Pixar’s next feature took a rather disgusting concept and made a very brilliant movie out of it. The idea of a rat cooking your food is pretty repulsive but Pixar makes it work. Ratatouille was yet another effort that enthralled audiences both young old, but this is the one I feel was more enjoyed by the older crowd.
A rat who wanted to be a chef and wanted to have his faith in humanity rewarded. He couldn’t bring himself that all humans were bad. He also didn’t want to live the life that was laid out for him. Again, Pixar tackles maturity, letting go, and growing up but every time they do it, it still seems fresh. But the one issue they tackled in this film is one that I was very blown away with how they did so. That subject was critics.
Anton Ego embodies every hard ass,pretentious “I’m better than you” type critic known to man. The type who simply loves to shit on things. And in the end a peasant dish, made by a rat, brings him back down to humanity and his perspective is drastically changed. The speech he delivers is one of the most brilliant & oh so on the dot speeches ever written.
“In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talents, new creations. The new needs friends.
Last night, I experienced something new; an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking, is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto, “Anyone can cook”. But I realize – only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau’s, who is, in this critic’s opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau’s soon, hungry for more.”
Many saw this as a slap on the wrist to professional critics (which would be very funny given Pixar’s status as critics’ darlings) . Whether or not it was is open for debate,but regardless,it is so on the nail. And simply another testament of the intelligence Pixar puts in their “little kid movies”.