Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Ratatouille


Rogelio
 Share

Recommended Posts

Aside from seeing it for my own pleasure, what age group is it targeted to? I was completely excited til we saw a poster showing many knives being thrown at the rat. Might have to go see this one sans the munchkin.

Saw the sneak preview, there was a 5 or 6 YO boy in the seat next to me, several younger kids close around. Didn't see or hear anyone having problems. You'll probably want to see it twice anyway, :biggrin: I'm going again :biggrin: , so maybe you'd want to "preview" this one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting article that suggests that although Ratatouille will make lots of $$$ it might well still disappoint at the box office in comparison to other Pixar flicks.

The reasons? Very low marketing revenues as the the biggest licencees are often fast food joints and they are not likely to want to give away little rats with their burgers.

As well, the lack of high end food interest on the part of the "Heartland" and an even bigger dislike of the French by many Americans. All this despite huge critical love. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

New York Magazine article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ Slate expresses a similar concern about marketing, though it's doing its part to promote. Cf. the marginal links next to the glowing review by Dana Stevens to check out the Cultural Studies analysis of rat movies in general.

Funny, though, did you see the recent McDonald's commercial that attempts to sell its sandwiches as natural and organic (as in made from plants; not as in organically raised animals & crops)? Only caught it once a few weeks ago, but I believe that after the Big Mac was shown, the logo-arches were shaped by carrots!!!!!, frilly green tops and all, placed end to end. Like, how many carrots go into making their hamburgers?!

All McDonald's really needs to do is persuade a celebrity chef who never heard about what happened to Rick Bayless to praise a summer special of ratatouille that comes with your choice of sauces in individual plastic packets. Extra cheese for 50 cents. Maybe set up concession stands in your local farmers market.

* * *

P.S. From what I understand, the clueless, kind-hearted garbage boy in the Parisian kitchen is named Linguini in the movie. Once more, the established Francophilic hegemony of the culinary world gets to put Italy in its place.

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saw this film last night and it is absolutely terrific. I work in film (I am a film festival programmer, so I easily see 600+ a year) and I love food... This is a movie for us! It has a great message for kids, is moving and entertaining, and is one for the foodies. The detail in the animation is awe-inspiring and in an age of trash at the movies, this is as well-executed a piece of art as I have seen in any film since, oh, Climates. Adults should see this movie; I took my fiancé last night and we hit the grocery store on the way home and cooked dinner and drank wine after. How could you not?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very low marketing revenues as the the biggest licencees are often fast food joints and they are not likely to want to give away little rats with their burgers.

As well, the lack of high end food interest on the part of the "Heartland" and an even bigger dislike of the French by many Americans. All this despite huge critical love. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

In Wal-Mart the other day, here was a big endcap of Ratatouille-themed partyware (paper plates, party favors, etc.). I guess they're betting a lot of people will do Ratatouille parties this summer. :hmmm:

Wonder how those products will do. I've been eagerly anticipating the movie ever since seeing the first trailers last year (we're planning to see it tomorrow as a family event), and I love food, but I don't think I'd want to serve a meal on plates depicting a rat, even a cartoon version.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A really cute film that also happens to be full of some pretty delicious-looking cuisine. The characters are charming--by the end of the film I had a pretty big crush on Colette--and the gentle mockery of the French, and kitchen culture in general, lends the film a more mature appeal. More than anything else, the film helps to convey the power of food as a means to know and express one's self. I'm not saying the film was without faults, but I was thoroughly impressed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw this with my 15 year old son last night. Excellent film. There were plenty of couples without kids in the audience (apparently the foodies who sat through the credits to see who was listed).

The food looked so delicious, it was almost as though you could reach into the screen and eat what was there. On the down side, Disney has released some dishware with "retro" rats on them, which really is quite gross and unsettling even if it is cartoonish, I don't think they will sell well.

Aquarius (Jan 21-Feb 19): Cranky. And rude and tactless. - and a perfect description of me!

"Is there alcohol in this furniture polish? Mmmmm, tastes like I might die!" Roger the Alien, "American Dad"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saw it last night. Was a delight. I have a number of "rat" relatives-indiscriminate eaters who would eat the human equivalent of the garbage the other rats ate. Been a hard, but sometimes satisfying journey trying to educate their palates without coming off as elitist or a food snob-just like Remy.

Someone asked if they saw any other chef names in the credits- saw a "Thanks" in the list to Tony Bourdain. May have been some other names- too many names, credits to take in at one time.

Mark A. Bauman

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Someone asked if they saw any other chef names in the credits- saw a "Thanks" in the list to Tony Bourdain. May have been some other names- too many names, credits to take in at one time.

Thomas Keller consulted and voiced one of the restaurant patrons. The American who wanted the special.

HERE is an article that mentions how he came up with the ratatouille

For inspiration and authenticity, they went to Keller. The Yountville chef tutored the film's creators on the inner workings of a French kitchen and acted as the key consultant for the cooking. Producer Lewis, who interned in the French Laundry kitchen as part of his research for the film, gave the chef an extra challenge.

"I asked him how he would prepare the ratatouille if he knew the most famous critic in the world was coming in to the restaurant," he said.

Keller noted that ratatouille is generally served as a side dish, but he realized that for the movie, it had to be a showstopper. So he focused on what he calls "confit byaldi," a fancy version of the stew. He sliced each vegetable paper-thin and then stacked the pieces like a tiny sculpture.

"I had been thinking about it for a while," Keller said. "But it all came together at once."

Besides researching in the Bay Area, filmmakers went to Paris, where they ate at five top restaurants, including Guy Savoy. Lewis said some chefs served up to 29 courses.

"It was beautiful but painful," he said. "Typically we'd go in the morning, watch the deliveries, and look behind the scenes while cooks prepped. Then we went back for lunch and dinner."

Back in Northern California, the entire team of 150 took a series of cooking classes to learn how chefs hold their knives, stir their pots and command the stoves. Animators re-created a French kitchen, complete with sauce and pastry stations.

To pay homage to the cooking profession, the filmmakers used Keller's voice for the role of a restaurant patron. The French version of the movie has chef Guy Savoy playing the part; the Spanish one substitutes the voice of El Bulli chef Ferran Adria. In the British version, "The Naked Chef" Jamie Oliver has a cameo as the restaurant inspector.

Edited by KristiB50 (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Adored it. Will surely buy the DVD.

That final dish of ratatouille totally had Keller written all over it. Completely suitable for the French Laundry's menu. Never have I wanted to eat ratatouille so badly.

Had I not read the article above long ago, I would still have pinpointed Keller's food in the film. It's THAT delicious-looking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did enjoy the film, but not in the ways that I thought I would. I'm glad to know that the animators did thier research with people like Keller, Bourdain, Savoy, Adria and others, but at the same time, the story didn't quite fulfill my expectations. I do know that it was handed off to Brad Bird to direct halfway through production (when the story was lacking by Pixar standards) and that probably found it's way into the film overall. However, I did enjoy the scene with the movie's title dish (I thought it looked good, but I had no idea at the time that it was a Keller creation) and there were a number of really good scenes throughout the film. It just didn't feel consistent throughout. I was dissapointed by the fact that (spoiler alert) Linguini ends up becoming a waiter rather than a competent cook. It seems to go against the whole theme of "Anyone can cook" that is espoused in the film. At the same time, though, I will be looking to see what thte critical response in France is, given that waiters are held in much higher regard there than in the US. I will be buying the DVD the day of release, though, just to get what will surely be some awesome features.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really enjoyed the film and plan to see it again, Howver, I did have two questions.

1. Remy sniffed continually, but chefs taste. Was that just a contrivance because he was not supposed to be seen?

2. In cooking the ratotouille, it looked like a piece of parchment was put over the top of the pan. Was that correct and why parchment and not the cover of the pan?

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awesome movie, well worth the time to see it.

I have and have seen many Chefs sniff food, without tasting it, and then just tast the final steps of production. I can normally tell if everything is right except the final salt that way.

As for the ratatouuille , using parchment is a good way to keep the top from drying out. Keeps the moisture condensing on the parchment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the beggining of the movie Remy talked about his keen sense of smell and this was used throughout the film. Had nothing to do with being seen or not. The fact that he was a rat in a kitchen controlling Liguine's movements was reason he wasn't to be seen.

I saw this with my two kids and wife and we all loved it. Funny Funny parts that went by quick. So quick that probably not many in the audience caught it. Great movie, great characters and lots going on to keep your interest.

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Henry and I saw it yesterday afternoon. I absolutely loved it. The kitchen was so beautiful I started to cry. Sure, the rats in the kitchen required suspending disbelief, but the setting felt to me like having a dream about a perfect restaurant. Everything, from the bread to the tickets on the board, the walk-in, the way the cooks moved in the kitchen, making the soup (I was bummed that Remy didn't make a bouquet garni), to the little bridge Remy had so he could see into the dining room from in the end. So sweet.

I had such high expectations- "For once, I am the target demographic!"- going in that I couldn't rule out the possibility of leaving royally disappointed! Au contraire. Glad I was in a good enough mood that the mean critic's change of heart didn't seem cloying. And that's about the worst thing I can say about it. The family story was well-handled, what with the "choosing between two halves of myself" idea; I'm sure I'm not the only one who can relate to that.

Being a total geek, I found myself picking out ideas that I felt came straight from Keller's cookbooks as well as references to great chefs of the past (Fernand Point, et al.). Did anyone else catch all of that? (We, too, stayed until the very end to check out the names and the locations that were in the credits.) I may be overreaching here, but I can't help but wonder if Linguini's being red-haired and lanky with freckles was mere coincidence, or meant to bring Grant Achatz to mind.

"What was good enough yesterday may not be good enough today." - Thomas Keller

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sure, the rats in the kitchen required suspending disbelief, but the setting felt to me like having a dream about a perfect restaurant.

Yes, but putting them all through the dishwasher was one of my favorite images!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Count me as another one who loved the movie. Saw it with my husband, 10 year old daughter, and non-foodie stepson who, however, adores Paris. We all were utterly charmed.

It really is a love-letter to food. I'd eat at Remy's place any day! :wub:

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We're a food family, and a rat family. This is a movie that really appealed to many facets of our familial interests, for once! An original idea, not a sequel, or a godfersaken 'threequel'. Definitely a refreshing, funny, sweet family movie, that all of us enjoyed. Charming plot, if simple, but it's for kids. My 8 year old loved it.

I love seeing rats portrayed in such a way, accurately, yet in a positive way. I loved seeing that kitchen, and all the love and attention to detail they gave both aspects. I also loved the AMAZING CGI, it was like, ultraphotorealistic. Prettier than real. The water, the rats' fur, the food, the metals around the kitchen, all the detail! It was hard to believe at some points that it was all pixels.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just back from the afternoon show and dug almost everything. The kitchen scenes are gorgeous and quite realistic (way more than 95% of movies with similar scenes- including the blurb for No Reservations which was one of the trailers).

The final food scenes with the ratatouille were the least realistic for me as they looked more like those plastic foods you see in the sushi bars than real food.

The credits which rolled by too quickly listed Guy Savoy and Michael Hung as a consulting chef. Anyone know who he is?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just back from the afternoon show and dug almost everything. The kitchen scenes are gorgeous and quite realistic (way more than 95% of movies with similar scenes- including the blurb for No Reservations which was one of the trailers).

The final food scenes with the ratatouille were the least realistic for me as they looked more like those plastic foods you see in the sushi bars than real food.

The credits which rolled by too quickly listed Guy Savoy and Michael Hung as a consulting chef. Anyone know who he is?

Watch the current season of Top Chef. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2.  In cooking the ratotouille, it looked like a piece of parchment was put over the top of the pan.  Was that correct and why parchment and not the cover of  the pan?

Thanks

This is a direct Thomas Keller influence. He discusses this technique at some length in either TFL or Bouchon Cookbook. Sorry but I can't remember which exactly. As was stated above, keeps surface moiste but allows some liquid to reduce out.

Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2.  In cooking the ratotouille, it looked like a piece of parchment was put over the top of the pan.  Was that correct and why parchment and not the cover of  the pan?

Thanks

This is a direct Thomas Keller influence. He discusses this technique at some length in either TFL or Bouchon Cookbook. Sorry but I can't remember which exactly. As was stated above, keeps surface moiste but allows some liquid to reduce out.

Indeed. Article here in the SFChronicle.

For inspiration and authenticity, they went to Keller. The Yountville chef tutored the film's creators on the inner workings of a French kitchen and acted as the key consultant for the cooking. Producer Lewis, who interned in the French Laundry kitchen as part of his research for the film, gave the chef an extra challenge.

"I asked him how he would prepare the ratatouille if he knew the most famous critic in the world was coming in to the restaurant," he said.

Keller noted that ratatouille is generally served as a side dish, but he realized that for the movie, it had to be a showstopper. So he focused on what he calls "confit byaldi," a fancy version of the stew. He sliced each vegetable paper-thin and then stacked the pieces like a tiny sculpture.

"I had been thinking about it for a while," Keller said. "But it all came together at once."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...