I was trying to think of a way to introduce my son to my favorite comic – Patton Oswalt – and Pixar came through for me.
My son only made it through the first 13 minutes the first time we tried to watch Ratatouille. The scene in which Remy is separated from his family was just too intensely scary for him. He couldn’t handle the cries of “Dad! Dad!” and the separation anxiety. It was fucking weird, because he was watching Finding Nemo for what must have been the fucking 100th time that very same day. In any case, my son was fine with picking up with the film a few days later. The only other part he seemed to have a problem with was Skinner. every time Skinner appeared, he asked me, “He’s a baby, isn’t he? A little, bitty baby!” He was convinced that Skinner was a mean little baby. I guess that’s because Skinner is bald, fat and short – like his little sister.
Oswalt definitely doesn’t look like a rat – more like a hedgehog or a gerbil – but his casting as Remy the rat was a stroke of genius. His characterization was perfect. My mother-in-law was convinced that Linguini was voiced by David Schwimmer, but I thought he was voiced by the brother on The New Vagina on Old Christine. We were both wrong – it was some guy named Lou Romano. I was shocked to the core that Colette was voiced by Janeane Garofalo. I didn’t know that she could do French!
Ratatouille’s France is much more appealing than the twisted version portrayed in the The Triplets of Belleville. It’s bright and busy, instead of seeming to be made solely of dark alleys and dangerous intersections. Having never been to France, I don’t know which one is closer to the truth. There’s someone I really wish I could ask, but I can’t. I think she would have really liked Ratatouille, too. (On a side note, my Grandma used to cook Ratatouille – it was utterly disgusting and I wouldn’t touch it.)
Even though Ratatouille won the Oscar for Best Animated Film, it could have been a contender for Best Picture. It’s an antiquated system, designed by people that are either long dead or barely alive with genitals that have rotted away to dust. (The same could be said for most awards that are given out these days, from president on down.)
Ultimately, I’m thankful that Ratatouille has replaced Underdog as my son’s most requested movie. Seriously, he wants to watch Ratatouille every single night. It’s so good, that I don’t mind at all.