Pixar High Five
Emeryville-based Pixar keeps its streak of family-friendly hit films moving right along with the June 29 release of Ratatouille. The studio that gave us Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles hopes to simultaneously tickle our taste buds and our funny bones with its comic tale of a rodent gourmand living under a French restaurant. Here are five reasons why we’re intrigued.
1. The price of a ticket comes with a free trip to Paris—kind of. Ratatouille is set in the City of Light, and considering the gorgeous treatment Pixar gave Route 66 in Cars, Paris should look spectacular on multiplex screens across America.
2. We didn’t have to wait two to three years for the next Pixar movie. (Cars is still a “New Release” at the video store.)
3. Director Brad Bird is back. The man behind Oscar-winning Pixar classic The Incredibles (and the underappreciated Warner Bros. cartoon The Iron Giant) is helming Ratatouille.
4. Big laughs from the rat. The titular character is voiced by Patton Oswalt—maybe the funniest comedian working today. Short and stout, Oswalt isn’t who studio heads typically think of when casting the “summer blockbuster leading man” role, but he’s hilarious, a major-league foodie, and a total comic book geek. “Being offered this role was like having someone say, ‘Members of Led Zeppelin, the Who, the Beatles, and the Stones are forming a band, and they want you to be the lead singer,’ ” says Oswalt.
5. The movie looks delicious. Pixar’s animators studied hours of footage of chefs cooking at the French Laundry to get all the scrumptious culinary details just right. Chef Thomas Keller, who voices a character, even designed a dish for the film. (For dinner-and-a-movie plans, consider pairing your Ratatouille screening at Pleasant Hill’s Century Theaters with the French cuisine at Left Bank across the street.)