- “A bit stuffy, perhaps, but really a fine fellow.”
- ―The Narrator describing Ratty
Water Rat is a major character and friend of Mole, Angus MacBadger and J. Thaddeus Toad from The Wind in the Willows, the first half of Disney's 1949 animated feature film The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.
Unlike his more laidback and easygoing counterpart from the original book, Disney's version of Ratty is portrayed as stuffy and sophisticated. He also appeared with Mole as alms collectors in Mickey's Christmas Carol.
Water Rat was introduced by the narrator as "a bit stuffy but a really fine fellow." Ratty, as he is sometimes called by his friends, was having tea with Mole (though he did arrive late) when he heard a knock on the door. It was the postman, who handed Ratty an urgent message from Angus MacBadger, another friend of Rat. Ratty knew that it means that Toad, another one of his friends, was causing trouble again by one of his manias. It was proven right when MacBadger told him and Mole about Toad's new Gypsy cart and a horse named Cyril Proudbottom, sending them to find it.
Rat and Mole managed to find Toad driving down the road after having just wreck a greenhouse with Cyril and the cart. Toad greeted his friends in a friendly manner and offered to "show them the world." Ratty turned down the offer and told Toad off for his behavior. (Mole seemed more intrigued) Toad laughed at his friend's words and gave Ratty and Mole the slip as they tried to get him off the cart. As soon as Ratty and Mole caught up with Toad, they noticed that Toad was acting more strange than before, making pouting noises and bouncing on the road. Ratty knew right away that Toad has a new mania: a motor mania. Ratty and Mole guides the crazed Toad back to Toad Hall and locked him up in his own bedroom, hoping it would help Toad get over the mania. Unfortunately, Toad escapes and was caught in a stolen motorcar, his case beginning
Ratty, along with Mole and MacBadger, was called to court as witnesses to the Toad case and heard Cyril's story about how Toad got the motorcar. Ratty and the others were completely shocked when Mr. Winkie, a barman present at the crime seen, accuses Toad for trying to sell him the stolen motorcar, which leads everyone to believe that Toad was guilty of the crime (Cyril though accuses him of lying). Ratty and his friends tried to reopen the case several times in other courts but their efforts were in vain, the courts refusing, closing Toad's case.
On Christmas Day, Ratty and Mole were saying grace for Christmas dinner and for Toad when the door opened to reveal what appears to be a little old lady fainting at his doorstep. Ratty and Mole were taking "her" by the fire when something heavy hit Ratty's foot, causing him to drop the person, who was then revealed to be Toad in disguise. When the trio heard a knock on the door, they figured it was the police, who came for Toad. Despite Toad's pleas, Ratty told him that he owes a debt to society and had the reluctant Mole let them in. But it was really MacBadger behind the door and he came in to tell the boys about his discovery of Weasels in Toad Hall with Mr. Winkie as their leader and bearer of the deed to the estate. Realizing that Toad was innocent all along, Ratty apologizes for misjudging Toad and agreed to help get the deed back to prove Toad's innocence to the law.
Ratty, Mole, MacBadger, and Toad rowed to a secret passage and kept Toad from blowing their cover when he attempted to shoot a night guard. Through the secret passage, they came into a room full of drunken weasels and Mr. Winkie asleep with the deed on him. Ratty and MacBadger had Mole get the deed by lowing him with a cloth rope. They almost succeed with the night guard, who found the secret passage, caught them and woke up Mr. Winkie. This lead to a violent chase for the deed. Ratty and the others managed to escape with their lives, though at first they thought they lost the deed, though Toad reveals he had it, bringing celebration.
Having proved Toad innocent, Ratty, Mole, and MacBadger were prepared for a New Year and were proud of a new, reformed Toad. However, their celebration was cut short with a banging sound outside. They ran to the window to find Toad and Cyril riding an airplane, much to their dismay, calling for them to come with him.
The duo first appear at the door of Ebenezer Scrooge, asking for money for the poor (as they are Alms Collectors), however Scrooge refuses them, kicking them out of his counting office, giving them a wreath that his nephew Fred gave him, startling the duo.
They are then seen at the end of the short film, on Christmas Day as Scrooge approaches them (having reformed, now caring for the poor and Christmas), giving them first, 20 gold sovereigns, though he then gives 50 gold sovereigns and finally 100 gold pieces, the two seeming startled yet still they appreciate the donation.
Ratty appeared in both versions of the Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, in Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The Walt Disney World version was replaced by The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. In the ride, he has the same role he had in the film.
- In the book, Ratty is portrayed as easy-going, living peacefully on the River, while Mole is more sophisticated, though not considered stuffy as Ratty is in the film.
- Ratty, Mole, Toad, and MacBadger all make appearances in Mickey's Christmas Carol, Toad as Fezziwig, and MacBadger only makes a cameo as a dancer as Scrooge's backstory is told.
- Unlike the film, Ratty and Mole go on several adventures throughout the novel, other than reclaiming Toad Hall such as into The Wild Wood to meet Badger and finding Portly, the son of Otter (a friend of Ratty's).