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A rat named Remy dreams of becoming a great French chef despite his family's wishes and the obvious problem of being a rat in a decidedly rodent-phobic profession. When fate places Remy in the sewers of Paris, he finds himself ideally situated beneath a restaurant made famous by his culinary hero, Auguste Gusteau. Despite the apparent dangers of being an unlikely — and certainly unwanted — visitor in the kitchen of a fine French restaurant, Remy's passion for cooking soon sets into motion a hilarious and exciting rat race that turns the culinary world of Paris upside down. Remy finds himself torn between his calling and passion in life or returning forever to his previous existence as a rat. He learns the truth about friendship, family and having no choice but to be who he really is, a rat who wants to be a chef.
For more about Ratatouille and the Ratatouille Blu-ray release, see Ratatouille Blu-ray Review published by Brandon A. DuHamel on November 14, 2007 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Directors: Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava
Writers: Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco
Starring: Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Lou Romano, Brian Dennehy, Peter Sohn, John Ratzenberger
» See full cast & crew
Ratatouille Blu-ray Review
Pixar continues to amaze with this heartwarming tale of individualism and the joy of realizing your dreams
Reviewed by Brandon A. DuHamel, November 14, 2007
From Disney-Pixar comes Ratatouille, the touching tale of Remy (Patton Oswalt), a lonely and misunderstood rat. When Remy reads the book (yes, he can read!) "Anyone Can Cook," by the famous French chef, Gusteau, he discovers his one true love in the art of haute cuisine. Remy is misunderstood by his fellow rats because he aspires to be more than just a scrounger. Remy wants to live, create and to be set free from his humdrum existence as a bottom dweller.
When an error in judgement causes Remy to expose his entire family to a shotgun weilding farm- owner, he and his brood are forced to flee into the rain-soaked night. As Remy struggles to keep up with the group, he is separated from his father and brother and winds up in Paris at the restaurant of his idol, Chef Gusteau. Drawn to the restaurant by the wonderful aromas coming from inside, Remy rushes in to the busy kitchen and finds himself "fixing" a disgusting soup made by a hapless garbage boy named Linguini (Lou Romano). After the soup is mistakenly served and the patron praises the dish, Linguini is hired as the kitchen's new Soup Chef. Realizing he has no talent for cooking, Linguini enlists Remy to create his new dishes. It is from then that Remy gets to live his dream, if only vicariously, as a chef. Of course, all is not well, as the restaurant's current chef, Skinner (Ian Holm), tries to sabotage Linguini at every turn while the jaded, almost evil food critic Anton Ego (Peter O'Toole), who originally wrote the restaurant off, is out to prove he wasn't wrong.
The voice acting in Ratatouille is probably the weakest part of the film, as there isn't a single authentic French accent among the cast. Other than this minor quibble, Ratatouille is a touching story. One might never believe that a rat could stir up such tender feelings, but I was truly moved by Remy's situation in life. Pixar did accomplish something very special with this story. I do have to issue a slight warning, however. Ratatouille is much more of a cerebral film than one might normally expect from an animated feature. Don't be surprised if younger children have a hard time warming up to it in the same way they may have with Cars or Finding Nemo. With that said, older children and adults will find a lot to love about Ratatouille, just as I did. This is an amazing story with breathtaking animation.
Ratatouille Blu-ray, Video Quality
This high definition 1080p Blu-ray release from Pixar, framed at 2.39:1, looks spectacular. Colors are vivid and pristine, contrast and black levels perfect, and resolution exceptional. Every strand of fur on Remy's coat is captured with exacting detail.
For examples of the disc's amazing picture quality, be sure to pay attention to the fast-paced scene where Remy first enters the kitchen of Gusteau's restaurant. There is an abundance of fast action and beautiful detail in this scene. Also, be sure to check out the sequence where Remy is separated from his pack. This scene in particular shows an amazing amount of shadow detail and also highlights the fine details in Remy's fur. You can actually see the droplets of water gathering in his fur causing his fur to clump together.
Finally, there is not a single compression artifact to be found in this AVC encode. To say that Ratatouille is reference grade would be an understatement!
Ratatouille Blu-ray, Audio Quality
This Blu-ray Disc release offers a few audio options. There is an English 5.1 Uncompressed PCM mix (48kHz/24-bit) as well as English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes. I listened mainly to the uncompressed PCM while switching to the English Dolby Digital 5.1 a few times for comparison.
As is normal for a Pixar film, this 5.1 soundtrack is very aggressive and will give your sound system a wonderful workout. The surround channels are filled with many discrete sounds. This is especially true in the many kitchen scenes where the subwoofer is used aggressively, but not overwhelmingly. There is also a lush sense of ambience mixed in throughout the film. These things combine to give the mix a great sense of spacial depth, motion, and fullness. The clarity and detail of the 48/24 PCM recording is exceptional and helps to convey a great sense of realism to all of the special effects and dialogue.
Switching between the uncompressed PCM and the Dolby Digital tracks, I must say that the Dolby Digital soundtrack did, at times, sound pleasing. Ultimately, it lacked some clarity in the dialogue as well as some overall impact and smoothness in the midrange. If you can, go with the uncompressed PCM, but the Dolby Digital will do nicely otherwise.
Ratatouille Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
While there are a great number of extras available on this disc, most are geared toward the adult audience, so don't expect the kids to get much pleasure out of them. There is a Java-based game included, Gusteau's Gourmet Game, the object of which is to help Linguini prepare meals as orders stack up. I found that even this game would be more well suited to older children, and even they might find it boring in today's PS3 world.
The real highlights of the extra features on this disc, are the two high definition Pixar animated shorts. This is something Pixar is well known for. Their reputation for producing great shorts exists for a very good reason as these two shorts are fantastic.
"Your Friend the Rat", a hand drawn, 2D short "hosted" by Remy and Emile, explores rats and their relationship with humans throughout history. Next up is "Lifted", the humorous story of an alien who has a little trouble trying to abduct a sleeping human.
The second best extra on the disc, in my opinion, is the featurette Fine Food and Film, with Director Brad Bird and Chef Thomas Keller (French Laundry). This one gives a little behind the scenes look at how the two worked together to bring the haute cuisine element into Ratatouille.
Other than that, there are a few deleted scenes and some behind the scenes discussions on how certain scenes came together. There's also a short featurette on composer Michael Giacchino along with more discussions with the Pixar animation team. None of these extras will require more than one viewing, but they are very thorough in documenting how the film came together.
There is a preview for the next Disney-Pixar feature, WALL-e, in HD, as well as the following additional trailers, all in high definition:
Now on Blu-ray:
Cars Pixar Short Films Collection
Meet the Robinsons
Coming to Blu-ray:
There is an easter egg on this disc, but for those who would rather I not give it away, please scroll down to find the details:
...you must be on the full menu screen where Remy and Emile are rolling the cheese wheel. From there, scroll to the "Features" selection then scroll "left" and the hidden extras will appear.
Ratatouille Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Disney-Pixar continue to amaze and prove why, when it comes to animation, there are no two names that are more synonymous with quality, class, and distinction. Ratatouille is a heartfelt tale of a loveable rat that wants to be more than just what society tells him he should or can be. That's something many, if not all of us, can relate to. Older children and adults should find this film quite enjoyable. This high definition Blu-ray Disc release, with its flawless picture and sound, is an excellent way to experience it. The two high definition Pixar animated shorts on this disc in addition to the slew of other extras only make this disc more of a value. Run to the store and buy it - - what are you waiting for?
Ratatouille: Other Editions
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Ratatouille Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Ratatouille Scheduled for November Blu-ray Release - August 10, 2007
Buena Vista Home Entertainment has revealed that they are currently planning to release Pixar's 'Ratatouille' on Blu-ray this November. While no exact date has been set, it has been expected for many weeks that it would arrive on the same day as two other Pixar ...
• Pixar's Cars Announced for November - July 18, 2007
HollywoodinHiDef.com is reporting that Buena Vista Home Entertainment will release Pixar's Cars for Blu-ray on November 6th. This title was delayed from June as director John Lasseter wanted to be very hands on with this release (and at that time he was busy ...
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