Disney's Best Heroes... and Villains

by Bill Gibron

19 August 2014


The Top 5 Villains

#5:  Hades (Hercules)

In Disney’s version of the Greek myth, Hades is Hercules’ Uncle. Angry over how he is treated by his brother Zeus, the baddies decides to release the gigantic titans trapped beneath the ocean floor, thereby destroying everyone and everything on Earth in their humungous path. Naturally, it’s up to our hero to help, but he’s too busy being trained for her conqueror position. In the meantime, Hades puts on his fire haired thinking cap and tries time and time again to undermine his brother’s offspring. Voiced by James Woods, he becomes one of the most comical and craven villains in the House of Mouse universe.

#4:  The Headless Horseman (The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad)

There is no scarier entity in any Disney film that the ghoul envisioned by Washington Irving in his popular publication The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Even Tim Burton’s live action reimagining, featuring Christopher Walken as our nogginless demon can’t compare (and let’s not touch the current crop of characters claiming geek attention on the TV end over at Fox). Thanks to a combination of excellent filmmaking, brilliant character design, and a decidedly horrific flaming pumpkin, the bane of Ichabod Crane’s existence is an indelible icon to literary evil. While his appearances may be brief, they are surely memorable.

#3: The Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland)

“Off with her HEAD!” Few film characters can turn such a simple line into a terrifying battle cry, but this rogue royal is all about decapitation. She’s practically daffy with her desire to crush craniums and remove skulls from necks. Of course, after a while, her constantly calls for such guillotine-inspired retribution grow a bit stale, but when you see her face, plumped full of rage and red as a beet, her “OWHHs” instantly return to something even more sinister. While she really should be viewed as a nutjob, that nasty streak in this particular Queen argues for a considerable lack of mercy come begging time.

#2: Cruella De Vil (101 Dalmatians)

It’s all in the plan for this Disney diva. All she wants in this world is a bit more fashion sense, and she intends to get some via the use of a family’s overly large litter of Dalmatian puppies. Yes indeed, their spots skins will make a very nice and couture coat indeed. It’s also all about the obsession with Cruella. She is determined, to her psychological detriment, to get those dogs no matter the cost. She literally grows insane over such a nonsensical need, and it’s that heady level of crazy that requires her placement so high upon the list. 

#1: Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)

She’s the evil witch queen so bad they had to make a movie about her, twice. Yes, while Angelina Jolie is all false cheekbones and overly plump red lips, the real pen and ink Maleficent was making wee ones wet the bed long before her live action doppelganger was even born. With her aloof attitude and menacing magic skills, she’s capable of quite a lot of damage. She also loves undermining the good and the virtuous, and he shape-shifting skills are nothing to sneeze at…unless you feel the need to balk at such sinister, fire-breathing beasts. Of all the Disney bad-asses, she’s the best.

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