Double bill featuring the popular animated adventure. In 'Ratatouille' (2007), Remy (voiced by Patton Oswalt) is a rat who dreams of becoming a great French chef despite 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 (Brad Garrett). 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. 'Pixar Short Films Collection' comprises 13 animated shorts that chronicle how far Pixar and computer animation have come in the last 20 years.
As good a film as Pixar has ever put out, Ratatouille is a frantic, innovative movie, boasting some of the finest quality animation ever put on the screen. The film tells the story of wannabe-chef Remy The Rat, who becomes drawn into the mantra of legendary cook Gusteau, that anyone can cook. The deceased Gusteaus ghostly image appears to Remy and guides him to his restaurant, whose standards have been slipping since his death. Remy, through the manipulation of a lowly restaurant worker called Linguini, soon starts secretly cooking the food, and this unusual set-up proves to be a trove of treasures that Pixar carefully picks through.
Ratatouilles trick is to tie its cutting edge animation techniques to old-school essentials. At times harking back to the frenetic style youd expect of Chuck Jones, it threads an original narrative through its story, which itself is packed with memorable characters (none more so than Peter OTooles superbly-voiced restaurant critic). It perhaps runs a little too long, but its so well-written and so lavishly entertaining that its a churlish complaint to have.For in an era of cynically-produced family movies, Ratatouille is really something special. With an appeal that spreads across generations, and a quality that puts it right up there with Pixars finest, its an outstanding piece of cinema, and one set to be enjoyed for many, many years. Unmissable. --Simon Brew
Pixar's unprecedented string of hit animated features was built on the short films in this collection. John Lasseter and Ed Catmull used these cartoons the way Walt Disney used the "Silly Symphonies" during the 1930s: as a training ground for artists and a way to explore the potential of a new medium. Although it's only 90 seconds long, "Luxo, Jr." (1986) ranks as the "Steamboat Willie" of computer animation: For the first time, audiences believed CG characters could think and feel. (It was also the first CGI film to make audiences laugh.)
When the artists began work on Toy Story, they had learned so much from the shorts, they were ready to undertake that landmark creation. In the later shorts, the viewer can see the artists continuing to experiment: with a more realistic human figure in "Geri's Game" and with new ways of suggesting atmospheric effects in "Boundin'." Some of the more recent shorts continue the adventures of the characters from the features. "Jack-Jack Attack" reveals what happened to the hapless baby-sitter while The Incredibles were off fighting Syndrome, while "Mater and the Ghost Light" shows that life goes on for the inhabitants of Radiator Springs. When Sully from Monsters, Inc. tries to adjust his seat in "Mike's New Car," the animators prolong the moment to wring every drop of humour from the situation--just as an earlier generation of animators milked Wile E. Coyote's antics for all they were worth. The long-unseen films for Sesame Street are an unexpected bonus. A delightful collection of entertaining shorts, and a significant chronicle of the growth of computer animation. --Charles Solomon