Thursday, July 5, 2007

I Don't Give a Rat's Ass


I've been meaning to use that phrase for awhile, so where better than here? Like everyone else, I just saw the latest Pixar flick, Ratatouille, and it's great! I should point out a few biases I have beforehand though...

Firstly, I really vehemently dislike at least 90% of all the animated features ever made. The exceptions of course being most of the Walt Disney features, Fleischer's Mr. Bug Goes to Town, Bakshi's Fritz the Cat, and the ones done by Pixar. Most of the others I've seen (and I've seen a lot) lack just about everything that made the Disney pictures great (sincerity, competence, artfulness). Fortunately Pixar isn't lacking in it entirely, and this feature isn't.

Secondly, I'm still not entirely warmed up to CG animation. Even with the best Pixar film, The Incredibles, I couldn't warm up to the computer animation. Something about it just doesn't seem right to me, like the average animation of the 1940s and 1950s does. Ratatouille, however, has made me change my mind on what can be done with computer animation, and I can say (with no regrets) that this is some of the best animation done since the 1950s (not saying that it's better, but it's really on par). Even the design of Skinner looks like something out of a Bob McKimson cartoon (that's probably not flattering to some people).

It makes someone like me, who is just entering the field, feel great to see something with competence and artistic merit being done, as it gives me some lingering hope that I'll be able to work on something like that some day (probably not).

Some of the writing was a little contrived, but hell, what romance in a cartoon isn't? Everything else about the picture was great and I have a new favorite. Congrats to Brad Bird and all the others who gave us this great summer treat to remember.

(BTW, wasn't Brad Garrett great in this film? I didn't know it was 'Robert' until the credits. It's nice that they used a celebrity in the picture without drawing attention to the voice.)

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