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Villain Overview
Oh, I love it when I'm nasty.
~ Professor Ratigan

Professor Padraic Ratigan II (or better known as Ratigan) is the main antagonist of Disney's 26th full-length animated feature film, The Great Mouse Detective.

He is the arch-nemesis of the famous mouse detective, Basil of Baker Street, and is also the world's greatest criminal mind who plotted to be the first as supreme ruler of all Mousedom.

He was voiced by the late legendary horror actor, Vincent Price, who also played Egghead in the 1960s Batman TV series and Dr. Phibes in the horror film series of the same name, and voiced Zigzag in The Thief and the Cobbler.

Personality

As Basil's archenemy, Ratigan possesses many of the characteristics of the classic evil genius and diabolical villain. He is based on Professor 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 he is much better and more intelligent than common rats, he has anyone who calls him a rat suffer their fate.

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.

Role in the film

Ratigan is planning upon his next diabolical scheme: to use a robot to replace the Queen of England and then have the robot programmed to name him supreme ruler of all Mousedom during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee at Buckingham Palace. To start off, he gets his bat henchman 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 him in any way.

After Fidget manages to kidnap Olivia and keep 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, and his men start to laugh, causing Basil to sink into depression, much to Dawson's dismay and to Ratigan's delight.

Ratigan then had his men to tie up Basil and Dawson in a mouse-trap, planning to have them killed by using a Rude-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 (at gunpoint) controls the robot into introducing Ratigan to the mice as her new consort, much to their shock. Ratigan then proceeds to announce his tyrannical rules to his "subjects", such as proposing a heavy tax policy against the elderly, the disabled, and little 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, allowing himself and Ratigan to 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 can't fly) 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.

It is then that Ratigan, out of sheer bad temper, finally breaks free of the gears, tearing his clothes (including his shoes) in the process, and transforming from a very formal, composed rat to a highly savage one. He pursues Basil with great speed and leaps into him, and they both fall onto the clock's hour hand. Finally, Ratigan extends his long and strong claws and physically assaults Basil with all of his rage, wounding him. He manages to knock Basil off the hand, but Basil grabs onto the wreckage of the blimp. It was then 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 12, and the clock bell tolls, causing Ratigan to plunge off the hour hand screaming.

As Ratigan falls, he tries to take Basil with him, but he fails and falls 278 feet into the darkness below. 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.

Quotes

My friends..... we are about to embark on the most odious, the most evil, the most diabolical scheme of my illustrious career. A crime to top all crimes, a crime that will live in infamy! Tomorrow evening, our beloved monarch celebrates her Diamond Jubilee. And...with the enthusiastic help of our good friend Mr. Flaversham... it promises to be a night she will never forget. Her last night...and my first, as supreme ruler of all MOUSEDOM!!
~ Ratigan about his plan.
What was THAT? What did you call me? I AM NOT A RAT!!!
~ Ratigan after being called a rat by Bartholomew, despite the fact that he is a rat.
Silence! (to his henchmen before throwing Bartholomew out) Oh, my dear Bartholomew. I'm afraid that you've gone and upset me. You know what happens when someone upsets me.
~ Ratigan about to feed Bartholomew to Felicia.
Ooooh, this is wicked! So delightfully wicked. Mr. Flaversham, let me congratulate you on a superb piece of craftsmanship. See what you can do with the proper motivation? (cackles evilly)
~ Ratigan commending Flaersham for his excellent skills of creating the robot Queen.
Item 96: a heavy tax shall be levied against all parasites and spongers... such as the elderly, the infirmed, and especially, heh heh, little children.
~ Ratigan addressing his new laws to his 'subjects'.
You fool!... isn't it clear to you? The superior mind has triumphed! I've won! *laughs*
~ Ratigan berating Basil for falling into his trap.
Would you kindly sit down and SHUT UP?!
~ Ratigan to Olivia Flaversham.
There's no escape THIS TIME, BASIL!!!
~ Ratigan after revealing his true nature as a savage rat to Basil.
I've WON!!! (laughing) (Basil: "On the contrary, the game's not over yet!")
~ Ratigan's last words after he thought Basil fell off the Big Ben clocktower.

Trivia

  • In the episode "Like Blunt" of Darkwing Duck, Professor Ratigan, Felicia, and Fidget the Bat Make a cameo-appearances with Island Salad Sea Resort, Which Came Stole S.H.U.S.H. Agency List.
  • During the song "The World's Greatest Criminal Mind", it is revealed that Ratigan has drowned widows and orphans.
  • He is ranked #17 in the Top 30 Disney Villains.
  • Professor Ratigan and Basil both make cameos in House of Mouse, both voiced by Maurice LaMarche.
    • On a related note, Ratigan himself also made a cameo in Oliver & Company. During the song "Perfect Isn't Easy", he appeared inside one of the pictures in Georgette's room.
  • Ratigan's first name is Padraic.
  • In some aspects, he can be viewed as an animal counterpart of James Moriarty.
  • Despite falling from Big Ben, some people suggest that Ratigan might have survived the fall, since rats can survive great falls.

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