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Your Friend the Rat

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Your Friend the Rat title card
Directed by: Jim Capobianco
Written by: Jim Capobianco
Release date: 2007
Running time: 11 minutes, 16 seconds

Your Friend the Rat is a Pixar short from 2007 that appeared on the DVD/Blu-Ray release of Ratatouille. It focuses around Remy and Emile educating the audience about rats in a style similar to various educational Ward Kimball shorts. It is the first Pixar short to utilize traditional animation.

Plot

The short starts in a three-dimensional animation with Remy introducing himself and Emile to the audience and speaking on behalf of oppressed rats everywhere. Emile starts frowning about having to speak out, while Remy pulls a scroll and a two-dimensional animation starts by presenting the relation between a human and a rat in contrast with human-dog and human-cat relationships. Remy points out that humans regarded rats in former times as sacred and luck bringing. He moves on to discussing rattus rattus and their connection to the Black Death, pointing out that it was caused by fleas, not rats, resulting in the death of one third of Europe's population.

Remy further presents the Brown rat's history, mentioning their part in ending the Black Death, their honorable position in the Chinese zodiac and their sacredness in India for being the transport vehicle of the god Ganesh. The symbiotic relationship between rats and humans is introduced before the second appearance of Remy and Emile in 3D animation. Emile then takes over, puts a scroll from the side, and presents through 2D animation the benefits of rats for the human. Their use for laboratory testing and as pets, the rats can have a good relationship with humans. Concluding the presentation, Emile and Remy sing a song about the relationship between rats and humans. At the film's end, a long and drawn-out (mostly satirical) disclaimer is shown asking children to stay away from rats, while Remy and Emile stand in front of it and try to remove it, urging the audience to ignore the warning and complaining about freedom of speech and lack of food, respectively.

Trivia

  • WALL•E makes a cameo for a second driving a vehicle in Mars.
  • Django is seen as a drawing holding paws with a red girl rat who is possibly his wife.
  • P.T. Flea from A Bug's Life makes a cameo in this short.
  • This is by far the longest Pixar short, running at a total of 11 minutes and 16 seconds.
  • The Beatles (from 1964) make a cameo appearance with a rat playing the drums.

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