I really wasn’t too excited about this one following the less than engrossing Cars. Even though I love food, I love cooking food, I love watching people cook; it seemed like an even stranger start-point for a Pixar movie than the last one. However, for at least the first hour here, I was completely enraptured by the smoother-than-ever animation, the truly humble voicework; and when the food started being thrown around, in the gorgeously rendered digital Paris? Let’s just say this one certainly has more than its share of moments that more than match the best parts of the Toy Stories, Finding Nemo, and Monsters Inc.
It’s not without its flaws. I didn’t really buy the whole Remy-controlling-Linguine thing, it got a little annoying at times. And I don’t mean like, I have problems suspending my disbelief kind of way – it’s just, alongside the much more subtle, even beautiful, way the unlikely pair first communicate, it’s just that bit too farfetched by comparison. Like Cars, too, it’s certainly a little overlong, and there’s a good slog in the second half that had me squirming a little for something to happen.
But then there’s all the good. I loved the vertically challenged head chef – everytime he thought he’d seen a rat he totally reminded me of Herbert Lom in the Pink Panther movies, and a quick Google search tells me I’m not alone in noticing this. Michael Giacchino’s score is sheer perfection, way better than his work on The Incredibles which I personally wasn’t as overwhelmed by as some.
Overall, this is a step up for Pixar following Cars, that’s for sure. It’s a movie I will certainly watch more than a few times again, and I think the highest praise from me must be that I won’t be too crushed if it beats out Meet the Robinsons at next year’s Oscars for the Best Animated Feature award. I only wish there’d been more of the digital Paris. They could’ve almost just had a virtual camera roaming the streets of that model for 2 hours to Giacchino’s music and I would’ve been in heaven.