The Rat is the climax's antagonist from Lady and the Tramp.
Role in the film
Lady first encounters the rat while she is running happily in the back yard. She sees the rat, growls, and chases after him, causing the rodent to scatter through a hole in the fence. The rat has a bigger antagonistic role in the climax of the film when he comes back to Jim Dear and Darling's house through the fence hole, while Lady is tied to her doghouse on a rainy night. While Lady barks at the rat, Aunt Sarah tells her to shush. Tramp hears Lady's barks and she tells him that there's a rat in the house. Tramp follows the rat to the baby's room just in time before he can harm the baby. The two engage in a fight, until at one point the rat gets to the top of the baby's crib, about to kill the baby. Tramp chases the rat off the crib, while overturning it by accident, causing the infant to cry. Finally, Tramp manages to corner the rat behind the couch and kill it.
Having been alerted by the commotion, Aunt Sarah arrives and, not seeing the rat, mistakenly believes that Lady and Tramp had attempted to harm the baby, promptly locking Lady in the basement and sending Tramp off to the pound. However, as soon as Jim Dear and Darling return, Lady shows them the body of the rat, clearing Tramp's name.
- In an early script, the Rat's name was Herman.
- The Rat is the only Lady and the Tramp antagonist that doesn't make any sound whatsoever other than a few squeaks, while it was being attacked by Tramp.
- It is never outright stated that the Rat wants to harm the baby. However, it is implied as it sneaks into the baby's room, and at one point jumps into the baby's crib, but is thrown out by Tramp.
- The Rat, Si & Am, and the Stray Dogs were the only Disney Villains in Lady and the Tramp who didn't have redemption.
- The Rat was the only villain to die at the end.
- The Rat's gender is unclear, perhaps male since he was named Herman in the early script.
- The Rat was animated by Wolfgang Reitherman who also animated Monstro, the climax's antagonist of Pinocchio.
- The Rat's breed might be a Brown Rat.
- The Rat makes a cameo in various other films such as The Great Cat Family, The Black Cauldron, Aladdin, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
|Lady and the Tramp|
Characters: Lady | Tramp | Jock | Trusty | Si & Am | Jim Dear | Darling | Aunt Sarah | Jim Jr. | Tony | Joe | Policeman | Dogcatcher | Stray Dogs | Al the Alligator | Hyena | Mr. Busy | The Rat | Peg | Bull | Toughy | Boris | Pedro | Dachsie | Scamp | Angel | Annette, Danielle and Collette | Buster | Reggie | Francois | Sparky | Mooch | Ruby | Scratchy