The Top 10 Worst Disney Villains
My Other Disney Worst of Best of to Read and Compare
- The Top 10 Most Evil Disney Villains
Here's a Top 10 List of the Most Evil Disney Villains to date. There's no point to a good guy unless there's a batter evildoer to go up against!
10 Evil Villains that Missed the Mark
Audiences go to a Disney film to experience the story of the hero. The hero must have problems then he or she must overcome them. That’s where the villain comes in. A good villain does their best to do their worst and the more memorable the villain, the better the film.
There are some great villains in Disney that have made themselves icons throughout the world. The Evil Queen, Cruella deVille and Scar are just a few villains whose bad behavior has made their heroes look even better while lifting their films to iconic status.
It may seem like a simple job, but it isn’t easy to be evil. It takes a certain level of commitment and consistency that some are never able to achieve. There are criteria to consider when weighing out bad intentions and evil deeds.
The score breaks down like this: Did they try to kill someone? If they did, who was it and what effect did it have on the movie? If they didn’t, why are they so evil? Or what qualifies them as the villain? Do they have a sidekick? Is the sidekick evil or a bumbling fool? How iconic is the villain? Are they memorable or are they often forgotten? Lastly, is there something that puts their evil villainy into question? Are they in actuality really nice?
All of these questions have been answered and I have ordered them accordingly. Which villain has dropped the ball and missed the mark when it comes to being bad?
10. Bruce (Finding Nemo, 2003)
Finding Nemo is an interesting film, because it strays from Disney’s normal main villain type. Instead, this film opts for a series of antagonists all which have varying impact on the movie. There’s Dr. Phillip Sherman, the Dr.'s nasty niece, the jellyfish, a fishing boat and Bruce. Since there’s only one that’s really memorable, can be seen in many Disneyworld attractions and graces the cover of the DVD, I’ll go with the Great White shark, Bruce. If you go Disneyworld, remember to take a picture inside Bruce’s mouth!
Bruce is a shark trying his hardest to curb his addiction to eating fish. His motto is, “Fish are friends, not food.” He’s really just a shark trying to cure his addiction of eating fish. He really wants to change his ways of fish-icide, but his natural predator instincts come back full force when Dory’s nose bleeds.
Bruce tries to kill Dory and Marlin, but his friends, Anchor, the Hammerhead shark and Chum, a Mako shark do an immediate intervention to stop him from eating Marlin and Dory. They’re great friends, but not for someone under the category of villain. But, Bruce is one of Disney's non-villain villains. The way his character is written, however separates him from the rest, because character type, narrative and his personal story arc works to make a memorable character.
Bruce’s biggest issue is that though he laspes, he’s not an evil shark, which is why he has such nice friends. He was a good foe to watch, but as a villain, he just doesn’t cut it.
9. Henry J. Waternoose (Monsters, Inc, 2001)
He’s Sulley’s boss and mentor at Monsters, Inc. Waternoose uses children’s screams to power Monstropolis, but what do you expect a monster to do? Where he takes his villainy to another level is by having his sidekick, the nasty chameleon-like monster Randall, kidnap a child. He wants to test out a secret scare machine to improve the amount of scream electricity he gets out of scared children. It’s so bad he has to hide his dastardly deeds, but the actual villainous activity lies with the kidnapping, not the scaring.
Scaring is OK in a land filled with monsters, so though this might seem like a really villainous thing, in their world it’s not. In fact, up until he does the whole kidnapping thing, he’s an awesome monster; one that Sulley looks up to. And the eyes, I love all those peepers.
So, why does Waternoose do all of this? He wants to save his company from going out of business and keep Monstropolis running. He does it the wrong way, but his intentions are actually pretty good. He’d be higher on the list, but he does betray Sulley when the big blue monster goes to him for help. That’s a low down dirty trick sending him to Siberia.
The issue with Waternoose, however, is that when you think of the bad guy in the movie, your first instinct is to remember Randall not him. That's not good for a villain.
8. Autopilot (WALL-E, 2008)
If you don’t remember Auto, he’s the HAL like autopilot device that’s keeping the human’s ship running. Though he has a presence in the movie, he’s not as fully realized a character as WALL-E and Eve. He does succeed in ‘killing’ Wall-E, but in a place where your hero and villain are machines and capable of being fixed, he doesn’t succeed for long.
Auto’s intentions are arguable. One side says he has no intentions and is just doing what he’s been programmed by continuing the ‘no return home’ directive. The other side says he’s just trying to keep humans dependant on him and technology, so he stays in charge. It’s this ambiguity that gets him on this list. He could be really evil or he could just be a computer with a program. One is scary; the other is like my anti-virus kicking on before I’ve saved my work. Why do I always forget to save my work?!?
The reason why he has his sidekick, GO-4, try to get rid of the plant was to keep the directive in tact. Or to stay in power. One is not so evil, the other is. Auto’s biggest problem is that he’s really not a huge part of the movie. WALL-E has its best moments when our hero meets and interacts with his love interest, Eve. If you want to watch a film where a computer goes bad and is directed in a way that effectively gives it a life of its own, watch Alien or 2001: A Space Odyssey.
7. Prince John (Robin Hood, 1973)
Let me start off by exclaiming how much I love the iconic Prince John. I also love Robin Hood and Little John, but I have a special place in my heart for Prince John…and his sidekick Sir Hiss. Sure, he sucks his thumb, tugs his ear and cries out for his mommy, but his evil intentions run through and through.
While his big brother, The King, is away at war, Prince John uses his power to tax the poor so he has enough gold to fill his vaults and adorn his room. When the poor can’t pay, his cold hearted demand is to stick them in jail and let them rot. In response, Robin Hood robs from the rich to feed the poor, so Prince John wants him hunted and killed.
Sir Hiss is often relegated to a ‘yes’ snake, but he is loyal and not as dimwitted as the Prince. In fact, he’s also smarter than Prince John’s other sidekick, the Sherriff of Nottingham, who has two vulture sidekicks of his own. The lion, the snake, the wolf and vultures are great bad guys in theory, but turn out to be bumbling buffoons who wouldn’t know a fox in drag if she slapped them on the wrist.
6. The Huns (Mulan, 1998)
It may seem a little odd that The Huns made it on the worst villains list. They are bad guys that do bad things. They kill, maim, destroy armies and burn down entire villages. It’s all in a day’s work when you’re trying to conquer China. So, how do these men with so many bad intentions make it on the list?
I’ll start off with the fact that The Huns are taken down by Mulan and a group of barely passable soldiers. Are these soldiers likable? Yes and pretty amusing. Are they a destructive force? No, yet they still win. Of course The Huns were never going win…they are the villains, but it just seems so banal.
What makes it worse is that this evil group is pretty soulless. That would seem like a good thing, but the best villains in Disney’s arsenal have souls, black souls, but souls nonetheless. Maleficent, Scar, Doctor Facilier all have a presence on film because their rottenness can be inferred by their approach, their mannerisms, their rapport with their adversary, the protagonist. This movie lacks that rapport.
Instead, the Huns are like an evil freight train, ramming through the storyline devoid of passengers or cargo. There’s no there, there, which is probably why they are often forgotten.
5. Shere Khan (The Jungle Book, 1967)
Shere Khan tried to kill Mowgli. In theory that’s a bad thing; but let’s take a look at this from another perspective. Mowgli lives in the world of animals, so I take the position of the world of animals. In the world of animals, humans hunted them for fur and food.
In this scenario, Shere Khan is trying to rid the jungle of a species that has hunted him. He’s not going around killing animals for power, he’s doing it for his own safety since humans had attacked him and his family once before.
There’s also one point in the movie where Kaa, the hypnotizing snake lures Mowgli to eat and Shere Khan actually interrupts the potential feast and allows Mowgli to escape. It’s in these circumstances Shere Khan could have used a good sidekick, but it was not to be.
Though Shere Khan is a cool character, he’s another villain that is often forgotten with the spotlight going to the over the top shenanigans of King Louie instead.
4. Aunt Sarah (Lady and the Tramp, 1955)
The best things about Aunt Sarah are her two Siamese cat sidekicks, Si and Am. This pair of un-politically correct felines are the real troublemakers of the movie. They get Lady into trouble on more than one occasion and seem pretty proud of the mischief they create. They do a really good job of stealing the evil show. How many of you remembered her name?
As for Aunt Sarah, not only did she not have any truly evil intentions, it seems she simply doesn’t like dogs. She puts Lady in muzzle and sticks the dog outside in the doghouse. It makes you go, ‘Aw, poor Lady’, but it’s a far stretch from “Poison them. Drown them. Bash them in the head. You got any chloroform?”
Cruella DeVille would have made mittens from Lady’s ears in the time it takes Aunt Sarah to get to the store for a muzzle. And when Aunt Sarah got back to Darling and Jim Dear’s house (by the way where was the baby during all this) Cruella would have made a hat with Si and Am. That’s how evil villains roll. What they don’t do is give the heroes treats for Christmas. Man, Aunt Sarah really dropped the ball.
3. Chick Hicks (Cars, 2006)
Sure, Chick Hicks will do just about anything to win a race and he’s a real jerk, but not only isn’t he a killer, he’s pretty tame. He can be conniving and arrogant, but he isn’t that far in temperament from our hero, Lighting McQueen. In the land of Disney, he’s really a non-villain, villain.
Allow me to explain. Chick Hicks is in the movie so that Lighting has someone to focus on throughout the movie. The truth is, however, that the real person Lighting is fighting is himself and his own ego. Chick is only there to be that final test to prove that Lighting has grown as a car and has learned his valuable life lessons. It’s cool for Lighting, but makes Chick all the lamer as a Disney villain.
Chick is such a non entity that he wasn’t even written in the blockbuster sequel, Cars 2. Ouch.
2. Skinner (Ratatouille, 2007)
He’s the wee little chef who wants to use the name of a dead chef to market microwave dinners. Skinner is rude, abrasive and demanding and honestly doesn’t sound too unlike Gordon Ramsay or Marco Pierre White. In the land of Disney, however, this is bad. I just wanted once for him to scream, “You donkey!”
Skinner is annoying and pretentious, but there’s one bit I can’t argue with him about. He thinks having a rat in the kitchen is gross. Me too. In the end, Skinner is another one of Disney’s non-villain villain.
The real struggle lies with Remy, his love for food, his family’s acceptance and need of Linguini’s help along with Linguini’s self esteem, his love for Collette, his identity as a chef and need for Remy’s help. That’s a whole lot going on and doesn’t leave much for Skinner other than to be the last hurdle before the end of the movie.
1. Edgar (Aristocats, 1970)
Edgar is a butler in the service of a retired opera singer who loves her cat, Duchess and Duchess’ 3 kittens. When the opera singer discussed her will with her lawyer, Edgar eavesdrops and finds out that he will inherit the money only after Duchess and the kittens die.
So, Edgar puts sleeping pills in their food and drives the cats to the countryside. Edgar isn’t evil, just greedy. If he was evil, he would have put poison in their food, just ask the Evil Queen. He’s also pretty shortsighted. If the cats inherit, who gets to take care of the cats? He will; and who will deny him if he wants to buy this or that? No one, since he’s the cat’s butler. This is all a moot point, however, since the opera singer is still alive and no one inherits anything while that’s the case. He’s not smart at all.
To add injury to insult, he’s outsmarted by pets left and right. He can barely rid himself of dogs, but when the whole cavalry of animals come out of the woodwork, he’s outnumbered, outwitted and shipped to Timbuktu.
Edgar is a sad sort and in the land of Disney, he, along with the movie is hardly mentioned. It’s probably for the best since he’s one villain who is so inept that he’s outsmarted by a bunch of spoiled cats.
Who is the worst Disney Villain?
A Final Word
These are the villains that had so much more potential for villainy. Disney has such a talent to really highlight a bad guy, that when they fail it sticks out like a sore thumb. As a result, they try for a non-villain villain and sometimes it works while other times it creates a void where marketing money should be.
Do you think I’m crazy? Did I miss someone who you thought was worse? Or did I mix up the order? I laid it out as I saw it, but that just might be the villain in me.