With the exception of the animal lovers who have them as pets, not many people will be happy with the presence of a rat in their living environment. Even the amiable little rat Remi from Pixar’s animated film “Ratatouille” cannot change that. Still, the kitchen prince takes it up again for his race in ‘Your Friend the Rat’, a Pixar short that was released as an extra on the DVD of ‘Ratatouille’ and with the release of the Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 2, where the movie can also be found on, is once again put in the limelight.
“Your Friend the Rat” is inspired by the educational films Disney made in the 1950s. Since a lot of research had been done on rats while preparing “Ratatouille”, director Jim Capobianco (who wrote the story of “Ratatouille”) was something of an expert on rats. He wanted to use that information for an entertaining video, where the history of the rat is not revealed in such a serious way. That works very well. “Your Friend the Rat” is above all a fantastic showcase of the techniques mastered by the animation studio. It is a visually very varied video, it uses a lot of different animation techniques, such as 2D, computer animation, hand-drawn animations, stop motion, collages and even a comical 8-bit video game-like scene. The disclaimer at the end is very funny.
Furthermore, the humor is not very obvious, it is mainly in the small visual discoveries. All that probably makes “Your Friend the Rat” unpopular with younger viewers, who may be hoping for an extra adventure from Remy and his ravenous little brother Emile. But enthusiasts with an interest in the technical side of animation can have fun with these cleverly made Pixar shorts.