The beauty of Ratatouille is often undervalued. Easily among Pixar’s most gorgeously animated features, it’s an exquisite, lavishly-made look at self-determination in the face of adversity. But more than that, it’s a sterling look at the relationship shared between creator and admirer, artist and critic, cook and foodie, and what ultimately makes us all love what we love unconditionally, and what becomes of us when we forget what it means to love that very special thing. It’s both epic and intimate, grandiose but also very fragile in its execution. It’s among the best examples of Pixar toying the line with what they can create, and how they can have an impact on audiences of all ages with one gentle swoop. But the best thing about Pixar, in the end, is their human condition, even if it comes from a rat that makes fancy food in Paris. At their best, Pixar knows how to make the impact felt, how to stir you with emotions even when you don’t realize what they might mean or why they mean so much to you in the moment. That’s simply great storytelling.