“Ratatouille,” review by Susan Granger

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On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Ratatouille” (pronounced by Pixar as “rat-a-too-ee”) is a captivating, inventive, soufflé-light 10. Family audiences will eat it up!

“Ratatouille” is delicious! Who would believe this rat-turned-chef gastronomical caper could capture the culinary heart of the City of Light?

Cultured, educated and blessed with acute sensibilities, Remy (voiced by comedian Patton Oswalt) is a thin blue rat who lives with his rodent relatives in the French countryside. But he’s different. Remy’s taste buds are more cultivated; he prefers haute cuisine to garbage. So when disaster strikes and the family is forced to flee through the sewers, it’s not surprising that Remy winds up in Paris near a restaurant that belonged to a legendary chef, Auguste Gusteau (Brad Garrett), who proclaimed, “Anyone can cook!”

Intrigued and sensually intoxicated, Remy sneaks in and spices up a vat of soup ostensibly cooked by Linguini (Lou Romano), a garbage boy who’s ordered by the sous chef (Ian Holm) to reproduce it as a menu staple. Realizing his ineptitude, Linguini reluctantly teams up with Remy, forming an unlikely partnership (filled with slapstick shtick) that must be kept secret from everyone, including adorably coquette Colette (Janeane Garofalo), the lone female cook, and a caustic restaurant critic, Anton Ego (Peter O’Toole – at his haughty nastiest).

Conceived and co-directed by Jan Pinkava (“A Bug’s Life”) with screenwriter/director Brad Bird (“The Incredibles”), it’s filled with perfectly paced yet subtle character humor and heart, emerging as another Oscar-tempting Disney/Pixar creation. The meticulously detailed animation is stunning, subtly shifting between the rodent and human perspectives – and the mouth-watering food is temptingly textured.

Historically, Disney has built much of its reputation on romping rodents – beginning with Mickey and Minnie Mouse and rollicking through “The Rescuers” and “Cinderella.”

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.