Carol Platt Liebau: Ratatouille: Art imitates life imitates business?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Ratatouille: Art imitates life imitates business?

This is guest blogger Wile E Coyote.

I saw Pixar's Ratatouille a couple weeks ago with my family.

In the film, Chef Gusteau, a passionate and visionary culinary artist, has died. His restaurant has been taken over by Skinner, a short, swarthy bald hack who has prostituted the Gusteau name into lines of disgusting frozen dinners. Skinner has also run Gusteau's restaurant into the ground through mindless and soulless repetition of Gusteau's recipes.

Enter the film's hero, Remy, a rodent who idolizes Gusteau and shares his fearless genius for creating wonderful food. Remy battles to restore Gusteau's restaurant to its former greatness.

Now, Shrek was a conscious satire of Disney, with the diminutive egomaniac Lord Farquad standing in for Disney's diminutive egomaniac CEO Michael Eisner. Ratatouille left me wondering whether Pixar wasn't doing something similar, with Gusteau in place of Walt Disney, Skinner in place of Eisner (short, swarthy, bald), and Remy representing the spirit of Mickey Mouse that Pixar now claims for itself.

So maybe art imitates life. But business is business: since Disney has recently acquired Pixar, we will see how long Pixar can wear the creative mantle it has taken upon itself and thus far (Toy Story, The Incredibles, Ratatouille) worn so well.

Labels: ,


Blogger Ruth Anne Adams said...

Neat exegesis. My personal favorite is "Finding Nemo." I've heard it innumerable times. It's on the DVD in the van and it still keeps the wee ones riveted.

7:19 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home