Everyone loves a beautiful princess, a heroic prince or a funny animal sidekick. But let’s face it: Disney movies would be nowhere without their truly evil villains. In fact, without these evildoers, our favorite Disney heroes might not have a story at all. So, in honor of all the well-developed, plot-driving Disney wrongdoers, here’s a ranking of the top 5 most evil Disney villains.
Before we get started with the list, I need to make a quick note about the images you see before you. In an effort to appease the Disney overlords and prevent possible lawsuits, I have drawn each character to the best of my ability. Please don’t look too closely at them; I don’t do them justice.
Now that that’s over, let’s get down to business (to defeat the Huns).
- Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog
What can be said about Dr. Facilier? He’s a smooth-talking, charming sorcerer and a master of voodoo and black magic. With the help of his demonic “friends from the other side,” Facilier wreaks havoc on the city of New Orleans and attempts to swindle his way to the top of society. He makes sneaky deals, threatens the lives of those that stand in his way and will stop at nothing to pay back his debt to his “friends.” And most evil of all, he squashes the beloved Ray and momentarily puts out his light.
- Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty
Perhaps the most notably evil character on this list, Maleficent is a prime example of villainy in the Disney universe. Her appearance alone screams of wickedness, with her eerie green skin, horned headpiece and long, flowing black robes. She is so evil that she threatens the lives of an entire kingdom and spends decades searching for an infant to enact revenge because she wasn’t invited to a party. If that’s not evil, I don’t know what is. Oh, and she can turn into a fire breathing dragon. Need I say more?
- Scar from The Lion King
Arguably the most iconic of all Disney villains, this list couldn’t exist without Scar. He is the animal embodiment of evil. He is ambitious, conniving, and happy to kill and cheat his way to the top of the pride. The emotional turmoil that he puts Simba through is bad enough, but the scene where he kills Mufasa and simultaneously ruins the childhoods of millions of kids cements Scar as a truly heinous character. And, let’s face it, “Be Prepared” is one of the greatest Disney villain songs of all time.
- Shan Yu from Mulan
Although he is not the most popular or well known Disney villain, there is no doubt that Shan Yu is one of the most evil. His arched eyebrows, angry expression and domineering falcon companion make for a terrifying duo. And throughout Mulan, we see evidence of his brutality, including ordering his archer to murder a surrendered messenger, slaughtering entire towns and killing the young owner of a lost doll. His violent rampage across China certainly earns him the spot of the second most evil Disney villain.
- Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame
There is no doubt in our minds that Frollo is the most evil Disney villain that has ever been created. He is hateful, maniacal and downright cruel. He manipulates religion to justify his hatred for the Romani people and regularly tortures, threatens and kills people because he views them as less than human. I mean, he kills a woman in the first few minutes of the movie and then attempts to drown her “monstrous” son in a well. Furthermore, he spends an entire movie searching for and trying to kill Esmeralda because he has the hots for her. What a creep. What a monster.
So, how did we do? Did we choose the right villains, or is there another one out there more deserving of a spot?
Arik Hardin is a senior majoring in English with focuses in communication and popular culture. When he isn’t planning for his future career in publishing, you can find him crocheting another scarf, watching Disney movies and cuddling his dogs. You can follow him on Twitter at @arikhardin2.