International Writers Magazine:
be honest, the image of hundreds of rats falling down from the ceiling
and swarming out of an old ladys idyllic little cottage wasnt
exactly a comforting sight but Pixar have this amazing knack (or should
I say technology) that captures the movement of the rats that just seems
to be so real. The way their tails flick and swish; the way their noses
twitch, even the way their chests move so rapidly you almost dont
see it as their heartbeats race. It really gave Remy the life that some
to be the best Disney/Pixar film I have seen in an awfully long
time. This is the one that will be joining the classics, its
just got something that the last few Disney attempts havent
had. Perhaps its the cute and fluffy rats running about all
over the screen. Well now, theres a sentence you dont
see every day.
Okay, so weve established that Remy is a rat. A rat who has an unusual
passion, Remy wants to cook. I honestly thought it might be a bit of a
rubbish story but it really did work! Remy becomes separated from his
garbage guzzling family when they are discovered and chased from their
home. He ends up in Paris where he is spoken to by his idol, the famous
chef Gusteau. Gusteau acts as Remys conscious in a way reminiscent
of Jiminy Cricket reminding him not to steal food and to believe in and
be true to himself; a traditional Disney message. Remy meets and befriends
a young kitchen garbage boy, Linguini, when he catches him messing up
the soup in Gusteaus restaurant and cant help but stop and
put it right letting his nose and his heart lead him into an unconventional
friendship and a whole lot of trouble.
not a laugh until your sides split type film but true to form it
has many of the Disney one-liners (I dont mean to be rude
but we are French!) and of course the French accents are particularly
bad, although not as bad as Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast and
yes, the boy does get the girl. I know its a little predictable
but maybe sometimes we maybe need a bit of the predictable in our
lives? Perhaps its part of the charm. Theres no hard-hitting
political message behind this film its simple, funny and the
characters are loveable-just the way Disney is supposed to be.
Different personas are created through the look and voices of the characters,
Anton Ego (how fantastic is that!) the critic, has a vampiric, hunched
look with a sallow face and slightly pointed teeth, his study is dark
and rich and shaped like a coffin; symbolising in an amusing way the fear
he strikes into the hearts of all in the restaurant business. Linguini
is tall, gangly and clumsy with a lopsided smile and big puppy dog eyes;
the money driven head chef Skinner is a tiny man who has to use a step
ladder to see through the kitchen windows and has a big attitude that
more than makes up for his height. Colette is a feisty, independent woman
who is hiding a soft centre. Each characters appearance suits the
personality and they all have hidden depths. Even the more minor characters
have charm and personality. Emile, Remys brother, couldnt
give a stuff what he puts into his mouth but he remains loyal to his brothers
wayward ideas. The cooks all have secret pasts leading to a Schwarzenegger
style quote "I once killed a man, with just this thumb."
Then of course there is Remy himself, who in true Disney style, almost
gives up on his dreams and very nearly sabotages Linguinis career;
but in the end he ultimately does the right thing and helps his new friend
win over tough critic Ego.
Really, Im trying not to give away too much of the plot because
I think this is a film that everyone needs to see. Its truly universal,
unless you hate rats in which case you may want to sit this one out.
This film really delivers for young and old alike; so hats off to Disney/Pixar
they seem to be back on form. Its cute, its funny but in a
word, its charming. So get on down to your local cinema and start
re-living your childhood; this is classic Disney at its best.
© Nicole October 2007
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