Ratatouille

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Ratatouille Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Cute rat tale has some peril and potentially scary moments.
  • G
  • 2007
  • 110 minutes

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 157 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 184 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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; 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.

Sexy Stuff

Linguini and Colette flirt, embrace, and kiss.

Language

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

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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

What 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."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 5-year-old Written byeh425b April 20, 2013

Gratuitous Violence in a G Rated Family Movie??? Turned it off.

After the completely unnecessary and overly violent opening scene where the grandmother shoots repeatedly at the rats, searches for bullets, reloads and shoots... Continue reading
Adult Written byJennifer S. December 30, 2017

Lasted 30 minutes

Really? An old lady who lives on a farm reacts to a rat by grabbing a huge GUN and shooting up her own house!? There's also a domestic violence scene (also... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bySuika999 March 11, 2018

Rats aren't dirty!

I have a pet rat, he's asleep next to me right now, and I can say rats aren't dirty. That's why this movie is so great. Rats are actually friendl... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old September 4, 2011

Hello world of exaggerations

Okay violence could be scary for little kids but no one is hurt,the only thing that would be scary is all the dead rats at a store's window(can't tell... Continue reading

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?

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what made kids want to see Ratatouille. 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?

  • How do the characters in Ratatouille demonstrate perseverance and integrity? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

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