The Top 10 Disney Villains (Other Media) Part 2
Number 5: AUTO from WALL.E
From one Pixar villain to another, AUTO remains one of Pixar's most fascinating characters they've ever created for me.
AUTO is the autopilot to The Axiom, the ship that all the humans now live on after abandoning Earth to its fate after it became too polluted and overrun by garbage to inhabit. He is by far one of the most unique looking villains ever created with this fantastic design that evokes a steering wheel to a pirate ship while also having a futuristic bend to it. With his black-and-white colour scheme and glowing red dot eye, he looks like a mix of an Apple product and the HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odessey and he moves around the ship like a spider on the ceiling with how he can just go all over the cockpit as he pleases. As if that wasn't enough, he's even voiced by an actual computer programme, the MacInTalk system, and not a voice actor like other villains are, which further enhances his machine-like nature. The design and the voice overall combine elegance and creepiness as he's this all-seeing robot steering wheel with an emotionless tone to everything he says that keeps an eye on everything and everyone and can endanger the lives of everyone with ease if he has to. We see as such during the climax of the movie when he spins around to make The Axiom tilt to one side or pulling all resources he has to stop the plant reaching its destination.
Speaking of that, that segways into the next point with AUTO: his motivation. What makes him so fascinating as a villain is that not only is he a good example of a twist villain (be honest guys, did ANYONE expect him to be the villain at all? I sure didn't!) ...but he's also one of those cases where it's debatable if he even is one. AUTO's motivation is to keep up Directive A-113, which is to NOT return to Earth and despite the fact that order was given 700 years ago, AUTO is still adamant on following that order even if logic dictates that Earth is safe to inhabit again. AUTO's not really "evil" in this sense, he's a robot programmed to follow orders and this order just happens to be detrimental to mankind's survival and ability to live. What REALLY makes him evil is the lengths AUTO will go to in order to carry out that order. He will NOT waste time or waste any resources at his disposal to make sure that Directive A-113 is followed to the letter, even if he has to commit mutiny and disobey the captain to do it. It's just fascinating to have a villain like this where they can't really help the fact they're evil and it's debatable over how evil they really are as a result. Think about it, who's the real villain here? AUTO or the people that programmed him? I'm sure it's inspired many an interesting discussion amongst film buffs over the years...
AUTO is a fascinating creation both in-universe and out and is easily among Pixar's most interesting villains. While it's debateable how evil he really is, AUTO is a well-constructed machine that is more than worthy of the Number 5 spot on this countdown...
Number 4: Syndrome from The Incredibles
And now we reach our final Pixar villain for this countdown. Syndrome stands as one of Pixar's greatest villains ever and even to this day, there are people who still view him as one of, if not the best Pixar villain ever created. I would disagree on him being the best but he is easily one of the most memorable Pixar villains out there.
Syndrome is every celebrity's worst nightmare, starting off as an over-enthusiastic fanboy who wants to be the superhero sidekick to Mr. Incredible and yet when Mr. Incredible tells him to "fly home as he works alone", his mind snaps like a twig and he goes down a darker path in life that leads to him being who he is today. How many celebrities have had to deal with crazy fans like that in their lives? Yet I doubt any of them were as bad as this guy (or at least I HOPE not!) is! Syndrome has the classic supervillain appearance with the skin-tight bodysuit and cape and he looks striking with his black and white colour scheme, black and blue cape and large S over his torso. The giant fiery hairdo is a little silly but it works for a superhero universe. And let's just say he's every bit as evil as his appearance would suggest. Syndrome is an inventor who has a lot of useful gadgets at his disposal like his finger beams that immobilize his enemies, spy probes to search for bodies and even bombs he can use to try and incapacitate his foes. But by far his most diabolical invention is the Omni-Droid, a near-invincible robot that he tests on numerous superheroes and every model he makes is an improvement over the original so you're not guaranteed to beat it the same way twice. And it only factors into his most evil feature...
Syndrome is also one of Pixar's darkest villains for he has racked up quite a frighteningly high body count over the years. No joke, he has legitimately KILLED numerous superheroes with his Omni-Droid project! Even by Pixar standards, having essentially a superhero serial killer as the villain is pretty damn dark! His whole motivation is to rid the world of superheroes by using the Omni-Droid to pretend to be a hero and then sell off his inventions to everyone so they can be super too. As he famously said, "When everyone's super...NO ONE will be..." You have to admit, that's some motivation right there, trying to rid the world of superheroes by making superheroes ordinary. Not many villains try to pull off that kind of scheme, do they? I will say, the fact his entire motivation is down to Mr. Incredible not accepting him as a sidekick makes him unbelievably petty and the movie's not entirely clear on whether he's supposed to be sympathetic or not, hence why I knocked him down a few spots. But he at least makes up for that shortcoming with his enjoyably hammy personality, awesome design, being a genuine threat to our heroes (to the point he's already killed many superheroes in the past!) and being voiced fantastically by Jason Lee. Jason's performance especially I imagine playing a huge factor in why Syndrome's so popular with Incredibles fans.
Syndrome may not be a superhero or a super person in general with how evil he is, but he's easily one supervillain who was super enough in his villainy to claim a spot in this countdown. No need for him to fly home on this one...
Number 3: David Xanatos from Gargoyles
As I'm writing this post, I have only VERY recently seen Gargoyles. I never grew up with the show due to being way too young at the time it came out (I was literally a newborn when it first came out!) and it wasn't until I watched the Nostalgia Critic's review back in the 2010's that I was even made aware of its existence. I was struggling for entries on this list so I even went out of my way to watch Gargoyles on Disney+ for the first time to see if David Xanatos could fill in this spot. And needless to say...he does.
David Xanatos is your typical evil businessman. He's insanely rich, infectiously charismatic, cool as a cucumber and always has a way with words while proving himself able to hold himself well against supernatural beings. Basically, he's the Disney version of Lex Luthor. XD What makes David such a deviously enjoyable villain for me is just what a smooth, cool customer he is. He ALWAYS act chill under pressure and rarely ever lets his emotions get the best of him. Even when his schemes don't necessarily succeed, he just sees the bright side in his defeats and turns them into victories and seizes any opportunity that's presented to him. This guy is the prime example of "even when I lose, I win" and he's so good at this kind of chess master style planning that there's even an entire trope named after him about it! Seriously, it's near impossible to ever one-up this guy and that's what makes him such a compelling threat to the Gargoyles. Every time we think they've scored some kind of win against him, David still manages to twist things to his advanatge and seem a step ahead of the game. Of course there are times where he doesn't benefit from anything (especially concerning Thailog's creation) but most of the time, he's the one that will be on top at the end of the conflict.
David Xanatos is a scarily competent villain who is capable of planning complex schemes which allow him to emerge victorious no matter the outcome while also remaining a cool and charming man who can seem approachable and even friendly if you don't know the real man beneath that exterior. Combine all that with an utterly enjoyable performance from Jonathan Frakes and you have one of Disney's best villains they've ever created. He's more than a match for the Gargoyles and no cop can take him down for long, even one as competent as Detective Elisa Maza. But despite all that, David is also a very human villain. His type of villainy leans away from "cartoony supervillain" and more "human villain". He has very human desires and wants in life like wealth, love and a desire to be accepted among his peers (especially his dad), a desire to achieve immortality and he also doesn't believe in petty, worthless causes like revenge. That air of humanity and sensibility only makes him more fascinating and it also shows an extra layer of what a badass he can be too as in the two part episode The Gathering, he was willing to take on Oberon, the King of the Fair Folk himself, just to stop him from taking his son away. Yes people, DAVID XANATOS. A NORMAL HUMAN BEING. WAS BRAVE ENOUGH. TO STAND UP TO OBERON!!! That is badass and he deserves so much credit for that, even if he was fighting a losing battle!
As the head of a wealthy enterprise company, David Xanatos is easily the most competent threat the Gargoyles face in the modern day and remains endlessly fascinating thanks to his skilled, meticulous level of planning, his dark charm and the fact he still has that air of humanity to him that makes him more than just another supervillain. Xanatos more than deserves his place on this villainous countdown...
Number 2: Bill Cipher from Gravity Falls
I'm gonna confess guys...I don't really like Gravity Falls. I gave it a chance and watched the first season at least but its conflicting tones, filler episodes interrupting the plot and Lil' Gideon being such an annoying little sack of faeces that he made the show too unbearable to watch any time he was onscreen just didn't do it for me. As is, I'd be doing the fandom a great disservice if I didn't include Bill Cipher on the list. I don't even think that much of him myself but I'd still say he belongs here regardless.
Bill Cipher is a dream demon who has a much larger presence amongst the world of Gravity Falls than many might think, which is uncovered more and more as time goes by. His design is admittedly not very frightening and one of the reasons why I struggle to take him seriously. I mean he basically looks like a floating Dorito with a fancy hat and stick figure limbs. My niece and nephew could draw a more threatening character design than that! BUT...Bill is the prime example of how appearances AREN'T everything. While he may not look very threatening, he is in fact the deadliest threat to the people of Gravity Falls that they've ever encountered. He is a true demon through and through with his sadistic personality, tendency to manipulate and exploit people at his every whim and the fact he has powers beyond true comprehension. When we first see him, he's able to invade people's minds and make deals with people in order to commit whatever acts they may ask of him but as the series goes on, he displays greater powers such as possession, shape-shifting, telekinesis, telepathy and most frightening of all, reality manipulation. This IS the guy who can snap his fingers and rearrange the orifices in a person's face after all...
Bill Cipher is effective as a villain for being so powerful that he basically creates the whole Weirdmageddon event that serves as the Grand Finale to the series and comes close to actually succeeding in his goals to merge the real world with his world, but he's one of those villains who's evil and immoral...and he doesn't care tuppence about it. Not only is he casual in committing his atrocities, but he displays sadistic glee in what he does and enjoys messing with his victims in any way he can. Even Lil' Gideon comes to regret ever awakening him and we all know what a messed up creep HE was... Bill is also a highly intelligent schemer too whether it's his skilled manipulation tactics, loophole abuse whenever he makes deals with anyone or the fact he's been working behind the scenes for as long as he has in order to carry out his ultimate plan and gain a physical form so he can become all powerful and merge the two worlds together for his own ends. The fact he comes so close to succeeding really sells what a threat this guy is and how it really took all our heroes had just to defeat him in the end. And when you factor in the enjoyably over-the-top performance of Alex Hirsch, the creator of Gravity Falls himself, it makes it easy to see why Bill Cipher is among the most popular and memorable Gravity Falls villains.
He may not be my favourite villain ever and he sure doesn't come from a show I like very much. But Bill Cipher more than deserves to be the runner-up on this countdown and he didn't need to make a deal with anyone to get it...
And the Number 1 Other Disney Villain Is: Emperor Belos from The Owl House
Let's be real here, Emperor Belos is by far the best Disney Villain we've had in just about ANYTHING Disney related in the last decade or so. How could he NOT be Number 1? XD As you may remember, I already talked about him to some degree back in my review of The Owl House Season 2. So let's delve into further detail on why Belos is so great.
First of all, his design is incredible. When we first seem him, he's clad entirely in large robes that hide his true frame, a massive cape that encompasses his whole body and a strange mask that looks like some kind of bird, deer creature. When he first appears, we're left wondering what he even is so the fact he turned out to be human in Season 2 only made it more shocking as a result. His human design is great too with his appearance making him look like a gentle, withered old person who looks friendly and welcoming...which is merely another mask that hides the true monster he is. Originally a human from a much older point in humanity's history named Phillip Wittebane, Belos harbours an enormous grudge against witches and magic of any kind and upon finding himself stranded in the Boiling Isles, he saw to it that he would take over and make the place his own. And his own place he made it. Creating the Covent System that the modern day Boiling Isles runs on and manipulating others into crowning him Emperor of the Isles, Belos is merely using all this as a means to an end in which he hopes to carry out what he dubs "The Day of Unity" in which he'll wipe out all magic from the isles and make himself all powerful.
Let's not also forget that he’s a guy of his time, brought to believe the views his elders believed that utterly twisted his views on the world and the lengths he goes to are beyond disturbing in regards to Hunter and Caleb. He couldn’t let go of his hate, not when somebody he loved grew to love the world he hated. It's even implied thanks to background details in the episode "Hollow Mind" that he even killed his own brother in the end due to him falling for a witch and loving the Boiling Isles while he despised it. That's pretty nasty, as is the fact he convinces himself and tries to convince Luz he's doing the right thing with what he does, as so many of humanity's worst villains would often do. Speaking of Luz, due to time travel shenanigans, she pretty much ends up creating Belos in a way. No doubt that must be weighing so heavily on her conscience right now and is also true to real life in how sometimes, we create our own enemies through our own actions...that's pretty heavy for a villain in a Disney cartoon.
Belos is terrifying in many ways for the fact he's not only a frighteningly relevant character in today's society with how extreme prejudices can get and how they can lead to all the horrors that many bigots will commit because of said prejudices, but the fact he's one of the most successful villains in Disney history. He ACTUALLY succeeded in conquering the Boiling Isles, developing a cruel system that separates everyone into their own camps under the pretence of "getting rid of wild magic" and has been in charge of the Isles for possibly hundreds of years at this point! Using Palisman magic to keep himself alive for all this time, Belos has achieved near immortality in order to keep up this long game of his and it's all so he can rid the world of magic and destroy all the witches and wizards of the Isles for his own needs. Had it not been for Luz and the gang, he could well have succeeded in THAT too! Combining all that with a deviously charming performance at the hands of Matthew Rhys, a darkly charismatic but threatening personality and commanding such incredible power that every time he and Luz are in battle he's pretty much toying with her makes for one hell of a compelling villain that only adds to what makes The Owl House such a treat to watch. Belos COMMANDS your attention and it's impossible not to find yourself intrigued by him every time he's onscreen.
Emperor Belos is the kind of villain that modern Disney Villains should take cues from. With his scary presence, despicable motivation, dark charm and immense power he controls, it's easy to see how Belos not only conquered the Boiling Isles, but also conquered this list. He has become a highly memorable antagonist amongst The Owl House fandom and is easily the Number 1 Other Disney Villain...
And that's all I have for this list of the Top 10 Disney Villains From Other Media. I hope you enjoyed it and feel free to suggest your own villains from other Disney Media below. Which ones are your personal picks and do you agree or disagree with my own picks? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
Villain's Month continues next week as I review the DCEU's latest installment...Black Adam. Join me then...if you dare!
AH, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HAAAAAAAAA!!!!
AUTO and Syndrome belong to Disney/Pixar
Emperor Belos, Bill Cipher and David Xanatos belong to Disney, Dana Terrace, Alex Hirsch and Greg Weisman respectively.