Ratatouille (soundtrack) by Michael Giacchino

 

 

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Ratatouille by Michael Giacchino

Ratatouille

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Ratatouille (Soundtrack) by Michael Giacchino

Ratatouille
Composed by Michael Giacchino
Disney Records (2007)

Rating: 7/10

Buy Ratatouille by Michael Giacchino  from Amazon.com

 

Listen to this soundclip of RatatouilleLe Festin (Camille) (306 kb)

Listen to this soundclip of Ratatouille100 Rat Dash (270 kb)

Listen to this soundclip of RatatouilleEnd Creditiouilles (457 kb)


More clips from Ratatouille at Amazon.com

 

“RATATOUILLE's soundtrack is more like the dish it's named after, "a peasant's dish," mixed, quaint and satisfying, than it is a 12-course, gourmet feast.”

Rataouille - EgoGiacchino Stirs Things Up
Review by Christopher Coleman

I have to admit it. Prior to Walt Disney/Pixar's release of their 2007, 3-D animated feature film, I had no idea of what the word was or how to spell it. After their subtly enticing marketing plan for the film, which inevitably got me into a theater filled with more "big kids" than little ones, I have become quite clear on what RATATOUILLE is and, as you see, can spell it.

Director Brad Bird's latest effort, after the surprisingly good IRON GIANT (1999) and then, put simply, Pixar's best feature to date, THE INCREDIBLES (2004), is a charming flick that, for the most part, met my expectations. Decent story, interesting characters, and cutting edge 3-D animation are Pixar's staples and RATATOUILLE delivers on all three fronts. Thankfully, but with much respect, Pixar didn't dip into the Randy-Newman-bag again and instead wisely chose composer MICHAEL GIACCHINO to provide the musical ingredients this time 'round.

How much one appreciates Giacchino's work here will greatly depend on the context in which the score is heard. In terms of the in-film experience, Michael Giacchino's score works perfectly. He once again demonstrates that there is a deep well of talent from which he seems to drawn upon project after project. The composer himself has admitted that RATATOUILLE was one of his biggest challenges to date. The film delivers some interesting ingredients that, if not mixed with the right "yeast" of score, would have ended up...well, flat.

Let's look at some of those ingredients for a second. RATATOUILLE is one of Pixar's most "adult" films and while there are slapstick-laughs for the kiddies, they aren't as numerous as one might anticipate. Instead, the dialogue and character idiosyncracies provide the bulk of the laughs - laughs which are above most young one's little heads. The setting is an idealized-modern-day-France. The subject is cooking and food...in France. The protaganist is a rat who just wants to cook good food. Now what would be so challenging about writing a score for that?

Well, Michael Giacchino meets the challenge head-on. With only a handful of months to finish the score, Giacchino's collaboration with director Brad Bird results in an equally interesting fusion of various jazz forms, orchestral romps a la the great cartoon era of the 40's, 50's and 60's. Of course abiding over the entire feel of the music is a distinctly European texture that seldom mashes the listener over the head with pretension. Within the context of the film, the score works almost as brilliantly as his big-band-jazz-score for THE INCREDIBLES. RATATOUILLE is a much more intimate film and hence the score is more intimate than the aforementioned Pixar master-animation. There are many, subtle themes created for the the array of rat and human characters that populate the story, but Giacchino's employment of those themes is done with "dashes" and "dollops" rather than "all-you-can-stand-portions" found in other animated feature films. Instead, Giacchino allows the themes, and score as a whole, to build over the course of the film. By the rolling of the end credits, one first realizes just how engaged they were by the musical element

Now, outside of the film, RATATOUILLE's music suffers - especially if one has not bothered to see the film first. Without the context of the story and characters, the score, while a pleasant-enough listen, may seem a bit thin. RATATOUILLE's understated nature, proving to be a strength within the film, might be heard as a weakness on CD. While French singer CAMILLE (Camille Dalmais) grabs the listener's attention right at the onset of the CD with the track, "Le Festin," for those who haven't seen the film, the charm of Giacchino's score might dwindle as the middle tracks play through. The patient listener; however, is duly rewarded as the soundtrack concludes.

While RATATOUILLE isn't Pixar's all-time best - the film or the score - it is certainly up there, especially for adults. Michael Giacchino's score does its job wonderfully and rating the score in that context, it would receive an 8/10. As an stand-alone listening experience, RATATOUILLE is great music if you plan a zany, little picnic in a secluded meadow. No doubt, it is an interesting listen and showcases the wisdom of Brad Bird and the diversity of Michael Giacchino. Still, RATATOUILLE's soundtrack is more like the dish it's named after, "a peasant's dish," mixed, quaint and satisfying, than it is a 12-course, gourmet feast.


Rating: 7/10

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Track

Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Le Festin 2:50  ***
2 Welcome to Gusteau's 0:38  ***
3 This is Me 1:41  ***
4 Granny Get Your Gun 2:01  ****
5 100 Rat Dash 1:47  ****
6 Wall Rat 2:41  ***
7 Cast of Cooks 1:41  ***
8 A Real Gourmet Kitchen 4:18  ****
9 Souped Up 0:50  ***
10 Is it Soup Yet? 1:16  ***
11 A New Deal 1:56  ***
12 Remy Drives a Linguini 2:26  ***
13 Colette Shows Him Le Ropes 2:56  ***
14 Special Order 1:58  ****
15 Kiss & Vinegar 1:58  ****
16 Losing Control 1:54  ***
17 Heist to See You 1:45  ***
18 The Paper Chase 1:44  ***
19 Remy's Revenge 3:24  ***
20 Abandoning Ship 2:55  ****
21 Dinner Rush 5:00  ****
22 Anyone Can Cook 3:13  ****
23 End Creditouilles 9:16  ****
24 Ratatouille Main Theme 2:09  ***
  Total Running Time (approx) 62 minutes  

 

 
   

 

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