Brad Bird may be one of the few animated filmmakers working today who understands what the concept of a "family film" means. It's something that offers material to viewers of all ages and doesn't lose one group by catering too strongly to another. Following The Iron Giant and The Incredibles, Bird has turned his attention to the sewers and kitchens of Paris with Ratatouille. In some ways, it's an odd subject for a big-budget cartoon. Rats don't make for the most cuddly of animated creatures and the movie spends enough time developing plot that younger children may squirm. Nevertheless, while Ratatouille misses the pinnacle achieved by The Incredibles (considered by some to be the best-ever computer animated film), it provides solid entertainment and shows why something like Shrek the Third should be cast aside.
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