A rat longs to be a chef, eschewing, not chewing, the garbage. Homing in on a once-great Parisian restaurant, our little hero hooks up with the garbage-boy and uses him, puppet-style, to create cuisine to die for. Which is what will happen if the money-grapping maitre D catches a rodent in the kitchen.
Pixar paints Paris beautifully, almost photographic in its astonishing detail. And Ratatouille definitely comes to life in the too-infrequent chase sequences which hint at the film this could have been. But while it's great to see an American film extolling the benefits of good food, Ratatouille lacks a certain je ne sais quoi.
Little kids will find it slow and talky. But overall, in spite of good voice-talent and an endearingly-rendered rodent hero, this Ratatouille isn't as piquant and tangy as it could be.
It's fun and mildly amusing. But if you only see one animated film about a rat, make it Flushed Away.