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Nightmare Fuel / The Great Mouse Detective

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The Great Mouse Detective is surprisingly one of Disney's darker films despite starring a cast of mice.

  • Felicia, whom Ratigan keeps tame by keeping her well fed using his loyal minions. One of the few examplesnote  in a Disney movie where someone is eaten on screen and doesn't come back afterward.
    • That Slasher Smile pasted across her muzzle as she comes out of the darkness and advances on her hapless (and completely oblivious) prey would be enough to give anyone nightmares. It wouldn't have been out of place on a man-eating ogre (which is pretty much what Felicia is in this universe). Cats Are Mean, indeed.
    • When you think about it, Bartholomew was lucky that he was too drunk to realize what was going on when Felicia ate him: he'd be unaware that he was just swallowed whole and alive by a comparatively gigantic cat. How many of Ratigan's other minions were unfortunate enough to be sober when that happened?
    • Felicia is also extremely obese for a cat, implying Ratigan feeds her a lot of his henchmen. Every time his henchmen see her, they know exactly why Felicia has gotten so fat. And then they get to watch Felicia happily lounge on a full stomach afterwards when Ratigan pampers her.
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    • And then there's Felicia's untimely end. After getting chased away by Toby, she strolls off, flips her tail defiantly up... and jumps right into the yard where the Royal Palace Guard dogs reside. All we hear is angry barking and feline squalling, so we don't know if she got away or if they tear her to bits.
      • If it's the latter, then it's a case of Laser-Guided Karma: Eaten Alive by things bigger and with more teeth then she had.
      • Toby's face while he's chasing her towards the Royal Palace Guards also counts. Toby has been established as a lovable and sweet goofball who loves tummy rubs and cheese crumpets. The look of "I am going to tear you to shreds the moment I get my teeth on you" is pretty jarring and it's clear Felicia is aware of what Toby is going to do to her if her screaming and terrified reaction is any indication.
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  • Ratigan becoming more and more of what he truly is during the battle on Big Ben. His clothes are torn, he's given up all pretenses at civility, and at several moments is scurrying about like a real rat. And it is terrifying.
  • Ratigan's savage beating of Basil tops them. We see this previously friendly crime boss tear his cape, run through a maze of gears to get to Basil, knock him from some roof on Big Ben onto the hands of the clock, leap down at him, tearing him with claws, throwing him around, etc... and then there are the sounds of pain Basil expresses. It's no surprise that an image of Ratigan during his fight against Basil was the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown trope image for a while.
    • Not to mention that, unlike their battle of wits where they're more or less on equal footing, Basil stands no chance against Ratigan at ALL in a physical fight, since Ratigan is a sewer rat and Basil is just a mouse. If Ratigan hadn't been taken down by the bells ringing, he would have torn Basil to shreds...or eaten him.note 
      • An extra bit of Fridge Horror? Basil managed to reunite Olivia with Mr. Flaversham seconds before Ratigan caught up to them, and it seemed to be partly the sight of Basil managing to rescue Olivia that pissed Ratigan off so much. Imagine if they hadn't managed to reach each other in time.
    • Also it didn't seem like Ratigan was too worried about an escape route or falling and dying himself. It seems that his only goal was to kill Basil and he didn't care what happened to himself in the process.
  • The beginning where Olivia and her father are having a nice moment, when someone tries to break down the door to get inside the store. The father hides Olivia in a cupboard just before the intruder breaks in, and when Olivia opens the door a crack to see what on Earth is going on, she sees the intruder viciously attacking her father. And that's more than the viewer gets to see.
    • It's worse than that: on Olivia's birthday, a criminal has broken into her home, attacked and abducted her father, and left her all alone in her father's trashed toy store.
    • We're then treated to a dose of Adult Fear mixed with Tear Jerker when Dawson finds her in the next scene. A tiny little girl, sobbing her guts out by the side of the street, alone, in the rain, at night. Why? Because her father's been taken from her and she got lost looking for the one person she thinks can help her. Thank goodness Dawson found her before someone else did...
  • Both of Fidget's jump scares, at the beginning and when he pops out of the baby carriage. He may be a bumbling minion to the true threat of the film, but Fidget proves himself to be a credible threat many times.
  • The Toy shop scene as a whole. First off Dawson bumps into a doll (Giant of course) which looks like it's going to reach down to grab him. Then there are the clowns, tons of clowns with terrifying evil leering faces. And to top it all off, Fidget returns to the toy shop to capture Olivia.
    • The buildup to Olivia's capture is just full of these. When Fidget turns on the toys, none of the heroes even have a clue as to what's going on until it's too late. All the while, Olivia is lured to the baby carriage where the bat is hiding by a Dumbo bubble blower, away from Basil and Dawson. And once the deed is done, he actively attempts to kill the two with the rest of the toys.
  • The Chinese mouse carrying a gun near the beginning. Fortunately, it calms down after you find out that it's just Basil.
  • One of Ratigan's previous crimes as mentioned in his song was the "Tower Bridge Job" which according to the song involved the drowning of widows and orphans. Additional material reveals that the job was basically Ratigan lining up a bunch of widows and orphans on the bridge and tossing them into the river to drown, seemingly just for the sake of it.
  • Olivia has a very close brush with death inside Big Ben. Ratigan throws her in between two of the clock's giant gears, and Basil manages to pull her out about a millisecond before she would have been crushed.
  • The entire bar scene can be rather offputting, where you have all manner of criminals and lowlifes all gathered in one place indulging in all of their vices.....Before it explodes into a full blown bar fight where every thug in the room is whipping out their clubs, guns, and fisticuffs as they proceed to absolutely trash the saloon.
    • Not helping are some of the more intimidating thugs found among the mix, like that big dude who tries to punch out the terrified piano player after striking him with a club meant for the drunken Dawson. Within two seconds, the bar is an all-out warzone.
    • To make it all the more disturbing it is Dawson who causes the entire thing after climbing up upon the stage drunk out of his mind! One must hope Basil didn't repeat this story back to him after he sobered up.
    • Fidget happens to be at the bar spying on Basil when the fighting starts. What does he do? He ignores the carnage behind him and carries on with his drink.
    • We never do find out the outcome of the brawl, who was arrested and Lord knows how many thugs ended up getting themselves killed in the chaos.
  • One relatively subtle but creepy moment is when Ratigan is intimidating Flaversham into working for him by threating Olivia's life. To emphasize his point, he plucks up the little transforming dancing doll that Flaversham made for his daughter and emotionlessly crushes it to a pulp in his hand. He looks at it indifferently, and then snaps at Flaversham, eyes wide and teeth bared in a feral expression - our first glimpse of the savage that lurks under the civilized exterior he tries to present.
    • Also a bit of Adult Fear for Mr. Flaversham. He's initially defiant towards Ratigan, not caring about his own life, but the mere thought of Olivia being harmed cows the toymaker into cooperation.
  • Ratigan's manner of killing Basil and Dawson. He has them tied to a mousetrap while they listen to a song he recorded, at the end of the song the trap would unleash, followed by a gunshot (a cannon to the mice!), a bow and arrow, an axe chopping them in half, finally ending with a giant anvil falling on them and crushing them. No Kill Like Overkill indeed!


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