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'Ratatouille' Director Brad Bird Finds Blu-ray Delectable

1 Nov, 2007 By: John Gaudiosi


Brad Bird, the director of Walt Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille, heaped praise on the Blu-ray format and what it brings to computer-generated movies during the Blu-ray Disc Festival.

“[Executive producer and Pixar executive] John Lasseter is bursting at the seams over all of the capabilities of Blu-ray Disc,” said Bird during a Q&A with technology journalists from around the world. “We call it film school in a box. If you're really interested in film like we both were as kids, this format might allow you to bypass film school.”

Bird said he goes back and forth on how much the audience should really know about the making of a movie, pointing out that Steven Spielberg doesn't do director commentaries. For the Ratatouille disc, however, he did have crews documenting the process from start to finish.

“We caught some unscripted moments that show that movie-making is hard,” said Bird, who doesn't like when movie studios “fake” making-of special features for movies long after the fact. “At Pixar, we're dealing with a lot of creative people with a lot of strong opinions and we have conflict and war during production, but they're good fights.”

Bird said every Pixar film's creation will be documented by high-definition cameras to take advantage of Blu-ray technology.

A home theater enthusiast, Bid loves the way Blu-ray brings the movie he created into homes.

“If you turn off the lights and watch it on a home theater screen or on a good HDTV, consumers will see the movie the way it was meant to be seen, which is not the case in many movie theaters today,” Bird said. He noted a rip in the print marred a summer theatrical viewing of Spider-Man 3 in Wisconsin on the second day after it opened.

“I'm looking forward to seeing all of the films I've yet to see on Blu-ray, as well as classics that I want to experience as they were meant to be played like Laurence of Arabia and Citizen Kane,” he said. “You can watch a film 100 times on Blu-ray and the picture quality will never falter.”

Bird said that he's sure that his Oscar-winning CGI hit, The Incredibles, will be coming to Blu-ray, but he's not kept in the loop on exactly what the plans are for all of the films. Pixar fans do get a double feature on Blu-ray with Cars and Ratatouille. And fans will find some new elements in the Blu-ray that didn't make the theatrical cut because of timing.

“We added little geek stuff like the top tuft of Linguini's hair blowing in the wind during a motorcycle ride,” Bird said. “John [Lasseter] came up with the idea of having Remy receive a little chef's hat at the end of the movie and put it on his head in the last scene. I also slipped in extra notes for music for the home audio. If they give me the extra time for Blu-ray, I'm always trying to make the movie better.”

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