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CHARACTER CORNER: Remy the Rat

Updated: Nov 3, 2023


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Remy is the protagonist of the 2007 animated film "Ratatouille," produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Remy is a blue-gray rat who has an amazing talent for cooking due to his acute sense of taste and smell.


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Remy lives in the French countryside with a rat colony led by his father, Django. However, he's not like the other rats. He has a passion for food and cooking, which is often at odds with the scavenging nature of his colony. He idolizes the late Chef Gusteau, whose motto is "Anyone can cook" and often imagines Gusteau speaking to him, guiding him through various challenges. After a series of events, Remy ends up separated from his family and finds himself in Paris, right beneath Gusteau's once-famous restaurant. This smart and courageous rat eventually forms an alliance with a clumsy garbage boy named Linguini, and together they form a partnership where Remy hides under Linguini's toque (chef's hat) and controls his movements by pulling his hair to cook. Throughout the story, Remy battles prejudices (both human and rat), strives to prove that he belongs in the world of gourmet cooking, and learns about friendship, family, and loyalty.



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One of the central themes of "Ratatouille" is breaking societal norms and pursuing one's passions despite societal expectations. The movie also tackles topics such as prejudice, integrity, friendship, and the idea that talent can come from anywhere. Remy is voiced by comedian and actor Patton Oswalt and a few of Remy's notable quotes are

  • "If you are what you eat, then I only want to eat the good stuff."

  • "I can't help myself! I like good food, okay?"

  • "Change is nature. The part that we can influence. And it starts when we decide."

Remy became an iconic character in animation due to his unique position as a rat who wants to cook, going against nature's convention. The film itself received critical acclaim for its story, animation, and message, earning an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The creators at Pixar conducted deep research into the world of gourmet cooking and even interned at several restaurants to ensure the cooking scenes in "Ratatouille" were authentic. While Remy is fictional, his love for food and his sense of smell are based on a real trait of rats, who have an excellent sense of taste and smell.


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Here are 9 traits and personalities the imagineers created to show Remy's depth of character:

  1. Passionate About Food: At the core of his character, Remy has a deep appreciation and passion for food, which is unconventional given that he's a rat. This love for cuisine makes him discerning about what he eats and inspires him to cook.

  2. Curious and Adventurous: Remy is naturally inquisitive. This curiosity often leads him into challenging and sometimes dangerous situations, such as when he gets separated from his family or ventures into Gusteau's kitchen.

  3. Determined: Once Remy sets his mind to something, he is unwavering in his pursuit. His dream of becoming a chef is met with countless obstacles, but he continues to persevere.

  4. Ethical: Unlike many of his rat kin, Remy has a moral compass that sometimes puts him at odds with his family. He believes in the importance of honesty and integrity.

  5. Collaborative: Remy understands the value of teamwork, especially in his partnership with Linguini. While he could have tried to work in the shadows, he forms a bond with Linguini, working together to achieve mutual success.

  6. Innovative: Remy's approach to cooking is innovative, blending traditional recipes with his own unique twist. This creativity sets him apart and eventually earns him respect in the culinary world.

  7. Empathetic: Despite his initial misgivings about humans, Remy learns to understand and even care for them, especially Linguini. His capacity for empathy extends to his family and other rats as well.

  8. Outsider: As a rat in a human world (and especially in the culinary world), Remy often feels like an outsider. This feeling underscores his journey throughout the film as he strives to find his place and purpose.

  9. Optimistic: While he faces numerous challenges, Remy maintains a hopeful outlook. Inspired by Chef Gusteau's motto, "Anyone can cook," he believes in the possibility of achieving his dreams despite the odds.

Remy's rich character development and the nuances of his personality make "Ratatouille" a compelling story about passion, identity, and the pursuit of one's dreams, regardless of where one comes from. In essence, "Ratatouille" and its protagonist, Remy, have inspired audiences to pursue their passions, no matter how unconventional they might seem. The film is a celebration of food, friendship, and following one's heart.



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