- “There's no escape this time Basil!”
- ―Ratigan during the final battle
Professor Padraic Ratigan is the archenemy 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. Then Ratigan ties 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.
- Ratigan also shares a few traits with Gaston. They both are the main antagonist, muscular, live in European countries (Ratigan Engliand; Gaston, France), have smaller incompetent sidekicks who are the secondary antagonist (LeFou for Gaston, Fidget for Ratigan), drink alcoholic beverages (Gaston drinks beer while Ratigan drinks wine), sing songs (Ratigan: World's Greatest Criminal Mind, Gaston: song of his name) that praise themselves with their minions (Ratigan, Bill the Lizard and the thugs; Gaston, villagers and tavern men)into joining along, have songs interupted at one point (Ratigan is interrupted when Bartholomew accidentally called him a rat while Gaston's is interupted as Maurice came into his tavern), threaten to hurt someone if they don't get what they want (Ratigan threatened Hiram Flaversham that he will hurt his daughter if he doesn't do his job and Gaston threatened Belle that he will throw her father into the asylum if she doesn't marry him), have trapped the main characters (Ratigan: Basil, Dr. David Q. Dawson, and Olivia Flaversham, Gaston: Belle) at one point before heading out to carry out their evil plan (Ratigan: overthrowing Queen Mousetoria, Gaston: killing the Beast), both sing a second song (Ratigan, Goodbye, So Soon; Gaston, The Mob Song), fight the protagonists (Ratigan: Basil Gaston: Beast) on a high area (in Ratigan's case, Big Ben; in Gaston's case, Beast's Castle) during a storm, both in their final moments believe they successfully killed the hero, but their celebrations are cut short, and fall to their deaths and are not seen again. A major difference between them, however, is that Ratigan's minions obviously fear him (only continuing with their praising song for Ratigan when he gave the implied threat of feeding them to his cat Felicia if they didn't), while Gaston's minions do not fear him at all. Another difference is that unlike Gaston, Ratigan's death was acknowledged in the ending (a newspaper article in the ending had the headline "Midnight Strikes for Ratigan.")
- 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.
- The Nostalgia Critic listed Ratigan as Number 7 on his "Top 11 Disney Villains" list and the best 'funny villain'. His female counterpart the Nostalgia Chick, also listed him as Number 6 on her "Top 10 Evil Nostalgia Characters" list.
- 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 is still remembered by many people today, as recently, he has gained popularity from an entire fanclub dedicated to him on DeviantArt. Thus, Ratigan can be considered a favorite of many 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 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 a few similarities to Turbo from Wreck-It Ralph.
- Both are Disney Villains who have rose nose (before Turbo disguised to be King Candy ).
- They have purple royal king costume (King Candy's purple was more darker than Ratigan's).
- They both have visitor enemies who visited their lair (Basil of Baker Street, and Ralph), and those visitors were hanged up (Basil by rat's trap and Ralph by cupcake).
- Once they have discussion with the visitors, they leave visitors alone with their own vehicle.
- They both have girl enemies (Olivia Flaversham, and Vanellope von Schweetz), and clothes colour of their girl enemies was emerald.
- Furthermore, they both imprisoned the girls (Olivia: Inside of wine bottle Vanellope: Fungeon)
- They both have small sidekicks (Fidget the Bat, and Sour Bill).
- During they were driving with their own vehicle, they have almost died (Ratigan crashed the glass of Big Ben, and Turbo/King Candy has eaten by cy-bug) before they have fight with their enemies.
- They fought main protagonists in somewhere high (Ratigan: Big Ben, and Turbo: Diet Cola Mountain).
- During fighting, they both used their own claws (Ratigan: to claw Basil, Turbo: to catch Ralph)
- Their mood became ridiculous when they heard enemies' comment (Basil: "On the contrary, the game's not over yet!!!!", Ralph: "No, just for me!!!").
- 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 everytime.
- 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.
- 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
See also: Darkwing Duck