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Ratigan (True Nature)

His true nature

Professor Ratigan is the main antagonist in the 1986 film The Great Mouse Detective. He was voiced by the late Vincent Price who said that Ratigan was his favourite role.

Personality

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 like most Disney Villains. 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 (apart from Basil), 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. In the Basil of Baker Street book series, Ratigan's first name is revealed to be Padriac, and he is in fact, portrayed as a mouse (in contrast to his depiction in the movie).

The film

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's 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 and losing his shoes 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 and strong fingernails, poking through his gloves, 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.