Ratatouille writer and director Brad Bird has shot down a prevailing fan theory surrounding the film. The computer-animated production was the eighth film to be released by Pixar, following Cars and The Incredibles. The latter of which was also written and directed by Bird. Voiced by Patton Oswalt, Ratatouille told the story of an anthropomorphic rat with a keen interest and skill for cooking. Crossing paths with garbage boy Alfredo Linguini (Lou Romano), Remy discovers a way to live out his culinary dream in the kitchen of Gusteau's Restaurant in Paris.
One of the film's main antagonists is the world-renowned food critic, Anton Ego. Voiced by the late Peter O'Toole, Anton harbored a particular grudge against the restaurant's now-deceased owner. With Auguste Gusteau previously proclaiming that "anyone can cook", the dour critic had made it his mission to prove wrong such a motto. The climax of the film saw Anton return to dine at the restaurant upon newly rave reviews emerging from Remy's skills - demonstrated via Linguini. Anton is ultimately won over by a variation on the titular Ratatouille dish - declaring that it reminds him of his mother's own cooking and writing a glowing review. Now understanding the true meaning of Gusteau's motto, he ultimately goes on to fund and frequent Remy's own bistro.
Posted on Twitter by an account named Film Easter Eggs, it's posited that Remy's cooking resembling that of Anton's mothers might not have been mere coincidence. Accompanied by images supporting the theory, they offer the idea that the house Remy grew up was actually the same as that from Anton's flashback. Even more than that, the theory suggests that the elderly woman who chases Remy from the house at the film's open and Anton's mother are actually one and the same. As such, the reason Remy's cooking reminds Anton of his mother is that Remy actually learned to cook by watching her. Unfortunately, Bird took to Twitter to debunk the theory. Declaring that he'd "love to confirm that they were ultra-deep thinkers and that there was a narrative behind the narrative", the writer and director revealed that the similar details between the scenes were strictly born of a necessity to reuse props and already constructed imagery. The full post can be seen in the space below:
Well, I’d love to confirm that we were ultra-deep thinkers and that there was a narrative behind the narrative, but...— Brad Bird (@BradBirdA113) September 17, 2019
When I took over the film we had a hellacious deadline and only 2 of the films many sets were built. Truth is we were just trying to reuse props where we could. https://t.co/yAaY0Iq3j5
In recent years, Pixar has focused mostly on sequels, producing both Toy Story 4 and Bird's own long-overdue Incredibles 2. Both films actually shared a connection, with the Duke Caboom character from the former having a cameo in the latter. Pixar will next return to wholly original projects with Onward, starring Chris Pratt and Tom Holland a pair of elf siblings, and the newly-announced 2020 project, Soul. The latter will star the voice talents of Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey.
The Duke Caboom connection is just one of many fan-theories and implications that Pixar films to actually be part of an expansive, connected universe. As such, it's easy to see why people latched on to this as more than mere coincidence. Equally, it's understandable why numerous people will no doubt be disappointed by Bird's own revelatory confirmation. After all, it would have definitely brought the film somewhat full circle and made an already emotional, satisfying conclusion even more so. Whatever the case though, fans will always have Paris and the fact that Ratatouille will remain a great film - with or without the theorized twist.
- Onward (2020) release date: Mar 06, 2020