Australian Council on Children and the Media

Ratatouille

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PG to 8 (Scary scenes, violence)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Ratatouille
  • a review of Ratatouille completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 6 September 2007.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Parental guidance recommended for children under 8 years. Some scary scenes (e.g. animals in peril, separation from family) and mild violence.
Children over 8 OK without parental guidance

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Ratatouille
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild animated violence
Length 111 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Remy (Patton Oswalt), a rat with an appreciation of food and a talent for cooking, lives with his family in rural farmhouse. While the other rats steal food and garbage to survive, Remy aspires to higher ideals. His hero is the celebrated, and recently deceased, Chef Gusteau. During a forbidden visit to the farmhouse to watch a cooking show, Remy and subsequently all the rats are discovered and come under attack by the lady who owns the home. In the chaos, Remy is separated from his family and drifts aimlessly in the sewers.
Alone and lost, Remy receives support and advice from an imaginary friend in the form of Gusteau(Brad Garrett), who encourages him to  go above ground. To Remy’s delight, he discovers he has in fact drifted into Paris and Gusteau’s restaurant. There he observes the new kitchen hand, Freddo Linguini (Lou Romano), accidentally ruining the soup. Remy steps in to rectify the soup disaster and. Remy’s life is later saved by Linguini.  As a result the pair form a partnership which allows Remy to develop and display his culinary talent and enables Linguini to keep his job, fall in love and gain fame.
With success comes increasing expectations and complications. For Remy, the reunion with his family reminds him of the expectation to conform and behave like a rat, not a human. For Linguini, an unexpected connection with Chef Gusteau places him in charge of the restaurant just when a famed restaurant critic, Anton Ego (Peter O’Toole), announces his intention to review the now thriving restaurant. Under this increasing pressure, the friendship is between Remy and Linguini is challenged but for the sake of the restaurant’s survival, they must work together.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Animal distress, Separation from a parent, Bullying

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • During one of Remy’s attempts to cook at the farmhouse, both he and Emil are electrocuted during a storm. The scene is comical and although the rats are scorched, they do not suffer severe injuries.
  • When Remy and Emil are discovered by the farmhouse’s owner, they are repeated shot at. They appear frightened and have a number of near misses. The ceiling falls in, resulting in all the other rats coming under attack also. In the chaotic scene, bullets are flying everywhere, glass shatters, objects fall and break inside and outside the house. None of the rats are shown to be harmed or killed.
  • When Remy first enters Gasteau’s kitchen, he is nearly stepped on, cut with knives, run over by trolleys, and nearly baked in the oven. He appears scared during this experience.
  • When Collette, the only female cook in the kitchen is asked to mentor Linguini, she yells at him and pins his shirt sleeve to the bench with 3 knives to get a message across to him.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Remy is separated from all of his family early in the movie. He repeatedly calls out to them and appears alone and scared.
  • A ghostly Gusteau suddenly appears to Remy when he is at his lowest point. It is explained that the jovial and kind Gusteau is a figment of Remy’s imagination.
  • Linguini is asked to dispose of the rat in the kitchen. He puts Remy in a bottle and is about to throw him in the River Seine. Remy clearly looks distressed and is panicking. Linguini decides he can’t drown Remy.
  • Remy’s father tries to demonstrate to Remy how humans treat rats, by showing him the window of shop selling rat poison. The store front shows many dead rats caught in traps, poison and other devices to kill rats.
  • Remy is caught in a cage rat trap by an angry head chef. He is thrown into the boot of the car. Remy is later rescued by his father and Emil.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group could scared or disturbed the above-mentioned violent scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Linguini and Collette kiss on 2 occasions only.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • When Linguini is successful in the kitchen, he is toasted by the other cooks.
  • In an attempt to get information out of Linguini, the evil new head chef drinks a bottle of wine with him. Linguini clearly appears a little drunk, and is shown asleep on the restaurant floor the morning after.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • shut up
  • bloody

In a nutshell

Ratatouille is a highly entertaining animated comedy about two misfits trying to succeed in the world of Parisian fine dining. The well-depicted characters, slapstick humour and excellent animation should appeal to children and adults alike.
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Focusing on what is ahead of you, not what is left behind
  • Making your own choices in life
  • Embracing change
  • Loyalty, friendship and the importance of family
  • Tolerance

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the real-life consequences of:

  • Stealing
  • Disobedience
  • Bullying
  • Prejudice

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