This time last year, I wrote a piece on the appeal of the Disney villains. In it, I wrote about the cottage industry that has sprung up within Disney’s vast merchandising empire surrounding villains like Ursula, Maleficent, and Cruella de Vil. The villains of Disney’s great animated films hold a certain fascination for fans, and in my post I discussed why.
…to many Disney fans, the villains are just…well…cooler.
The villains put on the best show — and they make the fantasy world go round. Without great villains, Cinderella would have never tried on the glass slipper, Wendy and her brothers would never have learned heroism in Neverland, and Giselle would have never made it to New York City to meet her true love, Robert. Without the bad guys we don’t realize who the good guys really are and how we can aspire to be one ourselves.
This year I toyed with the idea of making a list of the baddest Disney villains (notice I didn’t say “worst” — there is a distinction), but after perusing Google, I realized there’s already a glut of villain rankings. From professional writers and listmakers to everyday bloggers, plenty of others before me have attempted to make a list of the baddest of the bad. Mine would have simply become just another list.
And I learned that the most evil villains depended on your criteria. For instance, Maleficent might win based on magical powers, while Jafar may take the cake for creepy charm. Scar or Ursula may top a list based on sheer cruelty, while Lady Tremaine could grab the title of the ultimate mean girl. Buzzfeed listed Cruella de Vil near the top because:
She wants to wear the skin of puppies.
Let me repeat that: SHE WANTS TO WEAR THE SKIN OF PUPPIES.
So, who really are the most evil Disney villains? I chose to write about the two worst based on my own criteria. These two stand head and shoulders above their counterparts — and not for the reasons you’d think. One villain goes back to the earliest of the Disney classics, while the other comes from the modern era. Regardless of powers, methods, or circumstances, these two villains reach their own level of evil because of what they represent.