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In Defense of Ratatouille

A rebuttal to Chris Queen's Pixar ranking.

by
Dave Swindle

Bio

May 9, 2012 - 3:07 pm
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Today my friend Chris Queen — a fellow member with me in the pop culture cult of Disney — unveiled his ranking of the 12 Pixar films from worst to best.

For the most part his choices drew my sympathy and tolerance, except for one: Chris stuck Ratatouille at second-to-last, ranking even the dull Cars and A Bugs Life superior:

Ratatouille begins with two strikes for me. First, the setting in the world of French cuisine — not exactly the most obvious setting for a family movie night. And second, scurrying around an environment you’d want spotless? The main character is a rat.

Yes, that’s right: I have a problem with a rodent as the protagonist in a Disney film. Look, I’ll admit that Mickey and Minnie Mouse are cute, classic Disney characters — and it would be sacrilege to suggest anything otherwise. But I still don’t want to see them running around in a commercial kitchen [...]

I suppose Ratatouille isn’t a terrible film, but at the same time, it doesn’t exactly stay with me, either. Perhaps if it had been more memorable, it would rank higher on this list. On second thought: maybe not. Not with that disgusting rodent in the kitchen.

In the words of the film’s antagonist:

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Chris claims two grievances that are really just his own idiosyncrasies: he rejects the French cuisine setting and finds the idea of a sewer rat protagonist distasteful.

But what about those of us who love the Food Network’s celebrations of high brow food and who don’t suffer a wave of nausea at the thought of a cute cartoon character making our soup?

If one can suspend disbelief long enough to imagine a talking rat who can cook then surely one can pretend too that he's not carrying the bubonic plague.

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