Ratatouille

  • Review Date: November 4, 2007
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 110 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Cute rat tale has some peril and potentially scary moments.
  • Review Date: November 4, 2007
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 110 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

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.

Positive messages

Linguini learns to give credit to his rat pal, and Remy realizes that his family connections are more important than his human ones. On the downside, two chefs in the kitchen are very hostile to Linguini, which could make some kids uncomfortable.

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.

Sexy stuff

Linguini and Colette flirt, embrace, and kiss.

Language

A few mild insults: "stupid," "loser." One "hell."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

It's France, and no French meal is served without a good bottle of wine.

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. There are a few mild insults, such as "stupid" and "loser," and one "hell."

Parents say

What's the story?

RATATOUILLE follows the culinary adventures of Remy (voiced by comedian Patton Oswalt), a unique rat who can't stomach eating garbage. He wants the good stuff -- truffle oil and fine artisan cheeses -- which brands him the snobby black sheep of his crew. After Remy's family is driven from their habitat by a gun-toting grandma, he emerges onto the streets of Paris, where he's visited by the ghost of renowned, recently deceased uber-chef Gusteau (Brad Garrett), who was famous for the populist saying "Anyone can cook." Remy is drawn to Gusteau's now three-star restaurant (it lost a star after Gusteau died), where he feels right at home ... before being sighted and nearly killed by flying knives. Remy, quick with the spices, saves young kitchen helper Linguini (Lou Romano) from ruining the soup of the day, and the two form an odd-couple bond. From then on, Remy becomes part Mister Miyagi, part puppeteer as he helps Linguini cook up delicious specials that put Gusteau's back on the culinary map. But as Linguini soaks in his new fame as the chef du jour, Remy grows increasingly bitter that someone else is taking credit for his recipes. The film's nemeses are Gusteau's new head chef -- an angry little dictator (Ian Holm) who wants to make millions selling a line of prepackaged frozen foods -- and Anton Ego (Peter O'Toole), a food critic who loves writing negative reviews.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

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.

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what made kids want to see this movie. Does it matter that the title is hard to spell/pronounce or that the main characters are rats?

  • Do kids know the Pixar brand name? Does that make them more likely to want to see a movie?

  • Families also can discuss the film's theme: pretending to be something you're not. Linguini takes credit for Remy's cooking ideas to look like a chef, and Remy turns away from his rat family to be with his human friends and eat good food. How does pretending catch up to each of them?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 28, 2007
DVD release date:November 6, 2007
Cast:Brad Garrett, Lou Romano, Patton Oswalt
Director:Brad Bird
Studio:Pixar Animation Studios
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Misfits and underdogs
Run time:110 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of Ratatouille was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Written byAnonymous July 21, 2011
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Overreacting parents!

I think you guys are overreacting about the sexual things and violent things. The language isn't bad, but I was surprised to hear a chef say 'Welcome to Hell' That was the worst part of the movie. The grandma was just funny! It was a violent grandma, any kid would laugh at that!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Educator Written bycommunityed July 16, 2009
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Family violence

While I enjoyed the movie, no one has mentioned what I thought was a pretty disturbing scene near the beginning. As Remy (the rat) is scampering through the rooftops of Paris, he observes a couple in a heated argument. By heated, I mean the man is grabbing the woman's arms and she is screaming and pointing a gun at him. Remy keeps going, and then there's the sound of a gunshot. Remy returns to see that the gun has gone off, the couple is still struggling, but then the man overpowers the woman and kisses her, she struggles at first and then seems to be overcome with passion and stops resisting and becomes what one may assume is a willing participant. I was a little disturbed by the domestic and sexual violence (physical struggle, forced embrace) presented in the scene, and think that for children, this would be an important point to address, and something to know about should you/your children be survivors of family violence.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 2 year old Written byrubyred August 29, 2009
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Good for adults...not for kids!

Absolutely hated, the first scene with the couple fighting and then kissing. What does a young child need to see that for? What "mood" needs to be set for the young child? Second scene. Grandma with gun! She shoots everything, she is ready to kill! Third scene, the HUGE mouth to mouth makeout kiss between the two cooks. Why do my kids need to see that? How is that furthering the story. I don't even get why romance is always thrown in to EVERY SINGLE CHILD's film! It's like we want them to start kissing each other! The one good thing I really liked about the film for kids, is when the main character gets really upset at the rat because he betrayed his trust. That was a good message. And it was a very clear message. As an adult I enjoyed the film, but for my kids, I've already thrown the DVD away.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Adult Written byspongebobrocks22 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

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