Your Friend the Rat

Synopsis: A forthright Remy and his reluctant brother Emile speak out for oppressed rats everywhere. Remy rolls film explaining that rats see themselves as on a par with men, who, instead, make war on rats. Remy gives a history lesson: heroism in India, black rat migration from the Middle East to Europe during the Crusades, the Black Death of 1347 to 1352, and Remy's contention that the flea was the villain. Enter the brown or Norway rat - from China. Both travel on ships around the world, with the larger brown pushing out the smaller black, and both live symbiotically with man. Then, Emile explains what's cool about rats. Trade phobia, Remy tells humans, for utopia. Any chance of that?
Director(s): Jim Capobianco
  1 win.
11 min

Hello, I'm Remy,

and this is my brother, Emile.


-We're here to speak out on behalf

-of oppressed rats everywhere.

-Oh, man.

Rats who don't have the access

to media that our movie affords us.

-We're speaking out?

-Yes, we have to.

We rats need to take a stand.

You said we'd sing something.

You know, joke around.

You did not say

we were gonna take a stand.

This is important. Humans need

to know. Humans need to...

Feed us. That's what you need to do.

Leave some garbage out

and we won't bother you.

Just leave the lid

on top of the can loose...

All right, all right, moving on.

This is a man.


A dog, man's best friend,

looks up to man.

A cat looks down on man.

We rats see ourselves as equal to man,

but you humans don't seem

to see it that way.

So it's been war, a war without end!


But this has

not always been true.

When has it not?

In India, the rat

is the chosen mode of conveyance

for the Hindu god, Ganesh,

and thus, sacred.

During the Roman Empire,

it was said to be good luck

to have a white rat cross your path.

Not so good if a black rat crossed it.

Rattus rattus, the black rat,

arrived in the West first,

hitching a ride

with the returning Crusaders.

In Europe, finding plenty of filth, grain,

filth, and...

Don't forget filth.

And more filth to eat,

the black rat quickly prospered.

Wait, wait, this is all wrong.

This isn't how we rehearsed it.

What, what's the problem?

It doesn't go from rats

and darkness to rats and death skulls.

Well, my script says rats

and death skulls.

You forgot the flea!

Rats didn't cause the plague,

the flea caused the plague.

-The flea is the whole point!

Just give him the flea.

-I'm in need of your assis...

No, not that one.

There it is.

Oh, that's disgus...

Xenopsylla cheopis, the rat flea.

See, this guy here gave the plague

to this guy here, a rat,

killing the rat.

Once the flea senses the cold,

dead rat,

it prefers to find a warm, live rat.

But, if a human happens

to come along, well...

From 1347 to 1352, the plague,

or Black Death, killed a third

of the population

of 14th century Europe,

and just as many, if not more, rats.

So, so what

stopped the plague?

No one really knows.

Maybe soap, closed sewers,

a change in temperature.

Or some believe, this guy,

rattus norvegicus,

the brown rat,

better known as the Norway rat.


That's us, right?


The Norway rat came from China,

and according to mythology,

brought the gift of rice to man.

Wait, wait.

The Norway rat came from China?

Yes, the rat even

holds the place of honor

as the first year of the Chinese zodiac,

a symbol of good luck, wealth,

intelligence, charm, charisma,

ambition, adaptability, versatility...

Shall I go on?

You're not making any sense.

We came from China,

-but we're called Norway rats?

I'm getting to that.

British naturalist, John Berkenhour,

named us Norway rats,

believing we had come to England

on a Norwegian boat.

The silly thing is, the brown rat

didn't live in Norway at the time,

more than likely, we came from

Denmark, but the name just stuck.


now we're from Denmark?

Let it go.

Kicked out of Europe

by his brawnier cousin,

the black rat joined explorers

and colonists seeking opportunity,

and some elbow room,

across the globe.

It wasn't until 1775 that the first

Norway rats arrived in America,

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    "Your Friend the Rat" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 20 Apr. 2021. <>.

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