Top Five Disney Villains

So I was listening to a Disney podcast the other day (actually, the one I recommended in a previous post) and I heard a fun little rumor regarding Gaston’s Tavern in Disney World’s New Fantasyland. There may be an event that takes place there called “Unhappy Hour” where all the villains get together and lament about their thwarted evil plans.

The idea got me so excited that I decided to create a list of my favorite villains, with whom I’d love to share a pint of LeFou’s brew.

5. Hades

Okay, he’s not your classic villain. That’s why I love him! After so many dark, brooding characters (who were also great) it was refreshing to have Hades’ quippy, spitfire routine.  Fun fact, Hades was originally going to be a “Jafar” type character (the part was written for Jack Nicholson) until James Woods auditioned and added his own spin to it. A lot of his lines were improvised. Favorite part? When Pegasus blows his hair out. Great stuff.

4. Evil Queen

Evil Queen

It’s hard to beat the original (although, in my opinion, three did). The animation on the evil queen is just so beautiful. There is a masterful elegance to how incredibly evil this broad looks. Plus, even if she’s not the fairest she certainly had the best catch phrase of them all. Although, you have to question her logic when, in order to kill Snow White and become the most beautiful in the kingdom, she turns herself into an ugly old hag. Well, hopefully it wasn’t permanent.

3. Ursula

I think my affinity for this character comes almost entirely from the sheer awesomeness of the song “Poor Unfortunate Souls.” It’s one of my favorite Disney songs of all time. But Ursula herself is a pretty entertaining villain. Her deep, liquidy voice oozes a delightfully false charm. Hats off to her voice actor, Pat Carroll, as well as lyrcist Howard Ashman who (besides giving her some killer lyrics) coached Carroll into some of Ursula’s more memorable moments. Carroll credits Ashman with giving her the special pronunciation of “innit it” as well as her famous lip pop on the word “zipppp.” For a special treat, listen to Ashman’s original demo recording of the song:

2. Maleficent

Even if she’s not my favorite villain of all time, she is definitely the most, well, malicious. She was named well. Evil doesn’t even begin to cover it. This. Chick. Is. Messed. Up. Most villains, though nefarious, have a legitimate motivation. Revenge, world domination, unsettling lust for a dark haired gypsy…but Maleficent was just pissed because she didn’t get invited to a baby shower! Who wants to go to those anyway?

So what does Maleficent do? She promises to kill the baby…in 16 years. Have fun sweating that one out guys! So 16 years pass, and Maleficent, still pissed about the baby shower, delivers on her word. Girl gets her finger pricked and takes a snooze. But lo! There is a suitor! And instead of just killing him, Maleficent decides to make him wait in a cell for a hundred years and then set him free. So he can kiss his true love, and awaken her. Except then she’ll still be 16 and he’ll be over 100…yeah. What’d I tell ya? Twisted. Plus she can turn into a dragon. I love it!

So who on Earth can top that? Well…

1. Scar

Oh, how I love this villain. Anyone who knows me knows I have a great love for puns and sarcasm. And Scar delivers both with great skill and cunning. My favorite scene in the whole movie is the first encounter between him and Mufasa. So punny. You can tell he really did get the “lion’s share” of brains in his family.  I could listen to him say “Oh, I shall practice my curtsy” all day long.  Plus, kudos for a truly awesome entrance. Giant paw kills mouse. Hello villain. True, he killed Mufasa and made me cry like a little girl, but I forgive him. Because he hates “It’s a Small World” as much as I do.

Honorable mentions go to:

  • Jafar
  • Frollo
  • Captain Hook

List your favorites below!

  • Ian Perkins-Taylor

    Yes, it’s all about the villains!!! While they don’t always get the best songs (although you noted the exception of Ursula), I just love their slimy, evil mannerisms. And, as is obviously warranted by a top five list, I have to add my own picks to the mix.

    Maleficent and Ursula are definitely up there, and Scar is borderline for me, but I can’t believe that you left out two of my favorites: Jafar and Frolo.

    Jafar is by far the slimiest villain (with the literal exception of Ursula of course), due to his lust for Jasmine, but that’s what we love about him. And his alter ego, the prisoner who helps Aladdin escape jail and find the cave of wonders, is great if only for his toothy, yellow smile. So maybe he can’t even defeat a street rat despite having power, sorcery, and finally phenomenal cosmic genie magic, but we don’t really want him to win and get Jasmine anyway.

    And then there is Frolo. The best villain in the entire Disney canon! He can talk, he can sing, he can set fire to all of Paris, and all while maintaining that creepy, brooding look that sends shivers up our spine. But seriously, everyone knows that Hellfire is basically the greatest song that Disney ever wrote, both musically and for breaking all the rules on keeping sexual desire and religion out of the movies. Heck, the voice actor is so good that he had two lines in Beauty and the Beast and he got hired for another movie, just because of how evil his voice is!

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