Decent Films Mail > Mailbag #5

Re: Enchanted, Ratatouille

Thanks for the review of Enchanted — that’s exactly what I was afraid it would be like.

I remain uneasy about Ratatouille. I thought the end was great, and the beginning was dull (although my 10-year-old son loved it). But mostly I got angry at there being an illegitimate main character. Yes, these people were French, but couldn’t they have had a short marriage, or a wife who sacrificed her husband to fame, or something? I really resent that a Disney film has a paternity test as a major plot point. And I have not seen this mentioned anywhere else.

Regarding Ratatouille, I appreciate your concern about Linguini’s parentage. Ratatouille may be Pixar’s oldest-skewing film yet, but it’s still a family film — and this is precisely the kind of thing that often does bug me about a family film even when it doesn’t seem to bother anybody else.

In this case, though, I think it’s far enough offscreen not to be a significant issue for me. I’m not even sure I would prefer it if Gusteau and Linguini’s mother had been briefly married — morally that might be preferable, but pedagogically I suspect that the broken-marriage motif is possibly a stickier wicket than the more minimal issue of Linguini not knowing who his father is.

It also helps, I think, that Linguini’s mother is never seen and Linguini himself is grown, so there’s no onscreen single parenting of a small child or anything. Ultimately, I suspect it’s more likely to bother parents than to confuse children.

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Review: Enchanted (2007)

C+ | ** | -1| Kids & Up*

(Written by Suzanne E. Greydanus) Where is the real man here? Giselle’s rapport with Morgan and sweet naiveté are endearing; are we supposed to find Edward’s incompetence and arrogance equally so? Do our female hearts swoon when he checks his teeth in his sword, or boorishly flails it about at everything that moves? Why can’t the prince be an idealized example of chivalry, bravery, strength and honor, as Giselle is of sweetness and goodness?

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