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Ratatouille

September 11, 2015

RRemy is a young rat in the French countryside who arrives in Paris, only to find out that his cooking idol, Auguste Gusteau, is dead. When Remy makes an unusual alliance with a restaurant’s new garbage boy, Linguini, the culinary and personal adventures begin, despite Remy’s family’s scepticism and the rat-hating world of humans.

Themes: ambition, hope, change, family

You can change: Remy is a rat, and humans don’t like rats. Remy’s family know this and are determined to stay as they are, living in and eating rubbish. Remy, however, wants to change and has big dreams of becoming something more.

Follow your dreams

Family life is sometimes challenging: Remy has various run-ins with his family during the film.

[frame freezes as Remy bursts through a window carrying a book over his head]
Remy: [voiceover] This is me. I think it’s apparent that I need to rethink my life a little bit. What’s my problem? First of all, I’m a rat. Which means, life is hard. Second, I have a highly developed sense of taste and smell.
 

R 2Colette: Horst has done time.
Linguini: What for?
Colette: No one know for sure. He changes the story every time you ask him.
Horst: I defrauded a major corporation.
Horst: I robbed the second-largest bank in France using only a ball-point pen.
Horst: I created a hole in the ozone layer over Avignon.
Horst: I killed a man… with this thumb.
 

Skinner: [to Linguini] Welcome to Hell.
 

Django: [the clan is eating clean garbage thanks to Remy’s gift] Now don’t you feel better, Remy? Eh? You’ve help a noble cause.
Remy: Noble? W-We’re thieves, Dad, and what we’re stealing is, let’s face it, garbage.
Django: It isn’t stealing if no one wants it.
Remy: If no one wants it, why are we *stealing* it?
Remy: [voiceover] Let’s just say we have different points of view.
 

 

Anton Ego: In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau’s, who is, in this critic’s opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau’s soon, hungry for more.
Gusteua: [on the TV] How can I describe it? Good food is like music you can taste, color you can smell. There is excellence all around you. You need only to be aware to stop and savor it.
 

Gusteua: [on the TV] You must be imaginative, strong-hearted. You must try things that may not work, and you must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul. What I say is true – anyone can cook… but only the fearless can be great.
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