Friday, January 4, 2013

My Top 10 Favorite Disney villains


In movies, villains can be a tone of fun, and the villains we remember most are the ones that were introduced to use at child hood. Of cores the most memorable of all are the ones from Disney. With their awesome designs and unforgettable songs, Disney gave us some great villains. Now I’m not doing a list of the most popular Disney villains, so some classics like Chrul Ella Devil and Scar aren't going to be present. This also isn't a list based on who's the most evil, so I wont be including characters like Chernabog from "Fantasia" out of spite. This is simply a list of the ones I personally enjoy the most. So give your best evil laugh and enjoy my top 10 personal favorite Disney villains. Oh, and see if you can guess my Number 1 favorite ... the answer might surprise you. 

#10. The Evil Queen a.k.a. The Old Witch (Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs)

Princess Snow White is the fairest one of all, which is a problem for her evil step mother, who aims to slay her own daughter just to win the title of "fairest in the land". Being Disney’s very first villain, it makes her one of the most memorable from childhood, and for most kids she was the first they ever saw. What makes this evil Queen interesting is that she's the only Disney villain to have two classic images, first of her as the queen and second of her as the old witch. There's nothing I enjoy more from a single character then a wide range of theatrics, and this evil witch covered the full range. As the Queen she was quiet, menacing and had this permanent frown on her face. As the old witch she was loud, frightening and was enjoying every second of what she was doing. This gives us two different portrayals of evil from one character, making her all the more fun to watch. With such a mysterious and threatening presence mixed with an awesome look and design, the evil queen made for a great first Disney villain and a perfect start to this list.

#9 Percival McLeach (The Rescuers Down Under)

In this underrated Disney classic we meet a sinister poacher who takes a boy hostage in an effort to hunt down a rare golden eagle. I can some up what makes this character great with just three syllables, “Gorge C. Scott”. This is an actor who makes everything really intense and awesome, whether he’s on screen or just doing voice work. How can you not be intimidated by this guy? You can have the most one dimensional villain ever and he’ll still be awesome thanks to Gorge C. Scott. The character himself is still cool, he’s a wild and savage hunter who doesn’t care what he has do to get what he wants. I always look at McLeach as one of the most underrated of Disney villains. He was quick, sinister, always had a dangerous presence and was boasted by the talent of one of my favorite actors, Gorge C. Scott.

#8 Prince John (Robin Hood)

With the king of the land sent off on a crusade, the sinister Prince John takes the thrown for himself, and rules the land with an iron fist. The only one standing in his way is the rebellious Robin Hood, who aims to put the wicked prince in his place. Of all the Disney villains, this one was by far the funniest. There’s just something really amusing about a dominating and all controlling villain who’s a complete looser. I just love this guy’s childish personality, and that absurd laugh of his just brings me joy. It’s especially fun when he’s working of off his evil partner Sir Hiss. Sense Prince John is a more femme villain, it makes there arguing and bickering look like a dysfunctional married couple. Not much else to say, sometimes a wimpy villain can be just as entertaining as a threatening one.  

#7 Ratigan (The Great Mouse Detective)

This is another funny villain, however, unlike Prince John, Ratigan can also be very sinister and intense, especially during the climax when he becomes a ruthless monster. Once again, the best thing about this character by far is the voice actor, horror movie legend Vincent Price who really brings Ratigan to life in every possible way you can enjoy a villain. No, he doesn’t just bring the character to life, it’s actually really hard to separate the voice actor from the character. It really feels like Vincent Price is the villain on screen, but that’s what I’ve come to expect from him. This character is just so full of himself, laughing at his own crimes and enjoying his vileness so much that it’s honestly hard not to have fun along with him. Like many characters that will be coming up on this list, Ratigan is a villain that hides his inner beast with lots of class and sophistication but still alerting us to his darker side. He may not be as famous as some of the others but I feel that he deserves to be among the best.

#6 Hades (Hercules)

In the time of Greek Mythology, the vial lord of the underworld aims to over throw his brother Zeus, but first he has to get through his son Hercules, and all while trying to keep his cool. You can probably tell by now that I really like the funny Disney villains and if I had to draw a line somewhere, I’d have to say that Hades was my favorite. That's not to say he's quiet as funny as the aforementioned Prince John, but much like Rattigan, Hades could be just as funny as he was threatening. When he's classy and fun, he strait up steals the show, yet when he got made ... boy does he become a monster. More then anything, it's the characters unique personality that makes him so much fun, and it balances off all his monstrous rage perfectly. Also, I love this guys design and how he changes color depending on how he feels. It’s a perfect blend of hummer and menace, which is enough to make Hades a first rate Disney villain and in my opinion, he's the last truly classic Disney villain. There would be other good ones after him, but no-one quiet stole the show, or stuck with us the same way he did. 

#5 ... This is actually going to be a tie between two characters that appear in Disney's "Treasure Planet". Why, because both these characters are so different, and yet so awesome in their own right that I just had to include them both.  

(A). John Silver (Treasure Planet)

Now here’s a very different kind of villain, at first he’s just a greedy pirate that’s only concerned with getting money, but then he meets our lead hero Jim Hawkins and things begin to change. John Silver begins to take the place of a father that was never there for Jim, and even teaches him some good moral values. Then we see John Silver struggling between his obsession of getting his hands on the treasure and honestly wanting to help our hero with his personal problems. He see’s in Jim the young man he used to be and genuinely wants to help Jim make a good future for himself instead of wasting it on greed like he has. This makes John Silver a more dimensional, and even complex character than just a one track villain. I find it kind of sad that this character gets less acknowledgement then other Disney characters. He really is special and takes Disney villains to new levels. He had his own personal conflicts and has a very strong internal battle with our main hero and that’s enough to make him stand out as a personal favorite among the others.

(B). Scroop (Treasure Planet)

Now if you thought John Silver was too soft for your taste, that's why we have our second villain to balance it out. When John Silver shows signs of weakness, his vile second in command named Scroop takes charge. Oh Scroop is simply a bad ass awesome villain that is equally underappreciated. He has this really cool design, almost like an intergalactic space spider, and he has an especially kick ass, slithery voice to go along with it, making everything he says drip with purely concentrated evil. Usually, supporting villains are just there to be stupid side characters, but this guy was even more threatening than the main villain. He never waists time talking to the characters or even laughing, he was fast, deadly and quick to attack. "Treasure Planet" is already a very underrated Disney film but it’s one of my personal favorites and has two awesome villains for the price of one.

#4 Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)

When a new child Princess is born into the kingdom, this evil Witch comes out of hiding to inact her vengeance for being outcast, and it all begins with a prophesied death for our young heroine. I think that any Disney villain list would have Maleficent ranked very high among the best, and for good reason. She has such a cool design, with a long purple and black clock, bat-like wings coming from the neck, a green face and devil horns. Even her name is awesome, so it's definitely an A+ with the presentation. Another strong element to her is that Maleficent combines both quiet, sophisticated evil with monstrously dominate evil. In other words she can attack you both mentally and physically, a deadly combination. Plus, she can transform into a dragon ... that's awesome! If someone were to label her the number 1 Disney villain of all time, there would be no argument from me. However, I still have 3 others that I personally like a little more, but only by a hair.

#3 Jafar (Aladdin)

If your a powerful wizard, living under the rule of an absent minded Salton, the obvious course of action would be to over throw him, seize all the power in the world, and enjoy every second of it. It’s not easy to describe what makes this guy so great but I know an awesome villain when I see one and Jafar's as classy as villains get. Just like the aforementioned evil queen, I love a villain with a wide range of theatrics, and Jafar runs the whole gambit. He can be quiet, and sinister with that slithery voice of his. He can be smart and manipulative, while using that hypnotic snake staff. He can be loud, over the top, laughing maniacally while attacking with all his powers. It's just everything I enjoy from a villain in one package. I especially love his design, which makes me think of an Arabian Count Dracula. In fact I’ll bet that Dracula was the main inspiration for his look and features. I especially love the various forms he takes ranging from an old man, to a powerful sorcerer, to an unstoppable Gene and finally as a giant snake. Overall, this is a fun, classic villain that will always stand out as one of the best and certainly one of the most unforgettable.

#2 Frollo (The Hunchback of Nonrandom)

The setting is Paris France, and the victims are all who live under the authority of Judge Frollo, who aims to snuff out all he deems sinful. I know I shouldn’t like a villain as much as a hero, but Frollo has always been a personal favorite of mine. This guy probably did more evil deed’s than any other animated villain, yet he’s actually a rather complex character. For all the terrible things he does, he tries to justify his actions every time and even convinces the people of France that it’s what needs to be done. Most villains like Maleficent are evil and did terrible things, but Frollo is a frustrated, psychopathic, holly man that can’t control his emotions, and really believes that these are things he should be doing. It doesn’t justify what he does, but it makes you except that there are no limits to the things he can do, get away with and why he doses them. You just believe he’s out of his mind and that adds a layer of fascination to his character. Also big points go to his villain song “Hellfire”, which could very well be the greatest villain song of all time. Frolo is memorable for his complexities, his dooming presence, and a stealer vocal performance from the late Tony Jay. For all this and more, Frollo stands out as not just one of my favorite Disney villains, but as one of my all time favorite villains in cinema. Yet will all that said, there's still one last villain that for me takes top honors.

Before I reveal my #1 Favorite, her are my Honorable Mentions ...

The Horned King (The Black Caldron)

Ursula (The Little Mermaid)

Gaston (Beauty and the Beast)

The Shadow Man (The Princess and the Frog)

Captain Hook (Peter Pan)

Chernabog (Fantasia)

#1 Man (Bambi)

Now here’s a very different kind of evil! It’s not a fiscal character that acts or plots on screen, instead it’s a danger that’s kept off screen. It’s said that the most frightening kind of villain is the kind you can’t see, and it’s a very fitting description of this enemy. Just like in the opening of “JAWS”, we never saw the monster but we always felt its frightening presence. The same thing applies here as we never see man throughout the whole film but you can still feel the danger whenever we come to a quiet moment. When there's no music and you only here the sound of birds flying over head, you just know something bad is coming. The way the music builds and how the mere threat gets conveyed is all very intimidating. Of all the witches, monsters and demons that have come from Disney, none of them terrified me as much as this. It always scared me at the end with all the animals running and we see the bullet shots hitting things like tree’s and wholes because I never knew how close or far away the danger was. It especially bothered me when that forest was set to flames all because of the simple carelessness of people. As far as this film goes, "Man" is the perfect example of a faceless danger that’s never seen but always felt, and personally I think it's the greatest villain to ever come from Disney.