Brad Bird Reveals New "Ratatouille" Clips; Our Synopsis and Impression

Back in March, Rotten Tomatoes was invited to hang with "Ratatouille" director Brad Bird at Pixar to screen select scenes from the forthcoming summer pic. Our verdict? Either "Ratatouille" is going to be superb or Bird made some astute choices in choosing which clips to show, because what we saw was classic Pixar and their ability to juggle comedy and tense action scenes on full display.

The first clip (the longest but best one) opens with Remy, the wannabe chef rat, sneaking into a house to filch some saffron. A program about Gusteau, Remy?s favorite and inspirational chef, comes up on TV. In a very Pixar-ish moment where the TV mesmerizes a character and proceeds to deliver horrible news ("Not a flying toy," anyone?), Remy is instantly seduced by the sight of the screen, and learns that Gusteau is dead and his restaurant is on the rocks.

"Ratatouille" director Brad Bird.

Before he can mourn, the old lady of the house wakes up and starts blasting away with her shotgun. Remy?s friend, the whiny voice of reason who had been trying to convince Remy to return home, is the first target. A comic action sequence follows, very exciting (and very loud), as the two rats scurry around, dodging buck shots. They end up on a chandelier and a final shot from the woman sends the ceiling crashing down, revealing hundred of rats that had been hiding in the attic.

Everybody goes into panic mode and it?s a dervish of fur and feet bouncing towards the door. The rats make it outside, into the rain, and hop into emergency miniboats stashed in the bushes. Meanwhile, the woman is still shooting every which way she can while Remy goes back for a cookbook penned by Gusteau. By the time he makes it out, everybody?s already on the boats and they?re all heading into a sewer tunnel. Remy jumps into the water with the book as a raft, calling out for help, frantically pushing forward with his hands. The rain is pelting down and the woman is still trying to gun down the rats. Inside the sewer tunnel, Remy takes the wrong path and is sucked down into the water, separated from his friends and family. "Probably forever," he concedes later after finding dry ground.

Brad Bird's "The Incredibles."

The other clips we saw, each in various stages of completion, fleshed out more of the story. "Ratatouille" involves Remy helping out a loser at Gusteau?s restaurant named Linguini, whom everyone believes to be a brilliant chef. In reality, Remy?s food was served to patrons but it was Linguini who inadvertently took the credit. There are at least two bad guys: an angry, bitter chef (think Manuel from "Fawlty Towers") who knows Linguini?s a fake, and Paris?s top food critic (played by a growly Peter O?Toole). And there?s the love interest: an angry (nobody?s really happy in this movie) young chef who?s sick of the discrimination women have to bear in the cooking world. The more she rejects Linguini, the more he finds her irresistible.

"Cars": Pixar's previous animated effort.

I was a bit worried after I found "Cars" less than stellar. But "Ratatouille" looks great, the action sequences impressive, and the camerawork fluid (a scene with Remy climbing through an apartment complex to get to the roof has the camera beautifully gliding in and out of nooks and crannies). I always admired Pixar?s ability to attract celebrity voices that were never distracting ("Cars" notwithstanding) and they touch the quick again: Patton Oswalt, Janeane Garofalo, Ian Holm, and Peter O?Toole are all familiar names and all perfectly cast.

After a tour of Pixar (you can live off their cereal supply for at least 75 years), we were treated to a "Ratatouille" trailer double feature. The new American trailer does a much better job setting up the potential of this movie than the lackluster trailer shown last year. The Japanese trailer plays up the relationship between Remy and Linguini, and Bird reveals the movie's being called "Remy's Delicious Miracle" in Japan. How nice.

"Ratatouille" scurries into theaters June 29th, 2007. Keep an eye out for our interview with Patton Oswalt, voice of Remy.

Author: Alex Vo



Mark Lopez

awesome. So glad to have brad bird bringing Pixar back to the top. The sooner I forget about Cars, the better.

Mar 2 - 09:23 PM


andrew kruzel

Cars was not bad.

Mar 2 - 10:39 PM

Zen Bullet


Cars was a classic case of falling in love with the subject matter to the extent of neglecting the story. Still, it had plenty of good moments. The structure is the only place where it really faltered. It's usually safer to let the gestating plot inspire the premise. To start with a premise first, and then follow up with very little actual plot was a mistake.

I remember when I first heard what the "story" was going to be in the initial press release: "A race car who lives for speed, gets stuck in a small town while on the way to the big race. In the town, he learns the allure and value of the journey rather than the destination". At least that's a close approximation of the synopsis, but again, there wasn't much plot beyond that, and that's where it sputtered somewhat.

Ratatouille sounds like it actually has a story to tell. How interesting or dramatic it turns out to be remains to be seen. But Pixar is usually really good at this stuff. So is Brad Bird.

Mar 3 - 08:02 AM

Super Simba

Super Simba

I agree, Zen...I really enjoyed Cars but at the same time it felt like the creators were a bit *too* in love with it to really push it where it could have gone.

I've read descriptions of a few other scenes from Ratatouille well, and it sounds like the kind of film that sounds totally stupid on paper but turns out to be absolutely fantastic on screen. Can't wait! :)

Mar 3 - 09:47 AM


Robert Kimberlin

They should change the title of this film. How the hell do you pronounce this? It certainly isn't kid friendly!

Mar 3 - 10:54 AM


Nancy Elizabeth

Someone told me that it's pronounced Rat-ta-two-ee, but I'm not sure if they were right.

Mar 3 - 02:04 PM


Grady Smith

Yea, it's pronounced rat-uh-too-ee. Ratatouille is this fancy, gourmet dish, the taste of which I didn't love when I first tried it, and the title puns the word "rat". Personally, I love the title- very clever!

Mar 3 - 04:19 PM


juan ramirez

its about rats. in a restaurant. what wouldn't be great about a movie like this?

Mar 4 - 06:27 AM

Super Moose

Daniel Carvajal


Mar 4 - 12:23 PM


michael pacholski

[b]What's In A Name?[/b]
Hey, Pixar and Brad Bird brought us "Toy Story" "Toy Story 2" and "The Incredibles" and "Finding Nemo". HE could have called this one "Antidisestablishmentarianismsupercallifragilisticexpialidocious" and I'd still go.

Apr 26 - 01:03 AM

Super Moose

Daniel Carvajal


Mar 4 - 12:23 PM


bz Weezy

[b]If there is one director in hollywood to bet on,[/b]
it's brad bird. It may be a bit premature, but his passion and genius give me hope that all his movies in the future cannot fail. He makes sure he has ultimate creative control (bringing in his own team even to Pixar when he did The Incredibles and again for this movie). He is the Speilberg of Cartoons, and I think time will show he'll be legend in his field.

Mar 4 - 01:09 PM


Bryan Collazo

[b]Cars was fun and Ratatouille will be too[/b]
Hey Cars was an enjoyable movie and I felt it was great with our kids. I think people are being too hard on this as a Pixar movie and a kids movie. This was rated over 75% even by this website and had many great parts. Don't get so caught up in yourselves that you can't enjoy the ride. The only thing in the whole movie I found disappointing is that I hoped to see Herbie and instead got the bugs. I also think both Ratatouille and the next flick Wall-E will be great. There isn't another studio that I trust with my kids entertainment more and I don't think Cars failed in that respect at all. Brad Bird is a great director and is a great asset to Pixar.

Mar 4 - 10:02 PM


michael pacholski

[b]What's In A Name?[/b]
Hey, Pixar and Brad Bird brought us "Toy Story" "Toy Story 2" and "The Incredibles" and "Finding Nemo". HE could have called this one "Antidisestablishmentarianismsupercallifragilisticexpialidocious" and I'd still go.

Apr 26 - 01:03 AM

Bane Of Anubis


Is this article a remake or a re-release?

Apr 26 - 08:32 AM


Rotten Tomatoes News Submission

:) It's a re-release.

Apr 26 - 10:07 AM

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