Michelle Yeoh Explains How the Pixar Reference Worked in ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’

Everything Everywhere All at Once has been receiving rave reviews from critics and audiences. The movie is filled with plenty of surprises as Michelle Yeoh jumps through the multiverse, but one of the more surprising moments comes with a reference to a certain Disney Pixar movie. Yeoh explains how the filmmakers and cast made that reference work. 

Michelle Yeoh travels through the multiverse in ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’

Michelle Yeoh attends SXSW 2022 for Everything Everywhere All at Once, which contains a surprising reference to a Pixar movie.
Michelle Yeoh | Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Variety

In Everything Everywhere All at Once, Yeoh plays Evelyn Wang, a middle-aged woman who is dealing with a failing laundromat business, marital problems with her husband (Ke Huy Quan), and a strained relationship with her daughter (Stephanie Hsu). One day, she is visited by a traveler from another universe who tells her she is the only one who can stop a multiversal threat.

Throughout the movie, Yeoh jumps through various universes including one where she’s a martial arts superstar, one where she’s a sign holder and one where everyone has hot dogs for fingers. However, the most entertaining universe may be one that’s based around a Pixar movie, but with a twist. 

The new Michelle Yeoh movie features a reference to Pixar’s ‘Ratatouille’

One of the universes that Yeoh visits is one where a chef is controlled by a raccoon, similar to Pixar’s Ratatouille. The raccoon is done using an impressive practical effect. In an interview with Polygon, Yeoh explains how fun it was to film those scenes, but also expresses that she found the raccoon animatronic to be rather frightening. 

“[Harry Shum Jr.] is so brilliant with his body language, with that little raccoon,” Yeoh says. “It looked like a real raccoon. It scared the hell out of me the first time I saw it, and then when he’s doing that, Oh, I’m being controlled by this raccoon, ahhh!, we had so much fun. Because it was a real sort of robot [animatronic] on his head, and it was pulling, and someone was controlling its mouth. It looks so freaking real. It was scary.”

In another scene, Yeoh is attempting to explain the plot of Ratatouille which is about a rat who controls a chef by pulling his hair. However, she confuses the rat for a raccoon and calls it “Racca-coony.” Yeoh says this scene was a challenge for her since she normally doesn’t do comedy. 

“I don’t do comedy! I don’t do stand-up comedy. I don’t do it!” Yeoh shares. “There’s no ego in this room. Everybody is allowed to be completely silly and wacky. That was the beauty about that, to be free of thinking, Oh, this, it could look weird. It’s like, let it be weird and wonderful.”

Pixar’s ‘Ratatouille’ was a central theme in ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’

When the Ratatouille first appears, it seems like a one-off joke. However, it ends up becoming a central theme for the movie. Chad (Shum Jr.) and the raccoon have an important bond where the two depend on each other. One of the themes of the movie is connection and how these connections extend throughout the multiverse. 

While these smaller connections aren’t as important in the grander scheme of the universe, these connections make life worth living and give us purpose. The bizarre relationship between a raccoon and a man is genuinely heartwarming and it serves as a nice love letter to the original Pixar movie. 

Everything Everywhere All at Once is currently in theaters. 

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