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Look out for more coverage of
Ratatouille in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Ratatouille

(voices) Patton Oswalt • Lou Romano • Janeane Garofalo • Ian Holm • Peter O’Toole

Remy and Lunguini THE CONCEPT:
Parisian rat Remy (Oswalt) dreams of becoming a gourmet chef in a five-star French restaurant. Together with down-and-out garbage boy Linguini (Romano), the two carve an imaginative path together to become the greatest chef in Paris…

U.S. RELEASE: June 29 2007, Nationwide • Rated: G


Brad Bird“We had rats [to study]. They were nice fluffy lab rats, they weren’t germ-ridden sewer rats. They’re actually quite sweet and when they crawled around on us, we saw how they kind of led with their nose which was perfect for our rat.”

“I actually kind of like rats. They’re cool creatures, they’re pretty extraordinary. They travel all over the world, that’s why Remy doesn’t have an accent because they’re constantly moving. Rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter. They can just shift all their bones like that dude from The X-Files.”

“I came to Pixar in 1997 to work on Monsters Inc. and did visual development for that film. Then I left, went back to L.A. and worked a little bit on The Iron Giant and then worked with Brad Bird again in 2000 doing production design for The Incredibles. A lot of people at Pixar are pulled in to do temporary voice recordings of the characters, and Brad liked what I was doing with Linguini and wanted to keep my voice in the film.”

“Colette is a female chef in a world populated mostly by men, so she’s someone who comes in hard as nails, but is really a softie underneath. Janeane is also a tough cookie who can also be very vulnerable.”

“Colette doesn’t have any ‘us verses them’ feeling about rats and she is ultimately willing to live peacefully with them. I admire that about her.”

“Doing voice-over work is very physical. You use your body in everything. They had me come in in the middle of the process and do my stand-up for them and just tell them stories and answer questions and they filmed me. So you’ll see that a lot of my gestures are in the character. Because the whole second act, Remy’s mute. He doesn’t talk. But, if you notice, the acting is still amazing because the Pixar animators are such good actors, they’re incredible.”

“Whenever actors record, they have a video camera so that animators can reference it later. But it’s a little strange, surreal and abstract to hear your voice coming out of a character that is not you, but looks like you and behaves like you.”

“We try to push the envelope with every film at Pixar, but that said, I think the thing that made me want to come to Pixar was not the technology, but the fact that they protect stories. They want original stories and they allow you to develop them without making you take out everything that is interesting. It’s a little pocket of sanity in a crazy business.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Ratatouille site
Images above © Walt Disney Pictures
Feature © 2007 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #685, July 2007 cover

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