Remember all those years of cringing away from the television as you watched VHS animated movies and the evil characters chanted their theme songs? Yeah, we and our beloved stuffed animals do, too. Luckily, we can usually count on Disney to give its villains their just deserts. Read on for Intermission’s top picks of the creepiest, meanest animated Disney foes.
The wolves in “Beauty and the Beast.”
They wait in the dark, two-dimensional woods, teeth gnashing, and then pounce on the smartest female character to grace the Disney opus. These wolves are the source of 85 percent of lupophobes. Plus, because they’re not technically the villains of the story, they survive to circle the castle for all eternity!
Frollo in “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.”
Actually, the entire film is a sordid, age-inappropriate romp. The movie’s redeeming innovation is having the hero be ugly, but we have Victor Hugo to thank for that. But you can just tell that the minister of justice is evil because he is old and has an accent, sure indicators in the Disney world that we’re dealing with a villain. Frollo kills the baby hunchback’s mother and tries to kill him too, but instead keeps Quasimodo cooped up Rapunzel-style. He constantly sings about hell even as he lusts after gypsies. This guy is evil and claims the support of the government and the religious powers, which only compounds his power.
Spiker and Sponge in “James and Giant Peach.”
Most of this story is pretty awful, too, but the abusive aunts who take custody of James after his orphaning run-in with a rhinoceros are especially awful. They force him to work all day, threaten to beat him and eventually try to kill him. Luckily they are wrapped up in spider silk and arrested, which shows that law enforcement really is looking out for the well-being of the psychedelics.
Scar from “Lion King.”
Spoiler alert! He killed Mufasa. This probably goes without saying, given the fratricide incident, but this is the cruelest lion to ever grace the big screen. From his habit of sadistically toying with his prey to his dumb hyena coven to the way he leads the kingdom of Pride Rock into a period of starvation and sorrow, he’s a backstabbing dictator of an uncle.
Ursula in “The Little Mermaid.”
This manipulative octopus-human hybrid takes Ariel’s voice and then transforms herself into a beautiful raven-haired woman to steal Prince Eric’s heart away from bumbling little mute Ariel. A chameleon-villain is the worst kind of villain because she can even look pretty. Most villains are ugly, according to Disney, so when surface appearance can be altered, you’d better watch out.