Your Friend the Rat is a Pixar short from 2007 that appeared on the DVD/Blu-Ray release of Ratatouille, released on November 6, 2007. It focuses around Remy and Emile educating the audience about rats in a style similar to various educational Ward Kimball shorts. It is the second Pixar short to utilize traditional animation, the first being Mr. Incredible and Pals.
The short starts in computer animation with Remy introducing himself and Emile to the audience and speaking on behalf of oppressed rats everywhere. Emile starts frowning about having to speak out while Remy pulls a scroll and two-dimensional animation starts by presenting the relation between a human and a rat in contrast with human-dog and human-cat relationships.
Remy points out that humans regarded rats in former times as sacred and luck-bringing. He moves on to discussing rattus rattus and their connection to the Black Death, pointing out that it was caused by fleas, not rats, resulting in the death of one third of Europe's population.
Remy further presents the brown rat's history, mentioning their part in ending the Black Death, their honorable position in the Chinese zodiac and their sacredness in India for being the transport vehicle of the god Ganesh.
The symbiotic relationship between rats and humans is introduced before the second appearance of Remy and Emile in 3D animation. Emile then takes over, pulls a scroll from the side and presents, through 2D animation, the benefits of rats for humans. Their use for laboratory testing and as pets, the rats can have a good relationship with humans. Concluding the presentation, Emile and Remy sing a song called "Plan B" about the relationship between rats and humans.
At the film's end, Remy attempts to ask the audience if rats and humans can make peace with each other. However, he is interrupted when a long and drawn-out (mostly satirical) disclaimer is shown asking people to stay away from rats while Remy and Emile stand in front of it and try to remove it, urging the audience to ignore the warning and complaining about freedom of speech and lack of food, respectively.
- At one point, Django is seen as a drawing holding paws with a red female rat who is possibly his deceased wife.
- P.T. Flea from A Bug's Life makes a cameo in this short. His appearance was taken from footage of him dancing while introducing himself to the ants and telling them why he's here.
- WALL-E makes a brief cameo driving a vehicle on Mars. Note how this short was released a year before the film WALL-E was released.
- The Beatles (from 1964) make a cameo appearance with a rat playing the drums.
- This is by far the longest Pixar short, running at a total of 11 minutes and 16 seconds.
- As the short progresses, the apple on the left side of the chalkboard gets eaten away, and by the end, all that's left of the apple is the core.
- Gusteau also makes a cameo appearance in the song when he pulls a dead frog out of his bowl indicating it is frog soup.