Ratatouille (2007)


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Welcome to Disney+ post number 1. This movie held up a lot better than I expected. The ramifications of the #metoo movement are still playing out, but this movie called attention to gender inequality in 2007! The movie fails the Bechdel test as Collette, Janeane Garofalo, is the only significant female character. Her character is at her best as she explains the rules of the road to Linguini, the new, human, chef:


How many women do you see in this kitchen?

….

Only me. Why do you think that is? Because haute cuisine is an antiquated hierarchy built upon rules written by stupid, old, *men*. Rules designed to make it impossible for women to enter this world. But still, I'm here! How did this happen?

….

I am the toughest cook in this kitchen! I have worked too hard for too long to get here, and I am *not* going to jeopardize it for some garbage boy who got lucky! Got it?


This is still very true in the world of professional chefs. Collette is a character that little girls can look up to and strive to be in a realistic way. She also helps Linguini because she wants to see equality in the kitchen and setting up Linguini to fail is not going to advance her career.


The true star of the movie is Remy the rat, voiced by Patton Oswalt. He takes Chef Gusteau’s “anyone can cook” to heart, despite being a rat. There is a typical buddy cop story with Linguini as Remy controls him like a marionette. They have a falling out and makeup with each other. This is par for the course. What sets this movie apart is the slapstick comedy and creativity afforded when there is a mischief of rats. The animation team did a wonderful job of using kitchen utensils in creative ways to allow rats to cook. Hit the rewind button and watch the cooking scene a few times to pick up on all the wonderful details.


Pixar movies have been great since they first hit theatres. I have seldom revisited them, but Ratatouille was well worth it. Collette’s speech about the restaurant world is one of the best in the entire Pixar catalog. The animators must have had a blast figuring out how to place hundreds of rats throughout a professional kitchen and they did it so well. It all adds up to a great re-watch.

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©2019 by Sean Whitehurst