|“||I don't like food, I love it. If I don't love it, I don't swallow."||„|
|~ Anton Ego|
|“||In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so||„|
|~ Ego writing a positive review for Gusteau's|
Anton Ego (simply known as Ego) is the redeemed secondary antagonist of the 2007 Pixar film Ratatouille. He is voiced by the late Peter O' Toole. He first started off as a villain but he reformed in the end.
He was introduced as the main antagonist but this was the plot to reveal that Chef Skinner is the true villain later on.
The name Ego means "self-esteem," from the Roman meaning "I." This would allude to a certain level of vanity and arrogance on the part of Anton. He has nothing but contempt for the people around him combined with a cruel sense of humor and something of a sadistic streak. However, unlike Skinner, he is not presented as a man of pure evil. He shows a great amount of humility and indeed sentiment after eating Remy's dish of ratatouille and learning the secret of Gusteau's restaurant.
Ego is extremely passionate about food, claiming, "I don't like food, I love it," and claims to refuse to swallow food that he doesn't like, which explains why he's so thin.
He is a man of great taste and distinction, showing a knowledge of fine wines as well as food.
Ego is intelligent and sophisticated and in terms of dress sense, he appears to be something of a dandy, completing his dark, dapper suit with a chic scarf.
Anton Ego is an imperious and acerbic food critic, whose reviews can make or break a restaurant. He adamantly rejects Gusteau's belief that anyone can cook, and was a firm critic of the idealist chef. Following a harsh review from Ego, Gusteau's restaurant was downgraded from five to four stars. Gusteau died mysteriously soon after. The restaurant then lost another star with his death. In his career-killing review, he compared Chef Gusteau to the rather pathetic Chef Boyardee.
When he had heard that Gusteau's was rising in popularity with Remy as the cook, he personally offers a challenge to the restaurant in which they must deliver "their best shot" to impress him. Remy serves a simple peasant dish, ratatouille (a play on words and the title namesake) which is so brilliant it reduces Ego to his childhood memory of his mother cooking. Tears flow from his eyes, and when he requests to see the chef, Linguini and Colette tells him to wait until after the customers have gone. When closing hour is struck, Linguini reveals Remy. Ego believed at first it was a jest, but after viewing Remy perfectly recreate the dish, he thanks them for the meal and quietly leaves.
A changed man, Ego finally understands what Gusteau meant: while not everyone can be an artist, true talent can be found in the most unusual place. He presents a shining review of the restaurant, and in particular, the chef (whom he does not name). Ego then lost his job and credibility when Gusteau's was closed down due to a rat infestation. But Ego now leads a successful and a happy life as an investor and regular patron of a small bistro La Ratatouille, with queues around the block and where the cook is a small rat. Anton Ego is an example of a realistic villain, one who faces adverse action or reformation, rather than simply getting destroyed at the end.