When I was young and I watched a Disney film, I always rooted for the hero. I wanted Simba to get over his past, and become the king he couldn’t wait to be, once upon a time. I cheered for Buzz to fly when he lost his sanity and had tea time in an apron and flower hat. I even hoped that Jack Skellington could retrieve Santa Claus in time for Christmas, despite the fact that it was Jack who ordered his kidnapping in the first place. However, as I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to appreciate the antagonists of the Disney kingdom just as much as the heroes, because without them, the stars we hold so dear wouldn’t have a challenge to overcome. I’ve actually found myself relating to these naughty characters, and laughing at their incorrigible nature. With a live-action Maleficent coming out starring Angelina Jolie, I couldn’t help but wonder what other Disney villains deserved their own movies, too. Read on, and see if you agree with my choices!
10. Randall Boggs – Monster’s, Inc.
In Monster’s, Inc., Randall Boggs, a.k.a. “Randy”, is the arch nemesis of the beloved Mike and Sulley team. In this world, monsters make a living by going through random doors that lead to different children’s closets, and using the shrieks of terror they cause as an electrical current to light their city. Unable to compete with his coworkers in retaining screams, Randy comes up with a machine that squeezes the screams out of children by simply hooking up a hose to their mouths. Of course, by the end of the film, Randy is defeated, thrown into the deep south where he’s mistaken for a snake and beaten, and the machine is destroyed. But what if Randy won? What if Mike and Sulley never made it out of the Himalayas, and Randy used his machine to suck small children dry, until he was the most feared and powerful in all of the land? Sounds like a twisted, dark fairytale to me — and a movie I’d love to see.
9. Lady Tremaine – Cinderella
After Cinderella is orphaned, her wicked stepmother, also known as Lady Tremaine, uses her authority to make Cinderella’s life as miserable as possible. She forces Cinderella to do all of the household chores by herself, berates her constantly, and even uses her magic to trick Prince Charming into believing that Lady Tremaine’s daughter, Anastasia, is his true love. However, a woman doesn’t just wake up one morning and decide to become a wicked stepmother who treats her child as a peasant. Something deeply disturbing must have happened to Lady Tremaine to make her so vengeful and merciless. I would love to see her transform from a sweet, caring girl to a woman that’s been walked on one too many times, and isn’t about to open up and show her feelings to anyone ever again.
8. Sid – Toy Story
Toy Story takes a dark turn after Buzz and Woody hitch a ride to Pizza Planet. When the duo is accidentally retrieved from the claw machine by a well-known bully named Sid, they soon find themselves in a living nightmare, an area so dangerous and full of hate, it could only be one place: Sid’s room. Watching Sid torture his toys from the day he was born would be an absolutely petrifying horror movie — and a brilliant one. Bullies usually don’t arise from Leave It To Beaver families, but rather, a home life of chaos and destruction. A film about Sid’s broken childhood would lend sympathy and complexity to his character, and display how some of his monstrous toys became so deformed in the first place.
7. Chernabog – Fantasia
Arguably the most evil villain that Disney has ever created, Chernabog is quite a unique character. He exists merely to be sinister, meaning that he has no plans to rule the world, steal a youngster’s beauty, or even gather money. Chernabog isn’t about the end goal, he’s just in it for the sadistic ride, enjoying every moment with fierce brutality. This daunting creature rises out of Bald Mountain during the witch’s sabbath to reward all of his followers by throwing them into a pit of fire in the mountain while they dance with joy. If there’s any bad guy that can frighten audiences with ease, it’s this murderous gargoyle on steroids.
6. Oogie Boogie – The Nightmare Before Christmas
You know you’re one scary dude when the other creatures of Halloweentown fear you. I remember being petrified the first time I saw Oogie Boogie in The Nightmare Before Christmas when I was little, enough to where it was challenging to watch when the film neared its third act. For that reason alone, he would be the perfect villain to use as a lead in an adult stop-motion animation horror movie. Many intriguing questions could finally be answered, like how did Lock, Shock & Barrel start working for Oogie in the first place? Was there an initiation involved? Who else was tortured in Oogie’s casino chamber? With so many options waiting to be explored, Oogie proves that you don’t need Jack Skellington to tell a story, just a crazed gambler and a pair of dice.
5. Frollo – The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Because it’s been so long since the movie first hit theaters, people forget how dark The Hunchback of Notre Dame really was, especially for a children’s film. Frollo is a antagonist so evil, he shoots a woman and tries to throw her baby down a well in the first five minutes of the movie. After a priest guilts him into raising the child himself, Frollo reluctantly takes on the parent role, banishing poor grotesque Quasimodo to the bell tower to live out his days in hiding. Frollo manipulates him into believing that no one will ever accept his appearance, when the truth is, Frollo was too afraid of what people would think to allow his only child in the sunlight. As Frollo hunts down gypsies and burns the houses of their accomplices ever so casually, one can’t help but wonder what drove him to such hysteria in the first place? What if there was a gypsy woman who betrayed his undying love, driving him to see her face on every nomad that entered France for all of eternity? It would certainly explain his obsession with Esmerelda, and possibly unveil his darkest side yet.
4. Shan Yu – Mulan
Anyone who has seen Mulan knows that Shan-Yu is one of the scariest Disney villains ever drawn, for obvious reasons. I mean, look at those bright, alien-like eyes, that stern, intimidating gaze, and those razor-sharp teeth. Who wouldn’t find this towering man terrifying? As if his looks weren’t horrifying enough, the fact that he pillages villages for fun in his spare time also makes him one of the most wicked men to ever grace a child’s screen. Obsessed with power, Shan Yu sets his sights on the emperor of China, claiming that he was invited to battle because he interpreted the Great Wall as a challenge. Mulan is pretty dark already, with the Hun army killing every innocent person they come into contact with, so why not take advantage of the subject material and create a film entirely devoted to Shan Yu and show the growth of the Hun army, and the threat of force that caused China to build the Great Wall in the first place?
3. The Evil Queen – Snow White
Poor misunderstood Evil Queen. All she wanted was the beauty and purity that encapsulated Snow White. Is youth and attractiveness so much to ask for? I mean, is Snow White really going to miss a silly old heart? But no, Ms. White just had to be so fair and popular that even the Queen’s loyal huntsman couldn’t bear to hurt her. She even gets taken in by seven strangers, disrupting the Queen’s perfect plans! An easy way to make up for her losses would be to give The Queen her very own movie, because it would be fascinating. And no, I’m not talking about an awkward Lord of the Rings/Snow White love child starring Bella Swan, I mean a simple, old-fashioned, purple cape and crown Evil Queen, whose life revolved around one thing: vanity.
2. Scar – The Lion King
Sly and sarcastic, Scar sets the bar for depravity in The Lion King. While waiting patiently in line for the throne behind his brother Mufasa and nephew Simba, Scar cooks up a plan that’ll speed things along. He figures why wait to become king of the Pride Lands, when he can use his hyena buddies to start a stampede, and throw his competition into the debacle? When Simba survives, Scar relies on his superior persuasion skills to convince his nephew that he was the one who murdered Mufasa, and puts himself in charge shortly after Simba runs away. Whereas other Disney villains might work in a prequel, Scar would be best-suited for the same Lion King movie, only from his perspective. In Scar’s eyes, he was the one who was mistreated, because he was overlooked not once, but twice for the king. What choice did he have but to vent his frustration in one sweeping, vile movement? Like the play Wicked, Scar could stand on his own, and tell the story the way he saw it: through jealous eyes.
1. Ursula – The Little Mermaid
Ursula has displayed myriad powers — taking Ariel’s voice, transforming herself into a human, making herself thirty feet tall, and even turning Ariel’s dad, the king of the sea, into a fish. It would be exciting to see what other talents lie just beneath the surface. Another thing that makes Ursula so special is her appearance. The sea witch’s voluptuous figure allows such distinction between her and practically any other Disney character that it’s really quite refreshing to see. I only hope that if this classic cartoon were portrayed in a live-action film, the casting director would stay true to size, instead of trying to turn one of Disney’s most iconic villains into something she’s not.