Making the Grades
If beady-eyed rodents running rampant in the kitchen is enough to give you the willies then Ratatouille might not be the film for you. However, if you can overlook the obvious health infractions, this light-hearted film is packed with plenty of laughs and life lessons.
Eating garbage may be okay for most of the rat colony but Remy (voice by Patton Oswalt) has more refined tastes. His highly developed sense of smell and his sophisticated taste buds leave him craving the finer flavors in life and dreaming of being a cuisinier.
As a result, he couldn't be happier when he finds himself on the steps of the once famous Gusteau's restaurant in a fine dining district of Paris. Sneaking into the kitchen, the aspiring cook savors the amazing aromas and before long finds himself slyly slipping some spices into a simmering pan of soup.
But despite Remy's flare for food, the kitchen staff is horrified at the site of vermin in the vermicelli. The chief chef hurriedly sends Linguini (voice by Lou Romano), the newest staff member, off to dispose of the rat in the river. On the way, however, Linguini realizes the little rodent has a talent. And he hatches a plan that will benefit both of them. Needing to keep his job, the boy hides Remy in his chef's toque and devises an elaborate system of secret signals that allows the creature to guide the young employee's attempts to become a cuisinier.
Before long, word spreads about the boy's abilities, enticing even the morose food critic Anton Ego (voice by Peter O'Toole) to come into the restaurant. But as Linguini gains fame with the public, the chief chef grows increasingly suspicious of what the apprentice kitchener is hiding up his sleeve (or hat).
Testing the theory that anyone can cook, this story promotes the idea of pursuing your dreams despite others' naysaying, with critters and characters that are full of personality. From the single, female cook (voice by Janeane Garofalo) to the rotund Gusteau (voice by Brad Garrett), there is plenty to enjoy in this latest animation. Parents will also appreciate the fact the script offers few concerns other than some moments of peril, the brief discussion of an out-of-wedlock birth, a rifle-shooting grandma, and an evening of excessive alcohol consumption.
Tantalizing the taste buds of even the most jaded customers, Remy pursues his dream of cooking despite the threat of being ratted out. While entertaining rodents in the scullery is not a good idea, Remy's culinary endeavors just might inspire young cooks to try their hand in the kitchen.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Ratatouille.
Although his father can’t understand why his son is so obsessed with food, Remy is determined to pursue his dreams. What does he do? How does his determination affect his family?
How do Remy and Linguini overcome their preconceptions of one another? In what way do they help each other develop their personal interests?
What is meant by the comment “false modesty is another way to lie”?