Thursday, April 17, 2008

rat cook

I'm increasingly dissappointed with the concepts of Pixar. From the upcoming movie list it doesn't look like I'll need to see anything from them for awhile. Ive proclaimed my distaste for the rat cook concept and look for awhile but I finally sat and watched it. I looked at it from the point of how well did they make the concept and story they chose work. How do they engage the audience and get them into the story. Being a cook myself I actually found very little interesting in the cooking elements. But anyway the whole opening was very slow and throughout the movie I found many elements hard to believe, I thought they betrayed the characters they set up and often there were odd choices simply moving story from point A to B. The old woman shooting the hell out of her home was neither amusing or believable. The strange choice to make the rats need for food and natural instinct for survival into petty theft was really stupid. The whole film was really unamusing, and full of cartoony cliche antics and slapstick. The pseudo french ,characters most of which were merely providing background noise or awaiting to serve their brief plot point. Sorry these thoughts are everywhere I'm clumsily iPhone typing. The characters seemed merely for moving the plot along. The strange relationship with the female character that becomes even more obscurely vague ,after she and the main human character kiss, to the point of a nearly non existant relationship. I found it odd that even though the rat was the star cook, the other chefs were absolutely useless to the point of
not even learning any of the rats recipes, what were the others doing all those nights of cooking the rats recipes?!. I also didnt understand the chefs simply walking out once they find out a rat is the cook, was there no friendship amongst them? At the very least one of them would be willing to stick with it given the restaurants new found success. Anyway even the girlfriend walks out until she sees the ubiquitous "anyone can cook" a theme bludgeoned across the audiences head. Once again I felt the chefs reactions served the plot as opposed to being natural to the characters and scenario. The little spats between the rat and human were equally implausible. The rat mad after a fight with the unappreciative human,sends the rat family to " steal" food. They get caught by the human who owes all his success to this rat and instead of being level headed and appreciative of the rat that's brought him everything, he calls them all thieves and tells them to get out even though this is the most important night for the restaurant. There's plenty more that bothered me mostly along the same lines of thinly veiled plot devices unnatural character reactions and long unamusing cartoony monologues but typing on this phone is slow
I know story is claimed to be pixars focus but its sort of taken a back seat to character animation and overly rendered environments
p.s. Why does the garbage boy with apparently no inclination to cook proceed to go and ruin a soup right off the bat?! And a soup that induces vomiting isn't gonna become exquisite with a little bay leaf and cream


MrGoodson2 said...

Great critique of Ratatouille. I worked on the game.
I learned from doing 3 pixar licensed games that the story is always being worked on.
They typically have a lot of agony over 3rd acts and usually pull the elements in and edit the bad out. And make it look easy.
The Rat cook was handed off to Bird mid-stream in production and it's safe to guess it will not be considered one of his best.

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