Rated 4.0

A French rat gets tired of eating garbage and wants to become a gourmet chef; he overcomes the obvious obstacle by forming a partnership with a restaurant garbage boy, manipulating him like a marionette from under his hat. Writer-director Brad Bird and the gang at Pixar apparently set out to make an animated feature on the unlikeliest premise they could imagine, and—not surprisingly—they pull it off. The animation has the usual breathtaking Pixar texture, enhanced by the fact that so much of it has to do with food; the movie is delicious in every sense of the word. But it’s not all cuisine and cookware; Bird works in several exciting rat’s-eye-view chase scenes. He doesn’t stint on surprises, either—when we think he’s about to wrap things up, it turns out that his story is just getting started.