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Headscratchers: Ratatouille
  • Is anybody else immensely disturbed by the fact that humans are persecuting and murdering a sentient species in this film? Rats are obviously just as intelligent as humans in this universe; the only difference is they can't speak with humans. And nobody has figured it out.
    • This troper always got the impression that previously, no rats had ever tried to get involved with humans to any degree. After all, if every time you got close to somebody they tried to kill you, wouldn't you stay away? And so the humans never figured out that rats were sentient.
    • Besides, humans have persecuting and murdering sentient species all throughout history. It's just this one is a Non-Human sapient species.
      • Even assuming the world at large doesn't know about these sapient rats — Isn't Linguini being kind of selfish in trying to keep Remy's human-like intelligence a secret to further his own career? Shouldn't Remy be more concerned with getting the guy to put a good word in for his species then with what's in the white sauce? I know he loves to cook, but if I were spending hours in the kitchen coming up with fantastic new recipes to serve to some folks who were trying to systematically exterminate my race, I'd feel like a bit of a traitor, even if I was following my dreams.
      • He does feel conflicted, remember?
      • Rats in the kitchen = MAJOR health code violation.
      • So we're supposed to cheer for a guy who puts his job as a kitchen scullery above saving an whole sapient species? Or a rat who only 'feels conflicted' about not making an effort to stop the systematic killing of his kind? Hmm.
      • Realistically, what could either Linguini or Remy do? Neither one of them were even in contact with other rats during their partnership, so an arrangement where Linguini and Remy helped each other get what they wanted made sense. It wasn't until Remy found his family again that the conflict came back and by the end of the movie, Linguini and Remy found a way to help the rest of the rats as well. And for what its worth, until Remy had a better idea, the rats were perfectly happy living as they did away from humans and salvaging scraps.
    • The movie displays that only rats can understand other rats. Even Linguini can't understand Remy.
      • But Linguini and Remy are clearly capable of communicating with each other to a certain extent, even if they don't share a common language. Hell, Remy can directly influence Linguini's actions via hair-pulling. Linguini might be a bit slow, but Remy's a heartless bastard if it never occurred to him to try and use this ability to stop humans from murdering his kind. Also, Remy understood written French.
      • Since he probably can't write, what was Remy supposed to do? Organize a rat overthrow of human kind? What?
      • Well, how else could Remy read the cookbooks?
    • One must keep in mind that Linguini is 'just' a chef in France. As several moments show in the film, him saying that Remy is the real chef results in people believing that he's insane. Justifiably so - if your species has been essentially ignoring something for millenniums, would one guy, no matter how famous, saying that they're not sound like something reasonable to believe? Not for most people. Of course, this also ties into one of the themes of the movie - acceptance. It doesn't really matter that they're rats (or whatever); what's important is that we accept their contributions to the world and our lives. We don't have to like everything they do but we should not also dismiss for the sake of dismissing (as Ego writes in his review).
      • But no one would need to take Linguini's word for it, really; even if the hair pulling trick wouldn't be particularly compelling evidence, there were still about a million ways he and Remy could have demonstrated rat intelligence to the world. We're talking about a campaign of xenocide as old as civilization that could have been laid to rest with a YouTube video. Somebody really should have shown some initiative.
      • It wouldn't necessarily be that easy. People would be more likely to assume that it was all some clever stage trick and/or that Linguini was simply a gifted animal trainer. If they tried partnering Remy up with someone beside Linguini, that other someone would likely be suspected to be "in on the trick." And even if it was accepted that Remy was intelligent, that wouldn't necessarily mean people would accept that all rats are.
      • Scientists have already devised many tests of animal intelligence that Remy could easily complete with or without a human partner. Results would need to be replicated in a controlled environment, but saying it would be impossible to get the word out when Remy is so clearly of human-like intelligence is depressing. Either Remy and Linguini are selfish to the point of sociopathy, or humanity in this film really, really sucks.
      • Not impossible, but not exactly easy either. The problem is that you're talking about erasing several millenia of hatred and enmity, and even Anton Ego knew how hard it was to get new ideas to be accepted. You'd get a few humans willing to accept the idea, but the majority would be more skeptical and harder to convince, which means that Remy would basically have to devote his entire lifetime to work with getting the humans to understand; already a hard task. Basically, he would be swapping one boring but useful job (poison checker) to another boring but useful job (test subject on rat intelligence) — and then it becomes a movie not about daring to dream and nurturing your talents, but about giving up your own ambitions for the greater good, even when people don't appreciate what you do. I mean, the other rats couldn't care less about humans; interacting with and behaving like humans seem to be some kind of mild taboo in rat society (note Emile saying that all with all this cooking and reading and TV watching he feels like he's aiding Remy in some kind of crime); the only reason why they helped out in the end was because of Remy. Now, admittedly, they could have made it work, but abandoning cooking and instead dedicating yourself to the betterment of inter-species relationships would probably have made for a much less focused and probably less interesting movie, that would likely cause the audience to say: "Wait, didn't he want to be a chef? Why have we spent the last twenty minutes watching him crusade for rat rights?" ...okay, I kinda went off-track there, but my main point is that it would be a lot harder to change things than simply, as an earlier troper remarked, put up a video on YouTube, and calling Remy and Linguini "selfish to the point of sociopathy" just because they don't try to take on a task bigger than both of them, that neither of them are probably qualified for (Linguini is not good with convincing people, as evident by his total failure to bring most of the chefs around) seems unnecessarily harsh.
      • If Pixar wanted to make a shiny, happy film about cooking rats without getting sidetracked by all that messy xenocide stuff, they shouldn't have brought it up in the first place. Unfortunately, they do bring it up, even going so far as to let Remy's father give a little speech about how humans kill their kind while standing in front of an exterminator's storefront with dead rats hanging in the window. Saying that addressing this would have made the script longer or unfocused is missing the point; Pixar could have sidestepped the issue entirely if they wanted to, but instead they decided to milk it for drama and then ignore it later creating some distubing implications. Naturally, getting humanity to accept that rats are people too would have been difficult, and any effort on the part of main characters' towards this end would not be guaranteed to succeed, but it's downright upsetting that every major character spends the entire film entirely preoccupied with their trivial personal concerns (I want to be a chef! I have a crush on my coworker! An excellent restaurant is about to go out of business!) with nary a thought for the ethical considerations of the deeply horrific discoveries they make during that timeframe . Besides, when important concerns that arise from the premise organically are being pushed aside to make way for less important, more contrived conflicts, that's just plain bad writing.
      • Okay, in response to the above, a real life comparison. By the 1940s Louis Armstrong was recognised as the one of the greatest Jazz musicians/singers and entertainers in show business, able to command huge audiences of both whites and blacks. Yet it was still necessary for Martin Luther King to lead a civil rights movement for blacks by 1963. Now should we criticise Louis Armstrong for not doing more to fight for racial equality and 'selfishly' persuing his dream of being a jazz musician. Or should we recognise that his finally achieving his dream despite extreme prejudice is a Crowning Moment of Awesome and, incidently, doing something to push the door open for more of his people to achieve equality.
      • Comparision doesn't hold up for a number of reasons. Firstly: Remy hid his identity, and thus did nothing to 'open the door' for more rats who might have wanted to follow their dreams in human society. Armstrong might have been chiefly motivated by the desire to make great music, but if he'd bleached his skin and pretended to be white in order to play in white clubs, we'd likely not hold that up as his finest hour. Secondly: Remy and Linguini were in a rather unique position to improve the condition of ratkind, what with Remy's human communication skills, and Linguini being (at least as far as he knew) the only human to know of the sentience of rats. It's one thing to choose cooking over the crusade for social justice, but it's entirely another when the means to make a good run at saving an entire sapient species falls into your lap and choose to ignore it because you had less important things planned for yourself. Thirdly: there were in fact supporters of the civil rights movement who were disappointed with Armstrong's choice avoid offering the movement any public support. This, of course, does not make Armstrong any less of a jazz musician, but regardless of whether his choices were ultimately right or wrong, historical context does make his life story a little more complicated than what is implied by Ratatouille's Unambiguous Disney Happy Ending (and that's without the metaphorical skin bleaching).
      • ...has it occured to you that you are bringing xenocide into this entirely of your own accord and holding Pixar responsible for an insane idea you yourself concocted? Right around the time we're invoking Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement in a children's movie about rats cooking is around the time we should go "I think I'm overthinking this and I should go outside." For goodness sake, you're complaining that a rat that actually did, by the way, do exactly what you're bitching he didn't by the end of the film (i.e. create a way for rats and humans to co-exist), is solely responsible for millions upon millions of dead rats simply because he didn't...fuck, I don't know, contact a ratologist or speak to the media or something completely unbelievably complex and unrealistic.
    • Do you have any idea of how people would react to the possibility of rats controlling them by pulling their hair. Everybody would shave their heads and anti-rat feelings would increase. It was probably safer to keep rat intelligence a secret.
    • The short that comes with the movie, Your Friend the Rat, centers around Remy trying to convince people rats don't deserve their negative reputation and that they can all get along, which would presumably stop the rat killing (he even mentions removing traps at one point). It's presumably an out-of-universe thing, but at least there's that.
  • Django actually makes a really good point - it may not be the most noble existence to live off garbage, but it isn't theft, either. Remy further undermines his own position by lecturing his father about how bad it is to steal, then turns around and proposes that they should swipe food out of the kitchen. And then tries to. And then despite having a moment of conscience when he's at the party, takes herbs from a rooftop garden for his omelette and doesn't show a shred of remorse. For all that he's supposedly tormented by a rat's parasitical existence, he's pretty casual about it at times.
    • This troper is guessing that Remy tries to justify his scavenging by thinking it's for the sake of his cooking skills. Remy has always come off as a somewhat self-centered but caring character.
    • It's also not really one of those right-wrong arguments. The fact is, they're -both- right in different ways.
  • What happened to all the other cooks after Gusteau's restaurant was closed? After they walked out on Linguini they were never heard from again.
    • This troper theorizes they simply found work elsewhere. With Gusteau's on their resumes, some restaurants would kill to have any one of them in the kitchen.
    • They starved to death in the streets. And then Remy's family ate them.
    • Now, now. It's just as possible that they repented and were rehired to work in Remy and Linguini's new restaurant.
      • Um, no it's not. The rats were the chefs of the new restaurant.
      • Except that no they weren't. Most of the cooks were human, all the other rats did was chill out in the attic/on the roof, eating. Remy's family were nothing more than customers after Gusteau's was closed down. Not that any of the cooks would actually work for Linguini again, considering they know his secret. They probably just split up and went their own ways, other restaurants DO exist ya know.
      • True. The new restaurant was small enough that only Remy and Colette needed to cook.
  • Why didn't the writers do more with the other cooks at Gusteau's? We are shown that all of them have interesting pasts and personalities... and yet they barely get any screen time.
    • Sure, if you want a four hour movie. Basically, it's not needed. It's not their story.
      • Yeah, but the way they're handled, you could've just not given them personalities at all and it wouldn't have made any difference.
      • All the more credit to the writers, then, for giving even their background characters interesting personalities instead of just making them clone cooks. It adds detail and colour to the volatile environment of the kitchen, which helps Linguini seem even more out of place.
    • It's somewhat of a play with The Chosen One of other stories. This troper saw it as a way of avoiding a story where some random guy shows up as is special and better just because he's the protagonist and you're left wondering how the place held together before his arrival. The other chefs are legitimately better than Linguini and by all rights are more deserving than he as far as being head chef. It, at the same time, is also to emphasize one of the points of the movie. They are interesting and unique... but fail to follow the idea of Anyone Can Cook - they're not expressing their individuality and creativity, they're simply following orders so no matter how good they are, they're not cooking just making food.
    • This Troper actually attended a lecture by the lead character animator of this film. Apparently the reason they had to fire their old director and pull in Brad Bird was that the first director had a storyline for fucking everyone including Remy's mother who wanted to be a lounge singer for Christ's sake. The movie would've been eight hours long, incomprehensible and a terrible movie. In the end they made a good move by making sure that there was only one important story and not 36.
  • Those goddam accents. Foreign accented-English in a movie where the characters are supposedly speaking another language is a serious pet peeve of mine. The fact that the viewer can understad the characters in such a movie means that we, the viewers, are honorary speakers of the in-story language. The characters are NOT diegetically speaking English. Thus, they should not have foreign accents, because foreign accents occur when a speaker cannot correctly pronounce another language. But they're all French, and they're all speaking French. There is absolutely no reason they should be speaking English with a French accent. Of course, Linguini has an American accent because he's the protagonist, and Ego has a British accent because he's snobby. Isn't it time we retired this ghastly nonsensical shorthand and found better ways to establish setting and characterization?
    • Surely they'd speak French with a French accent; the only thing "wrong" about turning that into English with a French accent is that now you have an accent that doesn't normally go with the language. If they all had American or British accents, then the accent would match the language but not the location rather than the other way around. You say that we ought to find better ways to establish setting and characterization; those better ways could easily be an addition rather than a replacement.
    • As an actual possible explanation, it's possible that people with French accents were from one part of France, and the people with American and British accents were were from other parts or places. Since accented English was so prevalent, we can assume that the accent indicated they were local Parisians, and the others were originally from somewhere else.
    • I always assumed that was the case for Linguini, at least, going with his fascination at the pronunciation of "ratatouille" ("It sounds like 'RAT'... and 'patootie.'").
    • I'd just assumed that Linguini was raised abroad and came back to France after his mother died. Ego could simply be from England and living in France.
    • Anybody else think Colette's accent sounded more Quebecois than French?
  • The hair-pulling thing was lazy.
    • to expand on that?
    • Personally, I think that hair-pulling thing was scary- does it work with any rat, on any human? If it did, imagine the chaos that rats would wreak upon the world, getting their long-sought revenge against the humans.
      • That is a ridiculous assertion. By way of apology, you should send cheese to this Troper's home ASAP.
      • Dammit, Renaldo! Stop leading the humans on! We can't let them know our plans! They'll find The Big Board and everything!
    • My theory is, that Linguini is suffering from some kind of genetical defect, that has his nerves more directly tied to his skin and, subsequently, to his hair. This is why Remy can control him so easily, just by pulling his hair. You may notice, even if it's not someone pulling his hair, he's extremely prone to involuntary movements, which is one of the big reasons why he's so terribly clumsy.
      • He's only clumsy on his feet. Put him on skates and he's doing rings around Nancy Kerrigan.
    • I think I recall hearing from the creators (sorry, I can't remember the exact place- perhaps one of the video-interviews) that this was simply because Linguini was so "high-strung."
    • I think it was supposed to be a sort of reflexology, where certain parts of the scalp had connections to the rest of the body. Of course, traditionally reflexology occurs in the foot, and this was stretching things quite a bit. Then again, the movie is about sapient rats, so...yeah.
    • Well, what would you have them do? Remy whispering in Linguini's ear? Biting him? When your two protagonists can't communicate, there's really only so many ways you do things without getting even more contrived. Moreover, it's an extension of what people do in real life - those moments in movies where two people become close when one person is showing someone else how to do something and touches them to do so. And considering the the movie starts out with an old lady shooting out her ceiling with a shotgun, shouldn't a little comedy be okay?
      • A little comedy is always okay, but the hair pulling thing was essential to the plot, yet physically impossible, and never explained or even directly discussed in the script. It's just there, as though it logically flows from the premise, which it doesn't. It's a flaw. I'm inclined to agree it was lazy, too.
      • It bugged me also. Yes, it's a movie about an intelligent rat who can cook. Ok, so a ground rule of this story universe is that rats are smarter and can cook, that's fine, it's nice and self-contained. But I also have to accept that this human (as someone else wondered, only this human?) can be controlled like a marionette just by pulling his hair, even when he's sound asleep? Willing Suspension of Disbelief pushed too far now, sorry. Yes, they really could have come up with something better. For example, let Remy still pull his hair, but make it more obvious that they are learning to coordinate not that Remy is just pulling his strings - literally. A little trial and error and Linguine learns that a tug "here" means "no you need to pick that thing up in front of you" and a tug "there" means "move this hand over there" and this means "stir faster" or "slower" ... etc. And yes, I'm holding Pixar up to the standard that they could have come up with something better than this - I mean, look at the amazing things they have effortlessly gotten us to believe. It's not so much unbelievable as it just seems uncharacteristically sloppy of Pixar to just sort of toss this into the movie with no real explanation and expect us to roll with it.
      • The special features on the DVD (or perhaps just the Blu-ray) establish that they had already tried a number of other things that just weren't working. Brad Bird was out of time and had to go with something. Also, Rule of Funny.
      • The fact that Rule of Funny isn't enough for some people in a children's animated movie is kind of sad, really. Remember, guys, Pixar may want to make the movies enjoyable for everyone, but their primary audience is not adults, and it's especially not the sort of adults that go on TV Tropes and grump about how they can accept a superintelligent cooking rat but not "the hair thing". It's little kids who would probably find Linguini's flailing as his hair gets pulled on funny as hell.
      • Uhm... it's quite clearly not for "little kids". Despite being animated and from Pixar, Ratatouille has never been a kid's movie. I mean, it's a movie about a cuisine-loving rat helping a socially-awkward garbage boy to restore a once-beloved French restaurant to its former glory, mostly taking place in a fancy kitchen full of chefs with dark back-stories, which evolves into a rather complex set of plot threads relating to romance, cultural decline, vermin infestation and corruption, with the film's final goal being the need to impress a miserable, hard-to-please food critic. It was clearly made for a more adult audience who would be more sucked into the upper-class setting, the French culture, and the intricate, sitcom-style story, so it isn't a film for a kids in any way. Still, I was personally okay with the hair-pulling thing. It made no sense, but it worked as a plot point, adding some humour into the proceedings.

  • When Remy enters the pantry to steal food for Emil, imaginary Gusteau is concerned that Linguini could be fired as a result. No one knows about the connection between Remy and Linguini at this point, and no one would notice the tiny amount of food he took at any rate.
    • But at that point in the film, Skinner is looking for any excuse to fire Linguini - and if food is going missing while Linguini's still technically the garbage boy, someone's gonna pay...
      • Exactly. Skinner told Linguini to go kill a rat once, and now there's a rat in the kitchen. It's enough of an excuse to fire him.
      • Well, he's the garbage boy. He's responsible for keeping the kitchen free of garbage and grime and such precisely so that food doesnt become contaminated or otherwise attract germs. You don't think the -only- thing Linguini would be doing all day is hauling garbage?
    • Why did Remy even go to the pantry for Emile? He'd just been given a napkin full of cheese and grapes! "Here, bro, have some of my feast!"
      • Maybe Remy wanted to keep it for himself?
      • Even still, it's pretty obvious Remy wants Emile to start savoring the good stuff, and, hey, I just happen to have a snack-y banquet available. Have a grape, or some cheese, or whatever...
      • Remy had bread and grapes. He went to the fridge to grab some cheeses for Emile to eat with the grapes to show him how the flavors compliment each other.
      • He had cheese on the napkin. In fact, he seemed to have multiple kinds of cheese. That was what the knife was in.
    • Gusteau is, as he himself says, only a figment of Remy's imagaination - he only knows what Remy knows. So maybe in the back of his mind he was worried about Linguini, and it was projected on his "conscience" in the form of Gusteau?
  • After Linguini takes over Gusteau's, and becomes wealthy and successful... why is Remy still compelled to sneak food behind his back? Even though they can't communicate by speaking, all Remy has to do is "direct" Linguini into leaving some food out for them, and I'm sure even as dense as he is, he'd get the idea.
    • Remy didn't want for Linguini to know he's feeding the ever increasing amount of rats. He felt bad about it already, why make it harder?
    • Also, the other chefs would probably notice if someone was leaving food out at night. Leaving food out is very bad practice in any kind of food service - it's a pretty severe health violation to leave food out over night, to allow food to linger at room temperature, to leave food out uncovered, etc. Even Linguini would know that - after all, he gives Remy food on a napkin... exactly how you're suppose to give food to someone if you aren't wearing gloves (ie use some sort of protection to avoid touching ready to eat food).
  • At the end, after the health inspector closed down one restaurant for rats in the do they have another successful restaurant with RATS in the KITCHEN?
    • Despite the name and sign outside the bistro, it's not explicitly stated that the customers know the chef is a rat. Ego never revealed Remy's identity to the public. The bistro is probably successful purely on the reputation of the excellent cooking, and whenever the health inspector comes round, Remy and the colony stay well out of sight. Remy has always been a clean-conscious rat, so keeping the kitchen clean wouldn't be a problem.
      • But how do they explain the kitchen modifications for Remy like the scaffolding on the door to the dining area?
      • If it doesn't affect the cleanliness of the restaurant, would the Health Inspector care?
      • Probably not - as long as it's clean and doesn't break any codes.
      • I always thought that Ego DID reveal that a rat was the chef, since his article was about 'defending the new,' and that the restaurant found a crowd willing to open their minds to the weird Disney logic operating in Paris. Which is extremely weird, but there were a whole bunch of people who knew about sentient rats at that point.
      • Ego never revealed that the rats were the cooks. His reputation was ruined because there were rats in the kitchen of the restaurant he gave a good review to. He could have kept mum about it and nobody would know that a rat was really cooking the food.
      • Indeed. Remember that at the climax of the movie, Remy's family -kidnaps- the health inspector because he stumbles across all of them working in the kitchen. Even if Ego hadn't said a word, that'd be enough to shut down the place.
  • A tiny detail of interest: Early in the film, we are shown that Rémy is literate and has read Gusteau's book. It effectively means that he could write in perfectly understandable French if he ever came near a computer keyboard. It's not important to the film, but the thought that there is a way for him to communicate with Linguini in human language is intriguing.
    • If I was Remy, I had already grabbed the nearest sheet of paper and written in capitals: GOD! MY NAME IS REMY. R.E.M.Y. NOT "LITTLE CHEF". WHAT ARE YOU?! SEVEN?!
      • An opinion of mine: I thought "Little Chef" became more of an affectionate nickname. And that Remy possible did such offscreen.
    • Intriguing... but impractical. Remy's little Awesome, but Impractical skill. It's not like he can walk around with writing utensils all the time.
    • It's probably Translation Convention at work. The reality is that Remy's name probably isn't Remy, given that rats can't pronounce the sounds necessary for that to be a name. More likely his name is some collection of rat noises that either sound somewhat similar to Remy, or have roughly the same meaning.
    • Fridge Brilliance: It is not like Linguini had the money to own a computer. Perhaps the restaurant has a computer, but it would not have been possible for Remy to use it without getting noticed.
      • Especially given the tech level of the time—look how old all the TVs are. Home computers would still be something of a commodity if they exist at all.
  • This is a minor niggle- silly because it'd get in the way of the wall-to-wall happy ending- but why wasn't Colette more bothered that her entire relationship with Linguini was based on a lie? It's effectively Cyrano with a rat.
    • She didn't fall in love with him for his cooking skills - if that was what she went for in a guy, there were already plenty around for her to choose from - but for his sweet, shy personality, incurable romanticism, etc. (Remember the line, "I thought you were different"?) Additionally, we don't know how long it was between the big reveal and the opening of her and Remy's restaurant. When she returned to Gusteau's at the climax, she's still pretty ticked at him, but there could have been months in which they managed to patch up their relationship.
      • I understand that, but surely she would be annoyed she'd put all that time and effort into coaching him, only to find Remy was the one taking her tuition on board? Also, it had taken years for her to get where she was, while Linguini simply got lucky. A real girl would quite naturally feel bitter. Lastly, relationships founder without trust. Yes, he'd tried to tell her, and it's mainly Remy's fault that he didn't, but would you really expect her to believe the rat called all the shots?
      • First, I don't agree that "a real girl" would automatically be upset at the reveal; each person is different, after all. Second, when you think about the ending a bit more, Colette ended off pretty well. She's working with the best cook in Paris, in a bistro that has customers lining outside the door, and as far as anyone knows, she's the owner and award-winning cook of La Ratatouille (Linguini is waiting tables, after all). In essence, Colette has taken over Linguini's role as Remy's "face."
      • If you pay attention, her tutoring isn't going to waste. Even though Remy's the one ultimately doing the cooking, he noticeably improves because he takes Collette's teachings to heart. He's at first very resentful that anyone could teach him anything (because like his father, he thinks he knows best about everything), but it shows him realizing that yes, she does know some things he could stand to use. (There's even a particular scene all about this, showing Remy's annoyed expression as she starts teaching, then it shifting into a look of dawning comprehension as he realizes how much better what she said to do works.) Collette was probably angry about that, then as she calmed down and pieced it together realized that her effort hadn't gone to waste after all.
    • I have a problem with characterizing it as a "wall-to-wall happy ending." After nearly the entire movie revolves around trying to revive the now-failing Gusteau's, it closes down for good. That's a pretty significant downer, even if the rest of the ending is happy.
      • No, the movie revolves around Remy trying to fulfill his life's dream. Gusteau's reputation (both the chef's and the restaurant's) were already on the decline at the start of the movie, but no one was actively trying to restore either.
    • Their relationship wasn't built on cooking - that was just a jumping point. Look at the romantic montage - most of the stuff they do has very little to do with cooking or Remy. This implies that while Remy may have given Linguini the courage, such as it was, to make the first move, after that, Linguini was able to do things on his own. And even if his cooking ability was part of the attraction, that may be part of the point - she loves him so what difference does it make that Remy is the real chef? Breaking up over someone trying to help a friend accomplish a dream and/or over something ultimately insignificant and non-central to the relationship is pretty petty. In other words, did she/would she love him despite his lack of cooking skills.. or because of it? If she only loved him because of it, she's treating Remy and Linguini just like other chefs had treated her - dismissing them because of her uniqueness rather than accepting it because of it.
  • Why did Remy care so much about Linguini telling Collete about their secret and yet he get extremely offended when after Linguini own Gusteau's he doesn't give him any credit? Is he really that jealous of Linguini's fame?
    • At that point when Linguini was about to tell her, they're just getting started. And again, rats in the kitchen would be really bad as far as health inspectors go. As for the latter, it seemed more like Linguini was legitimately taking credit and thought he didn't need Remy. It wasn't so much the credit (after all, that's probably something they both understood would happen) and more that Linguini began to treat Remy as garbage - something he could do without. More or less, Linguini felt that Remy had gotten into his head.
  • Would a 5 star Parisian restaurant really have a giant neon sign?
    • This may have been Skinner's doing; an extra on the DVD establishes that the commercialization of Gusteau's name began before his death.
  • Anyone else think about the end of 1984 throughout the entire film? "The rat," said O'Brien, still addressing his invisible audience, "although a rodent, is carnivorous. You are aware of that. You will have heard of the things that happen in the poor quarters of this town. In some streets a woman dare not leave her baby alone in the house, even for five minutes. The rats are certain to attack it. Within quite a small time they will strip it to the bones. They also attack sick or dying people. They show astonishing intelligence in knowing when a human being is helpless."
    • The fact is...O'Brien's quote is true. The movie is dropping the anvil that nobody should be judged based on appearances or whatever, but rats can be particularily vicious. In the old days, they were known to grow to large proportions and could even kill small cats and dogs. Cute little Remy made this troper scoff a little bit. Rats can be kept as pets, sure, but feral rats are vicious, and this troper was surprised that Disney preferred to portray them as more sensible than humans.
    • Well, so are feral kittens, and they don't have the reputation rats do.
    • This is the same company which says good things about lions, tigers (Jasmine's pet in Aladdin) and bears (Baloo in The Jungle Book) among various other creatures that are surprisingly deadly. Anything can be a main character in Disney, and they made Remy so cute I could care less. (Plus it probably won't encourage children to pick up a rat and hug it, since...well, they're rats. Instincts are scream on sight for most of us.) Then again, Remy being a rat could be a reference to Disney's nickname 'The Mouse'...which by critics is mutated to be 'The Rat'.
      • Yeah, but in those movies you mention the dangerous animals didn't dream of becoming, say, baby-sitters, and the plots weren't about how the only reason people don't let lions, bears, etc. watch children is their small-mindedness and prejudice. Rats destroy 1/5 of the world's food supply every year. There are good reasons we kill them and keep them out of kitchens.
    • FWIW, O'Brien is misrepresenting the facts. Rats are omnivorous, not carnivorous: they'll eat pretty much anything we do, which is why they're the rodents who thrive as urban pests rather than, say, voles or hamsters.
  • What bugs me is what will happen to Linguini and Collette's restaurant a couple years down the road. Considering just how many rats are born within a single litter, and the environment which they are in protects them from any type of natural selection, there will soon be thousands of rats living there. And then what will happen when Remy dies (rats don't live very long after all) and the rest of the rats all decide to abandon his ideology?
    • Perhaps Remy had children of his own who he passed on everything he knew. Even if they didn't inherit his sense of smell, they could still learn all of is techniques (which he'd probably make notes of). Plus, he was also telling Collette how to modify the recipes and she would surely remember them. As for the huge numbers of rats, not all of the rats in the film ended up working there, didn't they? Some seemed to just be diners. There would probably be rat children who would decide to go off on their own early in life.
    • Also, since Django seems to only have two children, maybe we can assume that rats in this universe have more human-sized families, meaning the clan's population won't grow quite so insanely.
    • Also, children's movie. You don't end a children's movie saying "Oh, and then Remy died a year later and Linguini buried him under a cobblestone. The end."
    • There was no indication that the Restaurant was the home for all of the rats. They were shown eating on top in a mini-cafe, so it might have been more or less an eating establishment and hangout for them just as it is for the humans. They still had homes to go to after the restaurant closed (they seemed to have found one offscreen during the movie, there's no point in leaving that). As for Remy's death; that's inevitable. However he had already made several interesting recipes that would certainly allow the restaurant to stay in business long after he's gone. And here's the brilliance part: the head chef is Colette, the only person in Gusteau's who took the original master's lessons to heart; now she's free to experiment instead of following guidelines to compete in the "men's world", so she might be equally as good as (or even better than)Remy.
  • This is a minor complain, but it bugs me, that Ego lost his reputation and job as a food critic after it was revealed that the restaurant had a rat infestation. Sure it was better for him when looking back how gloomy and cynical he used to be before the movie's events. The thing is, (that even if he kinda deserved it because driving Gusteau to commit suicide) that Ego never actually did anything wrong and therefore didn't deserve to be 'fired'. He came, ate and made his review like professional. It wasn't his fault that there were rats, and given the success of the new restaurant, he never admitted knowing that there were indeed rats, so he couldn't have been accused because of hiding information (And if Linguini wouldn't have revealed the secret how he would have known?). In other words, there were no fair reason given why he lost his job. It was just plainly mean.
    • Well Ego was known as a particularly nasty critic, so there were probably a lot of people who didn't like him and thus leaped at the chance to discredit him. After all, it's not like there aren't people in real life who are blamed and laughed at for things that aren't their fault. Even if Ego wasn't mocked universally, it still would only take a bit to bring him down. Plus, he was known for being extremely meticulous. As a result, people who actually respected him would probably be let down since they would imagine that he would be able to tell if food was prepared in an infested kitchen (it wasn't just like there were one or two rats in there and none of the complainers would have known that Remy had his family keep clean). Given that Remy seemed to change Ego's outlook on life, he probably didn't work too hard to overturn these complaints or rebuild his reputation. After all, it was true that the restaurant had a lot of rats in it and he would have seen nothing to apologize for.
    • We don't really know how long elapses between Ego's review and the finale at Ego's new restaurant (one would assume several months). Remy's meal induced a sea change in Ego's personality, and apparently made him a lot happier. Consider his line about negative criticism being "fun to write, and to read" and it's likely that with Ego's newfound happiness, he simply wasn't able or willing to churn out the nastiness that drew in his audience and so he simply lost his readership.
    • You've interpreted Ego losing his job as the movie's punishment for the villain! IT WASN'T!! He didn't suffer at all as a result; Remy ends his story decsribing how, "He's doing very well as a small-business investor." It wasn't fair, but it didn't matter. He lives Happily Ever After along wtih the heroes!
    • I'd just like to point out, it was never stated exactly how Gusteau died. While suicide is a perfectly logical conclusion to come to, it was just mentioned he died shortly after Ego's review.
    • You completely and utterly missed the point. Ego's review was him completely and utterly rethinking his life. After that, he wouldn't want to be a critic anymore. How could he ever savage food and restaurants after learning that, literally, anyone can cook? After being confronted with the truth of the world in the form of Remy's talent, why would he ever want to write another review again? He invested in a new restaurant because his real passion was now promoting "the best chef in France", even if discreetly, and enjoying the rich and multi-faceted aspects of food up close and personal.
  • One of Horst's explanations for why he was in jail was "I created a hole in the ozone over Avignon." Would that actually be a crime? What could they possibly charge him with?
    • Reckless Endangerment (or the French equivalent) comes to mind.
    • "I defray the ozone in your general neighborhood!"
    • His other explanations also include having tried to rob a bank with a ball-Point pen and killing a man with his thumb. The "reasons" are supposed to sound implausible and nonsensical. He doesn't want you to know and so he gives strange and obviously false answers when you ask.
  • It is stated that Gusteau's was a five star restaurant. Upscale French rating only has three stars.
    • Gusteau's was just that good.
    • Main page answers it, the Michelin stars are a trademarked thing, and Pixar either couldn't secure or didn't want to pay for the rights to use them, especially considering that their primary target country is more used to five star ratings anyway.
  • Skinner is a bad guy for not telling Linguini about his parentage, and indeed, his reasons for hiding it are entirely selfish. But one thing that the movie doesn't really dwell on is that his mother didn't want him to know; we don't know why she feels that way, and maybe she would have changed her mind if she realized the truth would fix all of her son's money trouble, but we can't say for sure. One could certainly argue that he has a right to know even against her wishes—especially with the inheritance issue—but my point is that while Skinner was a Jerk Ass, even if he had been a nice guy there wouldn't have been a clear-cut answer about what he should have done.
    • I got the feeling the reason she didn't want it known was to protect Gusteau, along the lines of, "Don't let people know the famous, well known, and family-friendly chef had an extramarital affair."
    • Gusteau wasn't married. He wasn't even in a relationship. His relationship with Linguini's mother wouldn't have caused much of a stir, especially considering French (and European attitudes) towards sex.
    • Maybe she lied about who his father was and didn't want him to know the truth immediately. I mean, he had just lost his mother. She may have been trying to give him some time to process it before the second whammy - "I know who my dad really is but he's already dead" - hits.
    • It seems like Linguini's mother knew that she couldn't prove it, but still threatened it to Skinner to get her son a job. She may have known that if Linguini knew, and tried to fight it, he wouldn't stand a chance and would instead be buried by legal fees. At least this way the boy has a job.
  • Is it ever actually explained precisely why Ego because the creepily cadaverous, cruel, Caustic Critic he did? For me, the whole "he's not such a monster, really" thing falls a bit flat if they didn't explain why, then, he was acting like one.
    • Maybe he is creepy and harsh, but that doesn't mean he's a horrible person.
    • It's because he immersed himself in tasting and criticizing so much fancy food that he's forgotten to enjoy a simple meal in a very long time.
      • Exactly. Listen to what he says when Linguini zings him with that very fact ("You're awfully thin for someone who supposedly likes food!"). "I don't like food, I love it. And if I don't love it, I don't swallow."
  • Am I really the only one bothered by the fact that the core message of the film, that "Anyone can cook," is defeated by Linguini never developing a skill for cooking and becoming nothing more than a waiter? Wouldn't the ending have been more exciting if Linguini had to cook the ratatouille himself, realizing mid-process that Collette's training had actually worked? Instead, he gets no character development whatsoever.
    • By "anyone can cook", I think the authors meant "no matter the circumstances of your birth, you should be able to do what you love."
    • So, what exactly did Linguini love, if not cooking? It's never really made clear what his motivation is, if anything. That just undermines the message even more.
      • Roller-skating. And being useful. We don't get the sense that Linguini is particularly leaning towards any one thing but we do know he excels at and loves to roller-skate, and the one thing he's never managed to be is useful (see: losing all those jobs), so it must have meant a lot to him to realize that he can do this.
      • Alternatively he had an epiphany and realized his true calling was being a waiter. He certainly seemed happy with himself, and he seems pleased to be doing the same in his little bistro.
    • Ego explains this in his final review. "Not everyone can be a great chef, but a great chef can come from anywhere." In other words, regardless of the circumstances of your birth, you should follow your dreams.
  • One thing that irks me is that the writers here seem to conflate the way food critics work with the way movie critics work. Yes, it is fun to read and write reviews of terrible movies, so that you can nitpick and mock just how terrible they are, but food reviews work in the opposite direction. With food, it is the good reviews which are most entertaining, and indeed, critics who try to appeal to the lowest common denominator will give restaurants undeserving good reviews. After all, who would want to go to a bad restaurant?
    • Saying it's the positive reviews that are the most entertaining is a personal opinion. Gordon Ramsay has an audience for whenever he tears into some poor bastard who overcooks the fish. Perhaps his writing style is funny even if you disagree with his ultimate opinion (ala Yahtzee), or alternatively some people like him because he takes pretentious 5* restaurants down a peg.
  • Minor as can be, but I'm still curious. How did Skinner recognize the dish as ratatouille? It's normally a stew, and that creation of Remy's looked nothing like what it was meant to be.
    • Same way that Ego recognized it and had his Proust moment—taste.
    • But no, Skinner clearly says "Ratatouille? They have got to be joking!" before he tastes it.
      • The ingredients (if not the cooking style) make the dish recognizably a kind of ratatouille. Since the dish is Remy's invention and totally new, maybe it was just the only thing Skinner thought the dish could be called.
    • The smell. Ratatouille is from Provence, which means it might be flavored with herbes de Provence (which have a distinctive aroma) and it's definitely got garlic.
  • "If I don't love it, I simply don't swallow." Then... what does Ego eat? Sure, he's thin, but wine alone won't keep you alive.
    • Maybe he keeps a collection of foods he gave good or at least standard reviews for in his pantry.
    • He probably has a chef who knows how to prepare things that he loves. Or he cooks for himself.
    • Some food from when he chews manages to slide down his throat anyway, maybe. He's being kept barely alive by meat juice runoff and vegetable particulates.
    • Ego has impossibly high standards, but he is still Paris's top critic. This means that he must have liked some restaurants, otherwise he would be out of a job (you can't survive as a critic with only negative reviews, otherwise people might think you have something wrong with your taste buds rather than just have impossibly high standards). Remy just stood out because 1.) Ego seems to have a vendetta against Gusteau's for his motto, which Ego feels cheapens professional cooks, and 2.) Remy not only managed to hit Ego's expectations, but is shown to be the first to surpass them.
  • I, personally, have always been curious as to how Remy really feels about his relationship with Linguini, even in the end. I know Linguini considered Remy his friend, he even said so when he discovered the rest of the clan swiping food from the cooler, "I thought you were my friend, I trusted you!" but what about Remy? I've always been a little cloudy on how he felt about it. It almost seems to me that from beginning to end, he pretty much regarded Linguini as a vehicle for him to live his dream vicariously through; even during the climax, Remy returns to the restaurant because they would fail without him, and when his father asks why does his care, he responds, "Because I'm a cook!" Even in the end, when Linguini and Colette open their own place, I'm sure Remy joined in mainly to continue to live his dream of being a cook... maybe by that point, he considers Linguini (and probably Colette now too) his friend, but it still seems a little cloudy to me.
    • I'm sure Remy sees Linguini as a friend — Remy was determined that Linguini know the truth about his inheritance as soon as he saw the will and letter even though he had nothing to gain from that (he was already cooking as much as he wanted), and he began to feel left out when Linguini began spending time with Colette and leaving him behind. Did they become friends because they both needed to work together and help each other to gain something each of them wanted but couldn't get without the other's help? Yes. Is this a bad thing? No.
  • Why did Remy feel the need to make Linguini "sleep cook" after he stayed up cleaning the kitchen? Would it have been so bad for Colette to catch him sleeping in the kitchen?
    • Panic, I'd guess. Here comes Colette, and Remy is out in the open in the kitchen. He's a bullseye. He knows the best way to hide is how he's been doing it. And if he just hid under Linguini's hat, Colette might have pulled it off to wake him up and expose Remy. Just a string of bad ideas to save his skin.
  • Am I the only one who was a little disturbed at just how determined the old lady in the beginning was to kill Remy and his clan? First by grabbing a rifle to kill them and liberally blasting her house to pieces when a slipper or a mop would have been less destructive, then by following them out into the rain to shoot at them some more? Considering there was now a huge hole in her ceiling, I'd have been more concerned with that or checking over the rest of my house than rats that had already fled the scene.
    • Maybe she has a phobia of rats and panicked.
    • They're a swarm of rats that, to her mind, has just royally fucked up her house. She was pissed off.
    • Except she was going ridiculously overboard even before she realized there was a whole colony of rats in the ceiling. I mean, yeah, I'd freak out at a rat in my kitchen, too, but I wouldn't blow a bunch of holes in the ceiling with a shotgun. I'd go to the store and buy half a dozen traps, and maybe not leave as much food around the kitchen.
  • What was Remy's plan with the cookbook? It seems extremely unlikely he'd be able to hide it, since it's relatively huge and someone would undoubtedly see it during the whole leaving fiasco anyway, and considering he wasn't supposed to be in the kitchen in the first place and isn't supposed to be reading, it also seems extremely unlikely he'd actually be given permission to keep it. Had he managed to keep it with him and not get separated from the others, it probably would have done nothing but acted as proof he's been hanging out somewhere he wasn't supposed to be before being gotten rid of.

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