Disney Parks Film Battle: Jungle Cruise vs. Ratatouille

Published on 31 January 2024 at 11:55

The Disney theme parks have been a source of fun and enjoyment for families since Disneyland first opened in 1955. Since that time, the Walt Disney Company has incorporated its intellectual property into the parks with attractions based on popular films. The company has also churned out films based on Disney parks attractions. In this battle series, I will compare and contrast films found in the Disney Parks Collection on Disney+ to see which film wins the Disney Parks Film Battle. To start, let’s compare Jungle Cruise and Ratatouille.

Jungle Cruise

Disney’s latest attempt to franchise its parks in the film world came with the 2021 film Jungle Cruise. Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson stars as Frank Wolff, a cruise ship captain who tells corny jokes while giving tourists a ride through the jungle on his dilapidated boat. His jokes are inspired by the jokes told by Jungle Cruise boat captains in the rides at Disney parks. However, in the film, Frank Wolff is actually Francisco Lopez de Heredia, a Spanish conquistador who betrayed his friends to protect the Tree of Life and is now immortal and bound to the river.


Emily Blunt and Jack Whitehall star as Dr. Lily and MacGregor Houghton. They are a brother-sister duo who are looking for the Tree of Life in the early 1900s. Lily is a botanist looking to make her mark as a female in a male-dominated scientific world. She wants to harness the Tree’s powers for modern medicine. MacGregor is her younger brother and assistant that she uses for presentations because many scientists only respect presentations from men. Their family disowned him due to him not wanting to marry a woman, but Lily stuck by him leading to him being loyal to her. The pair hire Frank to take them down the river on their journey.


Chasing Frank, Lily and MacGregor down the river is Prince Joachim, a German royal who wants to harness the tree’s power to help the German World War I war effort. He has awakened the conquistadors Frank originally betrayed to help him in his mission of using Lily’s research to awaken and harness the tree.


Meanwhile, Pixar’s animation studios delved into the culinary culture with the 2007 film Ratatouille. The film follows a rat, named Remy, who wants to be a chef. He ends up working with a chef named Linguini who is the son of a restaurateur who recently passed away. Remy pulls Linguini’s hair to help him cook and impress a food critic with a special ratatouille dish.


Remy and Linguini spend the movie trying to prevent the current head chef, Skinner, from learning about Remy’s existence. He wants to run the restaurant himself and hates rats, as they are a health code violation that can get restaurants shut down. In the end, Linguini learns should inherit the restaurant while Remy’s family have finally tracked him down and are invading the restaurant to help Remy achieve his goal.


Once everything is settled, the food critic, Anton Ego, loves the ratatouille but the rats lead to Gusteau’s being closed. Ego works with Linguini to open a new restaurant where Remy serves as the head chef. Everyone gets what they want despite nobody getting what they want.


I watched Jungle Cruise in theaters, and all in all, it was an enjoyable experience. Disney has long been looking for its successor to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The action in this film was fun and engaging, however, there is a true lack of character development. The villain is one note, despite the best efforts of Jesse Plemons. The Rock, Emily Blunt and Jack Whitehall do the best they can to make the most of their camera time, but the script is lacking. A sequel has been greenlit, and while this is far from the worst film to receive a sequel from Disney, it just doesn’t have that Pirates appeal, yet.


As for Ratatouille, I didn’t watch that film until Disney+ debuted in late 2019. I wasn’t actively avoiding it, but it just wasn’t a film I felt a need to rush out and see. But, having seen it now, it is a fun Pixar outing that isn’t as strong as some other entries but still stronger than others. It’s a mid-level Pixar film, but Pixar’s record suggests its mid-level films are better than most. Plus, it’s one of the Pixar films that hasn’t been bogged down by a sequel, prequel or odd spinoff.


After comparing the two, I would have to say Ratatouille is the better Disney Parks film.

Jeremy Brown Stelmach-Brown Media 2024

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