Before we begin let me admit that I really, really want Ratatouille
to be good no, amazing. Pixar represents one of the last guarantees for CG animation and if they have two films somewhat miss the mark (I am including Cars here), then I am just going to freak out.
Fortunately, all we have seen from the film so far looks excellent and the animation is such a step up that I would probably watch this film even if it came without sound.
I almost did the same thing for The Fountain and still loved it.
Screening Report: Ratatouille
Though we could speculate all day on how good Ratatouille will be, the Alamo Drafthouse has hosted an early screening of the film and the response has been very positive. One such viewer reported in his thoughts to AICN:
It is a film that everyone will enjoy. By the end of the film, if you aren't in love with these rats, there is something wrong with you. This film is very magical in ways that not only the best of Pixar has brought us, but the best that Disney used to bring us. Great characters, fantastic animation, and a sense of love in creating a unique story for the cinema. The audience ate it up... literally - the ratatouille served upon entering the theater was quite delicious. This is what great family cinema can do... everyone in the theater from age 5 - "who knows" seemed to have a great time.
Production wise, the animation was a great step forward, but yet still feels like Pixar. They have a style to their animation, that seems familiar - not so in your face as the imitators. I was drawn to the eyes of the characters, while cartoonish, there is life in them. The slight expressions from Remy can convey a whole magnitude of human characteristics, it's wonderful to watch Pixar do what they do best. Yet, that was one thing that Cars was missing. While Cars never had the lifeless expressions of The Polar Express, it was hard to connect to characters that seems a bit too Tonka-ish.
Check out the entire screening report for Ratatouille at AICN.