Rat in the kitchen THE Comic voice behind latest Disney cartoon hero
June 15, 2007
By MIKE DANAHEY STAFF WRITER
Courier News OnLine
It can be a pretty good deal being a rat in the kitchen, especially if that rodent is the hero in an upcoming Disney/Pixar flick.
Patton Oswalt gives a voice to Remy, the creature in question, in Ratatouille , set to open Friday, June 29. Sneak previews will be showing at some theaters Saturday, June 16, including a 7 p.m. screening at Classic Cinemas Charlestowne 18, 3740 E Main St. in St. Charles.
The rat can cook, which is not necessarily a good career choice for a member of a species historically known for spreading a plague. But fate brings him to one of Paris' finest restaurants, where he befriends a garbage boy, Linguini, who takes Remy under his hat. Hilarity ensues and life lessons are learned as the two become culinary kings.
Patton Oswalt is best known for his role as the dorky Spence in the long-running TV sitcom "King of Queens."
The movie is written and directed by Brad Bird, the Academy Award winner behind The Incredibles . Oswalt said he got the part after Bird heard his first CD and said, "That's the voice I want."
Oswalt recorded his work in fewer than a dozen sessions for what is expected to be a box office hit, then a perennial kid DVD favorite. Though he was encouraged to ad lib, "the script was so tight I just read what was on the page," Oswalt said. "It was really fun. It's a Brad Bird movie. What more can I say?"
Oswalt said he improvises on stage, working fresh comedy material into his act nightly. He will perform Tuesday at Lakeshore Theater, 3175 N. Broadway, Chicago, sharing the bill with Janeane Garofalo. On the monthlong tour he's doing press junkets by day and stand-up at night.
Oswalt also will be seen later this year in a movie from the creators of Comedy Central's Reno 911. Balls of Fury is a screwball comedy starring Christopher Walken and set in a world of martial arts, espionage and competitive ping pong.
If you're only familiar with Oswalt from his role as the dorky Spence on TV's King of Queens , the show is for an 18 and older crowd. And Oswalt's material can be political, as per his rant about the president bringing on the Apocalypse on the Rock Against Bush CD/DVD from the last election cycle.
These days, though, while not a big fan of this administration, "picking on Bush now is like picking on (the band) Creed," Oswalt said. "Everybody already knows they're terrible. Nobody at this point is saying give him a break."