Last night I had the privilege to watch Brad Bird’s latest triumph, Ratatouille. It’s probably the best American animated film I’ve ever seen, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to any human. It scored a 96% on Metacritic and a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. Here are a few choice quotes from some of my favourite critics:
Roger Ebert: This is clearly one of the best of the year’s films. Every time an animated film is successful, you have to read all over again about how animation isn’t “just for children” but “for the whole family,” and “even for adults going on their own.” No kidding!
New York Magazine: Brad Bird wrote and directed Ratatouille and tops his previous work. Since his work includes The Iron Giant and The Incredibles, this puts him somewhere between Chuck Jones and Michelangelo. He uses dimensionality the way Spielberg does: His characters seize the foreground, making you sit up like a rat catching a whiff of cheeseÃ¢â‚¬â€maybe Parmigiano-Reggiano shaved lightly over truffle-scented Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ sorry.
David Denby: They create each movie afresh, and some of their productions, especially this one and Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Incredibles,Ã¢â‚¬Â both written and directed by Brad Bird, have reached heights of invention, speed, and wit not seen in animation since the work done by Chuck Jones at Warner Bros. in the nineteen-forties. In Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ratatouille,Ã¢â‚¬Â the level of moment-by-moment craftsmanship is a wonder. Keeping the space clear and coherent may seem an odd thing to praise in an animated film, but one of the marvellous things about Ã¢â‚¬Å“RatatouilleÃ¢â‚¬Â is how well we come to understand the geography of the kitchen in which much of the movie takes place.
It’s just movie craftsmanship at its finest. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favour and rent it.