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Director:Brad Bird
Cast:Patton Oswalt, Janeane Garofalo
Our Rating:

If your kids like to watch the Food Network or have a thing for the pudgy neighbor from The King of Queens, then Ratatouille may be right up their alley. Otherwise, the previously winning Pixar calculus of jokes-for-all-ages is so skewed in Ratatouille that it’s unlikely that young or old will connect. While the humor wins most of the time (thanks primarily to the fine delivery of stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt, who plays the lead rat), the jokes are rooted in contexts – kitchen work and sewer rats – that kids aren’t familiar with. The adults who would appreciate the jokes are unlikely to dare to be the lone childless person at a cartoon. Perhaps if Ratatouille were lightly written instead of delivered in a ponderous, talk-heavy manner, it would be more engaging for the young ones. Perhaps if the too-simple story – foodie rat sneaks his way into a Paris kitchen and winds up cooking there – had anything beyond that wearying gag to offer, adults might be willing to tolerate it. Sadly, though, beyond the stunning animation (they finally got hair right!), there’s little to recommend besides the fact that it’s a touch better than Shrek the Third.
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