I have nothing against cooking. I’ve seen countless episodes of Iron Chef. I think Alton Brown is nothing short of amazing. I dare Bobby Flay to throwdown in tuna melts. And I have a crush on Giada De Laurentiis. Well, except for any time she talks. That all said, I found Ratatouille relatively weak. The story is charming enough in theory, but the execution was lacking.

In my mind, Pixar’s ability to make entertaining movies is nothing short of staggering, given the impossible broad audience they attempt to reach. Our entertainment options are increasing at a rapid rate, and most often in an attempt to capture all sorts of niche markets. Which, in many ways, is a good thing. But I’d argue that with Ratatouille, the broad brushstrokes weren’t filled in with the usual detail that has made Pixar films so good in the past.

Which isn’t to say I hated the movie. It rather felt flat and uninteresting for large portions of time. The characters weren’t caricatures, but they weren’t all that compelling. A few of the gags were pretty funny, but I thought they largely missed. I guess what I’m trying to say is that to improve the movie I wouldn’t have necessarily changed much of the plot. While nothing special, it should definitely get the job done for an animated movie. But I sorta feel that’s the problem. They came up with a story that seemed likely to work and then said, “The rest will write itself!” But it didn’t.