Ratatouille (2007)
August 11, 2022 11:00 AM - Subscribe

Remy (Patton Oswalt), a resident of Paris, appreciates good food and has quite a sophisticated palate. He would love to become a chef so he can create and enjoy culinary masterpieces to his heart's delight. The only problem is, Remy is a rat. When he winds up in the sewer beneath one of Paris' finest restaurants, the rodent gourmet finds himself ideally placed to realize his dream.

Also starring the voices of: Brad Garrett, Janeane Garafalo, Ian Holm, Lou Romano, Brian Dennehy, Peter O'Toole, Will Arnett, James Remar, and John Ratzenburger.

Written by Brad Bird, from a story by Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, and Brad Bird. Directed by Brad Bird. Jan Pinkava (Geri's game) had originally been at the helm as writer and unofficial director, but Bird was later brought in to rewrite/direct. At the time when he was replaced, Pinkava had written the core storyline of the film and created the styling, key characters, and sets.
96% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Because of this, some listings credit Pinkava as co-director.

Currently streaming in the US on Disney+ and available for digital rental on various outlets. JustWatch listing.

NOTE: this is about a rat, not a raccoon.
posted by DirtyOldTown (7 comments total)
 
Great movie. But, I came for the "NOTE:" really, I can never again think of Ratatouille without thinking about "Everything, Everywhere All At Once".

(And... this Easter, I made Ratatouille for the first time, it was delish - simple and yummy, although in future I have to cook it a little less)
posted by rozcakj at 11:32 AM on August 11 [6 favorites]


this was a BEAUTIFUL movie. the attention to detail in building Paris, the cooperation with Thomas Keller to get the kitchen scenes correct, the love for french cuisine and how good food evokes memory - just everything!
posted by alchemist at 12:11 PM on August 11 [6 favorites]


This is an artfully made movie with a really ugly story. It's the tale of a mediocre white man who feels entitled to success, and who achieves it not through his own skill but by taking credit for the work of more talented people (including the rats here) who are marginalized and excluded from participating at the elite level reserved for the dominant class.

It's unintentionally a really good look at how white mediocrity excludes marginalized groups while depending on their toil and taking credit for their accomplishments.

It's not unique in this regard. The Lion King is another example of a beloved film about male entitlement and exploitation of the toil of marginalized groups whose actual work should have earned them the rewards stolen by the dominant class.

The messages are terrible and they perpetuate and indoctrinate children into ugly, regressive social structures.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 1:14 PM on August 11 [10 favorites]


The messages are terrible and they perpetuate and indoctrinate children into ugly, regressive social structures.

On the plus side, Patton Oswalt got to tell a kid in a Remy costume, "YOU'RE INSIDE ME..." one Halloween.
posted by Etrigan at 1:45 PM on August 11 [2 favorites]


This is an artfully made movie with a really ugly story. It's the tale of a mediocre white man who feels entitled to success, and who achieves it not through his own skill but by taking credit for the work of more talented people (including the rats here) who are marginalized and excluded from participating at the elite level reserved for the dominant class.

Did...you watch until the end of the movie? Because the story ends with Remy the rat achieving fame and public adulation as Head Chef of his own restaurant while Linguini—the "mediocre white man"—is happy and content to serve in a supporting role as the roller skating waiter. Like, one of the main takeaways is that it's actually bad to take credit for the work of others.

That having been said, I agree that the movie's messaging is all kinds of fucked up, but in my analysis it has more to do with Brad Bird once again allowing his thinly-veiled Ayn Randian sympathies to shine through. I'll paraphrase a comment I made in a previous thread:
Remy’s obsession with not stealing food from humans, even to the point of nearly letting his own family starve, because the capital-wielding humans are the food’s rightful owners is a pretty reactionary inversion of the Jean Valjean moral. Even when Remy is actually working for the restaurant as an unpaid chef, he still hesitates to purloin food from the pantry to feed his brother and his friends because he considers it stealing (rather than payment of wages owed.) In the end, the only thing that assuages his guilt about pilfering is when he learns that Linguini is the rightful owner of the restaurant (through accident of birth.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:23 PM on August 11 [9 favorites]


I really love this movie. It's my favorite Pixar, with the possible exception of Coco.

Personally, I don't think Alfredo is rewarded for ambition - as Atom Eyes points out, his happy ending is working for the rat. Getting a big head undeservedly
(and accidentally, he is not a striver) and then getting brought back down to earth is how he gets to a good place.

I also don't think the point of Remy's conflict with his father is whether stealing is right or wrong. It's about navigating relationships that are important to you when there's a conflict in values. Remy and Django value food differently, and also value the concept of property differently. They don't come to a place of understanding by one convincing the other to change values. They learn to accept that they have different values.

But whatever, if the story bugs you, it bugs you, and you're not wrong.

I like the animation, and Remy and Emile's relationship, and the setting in Paris and in kitchens, both the restaurant and Alfredo's tiny apartment. I think this is a gorgeous, cozy film. I like the scene when Anton Ego has his revelatory sense memory of childhood eating a simple, perfect ratatouille, and that grows his grinch heart.
posted by the primroses were over at 4:05 PM on August 11 [3 favorites]


This movie has one of my favorite got-by-the-censors moments. At one point Linguini is trying incoherently to Colette (Janeane Garafalo!) that his actions are controlled by the rat under his hat, and he says "I have a little...tiny..." at which point Collette's eyes flick downward for the briefest of moments, then back up to his face.
posted by Gelatin at 5:33 AM on August 12 [5 favorites]


« Older Blown Away: Season Three...   |  Movie: Marionette... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments

poster