Character Discussion: Skinner

I just realized that out of all the Pixar villains, Skinner is the least talked-about on these forums. I for one think he’s a terrific baddie, even if his motives could have been made a little clearer. Also, I’ve always loved the idea of short villains, because the irony of their size versus their personalities often makes them a stronger villain. And of course, I love his voice by Ian Holm, who always brings class to even the most unlikable characters (IMHO, it always sounded to me like Holm was channeling Puss in Boots from Shrek at times). So, who else loves to hate Skinner?

Skinner is in my top three Pixar villians. I like him because he’s very realistic, this is a villian that could easily exist in the world we live in. He’s hilarious, and I personally think he has a Napoleon Complex. There needs to be more love to hate Skinner around these parts!

Skinner is realistic to the point where its hard to consider him a real villain, even though he’s the bad guy. Still a great character, and I totally agree on the Napoleon Complex thing.


lol. If you’re going to thread bump this, do you have an interesting point to brin gup about Skinner we can discuss?

I was a student at my school’s Culinary Arts Academy for two years, and learned a bit about the food world. The arena of culinary cooking is a very stressful one, no one does joins for the money or the glamour. Although that might come after years of hard work.

I’m sure that Skinner is an excellent chef and loves to cook. But somewhere along the line he started doing things for money and seelling out (with the frozen food line)

I wonder when and why he made that switch, if he did?

Normally when I bump a thread, I try to bring up new thoughts if I can. But my OP seemed pretty complete as is. I only bumped this one because of all my Character Discussions, this one had the least replies.

My favorite aspect of Skinner, after how funny I think he is, is that Ian Holm voiced him. That guy does a phenomenal French accent!!

This statement is truth.

I love it when actors are really great at faux accents.

i loved the character

I’m surprised that so many people feel this way (which is cool), but to me it felt like he kept slipping into a Hispanic accent. Or maybe it could be that I’ve only seen Holm in one other movie (and even that one I didn’t see all the way through).

I love Skinner. He is one of my favorite Pixar Villains. He is so funny, but can be threatning at the same time. He always makes me laugh. Ian Holm does a great job voicing him.

Skinner’s great. I always flip flop between him and Hopper as my favorite Pixar villian.

My favorite Pixar villains are Hopper, Skinner and Syndrome. I would put Bruce in that list, but I don’t really consider him a villain.

One thing I’ve wondered is how long it took before he decided to cash-in on Gusteau’s name.

I guess it must have been pretty quick, given that they seemed to have already launched at least 5-7 different lines of frozen-foods with Gusteau’s name attached to them.

I still feel that Ratatouille was a statement regarding Disney and Pixar. Gusteau was the equivalent of Walt Disney, and when he died, there were alot of people that took his name that once stood for quality, and started slapping it on almost anything.

The one thing regarding the film that just seems ‘odd’ is his plans for Remy…how is a Rat going to help him create a new line of frozen-foods?

I do like Skinner, He is a good villan.

I always found that Skinner’s design looked similar to the Puppet Master’s design (Fantastic Four Villain).

Sometimes Skinner does some funny things.

Did anyone besides me wonder if Skinner suffered from acute paranoia? I think way too much about every technicality of this movie, so I’m probably the the only one. :laughing:

It explains his actions and reasoning and overall character so perfectly! It was something that sort of crossed my mind a few years ago, and now I have a hard time “unseeing” it, so to speak. It’s apparent from the moment Larousse mentions Renata’s name, and Skinner sees Alfredo for the first time - he is already feeling threatened, which leads me to believe two things: 1) he previously had knowledge, perhaps explicitly so, of Alfredo’s existence and relation to Gusteau, and 2) because of this, he immediately thinks the sole reason for Alfredo showing up at the restaurant is because he wants to take it from Skinner.

You can literally watch the progression of this fear intensify as the story drags on, because all the little coincidences that happen are things Skinner believes to be deliberate, like the fact that the soup got fixed and Alfredo was the only one around when it happened. Not knowing anything about Alfredo (and the fact that he really cannot cook), but (possibly) already knowing who he is related to, his first thought is that Alfredo is just like Gusteau. He has talent. He could easily overthrow Skinner if he wanted to, not just because of his relations, but because, apparently, he was just as gifted at cooking as his father!

Skinner, continually in denial of the truth (another aspect of paranoia), gets the slap of reality in the face when he reads Renata’s letter. Years and years of denying reality, clinging to what little power he had, is suddenly whisked right out from underneath him, because now he is holding in his hands some meager, physical form of the truth.

He spends the rest of the movie believing that Alfredo is out to get him; seeing the rat - or thinking he sees a rat - only makes things that much worse!

His lawyer’s comment after Skinner’s seemingly delusional outburst about the rat, “Should I be concerned about this… about you?” leads me to believe that perhaps Labarthe thinks Skinner has a problem, too!

The only reason I think Skinner already knew of Alfredo’s relations is because of the way he reacted to everything. Why else would he feel threatened by the fact that their garbage boy could actually cook? Wouldn’t that be a good thing? The only way that would happen is if Skinner already had some reason for fear - in this case, he must have suspected that Alfredo was related to Gusteau somehow.

Gosh, don’t get me started on head canons for this movie, because I have a plethora of them for practically any aspect of the film you can think of. ;o; I just got done writing an extensive timeline of head canon events leading up to and following the movie. xD

little chef

I never thought of it in that way^^, but you make a very plausible point. It would make perfect sense if that were the case. So you may very well be right.