It's obvious I should have never sent rodents to do an amphibian's job!
~ The Toad
Oh, you think you're so clever, don't you? Well, I'll be the one laughing when every last revolting rat is flushed away!
~ The Toad
The Toad is the main antagonist of DreamWorks' thirteenth full-length animated feature film Flushed Away, which is also Aardman's third feature film. He is the leader and boss of his henchrats, Spike and Whitey, and his younger cousin Le Frog, and Roddy and Rita's archenemy.
Prior to his hatred for rodents, the Toad had a fun life with his owner Prince Charles, until he was flushed away down the sewers, like Roddy, by a palace servant after Charles got a pet rat.
The Toad's general attitude and personality are rather changeable and temperamental. At times, he is extremely obsequious, sophisticated, thoughtful and positive, responding to negative situations with affability and decorum but he shows a willingness to switch to cruelty and violence without hesitation towards his enemies, or just general "do-gooders". The Toad reserves his cruelty to his subordinates alone and is softer with his own family but shows to treat Le Frog harshly at times.
With his children, The Toad reveals a more two-sided aspect of his personality, one that is an affectionate and sympathetic father rather than just a raving and obstreperous madman but still does not allow them to have ponies. However, the divide between The Toad's personas was once again evident when speaking to his children in a loving and babied voice, but also revealing his plans for total rat genocide in the same voice, claiming that they would all be "deady-weddy" to his tadpoles.
The one thing that can be said about the Toad that is genuine is that he utterly hates rats. Since he was replaced by a rodent as his former owner's pet (who was an aristocrat), he developed a grudge and sought to eradicate them from the face of the Earth, believing to replace them with a far more superior species of his frog tadpoles. Although he surrounds his entourage of rats, even them The Toad holds with disdain and occasionally violence. Nevertheless, he continued to trust Spike and Whitey to carry out his demands to retrieve the ruby from Rita and later the master cable. Enough incompetence, however, and the Toad prefers a frog's touch to get the job done.
The Toad also carries his collection with a high level of esteem, both of his frozen enemies and memorabilia of Queen Victoria. His prized collectible being a bust of Victoria's head and the ruby he stole from Rita before it was destroyed. His love was such that he could bond with anybody, rat or otherwise if they share his passion for Britain as he was uncharacteristically friendly and demonstrative with Roddy when he discovered that the two shared cultured roots but proceeded to ice him when he accidentally destroyed his collection.
When angered or greatly stressed, The Toad's throat would bulge hugely which appeared to be an involuntary tick.
The Toad has green skin and green eyes. He wears a dark purple business suit with a purple shirt and a yellow tie (sometimes with a big tan wool jacket over his suit), and old brown shoes. He usually wears a very chic robe with purple pants and red slippers (similar to his shoes).
Of all of the pets in the Buckingham Palace, Young Prince Charles fancied the Toad the best and became attached to him. They would frolic day-after-sunny-day, sharing the relationship between boy and toad.
However, when Charles got a new pet rat for his birthday, he and the Toad were separated.
One day, at a play, as Charles was playing with the rat, one of the guards found the Toad backstage and cruelly flushed him down the toilet (which the Toad calls a "whirlpool of despair").
Since then, the Toad despises all rodents. The Toad's deep hatred for rats motivates his evil plan for the sewer which will wash away the rats in a Great Flood and repopulate the sewer with an army of his tadpole offspring.
The Toad serves as the boss of the following henchrats: Spike, Whitey, Thimblenose Ted, Fat Barry, and the Ladykiller. He owned a ruby, which was stolen from him by a rat named Rita Malone. The Toad sent Spike and Whitey to retrieve it.
Spike and Whitey capture Rita and another rat named Roddy St. James and bring them to The Toad. After Roddy explains that he needs to return to Kensington. The Toad called Roddy "A Man of Quality" then provides him his royal collection. Roddy found it to be "amusing", in which the Toad thought he would find it as "diverging, not amusing." Roddy then accidentally destroys his collection, which makes the Toad blow a gasket, ordering Spike and Whitey to freeze him. The Toad then reacts angrily when Spike and Whitey were frozen instead and when Rita insulted him and unplugged the master cable.
The Toad gave up on getting the ruby so he could get the cable and ordered his cousin Le Frog to do it after Spike and Whitey failed to do so. Le Frog gets the cable back, and it was revealed that The Toad needed the cable so he could use it to open the floodgates during halftime of the England vs. Germany football game and use the wave from all the flushing toilets to flush all of Ratropolis away.
Roddy returned to the sewers and stopped The Toad by making him get stuck on the pipe with liquid nitrogen in it and get his tongue caught in the gears so the pipe would break, releasing the liquid nitrogen on the wave and freezing it so Ratropolis would be saved. After this, The Toad got stuck in the gears with Le Frog, and was most likely freed and taken into custody. However, Le Frog somehow escaped as it was shown towards the end of the film.
The Toad was voiced by Ian McKellen while Roddy was voiced by Hugh Jackman in the film, which is an allusion to the X-Men movies, since McKellen and Jackman played Magneto and Wolverine respectively. Curiously, Wolverine's classic costume cameos in the film as one of the clothes in Roddy's wardrobe.
Coincidentally, X-Men: The Last Stand and Flushed Away (which they both starred in) came out in 2006.
The Toad is the only main Aardman antagonist who is portrayed by The Lord of the Rings cast member, as he is voiced by Ian McKellen, who is portrayed as Gandalf.
The Toad is inspired by an actor named Sydney Greenstreet, who frequently played sophisticated criminal masterminds in classic films, such as Kasper Gutman from The Maltese Falcon.
The Toad is the second Aardman antagonist to be an animal, since Feathers McGraw from Wallace and Gromit: The Wrong Trousers. However, he is the first and only animal Aardman antagonist to speak.
It is unknown why the Toad uses rats as henchmen when he claims to hate them. It can be assumed that he has rats as henchmen given that toads don't live in the sewers and thus has no option than hire them as his bodyguards. That said, it's likely that the Toad planned to dispose of them once he got rid of most of the rat population.
It is also unknown how the Toad was able to produce offspring, as he is never mentioned to have had ever a mate at some point.