Reviewer's grade: C
There's a surprisingly familiar feel to "Ratatouille," Pixar's tale of Remy, a country rat (Patton Oswalt) who's convinced that his destiny isn't scavenging through garbage, but creating haute cuisine like his idol, celebrity chef Gusteau (Brad Garrett). He's the latest in a long kid-entertainment line of "be yourself even though everyone else thinks you're weird" protagonists.
Director Brad Bird ("The Incredibles") concocts a number of terrific scenes of slapstick choreography that would have Chaplin taking notes, and "Ratatouille" hits most of its high points when choreography is involved. Whenever the film is in motion, it feels almost as delightful as its Pixar predecessors.
Yet it sags where other Pixar films excelled. Remy makes for a surprisingly muted hero, and nearly every supporting character similarly lacks a breakout presence. Like some of Disney's soggier fare from years past, only the villains make a strong impression. G