The Indisputable Ranking of Disney Animated Villains

This is my 100th ever article on thecinemapsycho.com, and since I recently completed the feat of watching every single movie from Walt Disney Animation Studios in the same year, I thought it would be a great opportunity to rank the villains! Ever since Disney’s first animated film was released in 1937, they have created many memorable villains (and some not so memorable). Naturally, I took it upon myself to determine who are the best villains in the Disney canon, and it was not an easy feat. Thankfully, I have been working on this for quite some time so I think it is probably the single most thorough breakdown of Disney villains that you can find on the internet. First, I decided I should go ahead and rank my top 10 based purely on the opinions in the forefront of my mind.

Top-10 Disney Villains with no ranking system involved:

  1. Jafar
  2. Ursula
  3. Scar
  4. Maleficent
  5. Shan Yu
  6. Mother Gothel
  7. Gaston
  8. Claude Frollo
  9. Lady Tremaine
  10. Queen Grimhelde (The Evil Queen)

Alright, that’s the end of the article, have a nice day. I’m kidding of course, because the above ranking is so biased that I couldn’t possibly argue it as indisputable. To attempt to rank villains with less bias, I created a formula. There is still some bias involved, but at least the criteria behind every villain’s evaluation are consistent. Every villain will be graded in a points system based on a variety of categories, and also there are GIFs. Who doesn’t love GIFs?

Here is the process:

Influence/Intimidation: 1-5

This ranking describes how much this villain can be feared by his/her foes. How high ranking are they? Do they have institutional power or control? Or simply do they instill fear in the eyes of others by their appearance? Do they have a following of minions or brainwashed people?

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 1-5

Does this person have the ability to inflict physical pain on their protagonist? Do they have human strength or magical strength?

Deviousness/Motivation: 1-5

This is more of a measure of the evilness of the character. What is the scale of their evil plan and how are they planning to execute it? Is their motivation realistic? Or does it just feel stupid?

Movie Success: 1-5

How successful has this movie been in the eyes of the public? Not simply a measurement of box office success but also public opinion. A movie that was a box office letdown can still be a great film in the eyes of the public. A film that receives a 5 in this category is successful in both areas.

Movie success will also act as the tiebreaker between villains that end up with the same score.

Villain Song: 1-5

Whether you agree with me or not, this is my ranking and I believe that to be an elite Disney animated villain it is imperative to have a great villain song.

How good is their villain song? Not necessarily just how catchy is it, but how dark? Do they receive a full villain song?

+ .5 Old Movie Bonus

Disney didn’t really start making animated musicals commonplace until the Disney renaissance. Starting with The Little Mermaid in 1989, Disney villains were expected to have a villain song of some sort. I am adding .5 bonus to every film that came out before 1989 because I don’t think it is fair to expect a villain like Maleficent or The Evil Queen to have a great villain song in an era where much fewer songs were included the movies.

Villains that I didn’t think were worth evaluating:

Bill Sykes (Oliver & Company) – Your typical ho-hum gang-boss in a lackluster movie.

Madam Mim (The Sword in the Stone) – She is the antagonist in a fun little segment of the movie, but I wouldn’t really consider her a villain. She does have a song though.

Percival C. McLeach (The Rescuers Down Under) – Though I actually enjoy this movie better than the original, I don’t feel the need to go into detail on McLeach the poacher. He is plenty intimidating and is willing to get his hands dirty, but he really is just a pretty stereo

Chernabog (Fantasia) – Unless you’re at least as nerdy as I am, you had no idea who this is.

Edgar Balthazar (Aristocats)– The butler did it! I actually like Edgar but there isn’t much reason to compare him to some of the best villains.

Amos Slade (The Fox and The Hound) – If no one knows his name, how could he be considered a top villain?

Commander Rourke (Atlantis)- He is essentially Clayton 2.0. He’s probably better than Prince John but not as fun to talk about.

Stromboli, Honest John, Gideon (Pinnochio) – All three of these characters are just used as devices to push the plot forward than actual villains.

Now that you understand the evaluation process, let’s meet the contenders!

 

Top 25 Disney Animated Villains

25. Prince John (Robin Hood)

Prince John is just a selfish coward. He is to stupid to come up with any evil plans by himself and typically hides behind his military and the Sheriff of Nottingham. Everyone hates him, but I’m not sure anyone in the movie actually fears him.

Influence/Intimidation: 3.5

He is in control of the military of the entire country, so that’s kind of a big deal. He himself, however, is not intimidating in the slightest.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 1.5

The only reason I gave Prince John a 1.5 instead of 1 in this category is because he is a lion. Though he never demonstrates any strength or ability.

Deviousness/Motivation: 2.5

It is hard to tell if he is actually evil, or just selfish. It seems that the only motivation behind the terrible treatment of his subject is the money he was squeezing out of them. I guess he isn’t afraid to call for someone’s beheading.

Movie Success: 2

Robin Hood was a cheaply made movie in the 1970s that made a little money for the studio but nothing more. It’s surprisingly only a 54% on Rotten Tomatoes because I actually really enjoy it.

Villain Song: 1.5 + .5 Old Movie Bonus

He does not have a villain song, though people do actually sing “The Phony King of England” about him, does that count?

Total: 11.5

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24. Yzma (The Emperor’s New Groove)

She fits the movie great, and I love the movie! However, a silly movie like this just can’t have an elite villain. It’s just part of the territory.

Influence/Intimidation: 3

Yzma is very high up in the kingdom, and everyone jokes that she is scary beyond comprehension, which would lead one to believe that she deserves a max rating in this category. The problem is that she isn’t really taken seriously as a villain, which kind of goes with the nature of the movie.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 2.5

She has a bunch of magical potions and a Kronk to do her bidding. That’s about it.

Deviousness/Motivation: 3

She wants to kill Kuzco so that she can be emperor. Sounds pretty devious, however, if the movie doesn’t take her seriously it’s hard to include her in the elite.

Movie Success: 2.5

Though The Emperor’s New Groove has become a beloved comedic film by many, it is one of the worst-performing box office films in Disney history.

Villain Song: 2

Yzma does not have a song in the movie, but she does have a villain song that was deleted from the final cut called “Snuff Out the Light”. Check it out!

Total: 13

 

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23. The Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland)

The Queen of Hearts is really not in her own movie more than just 10-15 minutes of screen time. The Queen is best described by Alice herself as “A fat, pompous, bad-tempered old tyrant.”

Influence/Intimidation: 4

She seems to be the most influential and intimidating person in wonderland, at least to the characters. She never comes across as very intimidating to viewers.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 1.5

Pretty sure she wacks a dude on the head with a croquet mallet. Not sure if she does much else.

Deviousness/Motivation: 2.5

She loves beheadings, so that’s sadistic. She is dead set on decapitating Alice ever since she accidentally humiliated her. Pretty lame in the motivation department.

Movie Success: 3.5

Though Alice in Wonderland isn’t one of my favorite movies, it’s tough to deny its success. It is critically regarded as a good film and grossed about as much as Cinderella with a more limited release.

Villain Song: 1 + .5 Old Movie Bonus

Queen of Hearts doesn’t sing and I’m definitely ok with that.

Total: 13

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22. Captain Hook (Peter Pan)

While he is a classic villain of a classic movie, he definitely isn’t a formidable foe that strikes fear into the eyes of those who cross him. Even though I personally love Captain Hook, he is also in a situation where it can be hard to take a villain seriously if the movie doesn’t take them seriously.

Influence/Intimidation: 2

Captain Hook doesn’t scare anyone in Peter Pan, not even the kids. He does have a crew of scallywags which is the only thing keeping Captain Hook above a 1.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 2

No magic and simply average human strength, he does have a gun and satisfactory sword-wielding abilities.

Deviousness/Motivation: 2.5

He wants to kill Peter Pan, his plans are simple and not usually well thought out. I gave him a little bonus for out-smarting Tinker Bell into giving up the location of the hideout.

Movie Success: 3.5

Peter Pan was a big winner when it hit theaters. It hasn’t held up super well over the years but it is still a classic film.

Villain Song: 2.5 + .5 Old Movie Bonus

His villain song “The Elegant Captain Hook” is sung before trying to convince the kids to sign onto the pirate crew. It isn’t much, it’s not even supposed to intimidate anyone. Really, it’s just supposed to make joining the crew sound like a fun idea.

Total: 13

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21. Ratcliffe (Pocahontas)

There is truly nothing special about Governor Ratcliffe. He had some potential but it turns out he is just a total coward with very simple motives.

Influence/Intimidation: 2.5

He is a governor, so to that end, he should have a good deal of influence. The thing is, I get the feeling that most of his crew isn’t ever all that loyal to his commands.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 2

The only reason he gets a 2 rather than a one is the fact that he just looks like a guy who goes heavy on the chest workouts, though I don’t think he would be able to use any of that strength in a fight.

Deviousness/Motivation: 2.5

He was motivated pretty much completely by greed. He wanted to attain not only money but power as well. He was willing to kill as many natives as it took to find gold. Rather, he is willing to have his men kill people, he himself is actually a major coward.

Movie Success: 2.5

Some may think of Pocahontas as a classic simply because of the type of movie it is and the era it was released in. But the fact of the matter is that it made pennies compared to The Lion King, and since 1986, only Home of the Range, Atlantis, Oliver & Company, Brother Bear, and Chicken Little had worse rotten tomatoes scores (a couple of those movies are extremely underrated).

Villain Song: 4

I think his song “Mine, Mine, Mine” is actually a pretty underrated villain song. It tells a lot about who he is as a leader, as a governor, and as a villain, while also being pretty catchy.

Total: 13.5

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20. Cruella de Vil (101 Dalmations)

Cruella de Vil has is as evil as anyone, but she doesn’t have as much world-shattering potential. She just has money and obsession.

Influence/Intimidation: 3

She is quite evil-looking and probably scares a lot of kids when they watch the movie. Her only power comes from her vast amounts of money.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 1

She has no magic and is a skeleton of a woman.

Deviousness/Motivation: 3.5

She is straight-up evil when it comes to her obsession with stealing and murdering the dalmatians for their fur. However, she’s not trying to like take over the world or anything of scale.

Movie Success: 2.5

Whether it’s acknowledged or not, I consider 101 Dalmations somewhat of a cult classic. There are people that swear by it as one of the best Disney movies, but not many.

Villain Song: 3 + .5 Old Movie Bonus

The song “Cruella De Vil” is a catchy tune indeed, however, it is a song sung about her. I much prefer it when the villain is singing the song themselves.

Total: 13.5

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19. King Candy/ Turbo (Wreck-it-Ralph)

He is your functional ho-hum villain that works just fine in a movie that is driven by a good group of core protagonists.

Influence/Intimidation: 3

King Candy is the ruler of Sugar Rush, and therefore a lot of little pieces of candy people are under his control. However, no one knows that he is actually Turbo and everyone accepts his authority because it is in their code to do so. It seems that before Ralph shows up, the majority of the kingdom lives in harmony. No one is really scared of him and but he has influence over the kingdom. People are a little intimidated by the Turbo legend though.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 3.5

By himself, King Candy has very little physical strength. He does, however, have access to the game’s code, which is basically like the best cheat code of all time. We don’t see him use it a lot and it only works within his own game so it does have some limitations.

Deviousness/Motivation: 2

He literally wants to be the best racer ever….What? Why? That’s all?

Movie Success: 4

Wreck-it-Ralph is a phenomenal movie, and I want everyone to realize it. It was good enough to warrant a sequel but not quite good enough to be an instant classic.

Villain Song: 1

King Candy sadly has no song.

 Total: 13.5

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18. Shere Khan (The Jungle Book)

Shere Kahn feels less like a villain and more like a side mission.

Influence/Intimidation: 3.5

I don’t know if the audience is intimidated at all by Shere Khan, but pretty much every character in the movie is.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 3.5

He is the strongest character in the movie (aside from elephants?) but he is ultimately just a regular Tiger.

Deviousness/Motivation: 2.5

I’m not entirely convinced that Shere Kahn is all that evil. It seems he just wants to remain at the top of the food chain and is threatened by Mowgli.

Movie Success: 3

The Jungle Book is the last movie to come out before Disney Animation’s dark age began. For 1967, it is a very high-quality film, but it doesn’t stand quite as tall as most of the classic princess films.

Villain Song: 1 + .5 Old Movie Bonus

Nope

Total: 14

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17. Lady Tremaine (aka “The Evil Stepmother”, Cinderella)

Lady Tremaine is a great old-fashioned antagonist and works perfectly for the movie. Her motivation works perfectly in contrast with Cinderella’s motivation. She may not have the physical strength, and it’s unknown how far she was willing to go to see Cinderella suffer, but she is definitely sinister in appearance.

Influence/Intimidation: 2.5

She doesn’t have much influence in the kingdom, as she is really just a random widow with a few random daughters. She does seem to intimidate Cinderella just enough to keep her under her foot.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 1

She’s just an old lady.

 Deviousness/Motivation: 4

In terms of the evilness in her heart, she is as cold as many of the coldest villains. She really just wants Cinderella to suffer. That is her simple motivation. She wants Cinderella to suffer and her daughters to have a much better life.

Movie Success: 5

Cinderella is an iconic movie. The castle is one of the most iconic images in the world, and it seems everyone on the planet is familiar with the story.

Villain Song: 1 + .5 Old Movie Bonus

Once again, in an era with very few songs in animated movies, Lady Tremaine had no villain song.

Total: 14

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16. The Horned King (The Black Cauldron)

While I think the Horned King had a lot of potential as a villain, it is impossible to overlook the fact that nobody really cares about The Black Cauldron.

Influence/Intimidation: 4.5

I don’t know how many of you have seen The Black Cauldron, but The Horned King is dark and scary. He intimidates every single character in the film and it seems like he has almost endless political power because of his intimidation.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 3.5

It is said that he is very strong with magic but you never really get to see him use it.

Deviousness/Motivation: 4

He essentially wants to unleash an army of undead warriors and take over the world. Kind of cliché but definitely devious.

Movie Success: 1

The Black Cauldron is debatably Disney Animation’s biggest failure. I admire the risks that it took, and it has become somewhat of a cult classic, but it was definitely a flop.

Villain Song: 1 + .5 Old Movie Bonus

Nope

Total: 14.5

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15. Madame Medusa (The Rescuers)

Madame Medusa is truly dark and devious, she comes from a somewhat successful movie but isn’t really considered a great Disney villain by many. Why is that? I’d say that part of the reason is that The Rescuers just hasn’t held up well over time in most people’s minds, but the other reason is that she doesn’t have a song. It’s not just me that thinks great Disney villains need a song.

Influence/Intimidation: 4

She doesn’t have any real influence over others except for her single idiot goon Mr. Snoops, but she is actually super creepy. Like when I was a little kid, I wouldn’t watch The Rescuers because she’d give me nightmares. She also has a pair of alligators to do her dirty work.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 2

She is a frail lady similar to Cruella De Vil, whom I hear they drew inspiration from. She does recklessly shoot a shotgun around on several occasions.

Deviousness/Motivation: 3.5

She really wants a diamond, and she is willing to kidnap children and put their lives in jeopardy to get it. That’s pretty dark when you think about it.

Movie Success: 3.5

I was about to give this like a 2 in terms of movie success until I looked it up. Turns out, after release The Rescuers was the highest-grossing movie they’d ever made. I guess it makes sense why it garnered a sequel. It also has an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes. Whether I like it or not, the movie was pretty successful.

Villain Song: 1 + .5 Old Movie Bonus

Madame Medusa does not sing, but if she did, I am certain it would be terrifying.

Total: 14.5

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14. Clayton (Tarzan)

I think Clayton fits Tarzan perfectly. The movie has to develop so many other storylines that there is no way they could spend time developing an incredible villain figure as well. Clayton kind of hides in the background until he is needed. It is never much of a surprise to the audience when we find out he is the bad guy, but it didn’t need to be. This movie is more about Tarzan and his relationship with the gorillas and humans alike.

Influence/Intimidation: 3

He clearly has a lot of armed men at his disposal and the approval of higher-ups back home to do whatever it takes to bring back some gorillas.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 3

He is a strong man with a gun and a knife. He gets the Gaston treatment of being strong but ultimately just human.

Deviousness/Motivation: 3

I don’t think he is evil from the start of Tarzan. I think he has ulterior motives than Jane and her father, but he doesn’t necessarily intend to kill anyone. When Tarzan messes with his plans he is pushed to the point where he goes mad.

Movie Success: 4.5

It isn’t in the “All-Time Great” tier of movies but it is the next closest thing.

Villain Song: 1

There are many great songs in Tarzan but none are Clayton’s.

Total: 14.5

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13. Queen Grimhelde (aka “The Evil Queen”, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)

Queen Grimhelde is a simple villain in a simple movie at a simple time. She fits the needs of Snow White but her overarching villainy isn’t incredibly impressive.

Influence/Intimidation: 4

For the entire movie, she is referred to as the Evil Queen. There is no hiding that she is evil and everyone knows it. She is royalty so she has a lot of influence and it seems people are scared of her.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 3

I am not entirely sure to what extent her magic spells can be used. She isn’t inherently magical but she can concoct spells to fit her needs.

Deviousness/Motivation: 2.5

She literally just wants to kill Snow White because she is prettier than herself. Lame.

Movie Success: 5

I can’t say that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is in itself a masterpiece of a film. However, it was something that had never been done before, and it soared. People loved it and the money they made from it allowed Disney to blossom into the studio it is today.

Villain Song: 1 +.5 Old Movie Bonus

It isn’t surprising to me that she doesn’t have a villain song, because it is 1937.

Total: 16

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12. Ratigan (The Great Mouse Detective)

Ratigan is wildly underrated but he can only really be as big as his movie. If the public doesn’t recognize him as an elite villain, then it’s tough for me to place him much higher. Trust me though when I say he is underrated.

Influence/Intimidation: 3.5

Ratigan has a hoard of minions that will do his bidding for him because of how much they fear him.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 2

He really doesn’t have much in terms of strength. He does have a cat at is at his control.

Deviousness/Motivation: 4

As far as the rodent world is concerned, Ratigan has huge ambitions. He plans to imprison the queen and take over. He also literally had a cat eat one of his minions. Now that’s dark.

Movie Success: 2.5

The Great Mouse Detective was a cheap and safe movie. It had a small budget with little advertising and thus took a smaller sum at the box office. It still made money and I think it did pretty well for the type of movie that it is.

Villain Song: 4 + .5 Bonus

“The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind” is one of the most slept on villain songs in Disney canon. Go listen to it, it’s actually awesome. It is also the earliest Disney movie to have a legit, full-length, villain song that the villain performs himself. Props to Ratigan.

Total: 16.5

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11. Doctor Facilier (aka “The Shadow Man”, Princess and the Frog)

I think the Shadow Man is actually quite sinister indeed, however he does suffer from the lack of his own power or strength, as he has to draw it from his friends on the other side who don’t always agree with him.

Influence/Intimidation: 2

The influence he has with his friends on the other side is something to note, however, the fact that he doesn’t strike fear into the eyes of anyone at first glance really hurts his case. Also, he doesn’t actually control the spirits that help him, he simply bribes them.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 3.5

He has enough physical strength to squash a firefly, but that’s about it. His voodoo magic, however, can be used in a variety of different devious ways. It isn’t without its limitations though.

Deviousness/Motivation: 3.5

His motivations are a bit murky, but it seems that he wants to acquire enough money and power to take over New Orleans. He is quite devious as well. This often gets forgotten, but after Lawrence (pretending to be Naveen) married Charlotta, he was planning to kill Big Daddy and squish frog Naveen. The ability to murder humans is a big factor when determining deviousness.

Movie Success: 3.5

I think The Princess and the Frog was actually one of the big overachievers in recent years. It is a simple movie but it thrives because of great theming and lovable characters and songs. However, it really didn’t do all that great in the box office.

Villain Song: 4

Friends on the other side is an underrated villain song. For the first half of the song, it is less of a villain song as it as intending to convince Lawrence and Naveen to agree to his term, but after they shake, his true nature is revealed.

Total:16.5

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10. Hades (Hercules)

Hades is a great villain but with no song and with his dark side toned down so the movie could be more kid-friendly, it’s tough to consider him as one of the elites.

Influence/Intimidation: 3.5

Hades doesn’t scare anyone by his mannerisms but he is definitely somewhat intimidating. He also has a great deal of influence over the monsters that Hercules disposes of quite easily.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 4

You never really see him fight anyone, but he has to have some power, doesn’t he? He is a god.

Deviousness/Motivation: 4.5

He wants to take over the entire cosmos and is will to kill a little baby (and plenty of others) to do it. The scale of his motivation doesn’t get much bigger than that. For some reason, though I just can’t give him a 5 because I think he still doesn’t have some rules he has to follow.

Movie Success: 3.5

Hercules is a fantastic movie but I think it gets lost among the classic films that came out during the Disney renaissance sometimes.

Villain Song: 1

Nothing to see here, unfortunately.

Total: 16.5

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9. Prince Hans (Frozen)

As far as Disney’s twist villains go, I found Hans’ change in character to be digestible (don’t make it weird). However, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get over the fact that there literally isn’t a single moment in the film that foreshadows his ulterior motives. Not even when no one else is around.

Influence/Intimidation: 2.5

Tough category for someone who is only villainous for like 10 minutes of movie time. No one in the movie ever fears him. He has a little influence when he is put in charge of the people of Arendelle with the sisters are gone.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 2

At one point he holds a sword but we never see him deal any damaging blows. Judging by his size, he is probably below average in strength and has no magical powers.

Deviousness/Motivation: 4

The dude captures the heart of a beautiful princess and throws it all away because he is too caught up with the idea of trying to be the king/ruler of somewhere. That’s an interesting combination of dumb and devious. You can’t question his motivation. Also, just imagine if Anna hadn’t gotten in the way of his sword. That wouldn’t have been a pretty sight.

Movie Success: 5

It’s Frozen we are talking about here, ya…that Frozen.

Villain Song: 3

So, he doesn’t exactly have a villain song, but he does have “Love is an Open Door” which, if you look back at it with the knowledge that he is a villain, is pretty devious in its own right.

Total: 16.5

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8. Mother Gothel (Tangled)

Mother Gothel is fabulous as a character for this movie. She suffers because of the narrow focus of her evil as it isn’t really supposed to affect anyone else. However, she is certainly one of the great villains (if not the best) from this decade.

Influence/Intimidation: 2

Though extremely manipulative, Mother Gothel doesn’t typically come across as someone that strikes fear into people’s hearts.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 2.5

Her only magic comes from Rapunzel’s hair and it simply keeps her young. However, she does overpower two pretty big dudes (that she did catch by surprise) to “save” Rapunzel and make her think that she was right the whole time.

Deviousness/Motivation: 3

Her motivations are simply to stay young forever. However, she is willing to go to great lengths, including killing people, to keep Rapunzel as her prisoner.

Movie Success: 5

Tangled is one of the top 5 Disney movies of all time in my opinion (it’s #2 in my ranking of every single Disney animated movie). The story has something for just about everyone. It was the first really successful 3D animated movie by Disney Animation Studios.

Villain Song: 4.5

Her song is amazing but it doesn’t technically reveal anything about her being evil. But hey, “Mother Knows Best”.

Total: 17

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7. Claude Frollo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

Don’t sleep on Frollo. This dude is crazy and will have you burned at the stake if you don’t do what he wants. He is an excellent Disney villain and is so dark that his movie isn’t really suited for children. He is an elite villain in every sense of the word and if the Hunchback was a hit, he might crack the Top 3.

Influence/Intimidation: 4

I think Claude Frollo quite a bit of influence as the archdeacon of Notre Dame. In this time, the church had great power over the people and he held most of that power. He also uses intimidation to keep people quiet, especially Quasimodo.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 1

Welp, ya he’s got none of this stuff.

Deviousness/Motivation: 5

Frollo is straight-up insane. If someone didn’t do as he wished, he would order them to be killed, simple as that. Later in the movie, he started having lustful temptations for Esmerelda to the point where he literally told her to be with him or he would burn her at the stake, a threat which he basically followed through with.

Movie Success: 2.5

The Hunchback of Notre Dame was a dark and risky movie that made a lot of people feel uncomfortable because of the negative light put on this leader of the Catholic Church and his inner temptations. Ultimately, it proved not to be a children’s movie and thus underperformed.

Villain Song: 5

The single darkest and most insane villain song in Disney canon. It displays the powerful inner struggles that Frollo is dealing with and is sung in a devious, yet thematically appropriate manor.

Total:17.5

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6. Gaston (Beauty & The Beast)

Some may be a little upset that Gaston isn’t in the top 5,  but let’s face it, in terms of actual strength or power, he is just a man. He is still iconic when it comes to movie villains, more-so because of the movie he is in than the actual villain he is.

Influence/Intimidation: 3

Gaston, though not the smartest, does know how to manipulate people. He convinces an entire village to charge the Beast’s spooky castle.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 3

He is pretty strong and knows how to hunt. He was apparently an army general, but ultimately, he is still 100% human, which limits his strength potential.

Deviousness/Motivation: 2.5

His motivation is simply to do whatever it takes to get Belle to marry him. However, he is willing to go to great lengths to get this to happen. He has no intention to be evil, just to get what he wants.

Movie Success: 5

Beauty and the Beast is an all-time classic, enough said.

Villain Song: 4

I absolutely love the song “Gaston”. I was going to give it a 5 in this category until I realized that it isn’t really an evil song. It is simply a song about how great he is and doesn’t really cue in on the fact that he will become the main antagonist of the movie, but man it is so catchy.

Total: 17.5

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5. Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)

Maleficent has two live-action movies centered around her. That shows just how highly regarded she is as a villain. However, it’s my rankings so I think you need a great villain song to take the win.

Influence/Intimidation: 5

When Maleficent entered a room, everyone in that room held their breath. In terms of straight-up intimidation, no villain was more intimidating.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 5

She could change herself into a huge dragon. She can put spells on people that are impossible to prevent. Maximum magical power.

Deviousness/Motivation: 3

I believe she just wants to kill Aurora just to spite the King and Queen. It seems like Maleficent with all her power should have bigger fish to fry but her willingness to kill is obvious.

Movie Success: 3.5

I would call Sleeping Beauty a classic princess film, but it doesn’t as quite as widely appreciated as a few other princess films.

Villain Song: 1 + .5 Old Movie Bonus

If Maleficent had a villain song she’d be in the elite tier for sure.

Total: 18

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4. Shan Yu (Mulan)

Shan Yu has some awesome moments in Mulan. He is scary, intimidating, and the few times he talks, you listen. I absolutely love the moment where his hawk takes his sword from the hands of the emperor and drops it to him on the roof of the palace. The moment when he reaches out to grab it and emerges from the shadows, and the music that accompanies it, is an elite villain moment for sure.

Influence/Intimidation: 5

Shan Yu leads an army of merciless Huns and is just about the most physically intimidating character you’ll ever see.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 4

He survived an avalanche and up General Shang with ease. Ultimately, I’m giving him the max value of someone that is still limited by their human mortality.

Deviousness/Motivation: 4

He wants to kill the Emperor in front of his people and take over China. At least that is what we can infer by his actions. I wish he talked a little more because every time he does, he demands your attention.

Movie Success: 4.5

Mulan is among the greatest Disney animated films of all time, though it is probably only the 3rd or 4th best film from the Disney Renaissance.

Villain Song: 1

Sad but true, no villain song.

Total: 18.5

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3. Scar (The Lion King)

If I was to just ask someone to name a great Disney villain off the top of their head, there is a good chance they’d pick Scar. He is just iconic in every way. He is such a smart and devious villain and his motivation is strong and clear. He is a little bit of a coward but that is really just used as a plot device by the film, it doesn’t take much away from what he accomplishes as a character. His plan works, and he gets the throne for like 5-10 years. That never happens.

Influence/Intimidation: 3.5

While his presence to the other lions isn’t inherently intimidating, he manages to enlist the help of an army of hyenas. Nothing flashy, but he gets the job done.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 1.5

Scar’s biggest weakness as a villain is his own physical weakness. He isn’t about to hurt anyone by himself.

Deviousness/Motivation: 5

Scar knows what he wants and he is willing to do anything to get there. He wants the throne, and he wants his brother dead. He will kill Mufasa, Simba, or anyone else he needs to.

Movie Success: 5

The Lion King was the highest-grossing animated film for almost two decades. It is also one of the most beloved films ever.

Villain Song: 5

Most iconic villain song? I’d say so.

Total: 20

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2. Jafar (Aladdin)

The last two have a couple of the most menacing evil laughs in all of cinema. Jafar is in the elite of the elite when it comes to villainy. There is no villain more motivated and more devious. The scale of his evil-doing is as big as you can possibly think of. The only reason he isn’t up there with Ursula is the fact that her song is way better.

Influence/Intimidation: 4

He is second in command to the sultan, and he pretty much can do whatever he wants with that power as long as the word doesn’t get back to Jasmine or her father. He is also terribly evil in appearance, so that’s at least somewhat intimidating.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 4

He isn’t strong. However, even before the genie, he has the power of hypnosis and mind-control. He also seems to be able to conjure up all sorts of spells and tricks using the Sultan’s ring, and he can pretty much disappear out of the grasp of guards. Not a bad golf swing either for a lefty.

Deviousness/Motivation: 5

Unlike a lot of other villains on this list, Jafar never stops being evil. Literally, every single decision he makes comes down to doing what will help him achieve ultimate power. He thinks big too. He wants to be the most powerful entity in the universe, not just among humans.

Movie Success: 5

Aladdin was the first-ever Disney Princess movie that was actually targeted at a boy audience, and it soared. Plus, it is my favorite Disney movie.

Villain Song: 3.5

His villain song is a reprise of Prince Ali and it is only about 90 seconds long, but it still gets the point across.

Total: 21.5

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1. Ursula (The Little Mermaid)

Ursula is a legend in the realm of villainy, animated or otherwise. Though I am not a huge fan of The Little Mermaid as a movie, there is no doubt in my mind that she is the be part of it. She looks the part, she has an amazing villain song, and she is willing to do whatever it takes for an opportunity at revenge and power.

Influence/Intimidation:4.5

Everyone in the sea knows of the sea witch and trembles when thinking about her. If she had more minions than just a couple of eels, she would get a 5 in this category.

Physical Strength/Magical Power: 4

She has incredible magical powers. I’m not sure what kind of limits she has to her powers she can pretty much drum up whatever kind of spell she needs. The only thing that holds her powers back is the fact that King Triton’s triton clearly is more powerful or else Ursula wouldn’t be trying to get it.

Deviousness/Motivation: 5

Ursula thinks small to achieve big. She goes after Ariel to get to Triton so that she can not only get revenge on him but also take over the ocean.

Movie Success: 4

The Little Mermaid is iconic because it is the movie that brought Disney Animation out of the dark ages and into the renaissance. When compared to other films from the Disney Renaissance, it is only actually right in the middle of the pack.

Villain Song: 5

I pity the poor unfortunate souls that haven’t yet listened to Ursula’s awesome villain song.

Total: 22.5

There you have it! Ursula is the indisputable best Disney animated villain ever! It’s interesting to me that the villains in my original top 5 stayed the same. Did I leave any villains out that you think should be included? Where do you disagree with my rankings? How would you change the evaluation process to better represent the best villains? If you somehow managed to make it to the end of this gargantuan article,  you’re the best type of person. If you want more content like this, except you want it entering your earholes instead of your eyeholes, check out my podcast Banter? I Hardly Know Her! What should I rank next?

 

One Comment Add yours

  1. Great ranking! Glad to see Shere Khan and Prince John made it to top 25!

    Liked by 1 person

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