In the newest Disney movie Wreck-It Ralph (in theatres now) we see just how hard it is to live the life of a baddie. In order to say thanks, here are a few of our favorite Disney villains, along with a few reasons why, despite (or sometimes because of) their evil intentions.
While the classic Disney version may not be as dashing or handsome as the newest incarnation appearing on Once Upon a Time, Captain Hook’s dastardly ways have forever earned him a special place in the pantheon of Disney villains. His vendetta against Peter Pan is almost endearing, especially because Pan almost always seems to get the better of him. His signature hook for a hand sets him apart from your run of the mill baddies, and his determination to settle the score is as adorable as it is deplorable.
This baddie may not have any qualities that make us particularly like her, but she definitely qualifies as a favorite, partly because she is just so unabashedly evil. Her lifegoal? To make a fur coat out of Dalmatian puppies. How wrong is that? Also, her ability to put trust in the dumbest of henchmen makes us question her sanity. Her penchant for black and white withstanding, she is probably one of the most colorful Disney villains of all time. Her mood swings and temper tantrums make it all the more pleasing to see the most adorable dalmatian puppies best her with nothing but a little soot.
While Gaston does not get nearly as much screen time as many of our other selections, he clearly makes up for it with his enthusiasm and flair for the dramatic. The 1st three quarters of the film portray Gaston as the annoying towns-person that wants to hook up with Belle behind the local tavern, and he almost seems forgettable… until his true colors shine through his greasy exterior. His pursuance of the Beast is entirely selfish and he manipulates everyone to get what he wants. What makes him a favorite, then, do you ask? Why, who couldn’t love a man who eats 5 dozen eggs every morning? Oh, and the antlers!
This is probably the most well-known villain in Disney history… especially when you factor in he is also one of the Greek gods. Hades certainly has a way with people and words that sets him apart from the other villains. He clearly has a well thought out plan that gets thwarted by less than stellar cronies (yes, we mean Pain & Panic). You have to give it to the guy, he bounces back! When his first attempt goes sour, he has a plan B, C, or D to follow in its stead. You almost feel badly when his final plan goes to hell (okay, pun intended). As if you don’t already love him enough, the guy has flames for hair… How cool is that?
Oh Jafar… where do we even start? As far as evil plots go, his was not exactly well thought out. He’s more of a go-with-the-flow kind of villain, and that clearly backfired. His surprisingly witty one-liners and excellent choice of sidekick (eh hem, pet, eh hem) in Iago definitely helped solidify his position as one of our favorite Disney baddies. A good thought materialized every now and then, but in the end, he was just outsmarted by a dashing street rat with a genie for an ally.
Perhaps one of the most iconic antagonists in the Disney collection, Maleficent has a unique style to her wickedness. If we bypass the whole she can turn herself into a dragon thing, she has the quiet benevolence that only truly great villains can harness. While Sleeping Beauty and Prince Phillip turned out to be worthy adversaries (with a little fairy help from Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather), Maleficent wormed her way into our pantheon of favorite villains. Plus, there is always that whole dragon thing. That’s seriously cool.
Scar. The only truly non-human on the list (clearly excluding the Greek god and the sorceress) certainly made an impact on the villain scene when The Lion King premiered. He not only killed possibly one of the greatest lions the world has ever seen, but he did it in such an underhanded way that you just can’t help but appreciate the ingenuity it must have taken to conceive and execute such a brilliantly evil plan. If you can look past the hate, Scar may have succeeded if only he hadn’t aligned with the hyenas. There’s always that one fatal flaw, and we’re afraid this was clearly Scar’s. His witty, sharp tongue will always keep him on our favorites list though, no matter how mad at him we are about the whole Mufasa situation.
Ursula may very well have one of the most iconic villain songs of all the Disney baddies. “Poor Unfortunate Souls” is just one of the many remarkable songs on The Little Mermaid soundtrack, but it puts to shame other villain songs (Gaston, anyone?). Ursula nearly gets away with her evil plan, but is felled once again by a seagull, as so many good plans are. Her creepy smile and dedication to her cause are just a few of the reasons that she will always remain one of our favorites.
This woman is probably the least likable of the list, as there are very few instances where she says more than, “Off with his head!” However, what she lacks in general likability, she more than makes up for in enthusiasm. Lacking any truly redeeming qualities, the Queen of Hearts is always eager and excitable, which always makes for a good laugh. Plus, who can’t resist quoting her when someone offends you. “Off with his head!”
Easily the newest member of this collection of villains, Mother Gothel was responsible for a couple of truly heinous deeds. Poor Rapunzel grew up thinking that this woman was her mother for crying out loud! Stealing babies is definitely a no-no, and trying to chain up their grown counterparts far away from their true loves is just the last straw. Her particular brand of villainy is what is nearly endearing. She may be selfish, but she knows what she wants and will do anything to get it. Tangled is a wonderful addition to the Disney collection, and Mother Gothel is a worthy new member of the favorite Disney villains club.