Ratatouille transcends stereotypes; Taco Bell rats fire publicist

Against all manner of PR obstacles -- from its furry French star's partiality for complicated haute cuisine, to his tendency to hang with a wrong-side-of-the-sewer...

Against all manner of PR obstacles -- from its furry French star's partiality for complicated haute cuisine, to his tendency to hang with a wrong-side-of-the-sewer crowd -- Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille is drawing rave word-of-mouth and respectable box-office sales ($72.7 in its first week out).

The question now is, can moviegoers be persuaded to invite lovable (yet rodent) Chef Remy into their own kitchens? Disney is betting they will: The studio has licensed several lines of Ratatouille-themed kids' culinary products, including a colorful cookbook, bake set, apron, and dinnerware set available at Sur La Table stores nationwide. And for grown-ups, Disney has partnered with Costco and France's Macon's Chateau de Messey winery for a Ratatouille-label 2004 white Burgundy, on sale beginning August 1.

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