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The Top 10 DreamWorks Villains (Halloween Special)

Updated: Nov 30, 2023


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Happy Halloween media fans!


It's that time of year again, the day of spooks, surprises and frighteningly fun frolics and of course, Halloween is that time to get in touch with our dark sides. And what better way to do that then making a Top 10 list about villains?


Last year I did plenty of villain related posts and while this month was dedicate to Disney because of its 100th anniversary, I feel we still need at least one villain related post to celebrate Halloween. And this time, I'm counting down the Top 10 DreamWorks villains.


While Disney holds the monopoly on iconic and memorable animated villains, DreamWorks are no slouch in that department either. They've created some of the most fun, diabolical, evil and memorable villains ever put to animation and some of these villains are arguably as iconic as the Disney villains. So I'm here today to celebrate the best of DreamWorks villains that the company has to offer in this spooky Halloween special for you all to enjoy.


Which ones make the countdown and which ones truly deserve the title of being the baddest of bad in DreamWorks's library? Let's find out. These are my Top 10 DreamWorks Villains...


Number 10: Megamind from Megamind

Megamind

OK, I'm cheating on this one since Megamind isn't the actual "villain" of the movie but given he starts off as a supervillain who later becomes a superhero, I say he technically counts as a villain for this list. Besides, I ain't putting Tighten on the list, not by a long shot!


Anyway, Megamind is still at the bottom of the list due to the fact that unlike the other DreamWorks villains, he actually reforms and isn't really the main villain of the movie. But during his stint as a villain, he proved himself to be an entertaining guy who's stylish outfits and hammy personality made him a hoot whenever he was onscreen. And when you consider he's played by Will Ferrell, it goes without saying that he's a lot of fun too. He just RELISHES being evil and getting to use his various gadgets to cause all sorts of trouble for the people of metrocity...sorry, I mean Metro City. He always makes a big scene for himself and makes being evil look so fun that you almost want to join him in his fiendish schemes. Well...that is until he realizes victory is boring and that without a hero to face, it's not so enjoyable anymore. So what does he do? Create a new hero of course! Too bad it went wrong but hey, it tells you how crazy talented this guy is.


Megamind makes the list for how fun and threatening he can be and let's face it, if he stayed evil he'd very much be someone to fear with how his vast intelligence can lead him to creating some truly powerful gadgets and inventions that make the people of Metro City feel lucky they had a hero like Metro Man at first and feel luckier still that Megamind reformed and became their new hero. He was an absolute show stealer and he made the movie was great as it was with his very presence.


While he maybe a reformed villain, Megamind was still pretty great as a villain before his redemption and he proves that it's not just his mind that's mega about him...


Number 9: The Toad from Flushed Away

The Toad

One could also say I'm technically cheating on this one since Flushed Away is more an Aardman movie than a DreamWorks movie but given both companies worked on it anyway, I say The Toad counts as a DreamWorks villain.


The Toad is another villain who's a hammy delight whenever he's onscreen and that's not just because of the fact he's voiced by Ian McKellen. Everything about him just seems larger than life from how he's always laughing merrily over his criminal antics or even the fact he has a large luxurious collection of various antiques over the years. Add the voice of Ian McKellen and you have one enjoyably over-the-top villain who is just enjoyable anytime he shows up. The Toad is pretty much Ratropolis's criminal kingpin and the film shows just how dangerous he can be just from what's implied or shown about him. I mean he has his own collection of frozen people who stood in his way for crying out loud! That's pretty dark! The Toad is as serious as they come and if you cross him, you'll quickly regret it and you'll be lucky to escape with your life as Roddy and Rita were.


Not only is the Toad a lot of fun while also being very threatening, he also a tragic side to his character which makes it easy to understand why he's the way he is. I mean if I got flushed down the toilet because of a rat, I'd probably hate them too. All this just fuels his desire for vengeance and it all builds up to an admittedly creative and clever plan which will take advantage of the World Cup final and how, as the film points out, many viewers will wait until half time before they go for a toilet break. How many villain plans rely on people needing to pee in order for it to work? XD As is, his creative plan is what makes him such a memorable villain and in turn, made Flushed Away a memorable viewing experience for me.


Hammy, theatrical, tragic, fun, threatening and with a creative plot, the Toad is one slimy customer and you don't want to deal with...


Number 8: Kai from Kung Fu Panda 3

Kai

Of all the Kung Fu Panda villains we've had so far, Kai is the weakest of the trio but I feel he still deserves a spot on this countdown for the kind of threat he is.


The Kung Fu Panda films have a habit of escalating the threat each villain poses. We went from one kung-fu master to a royal with an army and in the third movie, we get Kai who is easily Po's most powerful threat yet. He is a master of chi and is able to use it in a variety of ways. He uses chi to power himself up and make himself stronger and he's able to create jade zombies (or "jombies") from those he steals the chi of so he can give himself extra hands to fight it out with him. With his twin knives on chains, Kai just always looked so cool and badass whenever he was onscreen and once he starts swinging into action, you just knew that our heroes were in for the biggest fight of their lives. His appearance is great too as this huge muscular yak with oversized horns and his glowing green eyes also manage to make him look more menacing. And when you consider this guy is so powerful that even the Wuxi finger hold doesn't work on him, you really get Po's deadliest foe yet.


Kai is lower on the list than most of the other DreamWorks villains because while he is a huge threat and is compelling to watch because of how dangerous he is to our heroes, he's held back a bit by the movie trying to make him more comedic which is just at odds with how threatening he's supposed to be. Plus his backstory is pretty weak compared to Tai Lung and Lord Shen whom you'll see later on the list. But he's still worthy of making the count anyway thanks to his intimidating appearance, huge power level, cool weapons and you can never go wrong with a villain voiced by J.K. Simmons, can you? He was just perfect in the role.


With the power of chi at his comman, Kai is one bull you do NOT want charging towards you, not when you could end up as a jombie like his other victims...


Number 7: Pitch Black from Rise of the Guardians

Pitch Black

This movie is one of DreamWorks's less popular movies and yet it has quite the cult following with many, MANY fans still loving it to this day and wishing we got more out of it. I saw it for the first time earlier this year and...it's OK I guess but I don't think it's anything too special. But one thing I did enjoy about the movie was the villain.


Pitch Black, or the Bogeyman, was a dark delight to watch throughout the movie thanks to his dark powers and threatening appearance. He's this tall, dark, shadowy figure that looks to be made of black sand, a contrast to the Sandman where he's all bright and golden, and Pitch Black is a man who thrives on fear and intimidation. He is the nightmare to Sandman's dreams and he'll do whatever it takes to make sure everyone fears and knows him so he can remain powerful as a result. Pitch Black isn't just powerful, but he's very cunning as well. Throughout the movie he just constantly comes off like he's pulling everyone's strings and is a step ahead of the game no matter what our heroes do and he pulls off a lot of successful gambits that sees him take over the Tooth Fairy's palace and he even successfully manipulates Jack Frost in a way that causes further division amongst the Guardians and brings him a step closer to victory. It's pretty scary how clever this guy is and how he came so close to winning!


Pitch Black isn't just a menacing villain, but he's also oozing with evil charisma that makes him even more enjoyable to watch, and all at the hands of Jude Law's devilishly charming performance. He also has a pretty sympathetic backstory in how he can't be seen just like Jack Frost and despite being all about fear and intimidation, he has his own fear that drives him forward in his evil plans: a fear of being forgotten. He needs people to fear and believe in him or else he's powerless and is nothing more than a lonely guardian with no one to interact with. It doesn't excuse his evil plans obviously, but it's so easy to understand why he's driven to do what he does as it seems like a necessity that he brings terror to the children of the world.


Dark, menacing, charismatic, tragic and cunning as a fox, Pitch Black as one shadow you don't want lurking under your bed at night...


Number 6: Eris from Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas

I'm sure many of you reading this won't remember this movie and that's OK. DreamWorks doesn't really want to talk about it. I re-watched it for the sake of this list and found it to be...OK. Nothing great or terrible, just OK. But by far the best thing about the movie is easily the villain.


Eris is the Goddess of Discord and she THRIVES on that fact! Throughout the movie she's displaying pure sadistic glee at her actions and how much chaos she can sow just by pulling a few strings to get things to go her way. She's also very cunning and quite competent at pulling off complex schemes as we see in the movie. By framing Sinbad for stealing the Book of Peace and setting him off on his trip to get it back while Sinbad's friend, Porteous, is going to be executed in his place, the Kingdom of Syracuse would've fallen into chaos without an active ruler to be in charge and if it wasn't for the fact Sinbad proved to be more noble than even she believed him to be, she very much could've won in the end. That alone shows what a scary and threatening villain she is when her crafty planning brings her so close to victory.


Eris is not only threatening by her very nature as the Goddess of Discord, but she oozes seductive charm throughout the movie and with the voice of Michelle Pfeiffer purring in your ears in every scene she's in, she's the kind of villain where you know she's bad, yet you find yourself drawn to her in spite of that. Yet don't let her lovely looks fool you for she'll happily through you under the bus if it suits her needs. And being a Goddess, she can't be defeated or destroyed so even if Sinbad saved the day in the end, it'll mean nothing for Eris is still out there and free to cause more discourse in the future. Her last scene even has her crooning to him on how she has places to be and all that and something tells me she'll be all too happy to mess with him again in the future. That also adds to what a scary presence she is. How does one even handle a villain that can't be permanently dealt with?


Creepy, seductive, darkly charismatic, gleefully sadistic and a powerful goddess who's very presence means bad things will happen, Eris is the kind of villain who'll cause as much chaos as she can if it'll give her a lot of joy and pleasure, and there's nothing you'll be able to do about it...


Number 5: Goldilocks and the Three Bears Crime Family from Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Didn't think I'd be writing this list without including any of the villains from Puss in Boots: The Last Wish did you? Given how the villains are among the most praised aspects of the movie, of course I was gonna include at least a couple of them. Or in this case, four of them.


Goldilocks and the Three Bears crime family are...well, a crime family whom have a reputation for being successful at what they do and for being villains you don't want to mess with. And as the movie shows us, they're pretty good at their jobs too. While the bears may have their goofy sides to them, they're still freaking bears and are powerhouses in a battle, and in Papa Bear's case is surprisingly good on the piano too. XD Goldilocks is the head honcho of the group and throughout the movie we see that despite being an ordinary human armed with merely a staff as her weapon, she holds her own in battle very efficiently and never once misses a step. She always looked so cool out on the battlefield and it's easy to see why she and the Three Bears are successful criminals in this fairy-tale world that Shrek created. Her voice provided by Florence Pugh also helps in selling her as a tough no-nonsense criminal.


As mentioned in my review on Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Goldilocks is the most sympathetic of the villain ensemble we have here as she wants the Wishing Star so she can wish for a real family. Of course she learns that the Three Bears ARE her real family all along but her motivation behind getting the star and the wish she wanted to make added some layers to the character and prevented her from being too generic, which I loved very much about her. It was also a nice touch on how for the villains in the movie, the crime family are the most sympathetic as criminals they are, they are still a family and aren't entirely bad people. All that just made the four more enjoyable for me, as well as the fact they have a lot of good humour as well to make them entertaining throughout.


Slick in action, cool on the battlefield, sympathetically motivated and full of heart and humour, we can all agree that these villains were just right...


Number 4: Tai Lung from Kung Fu Panda

Tai Lung

I told you he'd be showing up on this list. ;)


Tai Lung made an immediate impression on me during my first watch of Kung Fu Panda because of what a complete and utter badass he is. I mean talk about making a big first impression by not only using a mere duck's feather as a means to escape his chains, but battling your way through an entire prison's worth of guards and barely breaking a sweat while you're at it! Tai Lung came off as this unstoppable juggernaut anytime he was onscreen and it got to the point where even Shifu is barely able to slow him down despite being the one who taught him his mad kung-fu skills. With his fearsome strength, incredible battle prowess and showing he's capable of quick-thinking and improvising on the battlefield to get one up over his opponents and his incredibly striking design, Tai Lung really was the great first example of what kind of foes Po would be facing in this franchise.


Tai Lung is memorable for many reasons and the fact he's a snow leopard is one of those examples. We don't get many snow leopards in media so that already gave him a design that makes him stand out from many other villains in talking animal movies and he just looks so cool with his bright orange eyes, muscular frame and white spotty fur. Add in the voice of Ian McShane and you have yourself a villain for the ages. Unlike Kai as mentioned earlier, Tai Lung has a sympathetic backstory but thankfully, DreamWorks made it clear that we're not supposed to sympathise with him. Instead, the backstory explains why he's the way he is and makes it easy to see why he went down this dark path. It's no wonder Shifu became so closed off and cynical after watching the student he raised from a cub to a warrior go rogue...


Tai Lung is one of Kung Fu Panda's best villains and I always enjoy watching him whenever I put the movie on. With a striking design, great martial arts skills, a tragic past, a menacing voice and a near unstoppable rage that drives him forward, this is one warrior whom we would be wise to steer well clear of...


Number 3: Grimmel the Grisly from How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Grimmel

How To Train Your Dragon has a pretty weak track record when it comes to their villains. You had the Red Death which was nothing more than just a predator and you had Drago Bludvist in where he was so one-dimensional that many people view him as among DreamWorks's most forgettable villains. But the third movie I feel finally got it right with this guy.


Grimmel was a cool villain from beginning to end and I enjoyed watching him in action when I watched The Hidden World because of what an effective threat he is. He's a very skilled dragon hunter and, darkly enough, very successful at what he does considering he's hunted the Night Furies to near extinction so he has quite the reputation to his name. And when you consider he's also drugged six powerful dragons into serving his every whim, it shows he isn't messing around with his job either! It's no wonder that he's the guy who poses such a threat to our heroes that the dragons had to go to the Hidden World to remain safe. With how dangerous Grimmel was, imagine if anyone else like him was out there hunting for dragons...


Grimmel isn't just a skilled hunter, but he's also fiercely intelligent and quite the cunning guy which is part of why he's so successful at what he does. He acts like this master chess player where he's just pushing the pieces across the board and planning his moves five steps ahead of everyone else. Hardly anything ever catches him off-guard and he exploits any opportunity he can to get one over the heroes, even going so far as to release one of Hiccup's friends he captured just so he can follow her to where everyone is and catch Toothless and the Light Fury. I always enjoy watching him play the heroes like fiddles and it only sold just what a threatening villain he was. To me, a good villain is someone who can outthink their foes and get ahead of the game and Grimmel was very good at doing that. Add in a darkly charismatic personality and F. Abraham Murray's performance and Grimmel really is the whole package in terms of cool villains.


With a cool design, intelligent mind, sharp hunting skills, dark charisma and a need to see dragons driven to extinction, Grimmel is a hunter who is always able to catch himself one heck of a prize...


Number 2: Lord Shen from Kung Fu Panda 2

Lord Shen

Often considered the best Kung Fu Panda villain, Lord Shen has long since established himself as among DreamWorks's greatest villains and is still fondly remembered by many who have seen Kung Fu Panda 2.

The first time I saw this guy, I was like "There's no way you can make a peacock threatening!" Boy was I happy to be wrong! XD Lord Shen is a genuine threat in spite of being a peacock and honestly, his design actually looks pretty damn cool with his white feathers, flowing silk robes and large tail feathers that only make him look larger than he actually is. And he also looked pretty slick in action whenever he was in battle. While not quite as powerful as Tai Lung or Kai, Lord Shen still possesses great kung-fu abilities that even allows him to give Po a tough time despite Po being the Dragon Warrior and his tendency to use a seemingly endless supply of feather knives or even his cannons to get an unfair advantage shows he's not the kind of guy to play fair. After all, playing fair doesn't help in achieving conquest. This adds to how dangerous Lord Shen is. What he lacks in power, he makes up for in brains for he not only commands an army of loyal wolves and gorillas to further do his bidding, he also created a weapon, the cannon, which is stronger and more effective than any kung-fu warrior out there. No wonder Shifu worried about how the cannon would "be the end of kung-fu"!


Lord Shen left a big impression on viewers for his cool design and intimidating presence but he also manages to be a fascinatingly complex character due to his backstory and his thoughts behind what he does in the movie. It does make one wonder how much of his motivation is down to believing he was truly unloved and how he feels he's come too far to stop now or change his ways? It's kinda sad when you think about it. Maybe if things had gone differently, he could've been a completely different person and his invention of the cannon could've been more altruistic. Alongside all that, they manage to make him surprisingly funny at times too, as is expected from Kung Fu Panda villains. His interactions with the Soothsayer are especially comedic highlights for me and I'm sure several others too. And of course, how can you go wrong when you have Gary Oldman playing your villain? His vocal performance only further added to why he was such a great villain.


With a striking design, great performance by Gary Oldman, a twisted personality and complex layers to his character, Lord Shen is the kind of villain that will be remembered for years to come. Maybe one day we should have the Year of the Peacock in his honour...


And the Number 1 DreamWorks Villain is...Death from Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Death

This guy is LITERALLY Death itself! And I don't mean that metaphorically or rhetorically or poetically or theoretically or any other fancy way. He is Death. Straight. UP. How much more can you get in terms of villainy?!


Some may disagree on this since technically, Death isn't really a villain but I say he's enough of an antagonistic force to be considered one. And when it comes to the villains of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, he's easily the one that left the biggest impact on not just me, but practically EVERY single person who watched this film. Death is straight-up TERRIFYING throughout the movie, announcing his presence with his signature haunting whistle that gets Puss himself fleeing for his life and stalking him throughout like a serial killer in a horror movie. Death is played completely straight here, which makes him a stark contrast to the franchise he's in for the Shrek franchise has always had pretty comedic but dark villains that never felt particularly scary or anything. Death on the other hand is so scary that Puss gets a panic attack just from being stalked by him! Anytime he was onscreen, the movie just got much darker and creepier and it only made Death even more memorable as a result. Not many family-friendly movies nowadays get to have truly scary villains like him these days and yet the makers were able to go full out with Death and make him as scary as the literal personification of Death should be.


His design also helps with his scary image too, looking like this huge werewolf creature with a Grim Reaper motif going on with him. His blood red eyes and twin sickles are so eye-catching that you just can't get them out of your head and anytime we see them, we know that things are about to go down hard! He looked so cool whenever he was onscreen and the animation showed beautifully just how dangerous and threatening he is when he's in action. Speaking of, being LITERALLY Death incarnate means he's the deadliest villain in DreamWorks history. Why? Because...he's Death. Death is inevitable. Death cannot be prevented or outrun. You cannot destroy Death either. Death will always catch up to you in the end and the only thing that'll stop him chasing you down and wanting to cut you to pieces is if you choose to live your life well and not laugh in the face of Death. All you can do is negotiate with him and hope your own death comes later rather than sooner and considerably under nicer circumstances. This is why he's so scary a villain and especially is one of those villains where he comes off as more frightening as an adult than as a child. Kids no doubt were scared of this guy but the adults in the audience I imagine were REALLY crapping themselves at this guy!


All of this plus a darkly charismatic performance at the hands of Wagner Morua and a sadistic personality that only made him more frightening, Death is the whole package in terms of great villains. He has it all: a fantastic design, a scary presence, a large threat level that makes even the bravest of heroes quake in fear at him, great power that sells what an unstoppable force of nature he is and just the fact he's Death itself makes him a memorably terrifying villain for a myriad of reasons. It's so easy to see why he's the villain we're still talking about even months after the movie's release.


Being the most terrifying force of nature there is, it's no contest for this list. Death is unquestionably the Number 1 Greatest DreamWorks Villain...


And that's all I have for this list. I hope you enjoyed the countdown and I invite you all to share your thoughts down below on the best DreamWorks villains. Do you agree with my choices? Do you have your own Top 10 DreamWorks villains? Feel free to let me know about it.


Join me again on Wednesday as we're still in the Halloween spirit. But this piece of media I'm covering is going to be something special as I'm reviewing a book published by a dear friend of mine...see you then media fans!



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Guest
Nov 01, 2023

Thomas Holmes:

Definitely agree on all counts, except for Eris. I’m probably would’ve included Rameses in her place myself.

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mrdarkcatify
mrdarkcatify
Oct 31, 2023

Well picks bro prefect for Halloween, I do agree Tai Lung is pretty badass villain even for Dreamworks standards! form Mullan eat your heart out!


Also, to be fair Flashed Away was to me pretty much mixture of Aardman (Character designs) and Dreamworks (CGI) so it's both!


Yeah, I do find Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas was meh at best however Eris is not only threating and cunning but eye-catching can't argue with that!

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Awesome list right there. I haven't watched Rise of the Guardians or the How to Train your Dragon movies at all so I cannot judge them. I only saw Megamind fairly late in life but I love his over the top hamminess. I love a villain with a certain ham factor.


But I can certainly agree with most of the other villains. And especially Death deserves the number one spot. Hell, probably he is currently my fav animated movie villain out there.

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Guest
Oct 31, 2023

Kinda knew some of these would be on here like How to Train Your Dragon’s villain and a few Kung Fu Panda villains, but I’m wowed you included Pitch Black on here as I quite liked him.


I personally feel it’s not fair you had just about all of the Kung Fu Panda villains on here yet only gave two lots of Shrek villains a shot in here even thoigh we had the Fairy Godmother and Big Jack Horner, but hey if these are your favourites then okay.

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