Ratatouille (Brad Bird & Jan Pinkava) - 2007

The rat can not only cook, but can also understand and read English, the language spoken by most of the employees and patrons of a restaurant in Paris.  This particular rat (Remy) cooks mostly by its sense of smell but later learns how to manipulate the garbage boy (Linguini) like a piece of heavy construction equipment.  Directors Bird & Pinkava make a valiant attempt to change the image of French alley rats but I'm not sold.  Will their next movie be about cockroaches in Reseda who speak Spanish and save a Burger King franchise? 

Fortunately, this is an animated movie.  There are not enough rat trainers in the world for live action.  This movie reminds me of the National Lampoon article in 1970 about the cartoon characters that were rejected by Disney (Tallulah Tarantula, Melvin Maggot, etc.).  However, Janeane Garofalo was excellent as the voice of Colette. [JAM 1/10/2010]