Rat Movie: Mystery of the Mayan Treasure is a 2014 American independent animated crime/mystery/thriller film, and the film debut of singer, songwriter, director, athlete, and midget Jeremy Elbertson. Elbertson directed, wrote, cast, edited, composed and animated the film under the stage name "Jerma985". The film stars Elbertson himself, Steven Serge, and "Boo". In the film, a group of thieves compete with a band of sentient rats to unearth and steal an ancient treasure while a police force attempts to thwart the heist. It incorporates Elbertson songwriting and singing skills, and its original soundtrack became popular, with the single "We're the Rats" reaching #3 on Uncle Tony's Hits, and was covered by several different artists.

Rat Movie was released in international theaters on November 6, 2014. The film was a financial and critical success, grossing over $700,000 on an undisclosed small budget and remains Elbertson's most popular work. The film spawned a sequel in 2015, Rat Movie 2: The Movie.

Plot Edit

In the middle of the night, The Rats and their leader The Giant Rat sing their legendary chant:

Rats: Rats, we're rats, we're the rats. We prey at night, we stalk at night, we're the rats.

Giant Rat: I'm da giant rat that makes all of da rules!

Giant Rat and Rats: Let's see what kind of trouble we can get ourselves into!

During this time, Dick "Dastardly" Richard assures that Button-Up Barry remembers "The Plan" while sitting in a dimly-lit castle bar, which entails getting the treasure, getting out of there, *interrupted by Dr. Digestion, and getting it [the most important thing]. Dr. Digestion decides to drive, as it was—or at least he claimed it to be—his birthday. Button-Up Barry contemplates aloud when they had a rat problem and is quickly met with a response of "We don't."

They then proceed to leave the castle at speeds often described as "The fastness I want." After driving all night, Dr. Digestion soon becomes lost, and they find themselves to be in a city. After driving all night, the characters' judgement was impaired to the point that Dr. Digestion drives over a random pedestrian crossing the street. Dr. Digestion then proceeds to drive straight into two oncoming taxis which explode on contact. Button-Up Barry then asks the others to remind him that, the next time they perform a heist similar to this one, he should get his "Nan" to drive instead.

At the cafe, a man dances; the clerk informs him that there is a fee of $10 to dance at the establishment. He is interrupted by Dr. Digestion smashing the car through the front of the cafe. Dick Richard calls for the attention of the room and alerts them of "The Plan" to take the treasure in the backroom. The man escapes during the commotion, the thieves take the clerk with them to the back, and the statue in the back of the room comes to life to pursue them.

Dick Richard rushes to the treasure chest and wonders if the treasure exists and it is located within the chest. His hopes are soon realized, but he is soon interrupted by Gerrard, Guardian of the Treasure Chest of the Mayan Temple. The Giant Rat and his Rats enter, chanting their usual chant, to abduct and drop Gerrard off of the nearby opening in the Earth's crust. Dick Richard then attempts to convince the Rats that his treasure shall not be taken, but to his dismay, he is killed by the Giant Rat. Dr. Digestion, distracted by birds, unknowingly walks toward the Giant Rat. They argue about their favorite movie for a while. Dr. Digestion kills the Giant Rat with one kick. He then contemplates his life choices while a nearby rat absorbs the power of the Giant Rat to become one himself. Dr. Digestion is then killed by the new Giant Rat.

The police have pulled up to the cafe, and are interviewing the dancing individual. They learn of the Giant Rat's presence, and Sergeant "Pickles" is sent in to investigate and get candy corn for the other officer. The Rats are moving the treasure chest, and are being chastised by the Giant Rat. They soon are interrupted by the police and hide. The Giant Rat uses his newly gained powers of subterfuge to disarm the officer, who seems to not have realized any misdeeds. The Giant Rat bids him adieu as a Rat sneakily hides on his shoulder.

Sergeant Pickles alerts the other officer of the lack of information, but are greeted by Sergeant Scritchy-Scratch of the Cat Police, who relieves them of their duties. As Sergeant Pickles is leaving, Sergeant Scritchy-Scratch notices the Rat on his shoulder. The Rat notices that he's been found, steals a police car, and crashes it through the cafe. He informs the Giant Rat of the presence of the Cat Police's presence, to which the Giant Rat cedes his treasure to escape the Cat Police. They drive the Police Car through the back of the cafe but are immediately stopped by a roadblock. The Giant Rat flies off of the car and cries a dying screech, soon to be apprehended by the Cat Police.

In an avant-garde ending, a UFO with a cat's head on top is seen destroying a planet. It is unknown if this is the same planet that Rat Movie occurred on.

Cast Edit

  • Jerma as the Rats, the Giant Rat, Dick "Dastardly" Richards, Sergeant Pickles, Gerrard Guardian of the Treasure Chest of the Mayan Temple, Sergeant Scritchy-Scratch, unnamed police officer
  • Ster as Dr. Digestion, unnamed cashier
  • Boo as Button-Up Barry

Production Edit

Principal photography began sometime in late October 2014 when Elbertson redownloaded Windows 3D Movie Maker and began to make his first original film for his directorial debut. He had previously used the software to make allegedly hundreds of movies with his friends that were "way more detailed" than Rat Movie, spending even months on projects in the past.[1] None of these movies have ever been released.

Elbertson originally intended to produce a movie using real Nickelodeon assets such as characters from Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Ren & Stimpy, and Rugrats, that came with Windows 3D Movie Maker. However, in fear of copyright infringement, he changed his mind and decided to make an original story with an original world and characters.[2] As production continued, Elbertson spent much more time on the project than he initially expected to, going on for as long as two whole weeks. Some more complex segments of the film, such as the Rats' getaway from the Cat Police at the climax, allegedly took four-and-a-half to six hours to film.[3] At some points, Elbertson grew increasingly frustrated with the instability of the crew and production, struggling with the window size of the cameras and programs.[4] Elbertson claimed that near the end of production he was also inebriated with alcohol, so he doesn't remember much of his planning on the story or characters for the latter half of the film.[5] When asked about the stunningly artistic ending of the film, Elbertson explained that he had been working on the production for longer than planned and needed to have a project finished by the first week of November, so he just needed to end it swiftly and with grace.[6]

When asked about the Giant Rat's favorite movie being Disney's Frozen, Elbertson explained that it was originally going to be Aladdin. It was an improvised line, resulting from the director asking for some frozen yogurt and messing up the Giant Rat's lines, and was left in the movie.[7] He has also gone on record saying that his favorite part of the movie is when the police officer jokingly interrogates the Giant Rat.[8] However, there are other scenes that Elbertson was not so fond of. In hindsight, he despises and regrets the "giant pickles" line with Sergeant Pickles outside the cafe.[9]

Elbertson was initially skeptical of the film's future performance with critics and the box office, being shocked by the cultural and financial significance Rat Movie ended up having.[10]

Music Edit

Rat Movie featured a soundtrack composed by the staff at game development studio Microsoft Kids, featuring the hit single "We're the Rats" written and performed by Elbertson himself. "We're the Rats" ended up reaching #3 on Uncle Tony's Hits, and was covered by several different artists in the years to come.

Marketing Edit

Rat Movie featured little marketing whatsoever. It was explicitly advertised to those who were subscribed to Elbertson online circles and sometimes would show up in people's recommended videos for some reason.

Release Edit

Theatrical Edit

Rat Movie was released worldwide in theaters on November 6th, 2014.

Reception Edit

Box office Edit

The film had a worldwide opening of $700,000, completely overshadowing the minuscule budget the film was made on.

Critical response Edit

Upon its release, Rat Movie was met with unparalleled praise and adoration by the world. As of August 2019, the film has 1.3 million individual viewings across the world. When likes and dislikes are calculated into a percentage, the film has a 99.99% positive rating.[11] The film also has a current 9.1/10 rating on IMDb.[12]

Cultural influence Edit

Rat Movie has been an incredibly influential film, arguably changing the face of pop culture as a whole since its release. It has been acknowledged by celebrities such as Lil Nas X[13] and Lena Raine[14].

Sequel Edit

Due to the unexpected critical success of the film, a sequel to Rat Movie, Rat Movie 2: The Movie, was produced and released a short time later on April 7th, 2015.

References Edit

  11. We're serious, do the math yourselves

Navigation Edit

Rat Movie Cinematic Universe
Main Characters The Giant RatDick "Dastardly" RichardsButton-Up BarryDr. DigestionGerrardSergeant PicklesSergeant Scritchy-ScratchMichael
Factions The RatsCat PoliceThe Dogs
Films Rat Movie: Mystery of the Mayan TreasureRat Movie 2: The Movie
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