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CGIFeature Film

Ratatouille is the Best Animated Film Since…


I was talking to my good friend Victor Haboush yesterday and he had an endorsement for Ratatouille that I just had to share. He says, and I quote, “It’s the best animated film since Pinocchio.” That’s a pretty bold statement but Vic is somebody whose taste I trust. And that’s not just because he’s worked on classics like Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty and 101 Dalmatians. Or because he worked on Brad Bird’s first feature The Iron Giant (and which he doesn’t share the same enthusiasm for as he does Bird’s latest). It’s because Vic knows what he’s talking about and because he’s always frank about what he thinks of things. If Vic says it’s good, then it probably is.

  • Wow, that is a bold statement indeed. Pinnochio is one of my all-time favorite untouchables. Can’t wait to see the new ‘Bird’ movie.

  • Each Pixar film seems to top the last (With the exception of CARS), and RATATOUILLE is no exception. The Pixar gang keeps showing the pretenders how it’s done.

  • I saw the sneak peak the other weekend. It’s truly the best movie I’ve seen in a long time. I really hope this gets a best picture nod. I know it will probably win best animated movie, but I hate that category because it trumps the animated movies and to me comes off like they’re claiming they’re not real movies.

  • Wow! Now I -really- am looking forward to this one. I’m sure a studio will put out a motion capture talking aardvark movie about recycling that will take the Oscar away from another deserving Pixar film.

  • DanO

    yeah, Cars was so bad that i still have to apologize to my girlfriend for bringing her to that brutally overly sentimental yawn of a film.

    “Ratatouille” should even the score.

  • Rat

    I’d say the best since Toy Story.

    But I agree, it deserves praise so high that we need to recalibrate our expectations of what a good animated film should be.

  • Esn

    If that were true for me, this would be my favourite animated film of all time (currently that place is held by “Fantasia 2000”, with “The Cat Who Walked by Herself” and “Laughter and Grief by the White Sea” as followups). But we’ll see. I’ll think I’ll buy a theatre ticket for this one. It is encouraging to see that none of the three critics who didn’t like it on rottentomatoes don’t look like they’re credible and didn’t provide convincing reasons.

    (by the way, what with cartoonbrew’s constant praise for the film, and Jim Hill’s sensationalist predictions of doom and backhanded compliments, the hype on both sides almost evens out)

  • Floyd Norman

    When I was a dumb kid working on “Sleeping Beauty” back in the fifties, I use to hang around the veterans like Vic Haboush because I had so much to learn. And, learn I did.

    Nice to know how much Vic likes “Ratatouille” because it’s an awesome movie. Pixar continues to kick serious butt.

  • Miller

    The pretenders are well-bankrolled though bankrupt where it counts.

  • Aw, Chris, I loved Cars :)
    I named my red Mazda 6 McQueen.

    I’m driving down to San Fran on Saturday, any good weekend screenings going on down there that anyone know of? I want to see Ratatouille on its opening weekend, definitely.

  • Can’t wait to see this film. I heard it is written in away that adults will enjoy it as much as kids.

  • I worked opposite brad when we were at Turner feature Animation. Even back then you could see his brilliance. I knew when turner closed down, that was probably as close as I’d ever get to working with the guy.

  • Andrew

    I need to visit this post twice. Once, which is now. Second, which is after I actually SEE the film, and get a good comparison with his view and my own. Way to go, Pixar!

  • Mish

    I KNEW IT! Yes! Our school is taking us tomorrow to see it. From the preview it indeed is the best quality CGI animation I’ve ever come across.

  • Gee, I think that’s a bit of an overstatement. More like, “Ratatouille is the Best Animated Film Since The Incredibles“…

  • Chris Robinson

    What does it mean? How is a film the best ever…or the best animation film ever? Does it matter? Who cares? You the individual like it or dont like it. That’s all that matters. Doesnt matter who else thinks what.

    ridiculous posting Amid. It’s like the animation world still scratching and crying at the door for crediblity. “look mom and dad, we’re special..we can make stuff do.”


  • Carl

    How about “Ratatouille” is the best film of the year so far. It is.

  • “It’s the best animated film since Pinocchio.â€?

    Disney should include that quote in its commercials for “Ratatouille.”

  • I saw the preview. Ratatouille is exceptionally good. Of course I’m still waiting for another film that “makes grown men cry” like Iron Giant did.

  • Robert Reynolds

    All I need to know about this film and whether or not it’s any good is the fact that the movie “critic” for my local morning newspaper is one of the three “reviewers” at rottentomatoes who didn’t like the film.

    I’ve learned over the years that if Phil Villareal pans a movie, it is, invariably, something I will like. With only a handful of exceptions, any movie he actually praises is one I should avoid like the plague.

  • “I’m driving down to San Fran on Saturday, any good weekend screenings going on down there that anyone know of?”

    Amy – If you are going to San Fran this weekend you may want to check the Osamu Tezuka art exhibit at the Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St. It starts this Saturday. If you are interested, I’d love to hear from you – a blog review or photos ?


  • Not that it matters (because we shouldn’t really care what critics think), but I was curious about the (now) 5 critics of “Ratatouille” who gave it a “rotten” rating. One of them gave “Polar Express” a rating of 4 out of 4 — yeah, he’s got a real good head on his shoulders.

  • Daniel

    thie movie re-affirmed my goals and ambitions as an animator. Excellent character acting… I literally did a double take at all the details they put into the characters expressions and emotions. I think it’s definately a contender to be a text-book example in future animation handbooks. The film had so much class it made the other movies I saw this year seem trite in comparison.

    ok, so I just stepped out of the midnight screening and I’m totally geeking out over it, but those are my initial reactions! It’s GOOD. As a student of animation I felt this movie had it going on and as far as overall experience goes it is definately up there near the top, but The Incredibles still holds that spot in my heart.

  • Steve Gattuso

    Having seen the film during the Saturday sneak two weeks ago, I’m quite willing to accept Mr. Haboush’s opinion. This movie may do for rats what “101 Dalmatians” did for that breed of canine.

  • Chuck R.

    This movie may do for rats what “101 Dalmatians� did for that breed of canine.

    You mean thousands of moms will buy rats for their kids only to have them end up in rat-shelters a month later?! Lord, we can’t have that. Stop this movie immmediately! —after I see it, of course.

  • Hey chuck, don’t forget how after Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came out, thousands of kids bought turtles to try and force them to do ninja moves but only succeeded in hurting the animals or getting themselves bitten. Funny yet tragic.

  • Amazing! I saw it this morning and I have to say it lived up to the hype. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such virtuoso animation and direction. It had such a classic feel, and yet suprised me in a lot of ways. The character designs were dreamy, the acting amazing, the camera moves a marvel, the story started out slow and built up steam until there were layers of story and drama intersecting and working off each other. My favorite parts were the head chef’s design and animation and Peter O’Toole’s amazing voice work. I can’t recommend it enough and can’t wait to see it again!

  • Great news! I loved the incredibles, but I wasn’t as sure about this one considering it’s history and Brad Bird hadn’t started on it from the beginning. I knew it would be good, but I wasn’t expecting it to achieve the same level as the Incredibles, but from reviews it seems like it has.

  • Mark: Oh yes, the Tezuka exhibition is definitely on my plans too. That, the Cartoon Museum (I always stop there when in SF), seeing Ratatouille and a pilgrimage to the Charles Schulz museum.

    I’ll make sure to write it all up on the blog when we get back. For the bare handful of people who might be interested ;)

    ESN: Jim Hill has a notoriously biased chip on his shoulder against Pixar. He’s been doing it for years. Most serious industry pundits take his opinions with a huge grain of salt, but he’s handy for breaking news.

    But back on topic, REALLY excited about Ratatouille now.

  • Chuck R.

    Zekey, I thought you were kidding until I wikipeed TMNT. I guess some folks will never learn. Maybe Brad Bird should do an Earthworm Jim movie just to be safe. Can earthworms be safely returned to the wild?

  • Well, I’ve tried to resist the hype as much as I could, for fear of disappointment, but I’m seeing that the hearty praise begun here on Cartoon Brew has continued everywhere else. I’m really looking forward to seeing it tomorrow. Thank goodness I have an open weekend.

    Again, I always say this, but it bears repeating: this movie looks far, far better once Brad Bird took the reins. It seems, also, that he did far more than simply take over another director’s project. Much like Miyazaki’s handling of Howl’s Moving Castle, Bird has completely taken over and fully made it his own. I suspect this won’t be remembered as a bailout project by any stretch.

    Oh, please please please let this be a good movie. I can’t remember the last American animated movie that I seriously liked. I still have a pain in my left foot from Hoodwinked, a headache from Over the Hedge, and a slight hangover from Robots.

  • Andrew

    I saw it, and kept my word to visit this post again. To answer, in my opinion, it comes CLOSE to being better than Pinnochio, but I DO believe it is AS good! I won’t repeat anything anyone else here has said, but will only state that the story itself is a fantasy. The premise is wonderfully absurd, but Pixar again makes us relate in this goal of protagonist. The ending is perfect, yet just as absurd as the premise, and completely unpredictable at the same time… for me at least. I would advise not to question any logical way the comedy would be plausible in reality, and simply relax and follow the story as it presents itself.

  • The rat-down-the-sewer scene close to the beginning of the movie should be a lesson to everyone who screwed up Flushed Away–it would be a loud and scary experience for a rodent–not just some thrill ride.

    Best line in Ratatouille:

    “We hate to be rude, but…we’re French!”

  • Ward: I loved your post about the eyebrows in Polar express.

    Polar Express does rank as one of the best stereoscopic movies ever made, though. If you could have seen it in IMAX 3D you might have given it 3 stars. Bad hair or not.

  • John

    Just came back from seeing this at the drive-in. Thank you, I wouldn’t have seen this on the big screen if I didn’t read this post. Great movie. The animation was sweet, there were no topical-focus-group-jokes, and they got the food right. It’s sad that this animated celebration of the transformative power of food is being shown in theaters with artificial butter on the popcorn and vanillin in the chocolate. Not the genius of The Triplets of Belleville but an excellent movie.

  • this animated film is brilliant