It's been eight years since Ratatouille scampered its way into theaters, and the Pixar movie still holds a special place for many of us. Even my extreme fear of rodents didn't put me off of it, so you know it did something right.
Well, as with any amazing movie, fans have come up with many intriguing fan theories, and the latest one is quite a doozy. Redditor RileyRIchard proposes that callous food critic Anton Ego is the son of the old woman we see at the beginning of the movie.
Here's the evidence:
Remy stole Gasteau's recipes from this old lady
Some facts we know about her: she lives in the French countryside, and she appears elderly, possibly even an octogenarian.
Gasteau appeared on black and white TV
Chef extraordinaire Gusteau appeared on television presumably around the 1950s-early 1970s considering the quality of the recording. This would place the old woman at prime child-rearing years while Gusteau was active in the food industry.
When Anton Ego tries Remy's ratatouille, he flashes back to his past
With just one bite, he instinctively remembers his childhood in rural France where his mother served him a delicious ratatouille. The interior also bears a striking resemblance to the old lady's home at the beginning of the film. Keep in mind that Remy's ratatouille was prepared from one of Gusteau's recipes.
Conclusion: the old woman is Anton Ego's mother
With these pieces aligned, it's reasonable to conclude that Gasteau's cookbook belonged to Ego's mother and, upon tasting the dish, he was reminded of this childhood meal.
As with many fan theories, there are definitely some holes in this one. For starters, there's mention that Ego gives a bad review to Gusteau's cookbook at the beginning of the movie. It's pretty uncommon for critics to review old books, especially ones that would have had to existed. Secondly, some dedicated viewers have compared the two country homes, and there are some striking differences (namely, a pipe attached to a wall). Of course, that might be explained by an extensive remodel, but who knows.
Even with these caveats, I prefer the idea that Anton Ego has an even deeper connection to the storyline than we originally thought. Call me a false believer, but this just helps me look at him as a more human character.