People who grew up watching great Disney movies remember their favorite songs, characters, and scenes. They may, to some degree, influence who they become as adults. One of the best elements of any story, especially fairy tales, is the villain. Disney movies are no different — there are some that the audience can’t help but love, and some they love to hate. Nevertheless, they are memorable and important elements of these stories.
There are different types of villains and various attributes that contribute to their personalities. Some are so evil that they are despised by everyone, like Frollo di Notre Dame Humpback, a despicable man who uses his beliefs to excuse his violent actions. Some are downright crazy, like the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, shouted “Go with their heads!” in one of the film’s most memorable scenes. And some are iconic for their style choices, like Cruella in 101 Dalmatianswith her dress highlighted in the prequel.
Whether you like to support the good guys or the bad guys, it’s clear that these two receive the same amount of love (the bad guys may even be adored more than the good guys). Here are the best Disney villains from their 2D animated films, ranked.
9 Yzma – Emperor’s New Plot
Yzma is probably one of the weirdest characters ever written for a Disney film. Emperor’s New Plot has a more comedic tone than most animated films (though the production is problematic as seen in the documentary sweat box); that’s why Yzma is the perfect villain for it. His evil concoction (with a very confusing label) and his personality add to the humorous tone of the film, and deepen who he is as a character. His sidekick, Kronk, is almost the opposite, who is always the best duo.
8 Captain Hook – Peter Pan
Captain Hook and his need to make life for Peter Pan (and the Lost Boys) miserable is the driving force of the classic Disney film. Peter Pan. He is, like most good villains, who moves the plot forward and makes Peter Pan who he is. If there was no Hook, there would be no Peter Pan. He cheats and has many plans to achieve what he wants, creating a world that revolves around his needs.
7 Hades – Hercules
Surprisingly, Hades (god of the underworld) produces more smiles than most of the other characters in the film Hercules. He is a funny and somewhat charismatic character. His lack of patience for his underlings makes for the film’s funniest scenes. An almost overused villain from various Greek mythical retellings, he has always been iconic in the way he acts and how he achieves his goals.
6 Lady Tremaine – Cinderella
Cinderellahis stepmother, Lady Tremaine, and his evil actions against Cinderella should definitely be on this list. He was such a terrible and evil character that it was impossible not to hate him. She is a despicable woman who takes the money left by her dead husband and uses her stepdaughter as a tool to have a more comfortable life. One of his few flaws is the motivation for why he was so mean to Cinderella. He has no greater plan that explains his actions, drawing on the power of his crimes.
5 Jafar – Aladdin
Jafar is a very memorable character from the 90s Disney Renaissance era films. His wand and cloak are as much a statement as his actions. Jafar is one of the smartest criminals, plotting to take the throne for himself in such a way that, once people realized what he was doing, it would be too late to turn back. He uses everything he has for his benefit, his power, his social status, etc. to ensure the goal is achieved.
4 Maleficent – Sleeping Beauty
Perhaps one of the most iconic Disney villains of all time, one of the few to have had multiple films tell his story, with Wicked tells the story of Sleeping Beauty’s nemesis decades after the original classic, followed by a dark fairy tale sequel. He was offended at not being invited to the princess’s christening and decided to conjure up a curse like something no one had seen before. His evil stems from his cold personality and magical super powers (especially turning him into a dragon), and the excellent design of the original. Sleeping Beauty and from Angelina Jolie’s amazing looks.
3 Ursula – The Little Mermaid
Be careful, “poor poor souls,” for Ursula has a complicated plan and will carry it out no matter the cost. Little Mermaid. He is one of the most cunning criminals, taking advantage of Ariel’s lack of knowledge from the upper world to gain the throne of the ocean. He also uses his intelligence to get other creatures to serve his needs and trick them into giving in to his deals, including his evil little eel; The final fight with Ursula featured a very gruesome villain transformation. Not to mention he has a killer playlist at his disposal.
2 Scar – Lion King
Lion King based on one of the best plays ever written, Hamlet, so this villain has to be one of the best ever seen. Killing his brother, trying to kill his nephew, and trying to take over the animal kingdom are just a few of the things Scar does – as well as sings one of the most iconic songs in film (and arguably in all of Disney films). Even though he is very mean, his charm and likes make it hard to understand where your feelings about him are.
1 Dr. Facilier – Princess and the Frog
Although he’s not one of the classic Disney villains, appearing in the 2009 film Princess and Frog, Dr. Facilier quickly became one of the most beloved villains in Disney films. His songs, dance moves, and evil plans are in sync with his enigmatic personality. He is charming and persuasive, creating a sense of security for his clients – until it is too late. Just like Ursula and Hades, she uses her tricks to persuade people to make deals with her. His friends on the other hand are the best sidekicks a character like him could ask for: always hiding, they’re smarter than most people would praise.
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