The Top 10 Disney Animated Villains (Part 2)
Continued from Part 1.
Number 5: Ursula from The Little Mermaid
Not only is Ursula on the list for being one of Disney's greatest villains, but this entry also serves as a tribute to Pat Carroll, the voice of Ursula who sadly passed away back in July 2022 at the age of 95. Her performance made this character a legend amongst animated villains and she will be missed. RIP Pat Carroll...
So let's honour her passing by talking about arguably her most famous role ever and why Ursula was such a great villain. First of all, her design is amazing. She's this huge overweight woman mixed with an octopus and also has one hell of an expressive face with that wide mouth, those devious looking eyes and those pencil thin eyebrows that radiate evil. If I ranked the Disney Villains in terms of designs, Ursula would be close to Number 1, no question about it! It's so easy to imagine that the animators working on The Little Mermaid had so much fun drawing her with how flamboyant and over-the-top she could be with her (shakes hips back and forth) BO-DY LANGUAGE, HAAAA! That leads me to another thing I love about her, her hammy personality. This woman is so full of life and has so much personality to her that she's just glorious and the movie would be considerably duller without her. With the expressive animation and Pat Carroll's lively performance, it really is a winning combination and Ursula would be nothing without either one of these elements. You can't separate the animation from Pat's performance, it's THAT perfect!
Anyhow, Ursula's main goal is to obtain King Triton's trident and take over the kingdom with her at its head instead of Triton. Yes she is a typical power hungry villain but like most Disney villains, she just has a ball with it and clearly is enjoying just getting to toy around with her victims at every available opportunity. She's a sea-witch and thus has magical powers at her disposal that allow her to change mermen and mermaids into humans and if any of them can't pay the price, they become withered, pathetic little creatures wallowing in her garden of sorrow. She can also turn herself into a human as well and comes close to ruining Ariel's chances with Eric as a result. That's pretty nasty! And of course, she too has a great villain song with "Poor Unfortunate Souls", a song so great that it's still considered one of the best villain songs of all time. That song is the best showing of her personality as she starts off the song slow and calm to reflect her manipulative, cunning nature and then in the second half she goes more loud, bombastic and crazy to reflect the true lunatic with a lust for power she really is.
With a tonne of villainous charm, an enjoyably over-the-top performance from her actress and an awesome design, Ursula is easily among the greatest Disney villains ever and no poor unfortunate soul would ever want to end up in her clutches...
Number 4: Scar from The Lion King
As if this bad kitty was never going to get a spot on this list. My favourite Disney movie (and favourite movie in general) deserves some representation here and Scar easily ranks among the best of Disney's animated villains. And naturally I'm talking about the Scar from the 2-D movie because the less we say about that joke of a character pretending to be Scar in the CGI remake, the better!
Scar also has one of the best designs of all the Disney villains for me. I mean a brown-coloured lion with yellow and green eyes and a black mane is ALWAYS going to look striking and make for an intimidating villain design. And the fact he's called "Scar" also tells you he's bad news. How Mufasa ever trusted this guy is anyone's guess. XD Scar is also one devious cat with his manipulative personality and propensity to operate from the shadows where he relies on putting everything into place before carrying out his plans. We see this with him tricking Simba into going to the Elephant Graveyard so the hyenas will eat him or especially his successful gambit that saw Mufasa ultimately killed in a wildebeest stampede and Simba feeling into exile while he assumes the throne and becomes the ruler of the Pride Lands. Now granted Scar does lose a few points for not killing Simba himself when he had the chance and thus allowing Simba to come back and ruin everything but it's not like he could've anticipated that and also the hyenas should be competent enough to kill a helpless lion cub. But I digress. Scar still deserves a lot of credit for being one of the few Disney villains to actually achieve his goal and to kill off a major character.
Scar also serves as a dark reflection of Simba, which also makes him a fascinating character to watch and to study as well. Simba had a very childish view on being king due to being a child at the time and yet Simba grew up to be a wise a noble ruler while Scar had a very childish outlook on being king in where he wanted all the power but none of the responsibilities and while Simba eventually returned to his responsibilities and sought to carry them out, Scar continued to be an irresponsible ruler and just led the Pride Lands into ruin. Whether it's incompetence on his part or some unspoken plan to make sure he would remain unchallenged, I don't know. But what I do know is that Scar is everything Simba could've been if he was never raised well.
Scar also gets one of the best villain songs ever with "Be Prepared" and much like George C. Scott, Vincent Price and Pat Carroll before him, his character was made whole with the fantastic performance of Jeremy Irons. His performance made Scar who he is and we can't ever imagine anyone else as the character. He's THAT perfect in the role!
Being a sly, scheming lion hungry for power and one of the only Disney villains to actually obtain his goals, Scar is easily the king of the Number 4 spot.
Number 3: Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty
NO, NOT THAT ONE!!!
That's better. ^^
Maleficent is an icon amongst Disney Villains and is easily the most popular of them all. So why is she only Number 3 on this list? Simple: I just think the next two entries are better than her and I've honestly always found Maleficent a little overrated to be honest. Like she's good but there are Disney villains that are way better than her in my opinion.
But that's not to say Maleficent isn't a great villain at all. She's an icon for a reason. Maleficent has this awesome design that truly radiates evil. She wears black and purple robes that make her look bigger than she actually is, has chalk white skin, thin eyebrows and even has horns on her head! Even her name sounds practically demonic! If that doesn't scream "evil" than I dunno what does! While Ursula would be close to Number 1 in terms of best designs, Maleficent would BE Number 1 on that list! She easily deserves it! Every time she's onscreen, she just looks incredible and is impossible to take your eyes away as she just commands your attention when she appears. But Maleficent isn't just all looks. She too has what most Disney villains on this list have: a tonne of evil charisma and a deviously enjoyable performance from her actress, Eleanor Audley (whom was also Lady Tremaine in Cinderella). Eleanor made this role her own and she just oozes with glorious evil charm with every word she says as this character.
Maleficent is easily the pettiest of Disney Villains with her goal of trying to kill Princess Aurora because the king and queen committed the great crime of...not inviting her to a party. This is why I tend to look down on her a little because that is an unbelievably pathetic motivation. Like really, THAT'S why she does this evil deed? (rolls eyes) Granted, apparently back in the day not inviting someone to a party was considered a social offence so that might explain her extreme reaction but that's still unbelievably petty. But despite how childishly petty this motivation is, Maleficent makes up for it by being so smooth and cool about it right before she casts her spell and she also shows herself to be a very powerful and dangerous threat to the kingdom with her powers so great that the good fairies can't stop her spell, only alter it, and she can even turn into a dragon to boot! That's always something to worry about! I especially love how when she casts her spells, they usually make the sound of a thunderclap. That's pretty badass. And as mentioned before, Maleficent oozes with so much evil charm that you almost forget how childish her motivation really is. And when you consider how determined she is to succeed in that goal, it only makes her even scarier to watch. The scariest villains are always the ones that are willing to go to any lengths necessary to achieve what they want no matter how many have to suffer in their wake...
While I don't view Maleficent as highly as others do, I wholeheartedly agree she is easily one of the best villains to come out of the Walt Disney Company and is easily the best villain to come out of the Walt Disney era of their animated canon. With an amazing design, gloriously evil performance from her actress and terrifying powers at her beck and call, she is well and truly the mistress of all evil...
Number 2: Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame
If I was ranking the Disney Villains in order of my favourites rather than who I consider the best, I would rank him as Number 1. I dunno why but I've always liked this guy and whenever I think of my favourite Disney Villains, Frollo would always come up first. In terms of the best though, there is still one greater. But Frollo easily deserves the Number 2 spot all the same.
I'd argue that Frollo might be the most realistic Disney Villain ever created. I mean that in the sense that he's the most likely villain on this list you'd meet in real life. People like Frollo DO exist in this world (as depressing as it is to acknowledge...) and I imagine that all of us have met at least one guy or at know of at least one person that is like Frollo. How so? For starters, he's a man in a huge position of power, being a judge and all, who loves to abuse that power whenever he pleases (like so many people in positions of power in this world...). And second, he's also highly religious in spite of not being the archdeacon like he was in the novel. Frollo represents both the dark side of politics and the dark side of religion as he uses his position of power to commit horrendous atrocities and acts of cruelty while also using his religious side to reason with the people and himself that he does what he does in the name of God. Once again, there are people like Frollo who do act like this and do use their religion as a means to do terrible things because they think it's what God wants them to do. It's the fact Frollo is so dangerously close to real life villains as to why he's so scary and intimidating whenever he's onscreen.
And now let's get into his list of crimes, shall we? He murdered an innocent woman, attempted to drown her baby until the archdeacon guilt-tripped him out of it, kept Quasimodo isolated for 20 years and is definitely an abusive father figure (mostly emotionally), wants to tear apart gypsies for the crime of being different to people like him, practically burns down Paris trying to catch ONE girl and then when he does catch said girl, he gives her an ultimatum of either choosing him or the fire. He does all that and still claims to be a good Christian. Frollo is easily among the most evil and vile of Disney's Villains and yet we just love him regardless. Not only is he such an intimidating villain, but he also manages to be darkly charming in spite of all that. All of that is of course down to the legendary performance of the late Tony Jay whose deep baritone voice made every line of Frollo's just ooze with devious charisma. This is another villain where you can't separate the character from his actor. Tony Jay WAS Frollo! Oh and he also gets the best villain song of all time too. That easily earns him a lot of points.
Frollo earns the Number 2 spot for being a frighteningly relevant villain who is scarily realistic while also being deviously charismatic in spite of his many atrocities. He is among the darkest Disney villains ever, appropriate as he comes from one of Disney's darkest movies, and you don't have to be a judge to pass sentence on the fact he belongs on the Number 2 spot.
So who could possibly top Frollo? Let's see shall we...?
And the Number 1 Disney Animated Villain Is: Jafar from Aladdin
Thank you! Damn those stupid remakes... X(
So of all the Disney villains out there, why do I consider Jafar to be the best one? What puts him at Number 1 above everyone else? I'll at least attempt to explain myself but of course, you're free to disagree and pick who you think should be Number 1
Anyway, Jafar is Disney's best villain in my eyes for a multitude of reasons. Once again he's another power hungry villain who proves that a simplistic goal doesn't stop you from being an entertaining villain. He wants the genie's lamp to become all powerful and he's just so delightfully crazy and over-the-top about it. You just know he's bad news whenever he's around and despite him being the villain, you can't help but laugh at him on occasion for his enjoyably crazy personality and for being the comically serious amongst a cast of zany characters. His design is also fantastic too. Yes he looks obviously evil but it's still a cool appearance with his narrow eyes, pointy shoulders, large turban, huge flowing cape and black and red costume. The animators knew how to make him look great in every scene and he was just as enjoyable to look at as he was to watch in action. It also helps that the animators made him very expressive too which fit his lively personality to a tee. And further reinforcing that was his unmatched performance at the hands of the always awesome Jonathan Freeman. His performance was one of many reasons we grew to love Jafar and he's such a riot to listen to every time I watch the movie.
Jafar is not only enjoyable thanks to the writing, his characterization and his actor's performance, but he's also one scary villain for just how much power he has at his beck and call. Even before getting the lamp, he clearly had some magical capabilities thanks to his magic snake staff that can hypnotise people and how he was able to conduct an experiment to find out who the Diamond in the Rough was. And then when he gets the lamp, he becomes a sorcerer with such great power that nothing can stand in his way and everything Aladdin tries barely even slows him down. He displays a variety of powers with his sorcerer magic and even transforms into a giant snake that gives Aladdin a tough time. It's only through Aladdin's quick-thinking that Jafar was defeated in the end! And even THAT didn't stop him because he came back in The Return of Jafar to cause even more trouble! What makes this guy such a threatening villain is how in both movies, he comes so close to winning and it's just frightening to think about what would've happened if he DID win in the end! The world as we know it would not be in a good place at all...
Jafar is an Arabian Nightmare that nobody should have to deal with. With his cunning and manipulative nature, his insane personality, his incredible design and the tremendous power he wields, Jafar is easily the best Disney Villain ever in my eyes and he didn't need to make a wish on a genie's lamp to get the Number 1 spot. He earned that himself. Jafar, the Number 1 Greatest Animated Disney Villain...
And that's it for this countdown. I hope you enjoyed it and as usual, you're free to give your own thoughts on these villains down below. Who are your personal Top 10 Disney Villains? Who do you think is the Number 1 Disney Villain? I'd love to hear your suggestions down below.
Next week, villains month continues with another Top 10 Disney Villains list...but these are the Disney Villains from OTHER media outside of the main Disney Animated Canon. Tune in for that list...if you dare!
AH, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!
All characters belong to Disney