A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids can't help but pick up a few pointers on cooking and food, but the movie's primary intent is to entertain, not educate.
Linguini learns to give credit to his rat pal, and Remy realizes that his family connections are more important than his human ones; together, they work as a team to succeed. On the downside, two chefs in the kitchen are very hostile to Linguini, which could make some kids uncomfortable. Themes include perseverance and integrity.
Positive Role Models
Remy doesn't let the fact that he's an unconventional chef prevent him from following his dreams, and Linguini learns to stand up for what he believes in. They both make mistakes, but they learn from them. There are several jokes at the expense of the French ("Sorry to be rude, but we're French" and so on).
Violence & Scariness
Remy is hunted by an angry, gun-toting grandma and knife-throwing chefs. A gun is fired. One chef is rumored to be an ex-con and looks menacingly at the rest of the kitchen staff. Characters crash through windows, are struck by lightning, are hit, and are trapped. The sewer sequence early in the movie is somewhat scary. Remy is put in the sealed jar and nearly thrown in a river to drown.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Linguini and Colette flirt, embrace, and kiss.
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A few mild insults: "stupid," "loser." One "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
It's France, and no French meal is served without a good bottle of wine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, like all of Pixar's other films, Ratatouille includes nuanced humor (about the French, haute cuisine, food critics, and so on) and references aimed directly at adults. Kids will miss most of these references but most likely will still enjoy the plot and animal characters. Not surprisingly for an animated kids' movie, the protagonist, Linguini, is an orphan -- although at least he's a young adult and not a child. There's some moderate peril involving the rats and weapon-wielding humans that may frighten sensitive and younger viewers; the sewer sequence is particularly tense and potentially scary, as is the gun-toting grandma. Two characters kiss, and there are a few mild insults, such as "stupid" and "loser," and one "hell." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The story doesn't have the emotional depth of The Incredibles or Finding Nemo, but the animation is every bit as dazzling. Every scene of the chefs shredding, peeling, dicing, and stirring is vibrant and layered. And the moment Ego tastes the titular dish is so delicious a visual reference that it deserves to be a surprise. Kids may ultimately favor the child-centric appeal of Toy Story or the vroom-vroom adventure of Cars, but grown-ups will find a reason to ask for seconds of Ratatouille.
At this point, it's pretty much a given that families and young children will line up to see anything made by Pixar, which seems incapable of producing a dud. But Ratatouille, like director Brad Bird's family adventure The Incredibles, is the rare animated film that could just as easily captivate an audience full of childless adults. Granted, the world of haute French cuisine is an unlikely setting for a kid-friendly flick, but Bird makes it irresistible.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.