Premiered in: Ratatouille (2007)
Voiced By: Ian Holm
Chef Skinner is a villain the likes of which I can’t honestly call villainous in the sense of cruelty but he does make up for it with extremely shortsighted wickedness. Skinner originally worked as sous chef for the world famous chef Auguste Gusteau, a chef who had earned his renown for being the youngest chef to create a five star restaurant. Upon Gusteau’s death via a broken heart when the restaurant lost a star to a bad review, Skinner inherited it and worked hard to bring back the two stars, the second being lost to tradition of a chef’s passing, whilst also working his own agenda on the side.
For you see, Skinner’s one goal, and I kid you not when I say this, was to make Gusteau’s name an equivalent to the likes of Chef Boyardee insomuch that he wants to make a line of frozen foods bearing the chef’s name. Foods that I might add, Gusteau has likely never even eaten let alone actually cooked in his restaurant. All so that he can, essentially, quit the business and retire to a life of luxury built on the fortunes of a frozen food chain.
His plans are immediately derailed and sent crashing to their doom by the unlikely duo of Alfredo Linguini, Gusteau’s son, and Remy, a rat. Thanks to Remy, Linguini is not only a respectable chef of greater skill than even Skinner, due mostly to Remy pulling the strings (or hairs) of Linguini, but the truth of the inheritance is revealed and Skinner is summarily fired from the restaurant as a result.
However, Skinner does achieve something that no other Disney/Pixar Villain has ever done before. He achieved the perfect Kobayashi Maru by guaranteeing that the health inspector saw not only Remy but also his entire pack of rats thus leading to the restaurant being closed down. Despite this, Linguini and Colette end up opening a bistro that has lines going around the block. We don’t see any more indication of what became of Skinner but chances are, if there are rats in the area, they know to keep an eye and ear out for his antics.
Overall, for the likes of this movie, Skinner made for a very human villain. He’s not out to ruin anyone’s lives or livelihood but is dead set on maintaining his own even if it means staining the words of a man whom called him friend. Hate to say it, but that’s something that can occur in our world. Thus, Skinner is a good bad guy but not truly a good villain.