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Imagine pitching this idea to studio executives: A rat is guided by the spirit of a dead French chef to become the best chef in Paris. He does this by sitting on the head of a klutzy garbageboy and controlling his movements by tugging on his hair. The garbageboy goes on to win the girl and run his own restaurant.

Ok, maybe it's not that crazy an idea. If you've seen Ratatouille, you'll know it all makes perfect sense.

There are piles of reviews up at IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes raving about the movie, so I'm not going to add much more. I will say that it's one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. It's beautiful to look at, incredibly inventive, hysterically funny at times, but also tells a compelling story with characters you can care about. It's also very respectful of the audience -- there was no dumbing down of the material or reliance on stereotypical misconceptions. Here's a long clip from the film so you can get a feel for just how great this flick is:

I should mention though, that it's not a great movie for kids. It's pretty long, and is packed with jokes that go miles above the heads of youngsters. Max and Talia claimed they enjoyed it, but they were pretty squirmy. I suggest going at night so you don't have to listen to four-year-olds loudly asking their parents, "What's so funny, Papa?"


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