Ratatouille

ratatouille

Ratatouille
Rating: G
Run Time: 111 minutes
Released: 2007
Director: Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava

 Cultural Rating: paw

While there are many positive messages about friendship and living your dream, the film does little to engage with any type of cultural identities.

Summary

Rats and kitchens don’t make for a good combination until a daring rat, who dreams of being a chef, makes an unlikely friendship with another aspiring chef.


Ratings

Language: poo

  • Demeaning language- “idiotic,” “shut up,” “sneaky rat,” “stupid,” “insane,” “psycho,” “hell,” “loser”
  • Threatening language- threats to “squeeze the fat out of his head,” “I will kill you”

Violence: poo

  • Weapons- guns, shooting, knife
  • Electrocution
  • Biting
  • Slapping
  • Poisonous gas
  • Images of rats stuck in a rat trap

Sex: poo

  • Kissing

Drugs and Alcohol: poopoo

  • Wine consumption
  • Mention of champagne
  • Chef Skinner gets Linguini drunk so that he will reveal secrets

Cultural Analysis

 Pros:

Gender:

Race:

  • There are a few minor characters of color who are depicted as skilled chefs.

Sexual Orientation: N/A

Disability: N/A

Body:

  • There are many body types (rats and humans) shown in the film. For example, Chef Gusteau is fat-bodied and is depicted as kind and talented (he is a very successful business owner). This challenges dominant media narratives surrounding fat bodies as people who are fat-bodied are often depicted as lazy or evil.

Cons:

Gender:

  • The main female character, Collette, seems to be one of the only visible female characters with a speaking role in the film. Even though Collette is a strong character, this is problematic because she becomes the token female character.

Race:

  • Chef Skinner is ethnically and racially ambiguous and is depicted as the main villain in the film. This is problematic because skin color is often used as a signifier of moral character in the media in which non-white characters are often depicted as immoral.
  • Lalo is a minor character of color who was fired from his job as a circus performer for “messing around with the ringmaster’s daughter.” This is problematic because people (men and women) of color are often stereotyped as being sexually promiscuous.

Sexual Orientation:

Disability:

Body:

  • Chef Skinner is very short and is depicted as mean, selfish, and sneaky. This is problematic because the media often depict people with aberrant bodies as immoral.

Suggested talking points

  • Collette mentions the difficulty of being a woman in a man’s world, specifically in the restaurant kitchen. While cooking in the home is traditionally thought of as a feminine activity, working in a restaurant is generally considered a job for men. However, both men and women can learn how to cook and become successful chefs in traditionally gendered spaces.
  • At one point Chef Gusteau says, “Do not let anyone define your limits.” Due to cultural expectations, people tend to put limits on themselves because of their gender, race, body, or other cultural identity. Can you think of a time when you or someone else defined your limits?

Image: Amazon.com

Keywords: ratatouille, body, animated, disney, pixar, family, movie, review