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Thursday, July 05, 2007



Loved: the animation, and the overall tone. I'm grateful that someone is making animated movies without passing off wall-to-wall Hollywood "insider" circle jerking as jokes. The first Shrek made me hate. I can't stand that I even know who Jeffery Katzenberg is. At least Brad Bird pictures don't require any knowledge of the film maker's relationship with Disney executives. The humor in Ratatouille is never sarcastic, at least not in a way that assumes you read US magazine.

Didn't Love: I didn't buy the hair-pulling thing for a second. Rat chef yes, human marionette, no. Also, the swipe at critics was cheap, simplistic and felt very defensive on Bird's part--as if to show, loudly, that those 96% positive ratings at Rotten Tomatoes don't go to his head. And finally, it drives me insane that for all its accomplishments, this is the same exact CGI cartoon every studio has been making since Toy Story. One critic called Ratatouille "a story about fulfilling one’s dreams, about going beyond preconceived boundaries and following your heart" which might as well be a marco on his keyboard. "Have the courage to be yourself" is a fine message, but it gets a little stale after 1,000 pictures. Just be yourself, talking action figure/fish/car/bug/beaver/toilet brush! And next year Pixar brings us Wall-E, the story of a robot who finds the courage to shake off his programming and be himself. Thank god. Where do these Imaginauts come up with their ideas?

It is exactly for this reason that I don't really watch CG films anymore. I wouldn't rule one out if a unique one were to come along, but they're all so cookie cutter, all I see is another "Crappily Ever After Over the Hedge (with Happy-Footed Pinguins)."

And the sad thing is, the Pixar movies usually ARE good movies, but kinda like you said: even they all follow the same story. I've already seen it, and I don't need to keep seeing it again and again. I'll wait until they make something new.
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