Disney animation is king when it comes to animation films. The studio’s animated films are legendary for their top-notch artwork, catchy songs and exceptional word building. But Disney animation’s crowning glory must the list of iconic villains in its pantheon of famous animated movies. Here are some of the best Disney villains:
Maleficent (in ‘Sleeping Beauty’)
Maleficent is one of the most compelling villains in the Disney catalogue. With her name coined from the word ‘maleficent’ (which means capable of harm or evil),she is a wicked, scheming fairy who places a curse on a baby Princess Aurora so that she dies when she reaches 16 years old. This is just because she is not invited to the christening of Aurora. Even when fairies send Aurora to deep sleep in attempt to stop her evil scheme, she imprisons the man who can break the spell with a kiss.
Ursula (in ‘The Little Mermaid’)
This vicious, deceptive and manipulative sea witch is the antagonist in the film. She makes deals with people to fulfill their desires, but if they default, they become her possession forever. She is also power- hungry and has designs on king Triton’s throne- which she schemes and finally gets using a magical contract that is legally binding.
Her most evil deed is tricking Princess Ariel, King Triton’s youngest daughter into signing a contract that leaves her mute. Triton, the king of Atlantica, is forced to sacrifice his throne so as to save her. She also disguises herself as a human to stop Prince Eric from kissing the main character which would break the curse.
Cruella De Vil (in ‘101 Dalmatians’)
This fashion obsessed, sycophantic and sinister heiress is downright despicable. This is reflected in everything about her- from her clothing, repulsive smoking habit down to her vain and condescending manner. But her biggest claim to infamy is the desire to skin the most lovable puppies in the world to make a coat. In the film, she causes a high speed car chase and almost succeeds in forcing a lorry carrying the Dalmatians off a cliff.
Lady Tremaine (in ‘Cinderella’)
Also called the wicked stepmother, Lady Tremain’s abusive and cruel treatment of Cinderella makes her one of the most hated Disney villains. Her disdain for Cinderella makes her to undermine Cinderella’s efforts to gain Prince Charming’s favor since she would prefer one of her daughters to marry him instead.
Scar (in ‘The Lion King’)
There are few villains in the Disney catalogue as deplorable and wicked as Scar. This is the bad guy who does not attack you, but will instead choose to plant a seed of despair and doubt in your mind and enjoy watching it grow. Named after the mark on his face, Scar orders the murder of his own brother and convinces Simba (the protagonist) that it is his fault-and is consequently banished from the kingdom. Scar and his friends do anything necessary to grab power for himself and actor Jeremy Iron’s honeyed and smug voice plays the role to perfection.
The evil Queen Granhilde (in ‘Snow White’)
This is the archetypal Disney villain. She has an obsession with being the fairest and she transforms into an ugly witch. She tricks the protagonist (Snow White) into eating a poisonous apple that causes her to fall into semi-permanent sleep.
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