Before Pixar’s Ratatouille opened, the grumbling began in the industry, saying that it was too smart for kids, too sophisticated to be another Pixar smash-hit.

And when it failed to break records immediately, it was quickly a subject of scandal. Was Pixar slipping? Was their focus on storytelling rather than merchandise-friendly entertainment going to cause them to slide from the lofty heights of movie storytelling?

Folks… in the realm of fairy tales, the tortoise was onto something. Slow and steady wins the race. Pixar’s storytellers are exemplars of excellence, and just because they don’t have the most strategic marketing plan for a movie doesn’t mean that the movie isn’t built to last.

Ratatouille is performing just as it should. In fact, it’s becoming a huge success. Pixar shouldn’t be afraid of boasting about their lack of immediate block-busting success. Most opening-weekend blockbusters are testaments to the power of advertising, not the power of storytelling. But in the long run, what is more successful? What kind of big-screen family entertainment actually becomes meaningful for the families that attend?

Thanks to Christian Hamaker for passing along this piece by David Poland:

[Ratatouille] just passed Cars to become Pixar’s #5 worldwide grosser of all time. And Toy Story 2 is well in view, likely to be passed this week, just $10 million away. The film did over $21 million in the last week. …

The final worldwide number looks to be about $520 million… still not enough to take The Incredibles‘ #3 slot and likely to come up just behind The Simpsons‘ $525 million worldwide. But $530 million, beating out both films’ positions, is possible

So do ya think that maybe all the authors of those “Ratatouille is a dissapointment” stories owe the best mainstream animated film of 2007 a bit of an apology?

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