Like every Disney movie, Ratatouille is a movie meant to inspire our youth. When it came out in 2007, I was a part of that youth. Ratatouille appears to be a simple movie about a rat who is gifted with an extraordinary sense of smell and uses it to become a chef. As I’ve gotten older and gained more knowledge, I know now that it’s impossible for a rat to actually become a chef. However, as kids watch this movie, the underlying message is simple: anything is possible. There are many great themes to this film, but there are also a lot of negative messages that should never appear in a children’s movie.
Along with the aforementioned positive message, some other positive themes are to believe in yourself and to not let anybody stop you from pursuing your dreams. As a part of the rat community, Remy is looked down upon by his father for taking an interest in a human activity. His brother hangs by his side, warning him about his father’s words to stay away from the kitchen and the cookbooks, but Remy doesn’t care. Eventually, Remy befriends a young chef in a French restaurant. When the food critic finds out his food is being made by a rat, he immediately wants to shut down the restaurant. However, Remy believed in his abilities and persuaded the critic to give him one shot. Remy took this opportunity to make his signature dish, and got to live out his dream.
A very noticeable negative theme is the presence of domestic violence. The movie includes a scene with a couple arguing and the man grabbing a hold of the woman’s arms. The woman responds by screaming and pointing a gun at the man. As Remy continues to walk, he hears a gunshot go off. Though nobody was hurt, the man is then seen trying to kiss the woman. The woman resists, but the man is persistent enough for her to give in. This scene puts images in kids’ brains that when you’re in a relationship it’s okay to grab your partner and point a gun at them. Another scene shows a grandma firing a gun at will trying to kill rats. When she first sees the rats, there’s no hesitation from her. She immediately goes to grab her gun, unloads a case of bullets, and then continues to shoot.
Overall, Ratatouille is an excellent movie. I enjoyed it as a kid, and I enjoyed watching it now as a college student. There are some really great things kids can learn from this movie, but there’s also some things that shouldn’t have been included. The messages about pursuing your dreams, following what you love, and always believing in yourself are great themes that even adults can still use today. However, the scenes involving domestic and sexual violence have no place in a kids’ film. With a G rating, parents should feel okay taking their children to this movie and not have to worried about them getting scared, but that’s hard when these kinds of scenes take place. Personally, I didn’t pay attention to the violent scenes as a kid, as there are only a few of them, and I’m sure the majority of children don’t either. The movie has a happy ending, and I believe the positive messages are much more prevalent than the negatives.