Ratatouille tells the most unlikely story of Remy, a rat who disdains garbage and wants nothing more than to cook and eat gourmet food. Ratatouille progresses at a good pace and it held my attention all the way! The animation is excellent and the voiceovers are very nicely done.
When the action begins, we meet Remy (voiced by Patton Oswalt), a rat who must run for safety along with the other rats when they are discovered by the old woman whose attic they inhabit; and this is after poor Remy has already been "relegated" to food inspector to make sure that no food is poisoned. Remy's father only complains that his son Remy is way too picky about food; and Remy's brother Emile (voiced by Peter Sohn) "tolerates" Remy even though he doesn't understand Remy's desire for gourmet food.
After a harrowing, close escape from the woman whose house they inhabited, Remy finds himself alone in the sewers of Paris. He has lost his way and he doesn't know where his fellow rats and his family are. However, he soon discovers that he is underneath the kitchen of his idol chef, Chef Gusteau (voiced by Brad Garrett) who has written a book entitled "Anyone Can Cook." Eventually Remy wanders into the kitchen and risks his life to see what goes on there, although he is saddened when he earlier discovers that Chef Gusteau is now deceased.
Things become even wilder! Remy saves the day for a young, newly hired garbage boy named Linguini (voiced by Lou Romano); Linguini cooks a terrible soup and Remy secretly adds a few things to make the soup even more then perfect. Pretty soon Remy and Linguini actually form a partnership with Remy hiding under Linguini's chef cap and tugging on Linguini's hair (either left or right with his rat paws) to tell Linguini what to put in the soup to make it wonderful. Linguini's subsequent success is extremely disturbing to the crude, bullying chef in charge Chef Skinner (voiced by Ian Holm). Chef Skinner tries to get Linguini to admit that a rat is behind his success; but Linguini never admits anything even when Skinner gets him drunk.
Of course, from here the plot can go anywhere. Will Skinner be able to hide the secret that the restaurant belongs to Chef Gusteau's son--Linguini? What if Linguini and Colette (voiced by Janeane Garofalo), another cook in the kitchen, begin a romance--will this complicate things or help things along? What becomes of Remy--will he stay in the kitchen working with Linguini? Will Remy ever find his family? And what happens when the nasty restaurant critic Anton Ego (voiced by Peter O'Toole) wants to destroy Chef Gusteau's restaurant's reputation? No plot spoilers here, folks--just watch the movie and find out!
The DVD has a plethora of extras. You get an interview with the writer and producer; and there are three deleted scenes. There's also a short animated film entitled Lifted.
Ratatouille is a strong film from Disney and Pixar, although I do agree with other reviewers that the film could have been tightened up a bit to run a few minutes shorter. This is an excellent family movie but there is, of course, the possibility that some won't be enchanted by the images of rats running en masse through restaurant kitchens. However, all of this didn't bother me too much, so I heartily recommend this movie.