Best Disney Movie Villains, Ranked

From Scar telling us to brace ourselves to the poor unfortunate souls of Ursula, Disney movie villains have played a vital role in simultaneously scaring viewers and becoming fan favorites over the decades.

In honor of the Walt Disney Co.’s 100th anniversary later this year, Variety ranks the top 10 movie villains of all time from animation powerhouse.

The talented animators who have traversed the halls of the studio have created countless characters that transcend the boundaries of conventional archetypes: not only the whimsical roster of heroes that capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences worldwide, but also the villains pure and sinister that have left indelible traces. marks on the public.

For generations, Disney has tapped into the moral complexities of human nature, often challenging the viewer to question their own beliefs that can often live in the gray area between the existence of good and evil. We’ve seen it in explored redemption arcs such as Gaston in “Beauty and the Beast” (1991) or the Evil Queen in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937), giving audiences false hope that he can transform. but ultimately showing their evil is unchangeable.

Some of the most memorable villains have endured in pop culture, with icons like Cruella de Vil from “101 Dalmatians” and Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty” inspiring live-action adaptations, reimaginings and spinoffs. There’s also a dramatic shift in diversity with characters like Mother Gothel from “Tangled” or Dr. Facilier from “The Princess and the Frog,” which provided a refreshing departure from the Eurocentric villains of the past.

Read Variety list of the best Disney villains below.

Honorable Mentions: Evil Queen (“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”), Shere Khan (“The Jungle Book”), Syndrome (“The Incredibles”)

Ahead of The Walt Disney Co.’s 100th anniversary on October 16, Variety takes a look back at its rich creative legacy. For 10 weeks beginning July 5, Variety will release a new “best of” list honoring the powerhouse’s many accomplishments. With a long-standing legacy of bringing joy to people around the world, Disney’s cultural impact may be impossible to measure, but we’ll surely try with every new entry.

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