Rats and mice get a bad rap for being dirty and invading our homes, but Hollywood moviemakers have a deep affection for these furry critters. To help with your Year of the Rat viewing, we’ve put together a list of 20 films that have helped turn these cute little creatures into big screen stars.
The evil stepmother’s cat Lucifer might not be the biggest fan of Jaq and Gus, but this Disney classic got little girls everywhere wishing they had mice friends like that pair who would help them get dressed in the morning.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Ron’s furry companion Scabbers had no small role in this Harry Potter film. Turns out the family pet wasn’t the loyal friend we all thought he was. What a rat!
This gem of a Pixar movie proved that anyone can cook. If all rats could blend flavours together as well as Remi, you wouldn’t be so horrified if you found one in your kitchen.
If there’s one thing we can learn from this movie, it’s never to underestimate the intelligence of these tiny creatures. They may have actual pea-sized brains, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn a thing or two from them.
An American Tail
This Don Bluth animation tells the heart-warming tale of a family of Russian-Jewish mice who emigrate to the US by boat. Get your tissues ready, young Fievel’s Somewhere Out There scene gets us every time.
Nothing is more exciting and adorable at the same time than two mice single-handedly rescuing a kidnapped girl from the clutches of a crazed treasure huntress. Also, Bianca and Bernard are #couplegoals.
It doesn’t get any weirder than having a mouse for an adopted brother, but George and his parents don’t seem to mind. And even the family cat Snowbell warms up to this endearing, and larger-than-life rodent, in the end.
The Great Mouse Detective
Disney’s idea to reinvent Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes as a super-sleuthing mouse was certainly one that was so crazy, it worked. The evil Professor Ratigan is clearly no match for the brilliant Basil of Baker Street.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Forget everything you’ve been told about mice being shy, timid creatures. The brave knight Reepicheep knows that a real mouse never runs from danger – not if his honour is at stake.
The Secret of Nimh
Based on the 1971 children’s novel Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, follows a widowed field mouse who seeks help from a colony of super-intelligent rats to save her sick son. It gets quite dark for a Don Bluth (and kids’!) animation, but it’s a thrilling watch.
Pokemon the Movie
Let’s not forget that Pikachu is a mouse too! We’ve seen Pokemon on playing cards and video games. Now he’s conquered the silver screen.
The movie adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book certainly got us paranoid about witches living among us. But we can all sleep a lot better at night knowing (spoiler alert!) they were all turned into mice in the end.
Tom and Jerry: The Movie
The seven-time Academy Award-winning duo have been playing cat and mouse since 1940, and finally got their first feature-length film in 1992. Keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming live-action film due to be released later this year.
Wilbur and Charlotte may be the stars of the story, but Templeton is the greedy rat we love to hate. To his credit, he did help the two heroes a few times, even though it was only for food.
When the creators of Wallace and Gromit teamed up with DreamWorks, we got this wild and wacky tale about a fancy, uptown mouse who swaps lives with a common sewer rat, and is sent spiralling into an underground world.
Ernest and Celestine
This Franco-Belgian animation is based on a series of children’s books of the same name. It tells the beautiful tale of an unlikely friendship between a hungry bear and clever little mouse.
When you’ve got a movie about a thumb-sized girl, it’s no surprise she’d run into a mouse. Ms Fieldmouse might mean well, but we question her advice on love and taste in men.
The Tale of Despereaux
Despereaux was born with extra big ears and no fear. While all the mice in his village are taught to scurry off and flee in the face of any danger, the misfit mouse puts his tail on the line to save a princess with his rat friend.
The Nutcracker Prince
Without the Mouse King, there would literally be no Nutcracker. Our hero must defeat the evil king and his army of mice to return to his human form.
We’d be remiss not to include the most prominent mouse in cinematic history. Mickey Mouse has starred in everything from this 1928 black-and-white cartoon to 4D shows at Disneyland, and he’ll forever hold a special place in our hearts.