- “There's no escape this time Basil!”
- ―Ratigan during the final battle
Professor Padraic Ratigan is the arch-enemy of Basil of Baker Street and the main antagonist in Walt Disney's 1986 feature film The Great Mouse Detective. He is voiced by the late Vincent Price in the movie and by Maurice LaMarche since Price's death. He is the story's version of Professor James Moriarty from Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, and serves as the adversary to the Sherlock Holmes counterpart Basil of Baker Street. He has cited the "Big Ben Caper" and the "Tower Bridge Job" as 2 of his most notorious criminal operations.
Ratigan is a towering rat with gray fur dressed in a dark gray suit complete with a long black cape with a red underside. His face is shaven and has yellow eyes with lavender circles around them, above them are thick eyebrows. Although he lavishes himself as a mouse, he has rat-like characteristics, such as sharp fangs and fingers, a large nose, and a long, pink tail. On his head, he wears a black top hat with a gray band, which covers his black combed hair. His suit includes a high white collar and a gray vest with buttons on it with a pink-and-purple striped cravat. On his hands are white gloves and cuffs with golden cufflinks. He is always seen carrying a gold cane.
However, when he becomes completely enraged, he becomes incredibly feral, where he stops being bipedal and runs on all fours in a hunched position. His hair becomes messy and his clothes become torn as Ratigan becomes vicious as he obtains a more rat-like appearance. His nails and teeth also grow longer and gnarly.
Ratigan has a variety of henchmen that follow him, including his overweight pet cat Felicia, Bill the Lizard, a small mouse named Bartholomew, and his right-hand man a peg-legged bat named Fidget. Personality-wise, Ratigan is very charismatic, calm, and calculating, but can easily be sent into a violent rage at the mention of Basil or by the incompetence of his minions. He has a very dark, malicious sense of humor and an inflated ego. Unlike most Disney villains, Ratigan is an ebullient, lip-smacking jester who has a tendency towards big movements and long rants or speeches.
Even though he is one, Ratigan detests, above all else, being referred to as a rat, preferring the description of a "big mouse," and fed Bartholomew to Felicia when Bartholomew calls him the "world's greatest rat" while intoxicated. He can easily be identified as a rat since he has 4 fingers and a thumb on each hand while all the other mice have 3 fingers. Also, the mice in the movie have much smaller, thinner tails than Ratigan, who has a long, fleshy tail. Despite his hatred of being labeled as such, he possessed enough self-control to barely react when Basil referred to him as a rat, which is evidenced with two instances in the film: The first, right after he trapped Basil and Basil called him a sewer rat, Ratigan retained his cool demeanor, only closing his watch, and the second time, when Basil revealed his survival after the literal breaking down of the fake Queen of Moustoria by finishing her sentence of Ratigan being a rat, only growling in irritation. In the Basil of Baker Street book series, Ratigan first name is revealed to be Padriac, and he is in fact, portrayed as a mouse (in contrast to his depiction in the movie).
Ratigan makes plans to take over Mousedom by replacing the Queen with a robotic fake built by a toymaker named Hiram Flaversham, whom he has Fidget kidnap. He will then have the real Queen fed to Felicia, ensuring his reign as permanent King of Mousedom. However, Basil and Dr. Dawson foil these plans with help from the toymaker's daughter, Olivia. Unfortunately, Ratigan, with help from Fidget, kidnaps Olivia and threatens to kill her if they attempt to stop his escape. Basil, Dawson, and Flaversham pursue Ratigan above the Thames River on hot air balloons. Fidget, who is pedaling Ratigan blimp to speed it up, cannot take the extra weight and tells Ratigan they have to lighten the load, meaning to throw Olivia off the balloon. Ratigan, out of sheer bad temper, throws Fidget (who can't fly) off the blimp and into the Thames River instead. Ratigan then tries to pedal the blimp himself. Basil jumps onto the blimp and it crashes into Big Ben.
Inside the clock tower, Basil and Ratigan fight atop the gears of the clock tower, and with help from Olivia, Basil traps Ratigan by throwing his cape in the gears. The two mice then escape, finally sending Ratigan over the edge. Breaking free from the gears, he pursues Basil, tearing his clothes in the process and transforming from a very formal, composed rat to a highly savage one. Ratigan leaps into Basil and they both tumble onto the clock's hour hand, Ratigan stops Basil from reaching the others. Finally, he extends his long, strong fingernails and begins scratching Basil continuously, ripping his clothes and clawing his flesh. Suddenly the clock bell tolls causing Ratigan to lose his balance, and plunge off the hand, taking Basil with him. Basil manages to save himself while Ratigan falls off Big Ben to his death.
His death later made the headlines (a newspaper headline was seen that stated that "Midnight Strikes for Ratigan.")
In an episode of Quack Pack, Ratigan can be seen on the box art of criminal trading cards.
Ratigan most notable cameo on House of Mouse was in the episode "Donald's Lamp Trade", in which he tries to lure Dr. Dawson with cheese on a mousetrap, but Basil stops Dawson and tells him it's a trap, at which point the nearby Ratigan groans "Curses!" He is also seen with several other mice in "House of Scrooge". In many instances, Ratigan can also be spotted seated alongside other Disney villains, or at times Fidget in recurring crowd shots.
Ratigan was once a walkaround character at the Disney parks during the film's initial release. But he has been retired, rumoredly because he frightened children. His last appearance was at a special event at the Magic Kingdom in 2004.
- Ratigan is shown to have an animation flaw. If you look closely during the course of the film, Ratigan has five fingers on his hands. However, during the battle sequence from when he goes feral to when he falls to death, he is shown to have four fingers on each hand minus when he flared his claws.
- Ratigan shares a few similarities with Cruella De Vil. They both are the main antagonist, live in England, smoke cigarette poles, intimidate their henchmen who are the secondary antagonist (Ratigan, Fidget: Cruella, Jasper and Horace Badun) who they have responsible for kidnapping main character(s) (Ratigan, Olivia Flaversham: Cruella, Dalmatian Puppies) triggering the stories of their films, develop red eyes in the climaxes while revealing their insanity and chasing the protagonists (Ratigan case, Basil in Cruella's case, Pongo), stood up by a character who stand up straight with fist clenched (Ratigan by Basil: Cruella by Roger Radcliffe), and smash the doors real hard.
- According to a deleted lyric in "World's Greatest Criminal Mind"; the Tower Bridge Job involved hurling several innocent mice within the Thames River and then shooting whoever attempts to come up to the surface.
- Vincent Price, the voice of Ratigan, said that doing Ratigan was his favorite role because he had two songs written for him.
- Ratigan is similar to Shere Khan. They are the primary antagonist, both have the same goal of killing the protagonist (Ratigan: Basil, Shere Kahn: Mowgli), and during the final fight of their film, they fight a hero (Ratigan: Basil, Shere Kahn: Baloo) and start to kill them by clawing them to death.
- Ratigan is the first Disney villain to just fall to his death since the disguised Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney's first feature length film since 1937. Maleficent's death included falling, but she already suffered a fatal wound from the Sword of Truth piercing her heart before falling to her death.
- Despite being only a vaguely-remembered Disney villain, Ratigan remains quite popular with those who grew up with the film.
- In the novel that the film was based off of, Ratigan is actually a mouse, despite the name. This was changed for the film.
- Ratigan is the only Disney villain to record a song in advance for their foe, another example of Ratigan's arrogance.
- Ratigan is the fourth villain who has fallen to his death. The first being the Witch from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the second being Maleficent, the third being Bear, fifth Percival McLeach, the sixth being Gaston, the seventh being Frollo, the eighth being Zira, the ninth being Clayton, the tenth being Charles Muntz, and the eleventh being Mother Gothel.
- Ratigan is the first Disney Villain to sing his own villain song since Kaa in 1967.
- Ratigan has a few similarities to Madame Medusa from The Rescuers.
- Both their films involve mice on a rescue mission.
- Both kidnap main characters, both of which are little girls.
- They both talk gently to their victims, but also yell at them.
- Both threaten to take away their victim's loved ones if they don't give them what they want. Ratigan threatens to kill Olivia if Hiram Flaversham doesn't build his Clockwerk Queen, while Madame Medusa threatens to take Penny's teddy bear away if she doesn't get her the Devil's Eye. Also, both villains try to escape with those hostages.
- Both have beloved pets (Ratigan has Felicia the cat, Madame Medusa has Brutus and Nero the crocodiles).
- Both have a sidekick they make do most of the work and abuse them. (Fidget the Bat for Ratigan, Mr. Snoops for Madame Medusa.
- Both double-cross their own sidekick. Ratigan throws Fidget off his blimp to "lighten the load" and Madame Medusa keeps the Devil's Eye to herself instead of sharing it with Snoops.
- Ratigan has several similarities to Mortimer Mouse from Mickey and Friends:
- Both are rats and serve as archenemies of mice (Mickey and Basil)
- Both live in anglophone country (Ratigan: England Mortimer: United States)
- Both were taken by Maurice LaMarche, in current version.
- Both antagonize their archenemies every time.
- Both are taller than their archenemies (Ironically Ratigan is muscular, whilst Mortimer is thin).
- Ratigan is similar to Sykes as both are muscular, wear black suits, kidnap a female character and hold them prisoner and both smoke. Furthermore they both been taken by Italian voice actor, Glauco Onorato.
- Ratigan is also similar to Star Wars villain Jabba the Hutt as both feed anyone who upsets or offends them to Felcia and the Rancor respectively.
- Ratigan shares some similarities with Alice in Wonderland villain the Queen of Hearts
- Both are enemies of the film's main protagonist.
- Both are at one moment calm and collected then next moment they lose their temper.
- Both don't hesitate to sentence anyone who offends or upsets them to death.
- Both have henchmen who work for them but are not loyal but instead fearful.
- Even though it is believed Ratigan died in the climax the same newspaper that says Basil and Dawson were thanked by the Queen also says "Time runs out for Ratigan". This implies he, like Basil survived but is presumably dying of his injuries from his fall but it can also imply Ratigan is on the brink of facing prison for his crimes.
|The Great Mouse Detective|
| The Great Mouse Detective
Characters: Basil of Baker Street | David Q. Dawson | Padriac Ratigan | Fidget | Toby | Olivia Flaversham | Hiram Flaversham | Mrs. Judson | Miss Kitty Mouse | Miss Kitty Mouse's twin sisters | Ratigan's thugs | Felicia | Bill the Lizard | Bartholomew | Sherlock Holmes | John Watson | Queen Mousetoria | Unidentified woman mouse
Other: Darkwing Duck