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Hey, hey, hey! Wait a minute. Who are you gonna believe? Me or your own eyes?
~ Warren T. after his true identity has been exposed to the mice
Gentlemen, cat's out of the bag. GET ME THAT MOUSE!
~ Warren T. Rat, ordering his hench-cats to catch Fievel after his secret is revealed.
Someday, Gussie Mausheimer, someday! And you, too, Mousekewitz--ALL OF YA!!!! I HATE mice!
~ Warren T.'s defeat and swearing revenge on Fievel, Gussie Mausheimer and all of the mice.
Warren T. Rat (also known as Warren T. Cat) is the main antagonist in Don Bluth's 1986 animated film An American Tail. He is a cat in rat's clothing and the leader of the Mott Street Maulers, a gang of dangerous cats who terrorize the mice of New York City. He is accompanied nearly all the time by his incompetent accountant Digit, a small British cockroach.
Warren T. Rat is first seen counting money in a human suitcase. His cockroach accountant, Digit, complains about his smoking habits. Warren, not caring in the slightest, suggests that he could fire him; Digit, however, seems to enjoy the idea, being extremely unhappy of his current work conditions. After Digit counts his money, Warren T. finds out that he has 50 cents less than yesterday, which upsets him since he hates to lose money. By chance, Fievel lands into Warren T.'s business area, where Digit tells Warren T. that Moe, an associate of his, can always use an extra kid 50¢ a day. Warren T. then introduces himself to Fievel, falsely promising to help find his family quoting a quote from William Shakespeare.
Later, Warren T. and Fievel arrive at Moe's sweatshop, lying to Fievel that his family is in there and Moe grabs Fievel. Warren then comes up to the fat rat saying to him "Not bad huh, Moe? A new worker". When Fievel asks about his family, Warren tells Fievel that he doesn't a family now that he's got a job, telling Moe to send him Fievel's salary before slamming the door on his way out.
He is later mentioned by Honest John during the wake for Mickey O'Hare, where it's revealed that Warren T. is extorting money from other mice for protection from the cats that he never provides.
He isn't seen again until late into the movie. Fievel runs into him in the Mott Street Maulers' Hideout, where he is poorly playing his violin (due to his nose getting his the way). Fievel finds out, after Warren removes his false nose, that Warren T. isn't a rat, but a cat in disguise! When the cat disguised rat sees Fievel and finds out that his true identity has been discovered, he has the Maulers capture Fievel and sends Tiger to watch over him. However, when Fievel escapes (with help from his guard Tiger, who is actually vegetarian), Tiger gets fired from his position in the Maulers (which he finds a good thing, as he never liked Warren or his poor violin playing).
Warren, disguising himself as a rat again, then gathers his cat gang and chases after Fievel down to Chelsea Pier. Once there, Warren tries to negotiate peace with the mice by demanding all of their money and that they hand Fievel over so in order for the cats to leave them alone. When he orders Gussie to hand Fievel once again, Tony Toponi uses his slingshot to shoot straight through Warren T.'s disguise, revealing that he is a cat (his real name is Warren T. Cat) and all the mice pelt him with various objects at him. Realizing that he has all but lost, Warren then sets Chelsea Pier ablaze in a last ditch attempt to kill the mice with a fire for vengeance. Unfortunately, the mice's secret weapon: The Giant Mouse of Minsk (a huge mechanical mouse) chases Warren T. and his gang towards the end of the pier and into the water.
The Maulers are then launched onto a tramp steamer bound for Hong Kong. Warren T. climbs aboard an anchor, curses Gussie and Fievel's names, swearing revenge on all the mice one day. He is last seen reassuring his men that there are plenty of mice in Hong Kong. His last lines are "I wonder how you say 'trust me' in Chinese?".
Warren T. Rat is a very greedy, deceitful, manipulative and diabolical individual who likes to think of himself as a sophisticated, constantly misquoting Shakespeare. He also plays the violin horribly (though that might be because his fake nose kept getting in the way). He shows no actual care for his men; treating them as if they were like his employees. He even threatened to fire Digit over him complaining about his smoking. Warren shows how ruthless he is throughout the film. Not only does he show no remorse for sending Fievel to a sweatshop, but he also had his men kill off mice to keep them in line all while posing as a rat to scam them. All of this makes Warren a horrible creature who would do anything to earn an extra fifty cents.
Warren T. Rat and Digit after Fievel has landed in their suitcase
Warren quoting Shakespeare
Warren T. about to set Chelsea Pier on fire, to kill the mice
Although his true colors are not revealed until near the climax, he is the main antagonist, because he was actually the Mott Street Maulers' boss and had bigger plans than they did. Plus, he was thought to be a friend to Fievel, but is actually against him. He also conned the mice out of their money to serve as protection when in truth, he was the one in charge of the cats.
He is based on a villain who would have appeared in Don Bluth's Banjo the Woodpile Cat, named Rocko, but was cut when the film was shortened to a half hour special.
Strangely, his size differs as the film progresses. In guise, he is as big as an adult mouse. But when his true species was revealed, he is only slightly smaller than the average cat.
Warren is considered to be one of the evilest villains in the American Tail film series (alongside Mr. Grasping, Chief McBrusque, Toplofty and O'Bloat). Unlike them, he and his gang did cause some on-screen deaths including that of a child.
In the fourth film An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night Monster, the red demonic cat-like Monster that appeared in Fievel's nightmares shared a similar design to Warren T. Rat.
Warren's gold teeth sometimes disappear occasionally throughout the movie.