“Good food will come to those who love to cook” is the driving metaphor behind writer/director Brad Bird’s new film, “Ratatouille.”

Against traditional rodent education and against the advice of his fearful father, Remy the rat (Patton Oswalt) befriends a human in order to pursue his love for food. With a heightened sense of smell and taste, Remy secretively puppeteers his more able-bodied companion, named Linguini, to the position of head chef at one of the most prestigious restaurants in Paris.

This is somewhat different than the tone of the average family film that has to cloud a tired storyline with wise-cracking and goofy-looking sidekicks, although this does have a touch of that when necessary with Remy’s brother, Emile.

Surprisingly enough, the predictable ending in most G movies that usually can be learned from the previews actually turns out to be a lot different than expected when all is said and done. The ending is, of course, a happy one, but many unexpected changes occur along the way.

The thing I liked most was that the movie lead in the direction of the overused clichés and then went a different way. There are loads of these that will give away parts of the ending, but one I can mention involves Remy’s love for food.

When Remy bites into a piece of cheese, the screen goes black with music notes playing around his closed eyes as he savors and absolutely enjoys what he has just tasted.

A little later on, the easily pleased brother, Emile, is caught while eating a wrapper that he found when digging through the garbage. Remy, being the connoisseur of taste that he is, hands Emile a big piece of good cheese. The screen goes black around Emile as Remy tries to slow his brother down and convince him to appreciate the profound taste of every individual bite.

At this point, everyone is expecting an awakening from Emile. They’re expecting him to shout and joyously dance around with his loving brother because his eyes are now open to this fantastic new world of taste.

None of this happens. Emile continues to enjoy his garbage equally to the good cheese in spite of his brother’s contagious passion on the subject.

The story does get boring at times. It takes a while to really get going and every time it picks itself up a bit, it seems to fall back into a slump with the slow paced development that is uncharacteristic to this genre of movie. However, the pace fits quite nicely and Linguini (Lou Romano) really carries the movie when he needs to.

The ending narrative, delivered by the evil critic Anton Ego (Peter O’Toole), is a bit pretentious. It’s as if he thinks that by throwing about 500 opinionated words together, his review will have some effect on the overall popularity of what he’s reviewing.

With that being said, it’s a worthwhile family movie that definitely has some good moments.

Grade: B Film: Ratatouille, Pixar Animation Studios