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Disney Top 10 - The Villains (Animated)

Willie Oleson

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wrestling with the question of whether a sidekick is just a companion or needs to serve a more specific function within the story.
Many of the Disney films are based on well-known fairy tales and other children's classics. You can't have a Sleeping Beauty movie without the fairies, or Snow White without the dwarfs.
But the movies don't really need Lucifer or Pascal or Sebastian in order to tell the story, they are additional and unique Disney creatures - they're added for sub-plots, humour and songs.
 

Mel O'Drama

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Many of the Disney films are based on well-known fairy tales and other children's classics. You can't have a Sleeping Beauty movie without the fairies, or Snow White without the dwarfs.
But the movies don't really need Lucifer or Pascal or Sebastian in order to tell the story, they are additional and unique Disney creatures - they're added for sub-plots, humour and songs.


Aha. Yes - this seems like a good basis for this round.


Although sadly it may mean losing one of my top two choices:
 

Willie Oleson

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We were still soapchatters when we posted our lists....At long last, here's the result of the favourite Disney sidekicks


1623355825337.png
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1. Olaf / Sir Hiss (18)

2. Sebastian (13)

3. Gus (10)

4. Lucifer / Smee (9)

5. Jiminy Cricket / Si & Am (8)

6. Jasper & Horace / Mrs. Potts / Timon / Pascal (7)

7. Archimedes / Flower / White Rabbit (6)

8. Thumper / mouse seamstress (5)

9. Napoleon & Lafayette (4)

10. Orville (3)


Any preferences for the next top 10?
 

Angela Channing

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We were still soapchatters when we posted our lists....At long last, here's the result of the favourite Disney sidekicks
I don't know how I failed to post my list especially as I had over a year to do it! Sebastian from Little Mermaid would have been my top choice.
 
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Mel O'Drama

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Willie Oleson

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1. Maleficent
I didn't grow up with Disney's versions of the fairy tales - I assume because that kind of merchandise was somewhat limited in those days - yet somehow I feel I've always been aware of them.
I've never found The Sleeping Beauty one of the most satisfying stories when it comes to the thrills (my main interest in these fairy tales) because apart from the disruptive entrance she didn't do very much. In some versions she returns as the old woman with the hidden spinning wheel but even that additional scene wasn't always enough for me.
Although some of the illustrations were pretty wicked.
1623539102076.png


I specifically remember my first encounter with Maleficent. A girl who lived across the street had one of those popular View Master things and she also had the Disney's Sleeping Beauty reels.
I'm sure those reels look still impressive today but what really blew me away is what Disney had done with this somewhat underwhelming storybook villain.
She also has a positive impact on the other characters, most notably Prince Phillip, thus making him the first interesting "Prince Charming" character.

The movie also has a very spooky scene, interestingly it's the part that doesn't show Maleficent's physical presence.
Aurora's trance and the fairies' frantic effort to find and stop her, their voices echoing in a labyrinth of staircases, the sinister music with a few jump-scares...it all seems a bit too much for Disney's target audience. But for me, too much is great.
Another thing I hadn't noticed before (I rewatched the movie yesterday) is that the kings and queen look like playing card characters, which would make Maleficent the equivalent of the evil Joker.

2. The Queen
I think I've read in Johnston & Thomas "The Disney Villain" that black was a difficult colour to work with, to make it dramatically pop, as it were.
Therefore I find it interesting that the black in the queen's colour palette is the colour that pops the most.
Speaking of black, "lips red as the rose, hair black as ebony, skin white as snow" applies to all three adult characters. Considering Snow White's Germanic theme I find this rather peculiar and yet I simply can't picture blond hair underneath the queen's headdress. It would soften her appearance too much.

Unlike most of her storybook counterparts she doesn't look the wife/widow of a king. She is the monarch, and I think it gives her an almost masculine quality.
In some sequences - and with a little adjustment of perspective - it looks as if her face is painted onto the head, which gives it a strange, floating appearance, just like the face in the mirror itself.
Which brings me to the first reason to rank her as one of my favourite villains: the mystery.
Her motives may be cut and dried, but what's the force behind those motives? The mirror acts like a slave but she's also a slave to the mirror.
The 1997 horror remake A Tale Of Terror wonderfully capitalizes on that enigmatic relationship, without explaining too much (nothing at all, actually).

As for the witch appearance, I have yet to see a Disney villain looking scarier than she does.
It's a nonsensical disguise if you want to cause feelings of trust and sympathy but what the heck, it's all about the thrills.
The creation is more in line with the design for the dwarfs and she also develops a certain sense of humour.
In essence, it's the ultimate hag horror: the queen's statuesque glamour (almost like The Oscar itself) followed by exploitation of the very decay thereof.
And then there's mouthwatering images like these, it has a warmth and depth to it that I only find in the very old Disney movies.
1623537767649.png


3. Lady Tremaine
As if favouritism isn't traumatic enough she also wants Cinderella to feel miserable. She's cultivated and maintains a state of despair, a sadistic character trait that exceeds her feelings of jealousy and insecurity.
Tremaine and Cinderella also have the most sinister first-interaction scene and I think it's amazing how they've turned something as ordinary as a bedroom into a special kind of hell.
1623537848381.png

Furthermore, her hairdo kind of suggests that it camouflages two horns. Arguably one of the most hateable characters in this list.

4. Madame Medusa
Imho, The Rescuers is the last of the truly artistic Disney animated movies.
Medusa appears to be a mix of Madam Mim, Cruella De Vil and Carol Burnett. Somehow she manages to stay on the right side of over-the-top and her body language and facial expressions are eerily precise.
Even though her main goal is relatively mundane compared to other stories, she comes across as a heartless and violent person - and she doesn't have to put on a show to prove it.
Her monstrous pets gives her a touch of Gothic that works so well in these Disney movies.
She's the first (and only) villain I've seen on the cinema screen, and I still love her.

5. Forte
There's no shortage of Gothic when it comes to this particular villain, a majestically monstrous phantom organ whose magical power is the power of sound. Very creative and surprisingly effective.
1623537959879.png


6. Frollo
The character itself misses the element of imagination and maybe it also relies too much on the likeability of the protagonists, nevertheless, this interaction makes for a more interesting narrative which allows Frollo to embrace his Satanic villainy.
As for the villain's defeat I'd say this is one is very, very satisfying (and that's going to be a category of its own).

7. Mother Gothel
She may be the opposite of Lady Tremaine, but the result of her actions creates a similar predicament.
The original Gothel isn't much of a character and apart from Rapunzel's situation the story is a complete rewrite.
The terror of Disney's Gothel is sporadic, but when it shows it's delightfully dark and evil.

8. The Coachman
Probably the creepiest of the bunch, because like the Pied Piper and the witch of Hansel & Gretel he lures his young victims with an element of joy - and he gets away with it too.
It's not the most memorable performance but it does create a horrific fate that lingers on.
Come to think of it, everything about that Pinocchio story is just so fekkin freaky.

9. Cruella De Vil
I had expected to rank her higher but then I realized that I have to be in the mood for this character.
There's an iconic aspect about her that seems to nurture itself - an Instavillain, as it were - and I'm not always buying into it.
She's more fabulous and bitchy than she's evil and yes she wants to kill dogs but what else can she do? Wear them when they're still alive?
The physical appearance, mannerism and the disproportionately big fur coat is spot on (ha) but sometimes I wonder if this should have been a male character, just to make it even more extravagant.
Anita: I like a nice fur...but there are so many other things.
!

10. Jafar
To keep it short and simple, this looks an awful lot like Maleficent Extra Time but as they say "if it ain't broke don't fix it". His energetic malice and magic has earned him the status of being a classic Disney villain, imo.


almost...

Ursula
The idea for the octopus villain was a stroke of genius, and the thrills and action are similar to Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin.
But there's something about that drag queen performance that doesn't work for me. I can't explain why, it just doesn't.

Dr. Facilier
Definitely "the missing Disney villain" but he's simply too sexy and too funky and I hate it that I can't hate him.
 

Crimson

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  1. Maleficent - Sleeping Beauty
  2. Jafar - Aladdin
  3. Cruella De Vil - 101 Dalmatians
  4. Ursula - The Little Mermaid
  5. Lady Tremaine - Cinderella
  6. The Evil Queen - Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs
  7. Doctor Facilier - The Princess And The Frog
  8. Scar - The Lion King
  9. Hades - Hercules
  10. Captain Hook - Peter Pan
 

Emelee

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My most likeable villains list:

1. Prince John, Robin Hood
2. Shere Khan, The Jungle Book
3. Maleficent, Sleeping Beauty
4. The Evil Queen, Snow White
5. Ursula, The Little Mermaid
6. Jafar, Aladdin
7. Captain Hook, Peter Pan
8. Gaston, Beauty & the Beast
9. Professor Ratigan, The Great Mouse Detective
10. Mother Gothel, Tangled
 

Mel O'Drama

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I'm not going to over-think this one, because look how that turned out for me in the sidekicks round.








1. Maleficent
from Sleeping Beauty





2. Evil Queen
from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs




3. Lady Tremaine
from Cinderella





4. Scar
from The Lion King




5. Frollo
from The Hunchback Of Notre Dame




6. Ursula
from The Little Mermaid




7. Cruella de Vil
from One Hundred And One Dalmations




8. Madame Medusa
from The Rescuers





9. Jafar
from Aladdin







And perhaps most terrifying of all...

10. Man
from Bambi















Villainously bubbling under:


Chernabog from
Fantasia
Kaa from The Jungle Book
Shere Khan from The Jungle Book
Ysma from The Emperor's New Groove
 

Toni

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My Top 10 villains:

1- Queen (Snow White)
2- Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)
3- Cruella De Vil (101 Dalmatians)
4- Madame Medusa (The Rescuers)
5- Lady Tremaine (Cinderella)
6- Shere Kahn (The Jungle Book)
7- Rattigan (The Great Mouse Detective)
8- Scar (The Lion King)
9- Frollo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
10- Sheriff of Nothingham (Robin Hood)
 
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Willie Oleson

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I love those pseudo-vintage alternative artwork images. It's interesting that grey is the only neutral background colour they could use for all characters, but it also reminds me of the intro credits for the SCRUPLES mini-series.
1623587885376.png

It's a little more blue-ish, but it has a similar pseudo-vintage effect as the image suggests a 1930s drama instead of a 1970s drama).

Chernabog from Fantasia
Kaa from The Jungle Book
Shere Khan from The Jungle Book
Ysma from The Emperor's New Groove
This Disney Top 10 isn't going to be an exclusive villain's thread, but it's safe to say that at least two of these four characters will feature in my top 10 in a completely different category. And that could be the #1 spot.
 

Mel O'Drama

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I love those pseudo-vintage alternative artwork images.

Me too. They're great and I love the uniformity.

( I'm a little sad there wasn't one for Man and must confess I considered having a different tenth choice for that very reason.)


It's interesting that grey is the only neutral background colour they could use for all characters,

Yes - although a couple of the greyer villains are at risk of blending in...



In fact, Hades' background appears to have a bit more of a green hue here, perhaps so he can be seen better.


but it also reminds me of the intro credits for the SCRUPLES mini-series.

Oh yes. I see what you mean.



This Disney Top 10 isn't going to be an exclusive villain's thread, but it's safe to say that at least two of these four characters will feature in my top 10 in a completely different category. And that could be the #1 spot.

How exciting.
 

Angela Channing

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  1. Ursula - The Little Mermaid
  2. Shan Yu - Mulan
  3. Scrooge McDuck - Various
  4. Queen of Hearts - Alice In Wonderland
  5. Shere Khan - Jungle Book
  6. Sir Hiss - Robin Hood
  7. Jafar - Aladdin
  8. Captain Hook - Peter Pan
  9. Cruella de Vil - 101 Dalmatians
  10. Gaston - Beauty and The Beast
 
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