Pixar Animation Studios' Brad Bird will direct Ratatouille, the computer-animated mouse tale that was developed in-house by the studio's Oscar-winning short-film director Jan Pinkava (Geri's Game).

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the deal was confirmed Friday at the Disney shareholders meeting in Anaheim.

The story centers on a skinny rodent who fancies himself a gourmand and lives in a Parisian restaurant. A sneak peek of the film, with fully rendered CG characters, was introduced by John Lasseter and shown to attendees at Friday's meeting. It was expected that Pinkava would direct the project, and Bird was said to be developing a sequel to his 2004 Oscar-winning film The Incredibles.

Execs also confirmed at the meeting that Glen Keane's directorial debut, Rapunzel, remains in the early stages of production utilizing a combination of 2-D and 3-D processes. Ratatouille is the eighth animated feature film produced by Pixar. It is scheduled for release June 29, 2007.

Brian B.