Anyone familiar with Walt Disney Entertainment will no doubt notice that the company has redeemed the image of the rodent countless times over. Just think about it, the most familiar face representing them is that of the one and only Mickey Mouse, to say the least. And aside from Mickey (and Minnie), there have been several other rodents positively portrayed throughout various film representations. While rabbits, squirrels, and chipmunks also share the potential to make up the rodent ensemble, we’re limiting our extensive look to various mice, rats, and maybe a shrew or two in numerous Disney films throughout the years.
12. Mickey and Minnie Mouse
This power couple is undeniably Disney’s number one duo. Mickey is the official face (and ears) of the Walt Disney Company in general, having made his premier back in 1928. And then there’s Minnie, his feminine counterpart and the love of his life. She stands by her man (mouse) faithfully with grace and charm. Between the two of them they have many mousey relatives who, on occasion, share the limelight with them as well. They include nieces, nephews, and other familial extensions.
11. Timothy Mouse
Even in the earliest days, Disney’s mice niceties were not exclusive to Mickey and Minnie. Just refer back to Disney’s animated classic Dumbo and you’ll undoubtedly recall Timothy Mouse—that tough-talking yet loyal best friend and mentor to the title elephant. A natural motivator forever offering positive words of wisdom and encouragement, he’s no timid Timothy, but rather a very outgoing and determined mouse with Dumbo’s best interests at heart.
10 The Field Mouse
Filling an admittedly much smaller role is the Field Mouse, who appeared in Disney’s animated feature film Bambi back in 1942. Adding to the profuse cast of forest animals depicted in the movie, the Field Mouse plays an unassuming role, living a quiet, innocent life within a nesting of grasses and other vegetation alongside its young mouse children. While not a primary player, the Field Mouse does make a reprising role in the much later direct-to-video Bambi II sequel from 2006.
9. Jaq and Gus
This mousey duo, along with a whole slew of other nice mice, proved the helpfulness of rodents in a number of ways when they were featured in Disney’s timeless animated classic Cinderella back in 1950. With Jaq being bolder with his take-control leadership and Gus serving as more of a lovable dimwit, each one complements the other. And together they assist the title protagonist in everything, from helping to sew a dress to taking her to the ball in a carriage once transformed into horses, and even serving a vital role in delivering her happily ever after. There’s no question that Disney’s Cinderella redeems rodents on plenty of levels.
8. Water Rat aka “Ratty” and Mole
These rodent besties first appeared together in the first half of The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad, an animated feature produced by Disney on 1949. Over the years, both have made notable cameo appearances in other Disney cartoons as well, including Mickey’s A Christmas Carol. While “Ratty,” is said to be a bit stuffy but, “really a fine fellow,” Mole is described as a “kind of sympathetic fellow,” according to the narrator in their first film’s opening. All the same, this is another of the many times throughout Disney’s animated history in which rodents are portrayed positively.
While the Mad Hatter and March Hare tend to get more recognition in Disney’s 1951 animated classic Alice in Wonderland, this third in the tea party trio is not to be overlooked entirely. He adds an element of cuteness to the whole unbirthday scene, with his sleepily chiming in when need be. In the Tim Burton remake, the Dormouse takes on a more proactive role as a swordsman (or swordswoman in this version, as the role here has shifted to being female) and she is revealed to have the name Mallymkun.
Related: Hats off to Mad Hatter Day!
6. Mice in Robin Hood
It goes without saying that with Disney’s exclusive animal ensemble in this 1973 animated adaptation of the classic Robin Hood story, there are bound to be mice. You see the role most notably in the portrayals of Sexton Mouse and Little Sister. There are also various other mice seen in lesser roles throughout the film as well, none of which are shown in a negative light.
In Disney’s 1970 release of the animated classic The Aristocats, we are introduced to this fellow inhabitant who resides at Madame Bonfamille’s mansion. While he is in good standing with all the primary feline characters in the film, and even considered to be a good friend, he has a traditional mousey fear for other cats, which is to be expected.
4. Bernard and Miss Bianca
The Rescuers animated movie franchise by Walt Disney Productions features myriad mice as key players. But that goes without saying given the fact that the plot centers around an international mouse-led organization known as “The Rescue Aid Society.” And as the “rescue” part of the group’s name implies, this is a team of very helpful mice with only the best intensions. In both The Rescuers from 1977 and its 1990 sequel The Rescuers Down Under, the films’ primary protagonists include Bernard and Miss Bianca—partners and mouse love interests.
3. Basil of Baker Street
Serving as the titular protagonist of Disney’s animated feature The Great Mouse Detective from 1986, Basil of Baker Street is the mouse model for the well-known fictional detective—Sherlock Holmes. In fact, he makes it no secret that his whole life and career are inspired by the famed aforementioned figure. Basil is portrayed as a well-versed, intelligent character with talents and skills that are seemingly unending.
2. Mr. Big
Big bossiness sometimes comes in small packages, as anyone who has ever seen Disney’s Zootopia can tell you. This computer-animated film from 2016 features a diverse cast of animal characters of all kinds. And one supporting character who ends up making a rather big impact in the film, despite is admittedly meager size, is none other than Mr. Big. An arctic shrew so small in stature that he is even dwarfed by the film’s bunny protagonist, Mr. Big has an enormous reputation for being a highly feared crime boss you don’t want to cross. But once you find favor with him, as ends up being the case in this film (thanks to his daughter Fru Fru, also a shrew worth noting), he’s a valuable asset to have on your side.
Arguably Disney’s most popular rodent since Mickey Mouse, this featured rat figure from the popular computer-animated movie Ratatouille makes having rats in the kitchen a fashionable new frenzy. It’s especially true in Remy’s case, given the fact that he is a culinary mastermind with a passion for food, cooking, and dreams for becoming a chef someday. But as irony would have it, rodents and kitchens don’t mix well. And aside from that, he is practically a pariah as far as rat society is concerned. All the same, Remy succeeds in redeeming rats and rodents of all sorts through his good and kindhearted ways.
Related: Remy Gets His Own Neighborhood
Each and every Disney character is unique with its own feelings, personality, and relatable qualities. Perhaps that is why, with a bit of Disney magic, we can now get away from looking at rodents in the same grotesque ways in which tradition dictates. To quote the wise words of Walt Disney, “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing—that it was all started by a mouse.”