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By Kristen Kranz (@kranzie85) at 1:00 pm, November 12, 2012

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.

Captain Hook (Peter Pan)


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.

Cruella de Vil (101 Dalmations)


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.

Gaston (Beauty and the Beast)


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!

Hades (Hercules)


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?

Jafar (Aladdin)


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.

Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)


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 Lion King)


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 (The Little Mermaid)


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.

Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland)


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!”

Mother Gothel (Tangled)


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.

What do you think? Did we miss your favorite Disney villain?

Which Disney villain do you love to hate most?

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  • http://forgiveyourmind.tumblr.com/ Tariq

    I can’t pick between Maleficent and Ursela! Or Hook. Ahhhh! FANTASTIC article!

  • http://twitter.com/SofMarie93 Sofia Thomas

    This is officially one of my favorite Hypable articles. Hades is definitely my favorite villain!

  • http://twitter.com/eiVega eiVega

    Aww, you missed my favorite Disney villain of all time: Judge Claude Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre. He is so under-appreciated! Okay, here’s my spew:

    I think he is more dynamic than most villains who tend to be unexplainably evil and crazy. He authentic struggles in his journey into darkness. Frollo is pius and self-righteous, he battles with good and evil. As the song says, “Judge Claude Frollo longed to purge the world of vice and sin. And he saw corruption everywhere except within.” He’s not a bad-guy seeking power because he already has it. He thinks he’s a good guy, which is terrifying. He does have his weaknesses. “And for one time in his life of power and control, Frollo felt a twinge of fear for his immortal soul.” He obsesses with this and doesn’t understand how to deal with his own temptation.

    I think his bad-guy song, “Hellfire” is one of the best of the Disney canon. It was dark and powerful. Much edgier than anything Disney had ever done. I love the way they contrast Quasimodo and Frollo’s attraction to Esmeralda and then how they juxtapose the English and Latin text (the act of confession in the Penitential Rite). There is what Frollo says out loud, and what he knows is true inside being sung in the background. He is so tormented, confused and torn. The lyrics show his pain, “Tell me Maria, why I see her standing there…” He questions why God would make “the devil so much stronger than a man.” He thinks he is a good man. It is chilling. He knows what he wants is wrong and doesn’t know how to deal with it. He either wants to be satisfied or the temptation completely removed. Always pursuing what he believes to be right, he is burdened by his own sin. Frollo blames the source of temptation instead of accepting it himself. He cannot recognize it or channel it but instead becomes corrupted in his over-zealous attempt to remove it. It’s so dynamic, intense and yet real. The song shows us Frollo’s internal pain, provides insight on his background and motivation and serves as the pivotal springboard for his obsession that will destroy him during the rest of the journey. It’s intrinsically true to book in showing the emotional breakdown of Frollo and his “fate.”

    I was very appreciative of Disney being willing to push themselves and go darker with this film and I think they did a great job. Some people might think it’s too mature but I enjoyed it deeply. It is sad this movie isn’t more loved.

    • antonia31

      Thanks for reminding me of Frollo! I agree with you- best villain!

    • SiriusPotter92

      Absolutely, full-heartedly agree.

    • Natalie

      I completely agree with you. I mean honestly, why not have Frollo on the list?

    • hi

      Somehow I always forget Hunchback is a thing. I wonder why. It’s a great movie, but somehow it feels outside of the Disney cannon in my mind. Hmm… strange. But let’s be honest. The best thing about Disney is characterization. The characters are so dynamic, particularly the villains. They are completely deplorable, yet we really do love to hate them because they are just such good characters. Yeah, Disney pretty much owns sidekicks and villains.

    • Sarah

      I was just going to post him on here when I saw this. I so agree. He really is the most terrifying villain. I had nightmares for months about him when I first watched THoND. Of course, second on my list of horribleness is Gaston, so obviously I just really hate sexist and sexually antagonistic villains in general.

    • Bee

      Oh lord, I love Frollo as a villain. He scares the poo out of me! I think he is the most well developed Disney villain (in that he is multi-dimensional), and also by far the creepiest, in my opinion. The fact that he has a song about his unsatiable lust for Esmeralda? Oh my goodness, what? There are definitely a lot of grim and disturbing stuff going on in “Hunchback” (and it gets even worse in the book) but I adore this movie, I think it definitely deserves more love!

    • John

      Definately agree, was dissapointed her missed the list

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=515348470 Stephanie Godfrey

      I have never been a fan of Hunchback (I even fell asleep in the movie theater during it) but I will agree that Frollo is a pretty darn good villain.

  • http://www.facebook.com/erikd1 Erik Davison

    Has anyone noticed how evil Medusa is from the rescuers??? She lures a lonely six(?) year-old orphan girl with the promise of the family and love she’s always wanted, only to kidnap her and force her down a tiny cave filling with water to get treasure. EVIL!!!!!!

    • Sarah

      The Rescuers may just be the best movie ever in general, now that I’m thinking about it.

  • Sapph

    Dr. Facilier from the Princess and the Frog? :/

    • http://www.korracast.com/ Fravit


  • http://www.facebook.com/redhead312 Megan Bennett

    I’d would have put Frollo on the list and not Mother Gothel. I honestly thought she was a week villain.

    • Victoria

      I disagree (just with the Mother Gothel being a weak villain part, not the Frollo part). I think that her villainy came from Rapunzel’s love and trust of the woman she believed was her mother. And it’s clear that Mother Gothel used that to her advantage throughout the story, especially in her joking-like verbal abuse of Rapunzel. She constantly puts her down, makes fun of her, and then of course keeps her locked up in the tower under the pretense of “protecting” her, all for her own selfish purposes. Meanwhile, this lonely, imprisoned little girl (and then young woman) still loves the person who is doing nothing more than using her under the pretext of love and protection. It’s a much more personal, individual-oriented villainy, but it’s pretty horrible when you consider it from Rapunzel’s perspective. She thought that was her mother. She thought Mother Gothel loved and cared about her, and she struggled throughout the film with the idea of disappointing and upsetting her. Then she finds out that this selfish woman actually kidnapped her from her real parents and ruined/stifled the first 18 years of her life just so she could remain youthful?? I’m sure that had to be a horrible thing for Rapunzel to deal with!

      It’s funny that you should compare her to Frollo, since he does a very similar thing to Quasimodo, though Frollo gives no pretense of love. However, he does make Quasimodo believe that he cares and makes him want to please him, similarly to Mother Gothel.

      That’s just my opinion on the matter :).

  • singlis

    What about Shan-Yu from Mulan? He was seriously dark and twisty, and loosely based on a real historical evil dude. Definite points for being one of the only Disney bad-guys somewhat grounded in reality.

  • matthewhpg

    Darth Vader, anyone?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1045615098 Riana-Tiana Menezes

    You forgot to mention the Step Mother from Cinderella. She was sly and menacing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=523240646 Jasmine Dixon

    clayton from tarzan should be on here, i hated him so much!!!
    and the tiger from jungle book haha

  • http://twitter.com/StarkidSims Simone

    I want to see all of them on Once Upon A Time omg

  • MrBuffySummers

    Scar! After I read the article, I just had a flashback from my childhood, when he killed Mufasa. Arrrgh I hate him, hate him, hate him!!!

  • MHutch

    Totally didn’t realise till now that the parrot in Aladdin is named Iago. Ah, if only school hadn’t finished, my lit class could ponder the choice!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=515348470 Stephanie Godfrey

    I’m surprised Dr. Facilier from Princess and the Frog isn’t on the list. Disney brought a
    whole new level of evil with the voodoo instead of straight magic.

    There is also Chernabog from Fantasia. You wouldn’t know who he is unless you have seen the movie…or even watched Fantasmic at one of the parks though he’s only in it for a few seconds…..so he is definitely not as well known. Walt Disney use to say that Chernabog was the Devil and well how much more evil can you get then him?

  • http://www.korracast.com/ Fravit

    Dr. Facillier, from Princess and the Frog. That guy had style.

  • Vajackster

    F*ck Disney.

  • Firebolt2398

    I’ve always been a Captain Hook person myself. I think the movies made him a bit more goofy and lovable, because in the book he was the stuff of nightmares. “His eyes were the blue of a forget-me-not, except right before he slashed you open, in which his irises turned a terrible red.” At least I think that’s the quote. He was evil, with zero conscience, and an obsession with “good form”. Plus there’s a certain epic quality between his duels with Peter Pan. Animated swordfights were never so exciting.

    Also, I believe the Hook picture is from “Peter Pan Return to Neverland”, not the original. Is it sad that I know that?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1539510329 Katy Latham

    I had such a hard time choosing! Scar has my favorite villain song, but Hades is so entertaining! And then there’s Maleficent, the only Disney villain I had nightmares about as a child. Definitely always the scariest one to me! Plus I agree with everyone else about Frollo – his villain song is my second favorite, and he is definitely the most three-dimensional of all of the villains. Moral of the story here: Disney makes awesome villains.

  • http://twitter.com/diana_saravia Diana Saravia

    What about the Evil Queen from Snow White??

  • daff69

    too hard to choose between Ursula and hades…their both amazing!!

  • http://twitter.com/BeccaPhoenix16 Liam I exist


  • Quinn Kelly

    You forgot Lady Tremaine. The evil stepmother in Cinderella

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