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Top 10 Films Featuring Rats and Mice
Let’s face it: aside from the obvious flaw that rodents carried and distributed the plague, rats and mice are pretty darn cute little critters. And who else but Hollywood would ride yet another animal wave into money-making oblivion. Many movies have rats and mice in them, but few use them as the main characters playing both antagonist and protagonist. All but a couple here fit that category, and the others use them in an equally supportive role—but of no less importance. Here are ten films with our furry friends.
10 Charlotte’s Web
Debbie Reynolds, Paul Lynde, and a young Danny Bonaduce supply their voices to a stellar animated feature based around the life and, as it seems, the impending death of a runty pig. Templeton steals the show in this, the superior original, as the gluttonous rat.
9 Stuart Little
Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie, Michael J. Fox … and the oh-so-adorable-you-want-to-smack-him Johnathan Lipnicki fill out the cast for this animation-meets-live action comedy that really is pretty cute and quite family safe.
8 The Tale of Despereaux
Dustin Hoffman, Matthew Broderick, and Emma Watson provide the voice talent for this wonderful 2008 film based on the book by Kate DiCamillo. It is the story of three unlikely heroes—a mouse, a rat, and a servant—who work together to save the kingdom from a great darkness.
7 Steamboat Willie
The cartoon that launched the world’s most famous mouse into the stratosphere. Mickey is the pilot of a steamboat and must outwit Captain Pete in this 8-minute masterpiece.
6 The Great Mouse Detective
Vincent Price and Barrie Ingham supply voice talent to the animated feature loosely based on the Sherlock Holmes stories. Twists and turns, rescues, and a cliffhanger finale really make this a Disney feature to see.
I had to include the remake instead of the 1971 original with Ernest Borgnine because I truly believe that Crispin Glover is the most borderline insane and eccentric actor available today who could, and honestly does, pull off this witty re-imagining. Oh, and with R. Lee Ermey as his boss, you can’t go wrong.
4 The Rescuers
Bob Newhart and Eva Gabor work for the Rescue Aid Society as two brave little mice. An adventure sends them deep into the swamps in search of a kidnapped little girl, Penny, as they enlist the assistance of shrews, rabbits, and a dragonfly named Evinrude. But it’s the diabolical kidnapper Geraldine Page who ultimately steals the show as the horrid Medusa. The music is as sad as it comes as well.
3 An American Tail
When animator Don Bluth left Disney to begin his own studio in the early 1980s, no one could have imagined he’d produce two of the most beloved movies still adored today. In this one, Feivel is separated from his Russian family as they emigrate to the United States. His adventure leads to new friends and many bumps and bruises along the way. Oh, and the song “Somewhere Out There” absolutely makes this well-over-30-year-old dude sob like a little girl.
One of the most amazing films from the Disney/PIXAR library finds Remy the rat alone in Paris searching for a restaurant once ran by his idol. Patton Oswalt and Lou Romano as Remy and Linguini respectively give this kitchen caper all the life it needs as perhaps one of the finest films to take place in and around food.
1 The Secret of Nimh
Wil Wheaton, Shannon Doherty, and Dom DeLouise use their amazing voice talents (the former of the trio basically unknown at the point) in this fabulous movie about Mrs. Brisby and her desperate need to relocate her home as the farm’s plow is about to till the land and destroy it. Rats, mice, a great owl, and a bumbling crow fill out the cast in this, Don Bluth’s first film outside of the Disney name. This movie is both beautiful and sad and truly makes you hope that little Timmy can get through pneumonia while his house is uprooted. Great music, too.
Notable omissions: Rats, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Graveyard Shift