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After Mr. Fox's fight with Rat, we have the following scene:

Mr. Fox: All these wasted years, what were you looking for, Rat?

Rat: Sssss …

Ash: He's trying to say something, Dad.

Rat: Cider.

Mr. Fox (scooping up a handful of a thick, dark, syrup): Here you are, Rat. A beaker of Bean's finest secret cider.

Rat: Like melted gold.

What does this scene mean? Wasn't Rat already guarding Bean's secret cider cellar? When Mr. Fox first robs Bean, we see Rat drinking from a beaker of cider. So, what gives? Was that not the secret stuff?

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In my opinion this scene was part drama and part parody of overly dramatic evil character death scenes in movies.

The scene implies that everything that Rat does was motivated by his love of cider, so we can safely assume that he was being paid in cider for guarding the cellar. It's not that the cider was something he couldn't get a hold of, it was something that he couldn't get enough of. As he lay dying, all Rat could think of was getting one last sip of cider. A saddened Mr. Fox gives him a sip of muddy water instead since no cider was handy, and the dying Rat was in no position to notice and his imagination took over.

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  • An excellent answer. Thank you :) I'm pretty certain I've come across a similar drinking-something-on-deathbed story before. (There also appeared to be more to the Rat-Felicity Fox relationship than was explained.) – coleopterist Dec 26 '13 at 19:54
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    @coleopterist - IIRC it is implied that they slept together in the past and that Rat was from her only lover. – System Down Dec 26 '13 at 19:55
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I think that the fact that the Rat was always seeking pleasure with Cider (because he really loved it and could never get enough) secretly exposed a much darker and tragic theme, the theme being addiction... In this case, it was more about drinking problems or alcoholism. As Mr. Fox asks him, ''All these wasted years, what were you looking for, Rat?'', the Rat replies ''Cider''. Taking into consideration that cider contains alcohol, we suppose that the Rat had been wasting his life drinking this sweet syrup that he could never get enough of; probably suggesting that he was addicted to it and it blinded him for all these years.

So yea, when I watched this scene I felt very sad because for me the Rat was blind (figuratively) and died with his only purpose and desires being to get more of this alcoholic apple cider.

BTW, I'm not sure if it has anything to do with it but the Rat always had very red eyes maybe suggesting alcohol problems.

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