DVD & Blu-Ray Disc Covered In Review

Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
Great cover, great menus. Is that in depth enough? Ok, I can expand a bit. The cover is fun but not too cutesy like a lot of animated feature DVD covers and posters can be these days. The menu is really cool actually. It’s got that 50’s art deco look to the artwork, which is charming and gives a real sense of humor and fun.

Features: 10/10
I’ll mention this about the features, this list does not do them justice!! There are tons of interviews, short documentaries, and behind the scenes tucked away on this disc. They are all found in the extras menu as individual features or in a version of the movie that cuts from the movie to the shorts in the appropriate spots in the story.

  • Deleted Scenes – Animation is such a cool format. Deleted scenes are more often sketches and artwork brought to life to show what could have been a finished scene.
  • All New Animated Short Remy & Emile In Your Friend The Rat – Oh, you know those folks at Pixar, they always make cool little shorts to amuse us. Remy and Emile show us the history of rats, why rats are so cool, and to bring humans and rats together in peace and harmony. 🙂
  • Lifted Short Film – A human is being abducted by aliens, or one alien to be exact. An alien in training botches his attempt to beam a dude up from his restful sleep. All the while the alien is being observed by a superior who is taking notes, evaluating his every mistake. Funny:)
  • Fine Food & Film Featurette -This feature gives us a chance to meet two men who have the same kind of passion for their very different professions. Chef Thomas Keller and Director Brad Bird are driven, energetic, and have a certain kind of leadership that inspires the people around them. Bird uses Keller’s real life Ratatouille dish in the movie, and infuses the idea that if you work hard at what you love, and love what you do, you will succeed.
  • Cine-Explore – This is where you will find all those other extras, hidden away, ready for the pickin’. You can watch the movie through again and the extras will cut in, play, and then go back to the movie. OR, you can watch them all as a packaged deal from the extras menu. Excellent. The one about women in an ‘all man’ career is particularly interesting 🙂
  • Gusteaus Gourmet Game (Blu-Ray Only) – Using Blu-Ray Java Technology Disney and Pixar have created a cool game that is a little nicer than the ones you find on standard DVD’s. You get to experience what its like working in a busy French kitchen. You are given orders at the top of the screen and you have to click through a series of ingredients at the bottom of the screen to fill said orders. This all sounds easy but the difficulty ramps up and soon you are stressed out trying to keep the restaurants 5 star rating. It’s a cool little game I would like to see what Disney can do with this new technology as Blu-Ray matures.

Movie: 9/10
We all like to have fun, right? We all like to laugh, right? A good tale about a rat in a kitchen is just the thing to get the party started!!!

Ewwww, rats. So true. I did have to get my disgust with the little rodents out of my head, at least I tried, throughout the movie in order to enjoy the antics. I did my best, but occasionally I still found myself grossing out just a little bit thinking about from time to time. I guess that’s the price we pay for growing up.

Forget my own preoccupation with the whole “rats making food” theme, and let’s focus on the good stuff. There’s a lot of good stuff in Ratatouille.

First, we are treated to some great characters, from the awkward leading man to the French woman chef to the clever charming talking cooking rat, they are all well thought out and keep the story exciting. They are crafted and written in a way that moves Pixar animation just that much further ahead of where it was before.

Next, the voices are all so well done by some distinct folks who seem to have put their whole hearts into their performances. I love to hear such good quality voices in an animated feature, it’s the main thing that makes a movie like this a classic.

Last, but definitely not least, there is the mixture of sentimental stuff and wacky comedy. We are all used to Disney sappiness, but this time Pixar has held back enough to make the story  not so heart breaking, but there’s enough sadness to give it heart.

The comedy is often subtle, but mostly over the top slap stick physicality, if you can do that with a ‘cartoon’. Lots of laughs! At least I laughed all the way through.

Ratatouille is one more feather in the caps of those folks who started us all off with Toy Story so long ago. They rock!! I enjoyed every second of this installment of what they have to offer. I still love A Bug’s Life best, but someday they might top it…we shall see.

Video & Audio: (By Ascully) 10/10
After watching Cars and Surfs up a few weeks ago, I was looking forward to seeing Pixar’s latest masterpiece on the smallish screen in High Definition. Let me say this now I was not disappointed, again the 1080P picture is pristine as its taken directly from the digital master, in theory these types of movies will always be the showcase titles for the HD format and Ratatouille is at the top end of the scale. Audio is also amazing you really notice the smallest details such as the patter of little rat feet, a showcase audio moment is near the start of the movie when the rats are going down the drain, the sound of water seems to come from everywhere even above you which really showcases your home theatre system.

Value: 6/10
Hmmm, if you plan to watch or someone in your house is going to watch Ratatouille many many many times, I recommend buying it. I wouldn’t go for the Blu-Ray version. Spend less on the standard DVD for the multiple viewings. If you are all grown up and you collect the best versions of animated features, go for it. You are going to buy it anyway, so the price isn’t an issue. (I think Blu-Ray discs are all too high, for the record) Either way it’s a great one to have in your collection.

Overall Score 9/10