Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Train Runs Through It

About 10 years ago, the miniature train garden in Germany was originally included as a special addition for the Flower and Garden Festival, but it proved so popular with guests that it remained as a permanent fixture. A miniature Bavarian village is created in wonderful detail, complete with gardens, waterfalls, and a country fair. Even in decorating the tiny town, the designers did not lose sight of the area's true roots, and decked out the buildings with their own little Flower and Garden banners.

C'est Magnifique!

I wanted to make just an ever-so-brief detour from my normal postings to offer my humblest recommendation for another triumph from the Pixar Studios.

After having just returned from viewing this delightful movie for the second time, I am still in awe of Ratatouille. I had been looking forward to this film for quite some time, and my expectations were not disappointed in the slightest.

Brad Bird and his team of extremely talented artists have crafted a movie that is so well-executed that one can not help but feel the urge to stand up and cheer when the credits start to roll. I think a lot of animation fans (including myself) have recently been feeling a bit like food critic Anton Ego, a little dismayed with the latest offerings in the animated world. But like the dish for which the movie is named after, Ratatouille has taken a simple, well-loved recipe and reinvented it for a new generation, one which has grown up watching those animated classics of yesteryear. Combining everything from slapstick comedy to heartfelt romance, this dish is something to savor and enjoy. I hope everyone gets a chance to enjoy this exceptional film. It is very reassuring to know that the art form of animation is far from lost. It's all in the details.