1. Ratatouille (2007)
There’s a tremendous amount of love flowing through the Pixar canon: love for partners, love for family, love for friends, love for cars. But only one movie dares -- and that’s the right word, as it continues to catch flack for it -- to explore the existential struggle that is loving oneself. If Remy the Rat is going to survive life on this planet, he has to become the furry mammal he’s told he can’t be. He has to cook. Director Brad Bird turns the act of defiance into a three-ring circus. Composer Michael Giacchino, a longtime Pixar collaborator, owns half the film with his take on Parisian jazz, and Patton Oswalt adds exhaustion and thrill to Remy’s voice with nuance. Ratatouille is fine dining, the result of the best artists in the movie business telling an artist’s story.
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Matt Patches is Thrillist’s Entertainment editor. He previously wrote for Grantland, Esquire.com, Vulture, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Guardian. He self-identifies as Mr. Potato Head. Find him on Twitter: @misterpatches.