Perfect argument for why the MPA needs a Pre-G rating!
My nearly 4-year-old daughter cried and wanted to leave partway through the film and was in my lap for more than half of it. (We stayed, uncertainly, because we thought she'd be better off tonight knowing the movie ended happily.) Disney is awfully enamored of angry, loudmouth characters and scenes of terrifying peril. (Think the fire scene in Bambi, the loud crashes and yelling in Cars, or the toothy shark scene in Nemo.) In this film, the big thing is YELLING and PERIL. I would venture to say that more than half of it depicts characters being frantic, frustrated, or angry -- gesticulating wildly, talking at the tops of their voices, and running around with wild-eyed scary faces. It was sorely lacking in lighthearted fun. My daughter was particularly scared of the head chef, Skinner, who was supposed to be the primary "bad guy" and was therefore depicted with a evil face that puts Cruella Deville to shame. Her fear got worse when the food critic came on the scene, looking way too much like Nosferatu himself. Other reviewers here have mentioned the shooting and drinking. I'm not particularly fond of seeing those in a G film either, but they did sort of go over my child's head. What struck me as being far more troublesome was the violence. Aside from some brief moments of physical violence, there is a nearly constant flow of angry, loud tongue-lashings. (Most parents I know teach their children that violence comes in many forms, not the least of which is verbal violence.) What's more, there really aren't a lot of scenes with the rats. Isn't that what the kids want to see? The talking rats? The fat, fuzzy, wide-eyed rats that eat garbage and love it? I would have liked to see a whole lot more of the rats pigging out and adventuring through Paris, but what we got was a whole lot of near-death scenes for the rats and too much screaming from characters with French accents -- accents that are hard for young kids to understand, I might add. Last but not least, there is a scene where the main rat is shown lots of dead rats hanging in a store window, and the film lingers there a bit too long. Your child will definitely get a good look at the main character coming face-to-face with death -- and in doing so, may get a face-to-face moment with the concept of death himself/herself, too. (It's the Disney trademark, I know.) Ratatouille was a dealbreaker for us: It will be the last Disney film we watch until our children are closer to 8 or 9 years old. It goes to show we need a Pre-G rating, for films like "Milo and Otis," for films that don't move so fast, yell so loud, and deal with such dark and scary themes. Preschoolers are too young for this stuff.