Reference DVD Review: Ratatouille

Movie •••• Picture •••• Sound •••• Extras ••½

Rats can be a bit of a hard sell as heroes. Yet the Pixar magic manages to make wannabe chef Remy likable, and his family and friends amusing. The animation that helps pull this off has the look of a film, right down to the simulated depth of field, and it's all very three-dimensional. The sharp, detailed transfer allows every nuance to be easily experienced. Colors are deep, rich, and bright - nearly oversaturated but never crossing the line. What you'll likely remember most, though, is the food, which looks good enough to eat.

Two soundtracks are here, Dolby Surround and Dolby Digital 5.1 EX. The latter places the plentiful effects more subtly around the 360º sound field, creating immersive atmospherics.

Among the extras, Your Friend the Rat has Remy and his brother, Emile, taking you on a historical tour of ... rats, with lots of dark, very funny rat humor. And a hilarious Pixar short deals with inept aliens trying to abduct a sleeping man. Otherwise, we're left with some storyboard sketches of deleted scenes and a lame featurette with director Brad Bird and chef Thomas Keller that endeavors to draw parallels between building animated films and creating delicious food.

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