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|“||Oh, I love it when I'm nasty.||„|
|~ Professor Ratigan|
|“||There's no escape THIS TIME, BASIL!||„|
|~ Ratigan after revealing his true nature as a savage rat to Basil.|
Professor Padraic Ratigan, better known as Professor Ratigan, or simply known as Ratigan, is the main antagonist of Disney's 26th full-length animated feature film The Great Mouse Detective, which is based on the children's book series Basil of Baker Street by the late Eve Titus and the late Paul Galdone.
He is the arch-nemesis of the famous mouse detective known as Basil of Baker Street, and is also the world's greatest criminal mastermind. Just as Basil is based on Sherlock Holmes, Professor Ratigan is based on Holmes' arch-nemesis James Moriarty. He is Fidget's boss, Felicia the Cat's owner and has a gang of thugs at his disposal.
In the original film, he was voiced by the late Vincent Price, who also played Egghead in the 1966 Batman TV series, Dr. Phibes in The Abominable Dr. Phibes and Dr Phibes Rises Again, Prince Prospero in The Masque of the Red Death, King Richard III in the 1962 remake of The Tower of London, Professor Henry Jerrod in House of Wax, Cardinal Richelieu in the 1948 adaptation of The Three Musketeers, and Zigzag in the 1993 animated fantasy film The Thief and the Cobbler. In the Read-Along Storybook, he was voiced by Corey Burton. In House of Mouse, he was voiced by Maurice LaMarche.
As Basil's archenemy, Ratigan possesses many of the characteristics of the classic evil genius and diabolical villain. He is based on Professor James Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes stories. He is incredibly prosperous and extravagant in his clothing and his lair, which is filled with champagne, jewels, and luxurious furniture.
He is very charismatic, manipulative, and sophisticated, with his black suit, cravat, and cigarette holder, and is absolutely appalled when he is called a rat. Believing that he is much better and more intelligent than common rats, he has anyone who calls him a rat suffer their fate.
Ratigan is a big bad guy, a true genius of evil. Redoubtably intelligent, he is able to play his arch enemy, Basil, by dragging him into one of his traps. But Ratigan is a threat to his own acolytes. Sadistic, cruel and devilish, he does not hesitate to insult his enemies, to brutalize his accomplices and to sacrifice those who get in his way. This vicious rat has no moral sense and as soon as someone stands in front of him, when someone annoys him, he eliminates it without any care.
However, during the climactic scene in the Big Ben clock tower, he sheds his pristine clothes and begins snarling and scratching with sharpened claws and thrashing his tail, revealing the true animal within that he tried so hard to disguise.
As Basil points out, there isn't any villainous act that he isn't willing to commit (meaning that if he was ever involved in any Even Evil Has Standards case where the former was the villain who got shocked by another villain's actions, and the latter was the villain who had another villain get shocked by his actions, then Ratigan would be the latter, not the former).
Despite all of his sadism, narcissism and cruelty, he seems to care for his pet cat Felicia and doesn't punish her or even react angrily when she burped after she ate Bartholomew.
The Great Mouse Detective
Known for being the rodent 'Napoleon of Crime', Ratigan have been responsible for many criminal operations such as the "Big Ben Caper" and the "Tower Bridge Job", which had devastating results to the mice citizens of London. His actions earned him the ire of Basil, who managed to foil Ratigan's plans using his wits, but failed to capture him as Ratigan evades his grasp.
Ratigan is planning upon his next diabolical scheme: to use a robot to replace the Queen of Mousedom and then have the robot programmed to name him supreme ruler of all Mousedom during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee at Buckingham Palace. In order to start off, he sends his bat henchman named Fidget to kidnap the local mouse toymaker Hiram Flaversham. Ratigan then forces Mr. Flaversham into building the robot for him by having his daughter Olivia kidnapped and held hostage if Hiram refuses to cooperate. He ensures that his henchmen do what he wants by threatening to have them fed to his pet cat Felicia if they displease or fail him in any way.
After Fidget successfully captures Olivia, outsmarts Basil & Dawson and keeps her contained inside a bottle, Ratigan is very impressed that Fidget has gotten the supplies they need for the plan; such as the royal guard uniforms for the henchmen and the tools and gears needed for the robot's modifications. However, he is angry to learn that Fidget lost the list he wrote, and that Basil was chasing Fidget during Olivia's capture. Knowing that any mouse of Basil's caliber can use the list to track down to his lair, Ratigan attempts to have Fidget fed to Felicia, but later changes his mind when he realizes that he can use this opportunity to trap Basil. As planned, Ratigan awaited for Basil's arrival along with his newly associate David Q. Dawson. After having himself and his henchmen to surprise Basil and Dawson with a welcoming celebration, Ratigan mocks Basil for falling into his trap (despite complimenting him for his sailor disguise), and his men start to laugh, causing Basil to sink into depression, much to Dawson's dismay and to Ratigan's delight.
Satisfied that he has broken Basil's spirit, Ratigan had his men to tie up Basil and Dawson in a mouse-trap, planning to have them killed by using a Rube-Goldberg contraption: Ratigan will play a record, and as the song plays, the phonograph arm will tighten up a rope, which will release a tiny ball that will set off the mouse trap and trigger a gun, a crossbow, an axe, and a giant anvil that will kill the two. Ratigan then leaves for Buckingham Palace, where Fidget and his henchmen kidnap the Queen and attempt to have her fed to Felicia.
During the ceremony, Flaversham (forced via gunpoint) controls the robot into introducing Ratigan to the mice as her new consort, much to their shock. Ratigan then proceeds to announce his new dictatorial laws to his "subjects", such as proposing a heavy tax policy against the elderly, the disabled, and children. However, the queen robot starts to rebel against him, much to his embarrassment; it turns out that Basil managed to break himself and Dawson free from the death trap and they head onward to Buckingham Palace (with the help from Shelock Holmes's pet dog named Toby), where they managed to rescue the Queen and tie up several of Ratigan's men. Controlling the robot, Basil denounces Ratigan as a fraud and traitor before revealing himself to Ratigan.
With his plan exposed, Ratigan is now being trampled by Basil and his friends while the rest of Ratigan's men are pummeled down by the angry civilians. However, Fidget manages to break free and take Olivia hostage once again, and refusing to accept defeat, he and Ratigan escape on a hot air blimp over London. During their getaway, however, they are pursued by Basil, Dawson, and Flaversham on a makeshift balloon. Ratigan steers his blimp while Fidget pedals the propeller, and tries to outrun them.
Fidget almost succeeds, but the extra weight is too much for him, so he tells Ratigan that they have to "lighten the load". Ratigan agrees with him, but rather than throwing Olivia off (as he still needs her as a hostage), he instead betrays Fidget by throwing him off, resulting Fidget (who cannot fly or swim) to fall into the Thames River below. Ratigan pedals the blimp himself, but Basil leaps onto Ratigan's blimp to fight him. However, with no helmsman, Ratigan is unable to steer his craft and it crashes into Big Ben. Inside the clock tower, Ratigan tries to ambush Basil, but fails and Basil traps Ratigan by throwing his cape in the gears and escapes with Olivia, who is returned to Hiram.
It is then that Ratigan (out of sheer bad temper) finally breaks free of the gears, tearing his clothes (including his gloves and shoes) in the process, and transforming from a very formal, composed rat to a highly savage demonic beast rat. He pursues Basil with great speed and leaps into him, and they both fall onto the clock's hour hand. Declaring to be the last straw as he won't escape from Basil this time, Ratigan furiously extends his long and strong claws and physically assaults Basil with all of his rage. He manages to knock Basil off the hand, but Basil grabs onto the wreckage of the blimp. Basil reveals that he only took the blows to remind that the clock bell will strike at 10:00, having pickpocketed Ratigan's tiny bell to prove his point. Ratigan realizes this too late as the minute hand strikes at 10, causing the clock bell to tolls, and the vibration causes Ratigan to lose his balance and plunge off the hour hand.
As Ratigan falls, he tries to take Basil with him, but he fails and falls screaming down to his presumed death. It is speculated that Ratigan has died from the fall, as the local newspaper shows a small caption reading "Time Runs Out for Ratigan" (a pun of Ratigan falling from a clock to his death). Also, Basil proudly keeps Ratigan's tiny bell as a memento of his role in Ratigan's defeat.
Isle of the A Descendants Novel
Professor Ratigan is one of the villains brought back to life to be imprisoned in the Isle of the Lost. It is mentioned once that he and his crew went to Ursula's Fish and Chips Store and every time they go there, Ursula chases him out.
Ratigan was once a walkaround character at the Disney parks during the film's initial release. But he has since been retired, supposedly because he frightened children. His last appearance was at a special event at the Magic Kingdom in 2004.
- Ratigan is based on the Napoleon of Crime known as James Moriarty. However, Ratigan has a more sadistic personality than Moriarty.
- Also, unlike James Moriarty, Ratigan is more of a terroristic mastermind than just a crime lord, as he commits crimes for political reasons (such as attempted revolution by usurping Queen Mousetoria so he can rule the country and be a dictator), while Moriarty just commits crimes for the sake of commiting crimes. Also, during the song "The World's Greatest Criminal Mind", it is revealed that Ratigan has drowned widows and orphans, another common act of terrorism.
- In the episode "Like Blunt" of Darkwing Duck, Professor Ratigan, Felicia, and Fidget the Bat also make a cameo appearances with Island Salad Sea Resort.
- In a deleted scene, it was to be elaborated that the "Tower Bridge Job" he mentioned was a theft of the Tower Bridge where he threw mice into the water below and shot ones that came up for air.
- Professor Ratigan and Basil both make cameo appearances in House of Mouse, and both of them were voiced by Maurice LaMarche.
- On a related note, Ratigan himself also made a cameo appearance in Oliver & Company. During the song "Perfect Isn't Easy", he appeared inside one of the pictures in Georgette's room.
- He is the third main antagonist of a Disney film to be a rodent, preceded by the Rat from Lady and the Tramp and the Mouse from Goliath II.
- He is also the second main antagonist of a Disney film to be a rat, followed by the Rat.
- He was one of Vincent Price's favorite roles.
- While never said onscreen, Ratigan's first name is Padraic.
- Ratigan is one of the few Disney villains to have canonically murdered children (as stated during the song "World's Greatest Criminal Mind" with the line "worse than the widows and orphans you've drowned"). The other three are Shan Yu, The Walrus, and Sabor.
- Ratigan's supervising animator is Glen Keane, who also animated the Bear from The Fox and the Hound, and Bill Sykes in Oliver and Company; The latter was coincidentally modeled after Ratigan as well. In fact, in his shredded form, he bears a resemblance to the Beast, another character animated by Keane.
- Ratigan's voice actor, Vincent Price had top billing above the other actors.