Not that I’m not blown away by the computer animation seen in today’s movies, but I sort of miss the traditional animation, particularly in Disney movies. We may see a reversion back to that type of animation here and there, but for the most part, I’m afraid it’s gone for good. One of the things I really liked about the traditionally animated Disney movies were the villains. It takes a real sadistic villain to make the protagonist seem heroic, and some of Disney’s villains have been quite memorable. Especially when they get to sing a song about how evil they are.
I went ahead and ranked the animated Disney villains except instead of the top 5, I ranked the top 10. Take a look at the very best animated Disney villains presented – as always – in reverse order.
10. Cruella de Vil – 101 Dalmatians
It should be an automatic red flag that Cruella smokes her cigarettes with a filter (by the way – how odd is it to see cigarettes in a Disney movie?), but her ridiculous hairstyle gives everyone fair warning that she’s out of her gourd. And she is: the reason she is so set on acquiring a great number of puppies is so that she can turn them into fur coats. Her great wealth and submissive henchmen make Cruella formidable for anyone, especially a small Dalmatian puppy.
9. Shan-Yu – Mulan
It’s tough to look more bad ass than Shan-Yu, the conqueror. His Hun warriors are loyal, numerous, and deadly, and Shan-Yu has no qualms about resorting to classic villain behavior – like kidnapping. Shun-Yu seems to get off on killing, and his falcon, Hayabusa, is just about the only pet bad ass enough for him. Even Shun-Yu’s death was awesome; he was attached to a rocket that slammed into a tower, creating an incredible explosion.
8. The Horned King – The Black Cauldron
Seriously, just look at this guy. Just looking like that immediately gives you villain street cred. The Horned King seeks out the Black Cauldron so that he can create an army of undead soldiers and – like many awesome villains aspire to do – take over the world. John Hurt voiced the Horned King, helping to create one of Disney’s scariest villains. The Black Cauldron, unlike almost all of Disney’s animated movies, was rated PG, and a lot of that has to be due to The Horned King.
7. Ursula – The Little Mermaid
Ursula’s design always intrigued me: her top half is an overweight, seemingly sexually aggressive diva, while her bottom half is that of a giant octopus. Pretty nasty. When brute force or the use of her pet eels don’t get the job done, Ursula relies on sorcery and trickery to get what she wants. Ursula managed to get a hold of Triton’s trident and would have ruled the oceans were it not for Eric killing her in the same way Ellen Brody killed Jaws. Which, incidentally, is the only cool part about the Jaws video game for Nintendo. Remember?
6. Gaston – Beauty and the Beast
He’s not disfigured or magical or anything like that, but Gaston comes in the six spot simply because of his overwhelming douchebaggery. I’m surprised he didn’t walk around with his collar popped. He’s incredibly self-centered and focuses on superficial things, and his general intolerance makes for a terrific villain. I’m guessing that we all know someone like Gaston.