Sure, the heroes and princesses make the audience cheer, but how would you know when to clap without some evildoer trying to bring them down?
Top 10 Evilest Disney Villains Of All-Time
#10 The Horned King
- Movie: The Black Cauldron (1984)
- Voiced by: John Hurt
While many on our list made it for being genuinely intimidating, The Horned King is a living nightmare.
One of the best things a genuinely threatening villain does is successfully scare you, and this villain scared the living daylights out of many a child.
Many of Disney’s villains are pretty much just characters with evil intentions, however, the Horned King is the personification of evil itself.
Though the story itself was lacking, which is evident by how badly it did at the box office.
As a villain, despite the Horned King coming off a bit flat, it still doesn’t negate the fact that he’s a horrific undead murderous monster trying to snuff out all life.
#9 Lady Tremaine
- Movie: Cinderella (1950)
- Voiced by: Eleanor Audley
As Cinderella’s wicked stepmother, Lady Tremaine is one of the mildest “villains” on the list. She didn’t kill or try to kill Cinderella; she was a social climber who used her two ugly daughters to try to nab a royal title. She wasn’t a nice lady, but she wasn’t the worst, either.
Lady Tremaine’s character is also known as “Evil Stepmother,” “Wicked Stepmother,” or just “Stepmother.” She is based on the Wicked Stepmother from the original Cinderella tale, written by Charles Perrault, and by the Brothers Grimm in Grimms’ Fairy Tales.
#8 Gaston LeGume
- Movie: Beauty and the Beast (1991)
- Voiced by: Richard White
For a Disney film, Gaston almost single-handedly warrants a parental advisory.
Gaston’s a selfish hateful man who drinks, smokes, and gets into bar fights. He never once considers anyone to be his equal or of sufficient worth unless it was helpful in his own endeavors. He’s is handed everything he wants, and when he doesn’t get his way, he strongarms people until they meet his demands.
Worst of all is his jealous streak, which when triggered, is when Gaston goes for the jugular. He threatened to have Maurice, Belle’s father, committed to an insane asylum unless Belle married him.
Anyone who has ever had a friend who basically used them and then ditched them at the soonest convenience can probably recognize that kind of so-called “friend” in Gaston.
- Movie: Hercules (1997)
- Voiced by: James Woods
Hades is a killer, who uses Megara to do his dirty work, but considering he’s the ruler of the underworld, would you have expected anything less?
Hades is jealous of his big brother, Zeus, and wants to be in charge. Not a good sign for someone so powerful. But since he rules the underworld, that character trait earns him a few bonus points.
In Greek mythology, Hades was the brother of Zeus and Poseidon, so he plays an important role in ancient mythological tales. Although frequently associated with death due to his position. In Greek mythology, Hades was often portrayed as less than a villain and more of a neutral character.
However, Disney’s Hades’ character is quite different from those in Greek mythology. When James Woods accepted the role. Disney originally intended Hades to be a much more slow-paced, frightening character, but Woods’ reimagining resulted in the quick-witted Hades audiences know and love today.
#6 Claude Frollo
- The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (1996)
Claude Frollo would make our list just for his cold-blooded attempt at murder on one person.
But Frollo is far more cold-blooded than that after his successful mass racial/ethnic genocide of multiple people over a long reign of tyranny.
Although we don’t see his treats on-screen, he very verbally implies that he has been executing people one by one for at least twenty years as he crushes ants.
We even see him barricade a family with children inside of their house and then proceed to burn it down.
When it comes to being a dark, twisted, evil character, Frollo isn’t messing around.
And if that wasn’t enough, the fact that he claims to do all his evilness in the name of God is even more frightening
#5 Cruella De Vil
- Movie: One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
- Voiced by: Betty Lou Gerson
Anyone who wants to hunts down puppies and skin them is a nasty piece of work. I assume when someone loves fur that much, there’s not much she won’t do for it.
Her name is a combination of “cruel” (Cruella) and “devil” (De Vil), which suits her evil personality perfectly.
Her two sidekicks, Jasper and Horace Badun, are bumbling fools, but you don’t have to be smart to kidnap and skin puppies.
In the end, thankfully, she doesn’t get her puppy coat, but Cruella makes the top 5 just on this one line alone:
“Poison them. Drown them. Bash them in the head. You got any chloroform?”
Are you kidding me? Did she really say that? Cruella is pure evil.
- Movie: The Little Mermaid (1989)
- Voiced by: Pat Carroll
There’s a good reason Ursula is one of the flagship villains of this franchise.
First, she has a strong personality, is a great antagonist, and directly plays off the protagonist’s weaknesses to win.
Second, the fact that she’s based on a drag queen is kind of perfect. Ursula is loosely based on the nameless sea witch from the original Hans Christian Andersen tale, while her characterization takes inspiration from the drag queen Divine.
Ursula is a villainous Cecelia (half-woman, half-octopus) who strikes deals with unfortunate merfolk with the promise of making their dreams come true.
#3 The Evil Queen
- Movie: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
- Voiced by: Lucille La Verne
She sends her servant to kill Snow White, and to bring the girl’s heart back in a box. That’s a whole lot of evil right there.
Her only companion is Magic Mirror, who is actually a slave and only able to answer questions when asked.
Since the Evil Queen is only interested in one thing: how beautiful she is.
So naturally, she continually asks the mirror if she’s the “fairest in the land”.
Of course, when she didn’t get the right answer, she does what any former beauty pageant queen would do… She tricks the newest pretty girl into eating a poisonous apple to kill her.
So what does the Evil Queen do when she figures out Snow White will not die but only go into a deep sleep?
She cackles, “The dwarfs will think she’s dead. She’ll be buried alive!”
Now that’s one evil biotch.
- Movie: Sleeping Beauty (1959)
- Voiced by: Eleanor Audley
- Movie: The Lion King (1994)
- Voiced by: Jeremy Irons
Everything about Scar is evil. He wants to be the king, and he’ll stop at nothing to achieve his goal.
Not his older brother. Not his innocent newborn nephew. Not even making a pact with the lion’s mortal enemy the Hyenas, will stop Scar from becoming King.
Being the big thinker that he is, killing two birds (or lions as the case may be) with one stone (or herd of wildebeest) was the way to go.
After successfully killing his older brother, the great Mustafa. Scar sent his sidekicks, Shenzi (voiced by Whoopi Goldberg), Banzai (voiced by Cheech Marin), and Ed to kill Simba, the only remaining heir to the throne.
Of course, the incompetent mentally challenged hyenas failed to kill Simba. But hey, give them a pat on the back for at least giving it an honest effort.
Similarities have been drawn between The Lion King and Shakespeare’s Hamlet. That would make Scar analogous to Claudius. Hamlet’s uncle who, at the beginning of Hamlet, becomes king by killing his brother.