Disclaimer: This article was written purely for the author’s own enjoyment. Nothing written in this article is an attempt to actually accuse the Ratatouille creative team of plagiarism. Please do not sue the author.
Surely these two films require no introduction. Hayao Miyazaki’s “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” which was already successful upon its original 1989 release in Japan, became ever more popular with the English-dubbed version released in 1998. Coming in a whopping 9 years later was Brad Bird’s “Ratatouille” (2007). Now, you may wonder, what is the connection between these two seemingly random movies? Look no further.
1. It’s animated
Alright, let’s get this out of the way first. It’s pretty obvious, but neither of these films are live action. They’re both animated movies for children — not very common.
This doesn’t sound very convincing, granted. But the similarities between the two movies only continue to add up…
2. a BUmbly kid looking to prove themselves
The star of “Kiki’s Delivery Service” is a young witch who must leave her family as per tradition to live in a new place for one year. This is seen as a training period for her to develop her skills and learn to provide for herself, which she eventually achieves despite a series of tribulations.
And then, in “Ratatouille,” comes Alfredo Linguini, a young man who initially has the job of taking out the garbage at a famous restaurant. Of course, he is not as young as Kiki, but his awkwardness gives off a more youthful impression. In the film, Linguini not only tries to prove that he can cook (only thanks to the Michelin-approved rat hiding in his hat), but also works up the courage to form new friendships and pursue a potential relationship.
Both characters are clumsy, but very loveable despite their mishaps – essentially, they are the same at heart.
3. the Food industrY
Kiki and Linguini both work in the food industry. Linguini is trying to make his subpar skills work out in a renowned five-star restaurant with the help of Remy the rat, the protagonist of the film and his new acquaintance. Meanwhile, Kiki starts up a delivery business (hence the title) run out of a bakery, in return for her bread and board. See what I did there?
Other animated films intended for young audiences typically feature toys, cars, princesses, or a bunch of animals. But, mysteriously, food is a main theme in both of these movies?
In fact, the only other animated movie I can think of which is about food would be Veggie Tales. Needless to say, that is in a league of its own.
4. the talking animal friend
You have Kiki, who, like every decent fictional witch, is accompanied by a cat. Jiji is a cute, little, black cat who speaks to her – not out of place in a magical sort of movie. In some versions of the film, Jiji eventually stops being able to talk with Kiki as she matures. This indicates that their conversations may have simply been a figment of Kiki’s childish imagination. Nonetheless, a talking cat is a talking cat!
And then from “Ratatouille,” of course, this is the culinarily inclined star, Remy the rodent. Despite his relationship with Linguini beginning with attempted murder, the two ultimately overcome their differences to work together. Granted, he cannot speak with the human, but because he speaks with the other rats in English (amazingly), the impression on the audience is the same: talking rat.
5. the bob (trademark)
In “Ratatouille,” leading lady Colette Tatou — Linguini’s more… talented counterpart — is well-recognized for her longish dark bob. Many people would cite a dark-coloured bob as a distinctly Parisienne look. It’s a sleek haircut. It’s chic and elegant. Élégante, one might even say. But don’t be fooled — Kiki had this look first, almost twenty years earlier. Of course, Kiki’s hairdo is more childish, featuring her signature bow. But at the end of the day, the similarities are undeniable. Colette simply did not invent the look.
Given all of the evidence presented, it is clear that these two animated movies simply have too much in common for it to be coincidental. Unfortunately, after reading this, you will never again be able to re-watch Ratatouille with a clean conscience. That being said, one can surely forget about their moral obligations for an hour and 51 minutes!