The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Why “Ratatouille” is Pixar’s most tasteful film of all time

4 min read
An illustration of a cartoon character with red hair wearing a blue striped shirt looks upwards at a small cartoon rat who is standing on his head, pulling his hair.

“Ratatouille” features Linguine and Remy, who find friendship through cooking. | @Pixar, Instagram


Staff Writer

It is safe to say that there is no right answer when choosing the best movie amongst the seemingly endless amount of titles released by Pixar. With new releases like “Coco” and “Encanto,” which were both met with international success, this task is no easier. I could even give this title to any of the “Toy Story” movies for the existence of the T-Rex character alone. But no—“Ratatouille” is the gem of Pixar and, more importantly, my undeniable favorite.

It is a telling of an amateur cook and attic-dwelling rat who find common ground in being tied down by their own expectations alongside those around them. However, through this, they are able to not only encourage each other in their endeavors, but also remind the viewers that even a rat has the ability to chase his dreams and pursue his passions.

Although released in 2007, “Ratatouille” has stood the test of time and still remains one of Pixar’s most notable creations. It is impossible to watch it and not recognize it as the best Pixar movie ever created. 

A central aspect of the movie is the food, which graces the screen from the beginning, showing us how flavors dance in harmony in our mouths as we mix and match foods. Even though the animation may not match up to today’s, there is something about the way the food in this movie is depicted that makes me legitimately hungry. 

Grace Palmateer, a senior communication and digital studies major, agrees with me on this point. She said, “It’s not the kind of movie you can watch without a snack in close reach.” 

The appreciation for the art of food goes beyond a simple shot showing green onions being thinly chopped and placed within a soup to be served. The amount of knowledge that is tastefully placed throughout shows the creator’s attention to detail in whichever dish was being made. However, as much as the look of the food is important, the way it is implemented as a driving force of the story makes it so special. 

Pixar is famous for its animated films that place focus on embracing family and friendships, as well as encouraging imagination. Their ability to present mature themes while maintaining a youthful disposition is what has helped develop the company’s reputation as one of the best in the industry. I cannot find a better example of this than “Ratatouille.” Although jam-packed with hidden meanings and overarching themes, such as accepting change and not forgetting where you come from, it does not feel overdone like some of the others found in the famous production company’s catalog. 

Juliette Sanusi, a junior studio art major, said, “From the times I’ve watched ‘Ratatouille,’ I never felt like I was paying too much or too little attention to it—it was just a simple delight.” 

While Pixar movies tend to end on a good note, some tend to be more on the emotional side. However, “Ratatouille” is a light-hearted feel-good film that can be enjoyed any day at any time. Its stunning animation of the Parisian skyline and comedic relief from the main character, Linguine, provide the film with a sort of indescribable witty charm. 

The production of the film adds to why “Ratatouille” is the best Pixar movie ever. On average, Pixar films take about a decade to create  from ideation to production and release.That was not true for “Ratatouille,” for the five years of development that had been invested into the film at that point was discarded, from characters to storyline. From there, the director, Brad Bird, was given eighteen months to re-write and direct the film while managing the animation as well. Factoring in the initial five years of development that was mostly redone in eighteen months, the process took just over six years. This is a huge feat to say the least, and the film earned a lot of my respect considering how seamless the final project was considering the production process. 

I could go on and on about how impressive the behind-the-scenes work was, but we are talking about the final product, and what’s most important is how it makes us feel. “Ratatouille” was made for anyone who works within the creative field, and although it is not the first nor last film to present this concept, it was the most successful. It encourages children to chase their dreams no matter their circumstances, and it reminds adults that the path they are seeking is the right one, as long as their intentions are pure and they are passionate about what they’re doing. If I haven’t convinced you that “Ratatouille” is better than other fan favorites like “Finding Nemo” and “WALL-E” then I will happily agree to disagree and leave you with the film’s ending quote: 

“I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto, ‘Anyone can cook,’ but I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.”