Maleficent, the movie that Disney nerds far and wide have been anticipating for months is finally here. I have not yet seen the movie, but its release, of course, has got me thinking about Disney Villains. From what I’ve heard about the movie, it explores the backstory the self-proclaimed Mistress of All Evil and includes a lot of CGI.
In the spirit of celebrating Evil Disney Characters, I thought I’d pay a little tribute to my favorite Disney Villain of all time, Hades, Lord of the Dead.
This guy is just the best. True, I have a slight bias because I’m also a huge fan of Greek Mythology, but even if I didn’t, Hades would still be one of my favorites. From his awesome fiery blue hair to his sassy sense of humor to his tendency to call everybody “Babe,” Hades just rules. And he knows it.
If you need any more reasons to be Team Hades, look at the facts. This guy is a god. That means he can’t die. He can’t be defeated. EVER. Yeah, at the end of Hercules, we see him being flushed away in the River Styx, but he’s immortal. He runs the Underworld. And mortals are always going to die. He might hit a few bumps in the road, but he’s going to have the last laugh in the end.
Also, his hatred of his brother, Zeus, is totally justified. True, in the original myth, Hades, Zeus, and Poseidon drew lots for their roles, but in the Disney movie, Hades is assigned to the Underworld by Zeus. What a lousy gig! Not only does he have to deal with all those dead people, he has to be bossed around by his baby brother?! Yes, Zeus is the youngest of the five children of Kronos and Rhea. Not only is Zeus Hades’ little brother, he’s also absolutely terrible at what he does. He is he the ruler of all the Gods, the God of the entire Universe, and he can’t even keep track of his own kid? Come on. Seriously, that guy is a tool. Hades, you deserve to be the King of Olympus.
Don’t even get me started on how all the other jack-wagon gods treat him. They treat this poor guy like he’s got some kind of disease! It’s not his fault that he’s the Lord of the Dead and that death happens to be the one thing that mortals fear above all else! He’s just playing the hand he was dealt… BY ZEUS.
Just because Hades is the best Disney Villain, however, doesn’t mean he’s alone on his pedestal. There are other Disney Villains who are (almost) just as totally awesome.
Scar, for example, is a close second in my book. Not only is he voiced by the agelessly sexy Jeremy Irons, he also gets the best song in the history of Disney Villainness. “Be Prepared” is so sinister and yet so catchy, you can’t help but root for him, even though you hate him for plotting to kill Mufasa. Mufasa, unlike Zeus, was actually the best King ever.
Since we’re on the topic of Villains that are Also Big Cats, let’s talk about Shere Khan.
I love this guy! Growing up, I never understood why he was the bad guy. Yeah, he tried to attack Mowgli, but he’s a tiger! Tigers aren’t supposed to be tame. They’re supposed to be regal and ferocious and wild. We’d all be disappointed if he was Mowgli’s friend like Bagheera. I mean, I love Bagheera too, but he’s nowhere near as cool as Shere Khan. In fact, Bagheera is kind of a stick-in-the-mud, which I think Baloo might even point out at one point.
You know who’s not a stick-in-the-mud though? Gaston.
Yes, he’s a jerk who borders on misogynistic, but when you think about it, Belle is literally the only person in the entire village who doesn’t like Gaston and, as they all keenly point out, she’s kind of weird. The townspeople even sing an entire song about how great he is! And if we’re being honest, the Beast isn’t really any less of a jerk. Heck, he was turned into a BEAST because he was a spoiled brat. I don’t see any enchantresses showing up to turn Gaston into an animal.
Speaking of enchanters…
Jafar is pretty darn evil, and he’s pretty darn good at it. For a little while, he actually gets everything he set out to achieve. He even gets a kiss from Jasmine, which is farther than any other Villain has ever gotten (true, Hans was engaged to Anna, but he never got to be King. Besides, my sister and I aren’t ENTIRELY convinced he’s all evil… but that’s a whole other post). He also gets the best sidekick ever in Iago, the snarky parrot. No, Sultan, he doesn’t want the stupid cracker. You’re not a very good ruler either. Or a very good Dad for that matter. Who keeps their kid under house arrest for 16 years? I’m surprised she hadn’t tried to run away before you started forcing all those men on her.
Taking it back a few generations, we have the greatest Disney Villain that Neverland has ever known, Captain Hook.
He’s nowhere near attractive like Colin O’Donoghue’s sexy pirate, but the classic Hook is still a pretty cool villain. He’s got a great ship, a kickin’ outfit, and really, who can blame him for wanting to shoot Peter Pan? He chopped his hand off and fed it to a freaking crocodile! Besides, Peter Pan is kind of a twerp.
Finally, the award for my favorite Disney Villain in recent years goes to the Shadow Man, Dr. Facilier.
This guy is just cool, if you ignore the fact that he’s a total schemer and sells his soul to the creepy shadow demons just to earn a few extra bucks. But seriously, he’s got the top hat, he’s got the cane, and he’s got the snazzy jacket. And he’s got a great voice (the incomparable Keith David). No arguments, this guy has got style. And if we’re being honest, Prince Naveen was kind of an easy target. I’d probably try to scam him too if I was a Villain.