A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
What's the story?
Little kids will love the upbeat rhythms and clearly understandable lyrics; parents and older siblings will appreciate the excellent musicianship and eclectic song choices on RATATOUILLE: WHAT'S COOKING? -- one of two CDs released in conjunction with the Pixar/Disney animated film. The most delightful tunes are the gems of "Saturday Night Fish Fry," and "Banana Split for My Baby." They're just plain great songs. But the producers have added some of their own sparkling, fun originals -- and they hold up surprisingly well next to the classics.
Is it any good?
It's got to be harder than it looks to produce kids' music that doesn't sound wimpy or condescending, because otherwise more people would be able to do it well. Producers Fred Mollin and Matt Rollings seem to have the knack -- the instrumental tracks are expertly played and beautifully mixed. Many of the musicians stand out, not the least of whom are Aubrey Haynie on violin and mandolin and the voice of Lari White. All measure up to a recipe for wholesome, nutritious family fun.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about movie marketing. Why is there more than one CD for this movie? Does seeing the movie make you want to buy all the CDs? Does listening to the music help you appreciate the movie more? Families can also chat about their own favorite foods. How about writing a song about something you love to cook, or simply to eat? How many other songs can you think of that have lyrics about food?