Ratatouille (2007)

G | 110-111 mins | Comedy-drama | 29 June 2007

THIS TITLE IS OUTSIDE THE AFI CATALOG OF FEATURE FILMS (1893-1993)
You may also like these titles from the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, the most authoritative documentation of the First 100 Years of American filmmaking.

Director:

Brad Bird

Producer:

Brad Lewis

Editor:

Darren Holmes

Production Designer:

Harley Jessup

Production Companies:

Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures
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HISTORY

A note in the closing credits reads: "In loving memory of Dan Lee 1969—2005.” Lee was a longtime Pixar animator who died of cancer during the production of Ratatouille . The credits include a "quality assurance guarantee" that no motion capture shortcuts were used in the production of the film. A lengthy list of thank-yous and names of babies born during the production, a common Pixar practice, are included at the end of the closing credits, including the statement "...and a special Ratatouille thank you to Steve Jobs." In addition, the credits list soundtrack and video game information.
       The story begins with a portion of a television program on the life of famed French chef “Auguste Gusteau,” with an unseen narrator explaining how he won and lost fame. The sequence is followed by the film’s title, which is the only credit to run before the main action begins. After the title, “Remy” is seen bursting through the farmhouse window. The shot ends in a freeze-frame with Remy’s voiceover proclamation: “This is me.” Most of the rest of the story consists of a flashback told by Remy to his friends at his restaurant, La Ratatouille. Patton Oswalt, as Remy, narrates in voice-over at the beginning and end of the story, and sporadically within the film. Only during the final scene is it made clear that Remy has been relating the story to his friends. Several times during the film, Remy’s love of food is depicted by a black screen with vivid swirls and explosions, equating a flavor with a mini-fireworks display.
       The end credits play over a sequence featuring animated rats. Unlike the film’s computer-animated, three-dimensional ... More Less

A note in the closing credits reads: "In loving memory of Dan Lee 1969—2005.” Lee was a longtime Pixar animator who died of cancer during the production of Ratatouille . The credits include a "quality assurance guarantee" that no motion capture shortcuts were used in the production of the film. A lengthy list of thank-yous and names of babies born during the production, a common Pixar practice, are included at the end of the closing credits, including the statement "...and a special Ratatouille thank you to Steve Jobs." In addition, the credits list soundtrack and video game information.
       The story begins with a portion of a television program on the life of famed French chef “Auguste Gusteau,” with an unseen narrator explaining how he won and lost fame. The sequence is followed by the film’s title, which is the only credit to run before the main action begins. After the title, “Remy” is seen bursting through the farmhouse window. The shot ends in a freeze-frame with Remy’s voiceover proclamation: “This is me.” Most of the rest of the story consists of a flashback told by Remy to his friends at his restaurant, La Ratatouille. Patton Oswalt, as Remy, narrates in voice-over at the beginning and end of the story, and sporadically within the film. Only during the final scene is it made clear that Remy has been relating the story to his friends. Several times during the film, Remy’s love of food is depicted by a black screen with vivid swirls and explosions, equating a flavor with a mini-fireworks display.
       The end credits play over a sequence featuring animated rats. Unlike the film’s computer-animated, three-dimensional graphics, the end credits feature stylized, two-dimensional animation. The credit sequence was created by Nate Wragg, who was hired, according to an Aug 2007 HR article, after his drawings were discovered by the filmmakers. That article also stated that Pixar chose to make the credits in a conventional, hand-drawn style because the film’s tight production schedule demanded that all computer resources be allocated to the main film.
       As noted in the press kit and contemporary sources, Jan Pinkava invented the film’s premise and worked on the film for three years. A 28 Jun 2007 HR article noted that Ratatouille was to mark the first feature film for Pinkava, a thirteen-year veteran of Pixar. However, Pixar heads John Lasseter, Ed Catmull and Steve Jobs were unsatisfied with the direction of the project. In a Jun 2007 Time article, Lasseter stated that “The leadership and vision in the story [with Pinkava] were not there.” Writer-director Brad Bird, who had directed the 2004 Pixar film The Incredibles (see above), had been involved with initial meetings about Ratatouille , and after contributing several story ideas, was asked to take over the project around Oct 2005. As noted in a Jun 2007 WSJ article, Bird took over direction and rewrote “all but two lines in the dialogue,” prompting Pinkava to leave both the project and the studio. Bird maintained the previous production schedule, giving him a mere eighteen months to finish the film, with the original budget of $100 million.
       A Jun 2007 LAT feature described the ways in which Bird altered the production after signing on. He redesigned the rats so they were more realistic, walking on four legs rather than two and including their natural, long tail. “They were trying to deratify the rats,” Bird stated, but he insisted on making the rodents appealing without erasing their characteristics. While the basic plotline, cast of characters and creative team remained the same, as noted in the Jun 2007 HR article, Bird removed several themes he considered extraneous, including those dealing with prejudice, family, art and criticism. In addition, the new script killed off Gusteau and raised “Colette” to a major character.
       The film’s press kit and contemporary sources point up Ratatouille ’s myriad technical accomplishments. The animated food was created, prepared and styled in a real kitchen, then photographed in order to be created in CGI, or computer-generated imagery. The filmmakers visited French restaurants and used specific references from their kitchens. Gusteau’s dining room was inspired by an amalgam of several famous Parisian restaurants, including Guy Savoy, Taillevent, La Tour d’Argent and Le Train Bleu. In addition, producer Brad Lewis trained under Thomas Keller, chef of the famous Napa Valley restaurant The French Laundry. (Keller also voiced a restaurant customer in the film.) Sets/layouts manager Michael Warch, a former professional chef, acted as culinary consultant, cooking the food and ensuring that the pots, cutlery and presentation were authentic. Bird stated in a Jun 2007 Long Beach Press-Telegram interview that the filmmakers strove to avoid photo-realism, which can be “frightening.”
       To create the most realistic animated rats, the artists brought in dozens of cages of rodents to observe and photograph their behavior. As noted in the press kit, because rats are small and flexible, months were spent testing models to create extreme poses that looked both authentic and expressive. The animators focused on 30,000 key hairs per rat, while Remy had over one million hairs. Another important aspect of the production, one commented on in the reviews, was the photography and lighting. Director of Photography/Lighting Sharon Calahan stated in the press materials that she based the film’s color palette on the “silvery and diffused” light of a fall afternoon in France.
       The following information about the film’s casting was gleaned from the press materials: Lou Romano, who voiced “Alfredo Linguini,” had served as a production designer on The Incredibles and had voiced some smaller roles in earlier Pixar productions. After hearing his voice on a temporary track, Bird hired him for the role. Bird wrote the character of “Anton Ego” for British actor Peter O’Toole, with his voice and mannerisms in mind. John Ratzenberger, whose voice has been in every Pixar film since 1995’s Toy Story , was cast as the waiter "Mustafa."
       In Jan 2006, after years of fractious negotiations between the two studios over financial arrangements, Disney announced plans to purchase Pixar. During much of Ratatouille ’s production, however, the purchase had not been completed, so in Feb 2006, as noted by DV , Disney agreed to release the film with Pixar covering all production costs and paying Disney a distribution fee. The deal was described as a “backup” in case the merger fell through. However, the acquisition was completed on 5 May 2006 for a reported $7.4 billion, making Pixar a wholly-owned subsidiary of Disney. As a result of the merger, according to a Jun 2007 LAT article, Disney financed the entire production, which cost more than $200 million, with worldwide marketing expenses. A Jun 2007 Var article stated that the high cost of the merger put more pressure on Ratatouille to perform financially, to “prove the money [for the purchase of Pixar] was well spent.”
       In addition to the financial pressure, the film posed some challenges in terms of marketing. Numerous animated animal films had been released in the few years prior to Ratatouille , creating what some felt was a saturated market. In addition, Bird stated in a Jun/Jul 2007 Entertainment Weekly interview that there was more resistance to the project than the studio expected, with many reacting in disgust to the idea of animated rats. As noted in a Jun 2007 WSJ article, Disney, worried as well about the reaction of viewers to a realistic rat shown cooking food, for the first time held sneak-previews of a Pixar film in more than 800 theaters. The article also stated that the filmmakers considered changing the title, in case it was too hard to pronounce, but instead decided to spell it phonetically in the advertising.
       An Apr 2007 NYT feature added that Disney planned an all-day television advertising campaign and posted on its website a nine-and-a-half-minute teaser from the film. In addition, the trailer played as much as a year before the film’s release, and an elaborate promotional video circulated online during the spring. Although Disney originally planned to promote the film with a line of Ratatouille Chardonnay, according to a Jul 2007 LAT article, Costco Wholesale Corp. pulled out of the deal after receiving criticism from opponents of underage drinking, and from California wineries concerned with the film’s promotion of a French product.
       Despite the challenges, however, Ratatouille proved a huge commercial and critical success. The American premiere was on 29 Jun 2007, with the French premiere the following night. The worldwide box-office gross as of Jan 2008 was $619 million, making it the only G-rated film to place in the top ten moneymakers of 2007. Critics were universally laudatory, as a result of which Ratatouille was ranked the best-reviewed film of the year on metacritic.com, a film review compilation website. The NYT review called the film “a nearly flawless piece of popular art, as well as one of the most persuasive portraits of an artist ever committed to film. It provides the kind of deep, transporting pleasure, at once simple and sophisticated, that movies at their best have always promised.”
       The film received a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film and was nominated for a Best Visual Effects Academy Award and thirteen Annie Awards from the International Animated Film Society, including Best Picture. Composer Michael Giacchino received a Grammy nomination for Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. In addition to being named one of AFI’s Movies of the Year, Ratatouille topped numerous film critic associations’ awards and Top Ten lists for 2007. The film won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and earned nominations for Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Original Screenplay. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
[Long Beach] Press-Telegram
29 Jun 2007.
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Daily Variety
3 Feb 2006.
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Daily Variety
18 Jun 2007
p. 4, 26.
Daily Variety
26 Jun 2007.
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Daily Variety
2 Jul 2007
p. 1, 14.
Daily Variety
5 Jul 2007.
---
Daily Variety
5 Nov 2007
p. 13.
Entertainment Weekly
29 Jun/6 Jul 2007
p. 20, 113-14.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Mar 2006
p. 3, 30.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Aug 2006.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jun 2007
p. 17, 20.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jun 2007.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Aug 2007.
---
Los Angeles Times
28 Jun 2007.
---
Los Angeles Times
29 Jun 2007.
---
Los Angeles Times
2 Jul 2007.
---
Los Angeles Times
28 Jul 2007.
---
Los Angeles Times
17 Aug 2007.
---
New York Times
24 Apr 2007
Arts, p. 1, 7.
New York Times
29 Jun 2007
Weekend, p. 1, 8.
New York Times
28 Nov 2007.
---
Screen International
2 Nov 2007
p. 19.
Sight & Sound
Oct 2007
p. 66, 68.
Time
18 Jun 2007.
---
Variety
18-24 Jun 2007
p. 7, 54.
Variety
25 Jun 2007
p. 42, 45.
Wall Street Journal
28 Jun 2007
Section B, p. 1, 4.
Wall Street Journal
29 Jun 2007
Section W, p. 1, 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Co-dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Scr
Orig story
Orig story
Orig story
Addl story material by
Addl story material by
Addl story material by
Addl story supv
Addl story supv
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog/Lighting
Dir of photog/Cam
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art mgr
Development art dir
Environment des
Character des
Character des
Character des
Character des
Character supv
Addl character des
Addl character des
Addl character des
Prod artist
Prod artist
Prod artist
Prod artist
Prod artist
Addl prod artist
Addl prod artist
Graphic des
Graphic des
Sculptor
Matte supv
Matte painter
Matte painter
Matte tech artist
Matte tech artist
Matte tech artist
Addl visual development
Addl visual development
Addl visual development
Graphics translations
Graphics translations
Molds and casting
Art coord
Art prod asst
Art prod asst
Art intern
Art intern
Art intern
Art intern
Art intern
Art intern
Art intern
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Editorial mgr
2d film ed
2d film ed
2d film ed
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
2d asst ed
2d asst ed
2d asst ed
2d asst ed
2d asst ed
Addl ed
Editorial coord
Editorial coord
Negative cutting by
SET DECORATORS
Sets art dir
Sets supv
Sets/Layout mgr
Senior cam op
Layout lead
Seq lead
Seq lead
Seq lead
Layout artist
Layout artist
Layout artist
Layout artist
Layout artist
Layout artist
Layout artist
Layout artist
Layout artist
Previsualization
Previsualization
Layout coord
Layout coord
Set modeling lead
Sets tech lead
Modeling artist
Modeling artist
Modeling artist
Modeling artist
Modeling artist
Modeling artist
Modeling artist
Set dressing lead
Set dressing lead
Set dressing artist
Set dressing artist
Set dressing artist
Addl set artist
Addl set artist
Addl set artist
Sets coord
Sets coord
Sets coord
MUSIC
Mus orch and cond
Mus rec and mixed by
Mus contractor
Supv mus copyist
Walt Disney Music Library
Addl orch
Harmonica
Accordian
Bass guitar
Drums
Prod mus ed
Asst mus ed
Asst mus ed
MIDI supv and preparation
Score asst
Scoring crew
Scoring crew
Scoring crew
Scoring crew
Exec mus prod
Mus supv
Mus prod dir
Mus bus affairs
Mus prod coord
Mus asst
Mus asst
SOUND
Sd des
Asst sd des
Orig dial mixer
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Addl dial rec
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Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Supv sd ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Addl prod eff ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
ADR ed
Supv asst sd ed
Asst eff ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
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Mix tech
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Machine room op
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VISUAL EFFECTS
Supv tech dir
Global technology supv
Prod engineering team lead
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Prod engineering team lead
Prod engineering team lead
Prod engineering software development
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Prod engineering software development
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Prod engineering software development
Prod engineering software development
Prod engineering infrastructure
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Render pipeline group mgr
Render pipeline group tech lead
Render pipeline group team
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Render pipeline group team
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Moving pictures group mgr
Moving pictures group lead
Moving pictures group eng
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Moving pictures group eng
Moving pictures group eng
Image mastering mgr
Image mastering lead eng
Image mastering admin mgr
Image mastering coord
Image mastering cam op
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Image mastering science and engineering
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Image mastering science and engineering
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Image mastering science and engineering
Image mastering science and engineering
End titles art and paint lead
End titles des lead
End titles cam/Layout lead
End titles anim
End titles anim
End titles anim
End titles anim
End titles anim
End titles anim
End titles paint
End titles paint
End titles prod management
End titles prod asst
CPUs for final rendering
Rendered with
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Addl prod management
Post prod supv
Post prod supv, Video
Post prod mgr
Post prod coord
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Asst to the dir
Asst to the prods
Prod office mgr
Prod office asst
Prod office asst
Prod office asst
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Post prod asst
Post prod asst
Legal clearance coord
Legal clearance coord
Research services and clearances by
Research services and clearances by
Research services and clearances by
Tech intern
Tech intern
Tech intern
Tech intern
Tech intern
Tech intern
Tech intern
Tech intern
Tech intern
Tech intern
Tech intern
Tech intern
Tech intern
Tech intern
Tech intern
Prod sous chef
Exec chef and ratatouille des
Menu chef and consultant
Paris research coord
Paris research coord
Paris exterminator reference
Tasting des and anim
Dir of editorial & post prod
Projection
Projection
Projection
Editorial services coord
Editorial services team
Editorial services team
Editorial services team
Editorial services team
Tech services
Localization mgr
Localization team
Localization team
Title des and localization graphics
Dialect coach
Information systems
A/V engineering
A/V engineering
A/V engineering
A/V engineering
A/V engineering
A/V engineering
A/V engineering
A/V engineering
A/V engineering
A/V engineering
Admin & application support
Admin & application support
Admin & application support
Admin & application support
Admin & application support
Admin & application support
Admin & application support
Admin & application support
Admin & application support
Data management group
Data management group
Data management group
Data management group
Data management group
Data management group
Desktop & infrastructure
Desktop & infrastructure
Desktop & infrastructure
Desktop & infrastructure
Desktop & infrastructure
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Desktop & infrastructure
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Development
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Exec team
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ANIMATION
Story supv
Story artist
Story artist
Story artist
Story artist
Story artist
Story artist
Story artist
Story artist
Story artist
Story artist
Story artist
Story artist
Story artist
Addl storyboarding
Addl storyboarding
Addl storyboarding
Addl storyboarding
Addl storyboarding
Animatic artist
Animatic artist
Scr supv
Story coord
Story coord
Supv anim
Supv anim
Directing anim
Directing anim
Anim preprod
Anim preprod
Anim preprod
Anim preprod
Anim preprod
Anim preprod
Anim preprod
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Fix anim lead
Fix and addl anim
Fix and addl anim
Fix and addl anim
Fix and addl anim
Fix and addl anim
Fix and addl anim
Fix and addl anim
Crowds supv
Crowds anim lead
Crowd anim
Crowd anim
Crowd anim
Crowd anim
Anim tech support
Anim simulation artist
Addl anim
Addl anim
Anim coord
Anim tech coord
Anim fix coord
Anim prod asst
Character mgr
Character mgr
Character lead
Character lead
Character lead
Character lead
Modeling & articulation artist
Modeling & articulation artist
Modeling & articulation artist
Modeling & articulation artist
Modeling & articulation artist
Modeling & articulation artist
Modeling & articulation artist
Modeling & articulation artist
Modeling & articulation artist
Modeling & articulation artist
Modeling & articulation artist
Character scans
Addl modeling & articulation
Addl modeling & articulation
Addl modeling & articulation
Character coord
Shading art dir
Shading supv
Groom supv
Shade/Paint/Groom mgr
Character shading lead
Shading artist
Shading artist
Shading artist
Shading artist
Shading artist
Shading artist
Shading artist
Shading artist
Shading artist
Shading artist
Shading artist
Shading artist
Shading artist
Shading artist
Shading artist
Shading artist
Shading artist
Digital painter
Digital painter
Digital painter
Digital painter
Digital painter
Digital painter
Lead groom artist
Fur & hair groom
Fur & hair groom
Addl shading
Addl shading
Addl shading
Addl shading
Shading packet artist
Shading packet artist
Shade/Paint coord
Shade/Paint coord
Sweatbox mgr
Sweatbox coord
Simulation supv
Crowds/Simulation mgr
Crowds/Simulation coord
Crowds tech lead
Crowds artist
Crowds artist
Tailoring, Crowds & Simulation
Tailoring, Crowds & Simulation
Simulation artist
Simulation artist
Simulation artist
Simulation artist
Simulation artist
Simulation artist
Simulation artist
Simulation artist
Simulation artist
Simulation artist
Simulation artist
Simulation artist
Dynamics software lead
Addl crowds development
Addl crowds development
Addl simulation support
Addl simulation support
Lighting supv
Lighting mgr
Lighting mgr
Tech lighting lead
Lighting technology lead
Master lighting artist
Master lighting artist
Master lighting artist
Master lighting artist
Master lighting artist
Master lighting artist
Master lighting artist
Master lighting artist
Master lighting artist
Master lighting artist
Master lighting artist
Master lighting artist
Master lighting artist
Master lighting artist
Master lighting artist
Master lighting artist
Master lighting artist
Shot lighting artist
Shot lighting artist
Shot lighting artist
Shot lighting artist
Shot lighting artist
Shot lighting artist
Shot lighting artist
Shot lighting artist
Shot lighting artist
Shot lighting artist
Shot lighting artist
Shot lighting artist
Shot lighting artist
Shot lighting artist
Shot lighting artist
Shot lighting artist
Shot lighting artist
Shot lighting artist
Shot lighting artist
Shot lighting artist
Shot lighting artist
Lighting technology
Lighting technology
Lighting technology
Lighting coord
Lighting prod asst
Eff supv
Eff mgr
Eff artist
Eff artist
Eff artist
Eff artist
Eff artist
Eff artist
Eff artist
Eff artist
Eff artist
Eff artist
Eff artist
Eff artist
Eff artist
Eff artist
Eff artist
Eff artist
Eff artist
Eff coord
Rendering supv
Rendering mgr
Rendering lead
Rendering & optimization artist
Rendering & optimization artist
Rendering & optimization artist
Rendering & optimization artist
Rendering & optimization artist
Rendering & optimization artist
Rendering coord
Tech development mgr
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Food development lead
Animated on
COLOR PERSONNEL
Image mastering col grading op
Image mastering asst col grading op
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
"Le Festin," written and produced by Michael Giacchino, performed by Camille, recorded by Paul Silveira and Dan Wallin, mixed by Dan Wallin, French translation by Boualem Lamhene, Camille appears courtesy of EMI Music France/Virgin Music Division.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
29 June 2007
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Los Angeles: 22 Jun 2007
Production Date:
began 13 Mar 2006
Copyright Claimants:
Disney Enterprises, Inc. Pixar
Copyright Dates:
30 July 2007 30 July 2007
Copyright Numbers:
PA0001354935 PA0001354935
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Digital; dts Digital Sound; SDDS Sony Dynamic Digital Sound in selected theatres
Color
Technicolor
Animation
Lenses/Prints
Kodak
Duration(in mins):
110-111
MPAA Rating:
G
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
43486
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In France, Remy, a rat with a highly developed sense of taste and smell, feels alienated from his fellow rats, especially his simple-minded brother Emile. While the others forage for garbage, Remy favors only the subtlest ingredients of leftover foodstuffs. One day, after Remy sniffs out rat poison in a potential meal, his father, Django, the colony leader, names him their official poison checker. Angry that they steal food rather than foraging off the land, Remy ignores Django’s continued warnings against consorting with humans, and slips from the safety of their home in a farmhouse rooftop into the kitchen. There, Remy spots a television biography about famed Parisian chef Auguste Gusteau, whose philosophy, that anyone can cook, inspires the rat, who is further inflamed by his first taste of the farm’s fresh fruits and vegetables. Walking on his hind legs to keep his front paws clean, he seeks out new flavors in the farmlands, with Emile as a reluctant accomplice. Exulting at the smoky taste of a mushroom barbequed over the chimney top, Remy determines to steal saffron from the kitchen, where the elderly farm woman is sleeping in front of the television set. Inside, Emile is horrified to learn that Remy can read, while Remy grows despondent upon hearing on the television that Gusteau has died of a broken heart after earning a scathing review from food critic Anton Ego. Just then, the old woman awakens and, spotting Remy, pulls out a rifle and shoots wildly. In the ensuing chase, the old woman shoots upward at Emile, who is trapped on the chandelier, causing the ceiling slowly to crumble, revealing the colony of rats inside. When Django ... +


In France, Remy, a rat with a highly developed sense of taste and smell, feels alienated from his fellow rats, especially his simple-minded brother Emile. While the others forage for garbage, Remy favors only the subtlest ingredients of leftover foodstuffs. One day, after Remy sniffs out rat poison in a potential meal, his father, Django, the colony leader, names him their official poison checker. Angry that they steal food rather than foraging off the land, Remy ignores Django’s continued warnings against consorting with humans, and slips from the safety of their home in a farmhouse rooftop into the kitchen. There, Remy spots a television biography about famed Parisian chef Auguste Gusteau, whose philosophy, that anyone can cook, inspires the rat, who is further inflamed by his first taste of the farm’s fresh fruits and vegetables. Walking on his hind legs to keep his front paws clean, he seeks out new flavors in the farmlands, with Emile as a reluctant accomplice. Exulting at the smoky taste of a mushroom barbequed over the chimney top, Remy determines to steal saffron from the kitchen, where the elderly farm woman is sleeping in front of the television set. Inside, Emile is horrified to learn that Remy can read, while Remy grows despondent upon hearing on the television that Gusteau has died of a broken heart after earning a scathing review from food critic Anton Ego. Just then, the old woman awakens and, spotting Remy, pulls out a rifle and shoots wildly. In the ensuing chase, the old woman shoots upward at Emile, who is trapped on the chandelier, causing the ceiling slowly to crumble, revealing the colony of rats inside. When Django calls for a mass evacuation, Remy returns to the kitchen for Gusteau’s cookbook, entitled Anyone Can Cook . Barely escaping out the window, Remy cannot catch up with the colony members, who float into the sewer system on makeshift boats. Almost swept away by a waterfall, Remy stays afloat on the cookbook. In the sewer, he waits for days in vain for signs of his brethren. Starving, he leafs through the cookbook and imagines that an illustration of Gusteau is talking to him. Gusteau instructs Remy to focus on the future rather than the past, so Remy scampers up the pipes to a room in which a party is being held. Just as he is about to eat some bread, however, Gusteau scolds him for robbery, promising that food will always come to those who love to cook. Remy moves on, landing on a rooftop from which he sees the stunning, glittering city of Paris, and realizes he is just blocks from Gusteau’s restaurant. Peeking in the window above Gusteau’s kitchen, Remy witnesses the room’s complicated inner workings. Led by the diminutive and scheming Chef Skinner, the other cooks, including Colette, work in perfect choreography. There as well is bumbling Alfredo Linguini, whose late mother Renata was Gusteau’s girlfriend, and who now hopes to obtain a job. Skinner reluctantly allows Linguini to be hired as a garbage boy. Despite Gusteau’s declaration to Remy that Linguini is just as important as anyone in the kitchen, Remy scoffs, scandalized to see the garbage boy spilling the soup and then attempting to correct his mistake by throwing spices into it willy-nilly. Distraught, Remy falls through a crack in the window into the kitchen, where he is almost scalded by the broiler, flattened by the cart wheels and trampled by feet. Finally finding his way to an open window, Remy is drawn back to the kitchen floor by the scent of the wretched soup, which he feels compelled to repair in a flurry of creative delight. Just then, Skinner sees Linguini near the soup and excoriates him for meddling with the food. When the waiter mistakenly serves the soup to a patron, Skinner and Linguini are terrified of the reaction, but the diner—a critic—adores the taste. Tasting the expert concoction, Skinner suspects Linguini of a ruse, and as punishment, promotes him to a cook under Colette’s tutelage, demanding that Linguini make the soup while Skinner watches. When Skinner spots Remy nearby, Linguini traps the rat in a glass jar and is about to dump him in the Seine when he notes the rat’s terrified face, and responds by admitting he is desperate to keep this job, his latest in a history of failed employment. Slowly realizing that Remy understands him and is the real cook, although he cannot translate the rat’s squeaking, Linguini frees Remy, asking only that he help recreate the soup, and although Remy at first races off, he soon returns. In the morning, while the restaurant employees read that the critic has declared Remy’s soup a revelation, Remy attempts to direct Linguini by nipping at his skin under his uniform, which results in Linguini performing acrobatic leaps and then retreating in pain into the pantry closet, where he insists they find another method of communication. Hearing Linguini, Skinner opens the door and spots Remy, and when he lunges for the rat, Remy slips into Linguini’s translucent paper toque. Returning to the kitchen, Linguini is about to walk into a waiter, but Remy pulls his hair, inadvertently discovering that he can control Linguini’s movements by tugging various tufts. That night, they practice at home, with Remy pulling at his hair while a blindfolded Linguini makes dinner. After many spills and close calls with the knife, they form an impressive team, each unable to succeed without the other. The next day, the soup impresses Skinner. Linguini attempts to be suave with Colette, who rebuffs him, pointing out that she must be the toughest in the kitchen in order to survive in a male-dominated world. Meanwhile, Skinner is secretly developing a line of dreadful fast foods featuring Gusteau’s name. In his office, he finally reads the letter from Renata, which reveals that Linguini is Gusteau’s son and heir to the restaurant. Suspicious of Linguini, Skinner instructs his lawyer to investigate, and the lawyer steals a hair from Gusteau’s old toque to compare against Linguini’s in a DNA test. Over time, Colette softens toward Linguini, tutoring him and, inadvertently, Remy in the fine arts of food preparation. One day, with the customers clamoring for new dishes, Skinner decides to discredit Linguini by assigning him Gusteau’s failed recipe for sweetbreads, which includes veal stomach, cuttlefish tentacles and anchovy licorice sauce. Inspired, Remy improvises, manipulating Linguini hyperactively all over the kitchen to gather ingredients. At Colette’s insistence that they must follow the recipe, Remy forces Linguini to push Colette aside. The customers rave about Linguini’s dish, infuriating both Colette and Skinner. Under the bright kitchen lights, Skinner thinks he spots Remy’s silhouette in Linguini’s toque, and hoping to learn his secrets, invites Linguini into his office. Skinner plies the teetotaler with wine, but despite Linguini’s drunkenness, he reveals nothing. Meanwhile, Remy slips outside, only to find Emile in the alley. After a joyful reunion, Remy wants to share his haute cuisine with his brother, and although Gusteau’s image tries to talk him out of stealing food, Remy refuses to listen. Afterward, Emile insists that Remy return with him to the colony, where Django throws a party to welcome him. When Remy explains that he is not staying, however, Django angrily accuses him of talking like a human, and shows his son the rows of dead rats adorning the window of a famed rat-trap shop. “You can’t change nature,” Django declares, to which Remy replies, “Change is nature.” In the morning, Remy enters the kitchen full of brio, but finds Linguini passed out. Remy manipulates him around the kitchen with sunglasses on to hide the fact that he is asleep, and at the boy’s silence, Colette assumes he is too arrogant to talk to her. Declaring she was a fool to like him, she slaps him, at which he finally wakes and runs after her. He wants to tell her the truth, but Remy pulls his hair so that instead he falls on her with a passionate kiss. At his home, Ego has learned about Gusteau’s new popularity and, incensed that anyone would frequent the place after he has condemned it, determines to critique it again. At the same time, the lawyer informs Skinner that Linguini is Gusteau’s rightful heir, and mentions that his toque contained rodent hair. One day soon after, Remy falls into the Paris streets and is chased by repulsed humans, reminding him how the human population views him. Back at the restaurant, Emile waits with his rat buddies, expecting to be fed. Remy reluctantly sneaks into the pantry and accidentally uncovers Gusteau’s will, which names Linguini as his son. He takes the will, but Skinner sees him, and in the ensuing chase, Remy almost loses the papers but finally outwits Skinner. Soon, the entire crew is celebrating Skinner’s ouster as they destroy his fast food. Linguini then rents a lovely apartment with a cozy nook for Remy. As Linguini gains more press, the attention goes to his head, and when Linguini cites Colette as his only inspiration, a wounded Remy fights with the boy, who drops him outside. There, Skinner sees and, finally discerning the truth, reports a rat infestation at Gusteau’s to the health inspector. That night, Remy vengefully invites the colony for a snack after closing time. Meanwhile, Linguini searches sorrowfully for Remy, and finding him in the kitchen, he approaches Remy in friendship, unaware that hundreds of rats are hiding. Just then, Emile falls, exposing the rats. Linguini throws them all out, furious, while Remy is heartbroken. The next night, Emile sees Skinner ensnare Remy in a steel trap and lock him in a car trunk. While Ego intimidates the crew, Skinner enters in disguise and watches gleefully. In the cage, Remy has given up, but Gusteau’s image convinces him he has never known his real self. Suddenly, Django and Emile appear and free him from the trap, and Remy hugs them, but announces he is a cook and must return to the restaurant. There, Linguini, who is failing spectacularly, defends Remy and admits that the rat is the real chef. The whole kitchen departs in disgust, including Colette, crying. Alone, Linguini is about to give up when Colette returns, having spotted Gusteau’s cookbook in a store window, which has convinced her of his philosophy. Django enters, too, with the colony, and tells Remy that he is willing to help. Although the health inspector arrives just then, the rats lock him in the pantry. Remy organizes the rats into teams and orchestrates their kitchen work, while Linguini waits tables on rollerskates. Despite Colette’s skepticism, Remy decides to cook ratatouille for Ego, and teaches her a particularly delicate and delicious version. When they present it to Ego, he is immediately transported to his childhood, during which his mother comforted him with the home-cooked dish. Recalling finally his great love of food, Ego waits until the restaurant empties to meet the chef. Ego listens carefully, in silence, to Linguini’s introduction of Remy, and watches the rat cook. The next day, Ego's review comes out, stating that despite the overall irrelevance of critics, their importance lies in championing someone new or unusual. “The genius at Gusteau’s is the finest chef in France,” he writes. However, the restaurant is soon closed by the health inspector, ruining Ego’s credibility. Some time later, at La Ratatouille, the new restaurant at which Remy is chef, Colette is sous chef and Linguini is the waiter, and Ego happily dines nightly. Outside, the rats dine at their own tables in the garden while the line of humans stretches down the block. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.