The 15 Greatest Disney Villains

By Ethan Kaye in Cartoons, Daily Lists, Movies
Tuesday, August 3, 2010 at 8:04 am
8) Magica DeSpell
As soon as you saw that the Ducktales episode you were watching was a Magica episode, you knew it was going to be good. Although her #1 goal was only to steal Uncle Scrooge's #1 dime, her methods of doing so were stuff of legend. She, like many other Ducktales (and Disney in general) villains, was originally a comic character, a creation of comic legend Carl Barks. While other Disney witches were old crones, Barks made Magica out to be a young, sexy Italian, which I'm sure confused a lot of almost-pubescent kids throughout the years.

7) Hades
James Woods's voice acting is really the best thing about the character, and the best part about Hercules in general. Every sentence he utters is perfect, especially the outburst of "Hades RULES!" Granted, his plans don't often succeed (the new Disney cruise stage show is about how ineffective he is), but there's an undeniable evil style to each of them. CGI Hydras, manipulating women, poisonings, whatever he got up to in that animated series I never watched... all of them had this undercurrent of "I'm doing this just to be bad" behind them.

6) Maleficent
While Maleficent had us cowering in our seats during Sleeping Beauty, the gamers who read Topless Robot probably recognize her best from the Kingdom Hearts series. In a universe where summoning's all the rage, what better villain than one who can turn into a dragon? She repeats this trick in Disney's Fantasmic! show as the final baddie who Mickey has to face. Absolutely stunning special effects, by the way, to compliment the original film's incredible art styling. Personally, I think her taunting of the Prince from Sleeping Beauty is one of the best-written scenes in Disneydom.

5) The Fearsome Five
Another great opportunity to lump multiple Disney villains into one entry! All of Darkwing Duck's biggest adversaries on one ass-kicking team! Negaduck could take over the world by himself, but when you add Megavolt, Quackerjack, Bushroot, and the Liquidator to the mix, it's a supervillain fan's dream come true. Thankfully, they've gotten the band back together in the new Darkwing Duck series from Boom! Studios! Darkwing Duck: Too much is never enough.

4) Jafar
Everything about this guy simply drips evil. From kidnapping the princess in Aladdin ust so he can bang her to hypnotizing her dad, to becoming an evil genie hell-bent on world domination, Jafar was as sleazy and sinister as any Disney villain could hope to be. He's like Disney's version of Snidely Whiplash, just in a turban. How did he get his job in the first place? Anyone can look at him and say, "That dude is hella evil." He must have had some amazing references and work experience for him to even get in the door.

3) Scar
There are some incredibly powerful scenes in Disney movies (the last 15 minutes of Toy Story 3, anyone?), and The Lion King has its share. The most disturbing, by far, isn't the death of Mufasa or the climactic fight at the end. It's Scar's song "Be Prepared." Amidst the backdrop of a sea of skeletons, Scar details his maniacal plan to depose the king with the help of the hyenas. The parallels to Nazi rallies and book burnings are immediately clear to anyone over the age of 10, and it still gives me chills.

2) Judge Claude Frollo
No other Disney villain is as evil as Frollo is. There, I said it. He's not #1 on the list, but as far as evil goes, he's the absolute epitome of earth-scorching badass. Hiding behind the guise of both a benevolent churchman and adoptive father to Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frollo gave us gypsy persecution, pervy leerings, religious hypocrisy, and possibly the most demented Disney song ever, "Hellfire." His ultimate goal? Burn gypsies at the stake, in the name of Catholicism.

1) Pete
I gave him the #1 spot because I don't think anyone else will. But no Disney villain has proven to be more resilient than ol' Pete, and a recent perusal of some old Mickey Mouse comic reprints has cemented that in my mind. He is, in fact, Disney's longest-lasting creation, having first appeared as the bad guy in the Alice shorts of the 1920's, then moving on to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit shorts, and finally to Mickey's first outing in "Steamboat Willie" in 1928. He's a kidnapper, an extortionist, a greedy landlord, a thief, a spy, a Dr. Octopus-like supervillain, and an all-around bad guy, although he softened up a bit in Goof Troop.
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