Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June 29: A Comedy With Great Taste

About a rat who dreams of becoming a chef, the animated Ratatouille was released in U.S. theaters on this day in 2007. It was the 8th feature produced by Pixar and the second animated Pixar feature directed by Brad Bird (along with Jan Pinkava - who created the original design, sets, and characters).

The plot follows a rat named Remy (voiced by Patton Oswalt) - who lives in the attic of a French country home and aspires to be a gourmet chef with the help of a Parisian restaurant's kitchen worker named Linguini (voiced by Lou Romano).

Although co-director Pinkava had come up with the concept for Ratatouille back in 2001 (and was the film's original director), Pixar management (feeling a lack of confidence in his storytelling) replaced him with Bird in 2005.
A unique challenge for the filmmakers was creating computer-generated food animations that looked appetizing. Gourmet chefs in both France and the U.S. were consulted and the animators even attended cooking classes!

Critical reaction to Ratatouille was practically unanimous and the film earned five Academy Award nominations and 13 Annie Award nominations - later winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Click HERE for a smorgasbord of June 29 Disney history.

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