After dropping off my daughter so she could go to a birthday party, my son and I went to see Ratatouille. It was brilliant. It’s your basic Brad Bird “unlikely buddies triumph despite many adversities, several crazy chases, and a big misunderstanding that must be overcome” movie.

The critics are right: Bird has become quite brilliant, the animation world’s answer to Spielberg or Kubrick. One of the long tracking scenes, which follows the main character (a rat named Remy) through the walls of an apartment building and up to the roof, is as imaginative as the spider scene in Minority Report; the animation is fabulous; and the action scenes… they’re terrific, but I can’t help but think, “Boy, this would make a great ride. I wonder how much that concern shaped the scene.” Then I wonder, so long as the scene is good, does that matter?

And my son loved it, too. No doubt he’ll love the ride as well.

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