gusteau, the fierce Collette and of course the dreary visage of the almost vampire like Anton Ego. And a word about the rats: yep, they get the rougher edges of real life rats smoothed over but still, the rats look and move like real rats. As much as we root for Remy, some of the scenes with rats swarming about are more than bit icky.
There is also a bonus feature on the Blu-Ray called Your Friend, the Rat hosted by Remy and his brother about the amazingly complex interrelationship between rats and humans throughout history which is a remarkably positive story of rat/human co-existence. (It is also a story that does not reflect the views of Pixar or the Walt Disney Corporation as provided in an incredibly funny disclaimer at the end.)
Ratatouille is a hard to define film in the Pixar canon but is certainly indicative of the more adventurous storytelling to come and an entertaining movie in its own right.
And that's that for today's post. Tomorrow, it's back to politics as we head down the stretch towards the first Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Clinton hopes to make gains against an opponent who has nothing to lose. This is going to be... weird.
Saturday, we take a look at the mind behind this blog in a segment I'm going to call, "What the Hell is Dave-El Thinking?" If I can summon up more than one thought, I might make it a series.
And on Sunday, it's Doctor Who Day here on the blog as I introduce a BRAND NEW fan fiction script featuring the 12th Doctor against the menace of a Cyberman threat that should be... impossible. What is the mystery behind "Cybermania"? We'll begin that journey on Sunday.
Until next time, remember to be good to one another.