In this scene, Remy works with his human friend Alfredo Linguini to create a dish of Ratatouille that will wow an egotistical critic (aptly named Anton Ego and wonderfully voiced by Peter O’Toole) who has come with full-intention to tank the restaurant’s reputation. In a beautifully animated moment, Ego takes a bite of the dish and his hardened, angry, scowling face melts into wonder tinged with longing. Then his face morphs into a sad, boyhood Anton in his childhood home, and we watch him relive the moment his mother serves him the same dish to comfort him.
When we see present-day Anton again, his face and eyes have softened—permanently, we realize. He’s changed. As if the taste of the food wasn’t enough of a transformation, later Remy’s human friends explain to the critic that it was a rat who made the food. That’s a lot to swallow. But the experience he’s just had is too strong to dismiss.
So, Anton writes his review, a moment that shows just how deep his transformation went: