Ratatouille Movie Review: Brad Bird Directs the Most Unique and Beautiful Pixar Film Imaginable

Review: Ratatouille could only be as effective as it is with these voice actors and this concept and director, and it all comes together to make one of Pixar’s most unique and loveable movies. Brad Bird conceptualizes a ridiculous premise to perfection, delivering a meta story about the intersection of art and criticism.

ratatouille review pixar brad bird film 2007
Ratatouille (2007) from Pixar Studios

Brad Bird’s Ratatouille builds a world about as well as any animated movie made in the 21st century, and certainly as detailed and enriching as any film in the dense Pixar catalogue. And that’s saying something considering the likes other Pixar movies include Wall-E, Monsters Inc., and the expansive Toy Story franchise. There’s a lot to choose from, but Ratatouille renders Paris to such a great extent that you truly feel dropped inside of its own world.

And maybe that’s because the movie is told from the perspective of a small, well-minded rat named Remy (voiced brilliantly and effortlessly by Patton Oswalt, because nothing screams a French rodent like Patton Oswalt). Brad Bird is able to convey the idea of being a small fish in a massive pond frequently with the many establishing shots of Paris’ skyline and endless infrastructure, depicted in massive portraits through the eyes of the movie’s critical furry animals. Remy’s just trying to realize his dream of being a chef, and in that sense, the world is truly at your fingertips in Paris, even for a rat.

The parallels between Remy and a director like Brad Bird are told quite effectively in Ratatouille – that being an artist (in this case, a renowned chef) requires being vulnerable, and that the best work is often the most personal. Brad Bird has told many different stories that feel simultaneously action packed and personal, but few achieve the meta nature that this Pixar movie does.

Yet it never feels too on-the-nose for long stretches, which is really hard to achieve. A movie like Ratatouille, which is still targeted for kids and wouldn’t nearly work as effectively without those classic Pixar animated touches, is never heavy handed or forced. The authenticity and care always shines through, and the artistry reigns supreme in a movie with a countless number of noteworthy flourishes and sight gags.

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The rest of the voice cast, from Lou Romano as the insecure Linguini to Peter O’Toole as the all-too-secure food critic Anton Ego, helps bring Ratatouille to life in a big way. The movie only works with performances that are equal parts cartoonish and believable, and these lively characters make every moment in Ratatouille worth it. The film may not be the shortest of Pixar’s filmography, yet it feels like the time best spent. The pacing is delightful, never feeling like it’s missing a step.

Brad Bird has directed three Pixar movies at the time of me writing this. I’ve really enjoyed all of them, but this feels like his crowning achievement – his magnum opus. Both of The Incredibles movies are remarkably entertaining and invigorating, but neither have the emotional weight and thematic impact as Ratatouille. That’s nothing to scoff at because all three are among the studio’s best movies.

Ratatouille came out in (arguably) the best movie year of the 21st century. 2007 is stacked with an endless array of the decade’s best movies, and Ratatouille goes down among the greatest it had to offer. This and Wall-E feel like the end of an era for Pixar Studios, where they were able to conceive of one original story after another. The film is only as effective as it is with these voice actors and this concept and director, and it all comes together to make one of Pixar’s most unique and loveable movies.

Classic Movie

Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family

Watch Ratatouille (2007) on Disney+ and VOD here

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Ratatouille Movie Voice Cast and Credits

ratatouille movie 2007

Voice Cast

Patton Oswalt as Remy

Lou Romano as Linguini

Ian Holm as Skinner

Brian Dennehy as Django

Peter Sohn as Emile

Peter O’Toole as Anton Ego

Brad Garrett as Gusteau

Janeane Garofalo as Colette

Will Arnett as Horst

John Ratzenberger as Mustafa


Director: Brad Bird

Writers: Jan PinkavaBrad BirdJim Capobianco

Cinematography: Robert AndersonSharon Calahan

Editors: Greg SnyderDarren T. Holmes

Composer: Michael Giacchino

Reviews for Films like Ratatouille (2007)