I'm just as guilty as the next person of loving Pixar and Disney's movies, I just hate all the crap that gets created to go along with the movies. Especially the junk food and Happy Meal toys. Until now. Now I have just a tiny shred of hope.
See, while it would not surprise me if a rat showed up in a Happy Meal, it would be truly off-brand if Pixar's gourmet rodent-du-jour turned up in a fast food bag. That would be well, wrong. Hideous. Not out of the realm of possibility as evidenced by proposing junk food shill Shrek to push physical fitness, but I am more optimistic on Ratatouille and Pixar.
I have not seen the movie. I have seen the merchandise which includes a line of cooking tools and a cookbook for kids. The cookbook foreword was written by Thomas Keller (French Laundry) who was a consultant for the movie.
The merchandise will also include a line of Ratatouille-branded wines and gourmet cheese plates, and upscale tableware. However, the merchandise team was smart enough not be elitist-only. Ratatouille wares will also be available at Wal-Mart, which will help extend the brand of "cooking" to a wide audience of kids.
In a culture where movies offer so much influence over our kids, Ratouille may just be a menu for change. I hope so.
But, and Disney please heed this, if the rat shows up at the drive-thru, I will be twice as angry and disappointed as before.