Rat DVD Has First Pixar 2-D Toon
The upcoming DVD release of Disney/Pixar's animated Ratatouille
movie will feature something unique: The first hand-drawn animated 2-D short in Pixar's history. Jim Capobianco, who directed the short, titled "Your Friend the Rat," told reporters that he got the idea from seeing how much research the filmmakers did into rat behavior and history—much of which never made it into the final film.
"We had to be kind of smart and think of ways to put this together," Capobianco told a group of reporters at Pixar's headquarters in Emeryville, Calif., on Oct. 29. That meant finding people who could do the traditional animation, drawn with pencils on paper, as well as finding space at Pixar's vast campus to produce the 11-minute movie, which is also, oxymoronically, the longest short Pixar has ever produced.
The film features a mix of 3-D computer animation, 2-D line animation, live-action filmed segments and even a bit of stop-motion animation, another Pixar first. The movie stars Ratatouille
's hero, Remy the rat (voiced by Patton Oswalt), and his brother, Emile (Peter Sohn), who talk about the history and behavior of rats in an effort to persuade human viewers not to kill the ubiquitous rodents. "We had to be scrappy" to get the movie made, said Capobianco, who worked as a story supervisor on Ratatouille
For example, to shoot a sequence of stop-motion animation, Capobianco and his team made use of a darkened screening room at Pixar, since the studio has no stop-motion stages. For another sequence, Capobianco's animators drew a series of line drawings on a chalkboard. The result is reminiscent of 1960s-era educational films, old UPA shorts and classic Ward Kimball animation from Disney, he said.