Poor lil guys.
Animated movies (because of course no live action movie could escape depicting them as the adorable little buggers they are) design them like they’re tiny vicious wolves who will sneak into a house just to murder your baby
when they’re actually these big plushy doofuses with perpetually ridiculous expressions, and courtesy of their extremely social nature and proclivity for living (and getting along) in huge groups, are a lot less likely to go aggressive on you than, say, a Syrian hamster or a cat or other animals that are/were originally exclusively solitary.
(Yes, they did carry the plague, but a) the real vector was the fleas, not the rats, and b) that was Rattus rattus, whereas any rats you’d likely encounter today are Rattus norvegicus, an entirely separate species that has a different relationship with pathogens.)
And this is why I started designing adorable rat merch. There are too many cartoon portrayals of rats like this and it needs to stop. Mind you, The Secret of NIMH did a decent job with its rats, the only really scary one was Brutus, the rat in that screencap, Justin and the rest of the rats were portrayed well (and you should TOTALLY read the book for more amazing rat stuff, the book is much better than the movie).
Hey not all animated rats are portrayed evil!
Pixar gets it!
The Amazing Maurice and his educated rodents Radio show has David Tannant in it and Its so good!