Rats and mice in popular culture

Posted on: November 27, 2019, in Blog

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When you see a rat or a mouse scurrying around in your house, most people’s first reaction is to scream like a girl and run to the phone to call us. 

Popular culture has softened our loathing of rodents through film, television, music and even with board and video games.  

Film & Television

The most famous rodent star is most definitely Mickey Mouse. He made his debut appearance in “Steamboat Willie” in 1928 and paved the way for mice and rats to capture moviegoers’ hearts across the globe. 

Tom & Jerry appeared on the scene in the 1940s. The plot was centred around Tom the cat’s attempts to capture Jerry the mouse and the chaos and destruction that followed. Another famous cat and mouse rivalry between Speedy Gonzales, “The Fastest Mouse in all Mexico” and Sylvester the Cat became a hit a decade later.

Rodents probably reached their peak on the silver screen between 1977 and 1986, when four animated films — “The Rescuers,” “The Secret of NIMH,” “The Great Mouse Detective” and “An American Tail” — featured mice as heroes.

In 1999, the magic of computer animation brought the quick witted teenage mouse named Stuart Little to life. It even received an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects nomination, but unfortunately lost to the futuristic film, The Matrix.

It’s not only mice that have had their moment in the limelight. In 2007 Pixar film studios released Ratatouille. It’s main character, a rat named Remy wished to become a chef and formed an alliance with a Parisian restaurant’s garbage boy to fulfill his dream.

Board- & Video Games

Hasbro, an American worldwide toy and board game company published Mouse Trap in 1963. It was one of the 1st mass produced 3D board games. Suitable for 2 to 4 players, the initial aim of the game is for all the players to work together to build a working mouse trap. Once this is achieved, players gang up against each other in order to capture their opponents’ mouse-shaped game pieces.

The weird and wonderful world of Rat Chaos came into existence when it’s author, Winter Lake, made the game in a couple of hours while learning the software Twine (Open-source tool created for making interactive fiction in the form of web pages). This browser game features a spaceship captain choosing between going about his daily routine or “unleashing rat chaos”.

“Weird, sports a really odd use of the English language, will make you both laugh and wonder, features some interesting drawings.” – Konstantinos Dimopoulos of IndieGames.com commenting about Rat Chaos.

Music

Growing up, we all learned the nursery rhyme, turned into song – Three Blind Mice. In this macabre tune the mice are first blinded when they are chased into the bramble bushes by the farmer’s wife. If this is not gruesome enough, she then ensues them and cuts off their tails! Things do take a turn for the better when they use a magic tonic to grow back their tails… recover their eyesight…learn a new trade…buy a new house and live happily ever after!

Rats also became the brunt of the tale when “Rat in Mi Kitchen” by UB40 hit the charts. It is said that at the time the song was written, the lead singer had just moved into a new home and was troubled by rodents. When asked by Astro, that penned the tune, if he has any ideas for new songs he replied, “Oh God, I don’t care about the album for a minute, I’ve got a rat in the kitchen!” Astro wrote the track in response.

Unfortunately, in real life, rats and mice can become a real nuisance. They carry many different parasites and can transmit diseases to humans. A single female rat can produce up to 10 litters each year and she has 6–12 babies per litter. Once fully grown, they can cause a lot of damage by gnawing on almost anything such as wood, electric cables and bricks. We have a range of rodent control solutions that we use for rat or mice infestation in different areas, depending on your unique situation and safety issues. So if you have a rat in your kitchen, Call Us today to discuss your options.

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