We give credit to our families, friends and teachers for helping to shape us into the individuals we are today, but our strong moral code and sense of right and wrong actually came from watching our favorite Disney classics growing up! Some of our most important life lessons were learned watching Ariel and Cinderella fight for true love, rooting Mulan on as she proved that there's strength and potential in all of us, and admiring Aladdin and Tiana's refusal to let their humble upbringings keep them from achieving their dreams.
Heroes are often defined by their villains, and Disney loves throwing some truly dastardly adversaries in their heroes' paths to force them to grow, mature, inspire and save the day. As much as we admire our favorite Disney heroes and fantasize about living in their shoes (or glass slippers), there are some villains that we just would not want to face-off against. We know plenty of pushy stepmothers and excessively-confident alpha males, so we could totally switch places with Cinderella or Belle... but we wouldn't know what to do if we crossed paths with the Horned King or Maleficent. Decide which Disney villains to fight and which to simply free from, and get the inner Disney Princess!
Cinderella's stepmother was the absolute worst. She didn't have any magical powers and couldn't turn into a dragon or old hag, but being incredibly realistic somehow actually made her more intimidating! We definitely wouldn't want to deal with someone as bossy, controlling or unjustifiably mean as Lady Tremaine.
It takes a truly brave hero like Moana to face off against a villain like Te Kā. Who wouldn't be intimidated, walking up to a gigantic, magical lava creature?! It turns out that Te Kā was misunderstood and simply wanted her heart back... but walking up to beast this powerful still requires courage we don't think we could ever summon!
Ursula claimed that she loved helping poor, unfortunate souls... but she actually only helped others when she could get something out of the deal. Don't underestimate this manipulative sea witch—it takes a real evil genius to get King Triton to give up his crown and become ruler of the seven seas!
Gosh it disturbed us to see Gaston be so ridiculously over-confident and self-obsessed! He loved flexing his muscles and putting on shows for his countless admirers, so when Belle refused to give in to his "charms" and good looks, he basically lost his mind. We used to think guys like Gaston only existed in Disney films, but we were sadly mistaken.
Most of us have experienced sibling rivalries, but Scar took his to a whole new level! He was so jealous of Mufasa, he planned out his brother's demise in order to become the new ruler of Pride Rock... and then he convinced Simba it was all his fault! Scar was seriously twisted, and his song "Be Prepared" still gives us the creeps.
The Nightmare Before Christmas was supposed to be a kids' film, but we STILL have nightmares about Oogie Boogie! He's a living burlap sack filled with bugs, after all, and he was so wicked, Jack Skellington actually exiled him from Halloween Town. Only a true villain could get kicked out of a town that's filled with creepy creatures and monsters!
Clayton was hired by Jane and her father to serve as their guide, but the real reason he traveled to the jungle was so he could hunt gorillas and sell them on the black market! Now that's twisted. Clayton was incredibly arrogant, and his misguided belief that he was the ultimate hunter led to his undoing.
We've heard of bosses being greedy and taking advantage of their employees, but Stromboli is the only one we know who thinks it's okay to trap his workers in birdcages and pay them with fake coins! Poor Pinocchio thought this showman was his ticket to fame and fortune, but Stromboli turned him into his prisoner once he realized how much money could be made off of the string-less puppet.
Shere Khan was the unspoken king of the jungle—all of its inhabitants were justifiably afraid of ever crossing his path. He was fast, powerful and incredibly suave, and the fact that he seemed to have extreme disdain for all of his victims made him even more villainous. Some Disney bad guys could be talked to and reasoned with... but not this wicked Bengal tiger!
Maleficent is one of Disney's most well-known (and feared) villains, because she's essentially the incarnation of pure evil. Her arsenal of magical powers is seemingly unlimited—she even has the ability to turn into a fire-breathing dragon! Maleficent is very emotionally unstable, and the only creature she seems to care for in the entire world is her pet raven, Diablo.
The Evil Queen
The Queen of Snow White & The Seven Dwarves may have transformed into an old hag instead of a dragon, but that doesn't mean she was any less diabolical or powerful than Maleficent! The Queen was willing to do anything to stay "the fairest of them all," from hiring huntsmen to take out her rivals to poisoning apples and eliminating them herself.
Bowler Hat Guy
Michael "Goob" Yagoobian spent his whole life seeking revenge against Lewis, the roommate who inadvertently caused him to drop a baseball game-winning catch. He and his technologically-advanced bowler hat caused all sort of destruction (and even mind-controlled a dinosaur!) in an attempt to the ruin the Robinson family's lives the way Lewis "ruined" his.
When Sir Hiss brainwashed King Richard into going on a crusade, Prince John took the throne of England and quickly began swindling his people in the pursuit of wealth. He cared about money more than seemingly anything else, and was incredibly immature and cowardly. Prince John may not have been the most powerful Disney villain, but he was definitely one of the most power-hungry!
At first, Hans seemed like the perfect Disney prince. He was ridiculously handsome, he had a great voice and was a fantastic dancer... so we totally didn't blame Anna for falling for him so fast. Then we found out that he was simply using Anna so he could become Arendelle's new king. Witches and dragons are definitely frightening, but manipulative guys can be even worse.
Judge Claude Frollo still makes our skin crawl, over twenty years since we first watched The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He claimed to be a religious man and said that all of his wicked deeds were God's will, but deep down, he was the true monster of Quasimodo's story. Most Disney villains know that what they're doing is wrong, but Frollo actually believed himself to be in the right.
Even though he's the villainous God of the Underworld, we all secretly like Hades. Unlike most Disney antagaonists, he actually has a great sense of humor and we can't help laughing whenever he has one of his classic outbursts. We still wouldn't want to be on his bad side, though, because he's incredibly powerful and willing to do anything his twisted mind can think of to rule over Olympus.
Like Aladdin's Genie, Dr. Facilier has the ability to make your wildest wishes come true. But when it comes to this voodoo witch doctor, you should be careful what you wish for! He and his "friends on the other side' want to rule over New Orleans, and they have no problem manipulating innocent people to make that happen.
We're hesitant to believe that ANYONE would be willing to fight this Pirates of the Caribbean villain. It's bad enough that he has creepy squid tentacles all over his face... but he's also a skilled fighter, can summon a gigantic Kraken and has the ability to force his enemies to spend eternity cursed as passengers aboard the Flying Dutchman!
Cruella de Vil
"If she doesn't scare you, no evil thing will." Those are lyrics in the 101 Dalmatians song about this classic villain, and we have to agree with them—even as adults, we wouldn't want to make enemies of Cruella! Only someone truly heartless could eliminate cute puppies for their fur without blinking an eye.
Queen of Hearts
Most residents of Wonderland are a bit deranged, but no one is as twisted or dangerous as the kingdom's tyrannical ruler. She forces all of her subjects to bow down to her and is prone to throwing temper tantrums any time she doesn't get her way or feels disrespected. We definitely wouldn't want to fight someone who's first reaction to even minor annoyances is screaming "off with their head," would you?
We don't blame Mother Gothel for wanting to stay young and beautiful forever, but we definitely can't say we approve of her kidnapping Rapunzel so she could keep all of the magic of the princess' magical hair to herself! Gothel ruined Rapunzel's entire childhood, cruelly manipulating and lying to her for years so Rapunzel would stay her unknowing prisoner.
Professor Callaghan was once a world-renowned scientist and head robotics professor at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, but after he seemingly lost his daughter to a Krei Tech Industries experiment gone wrong, he became a silent, kabuki masked supervillain intent on exacting vengeance. He wasn't powerful himself, but the army of Microbots at his command made him a force to be reckoned with!
Kaa may not be as outright powerful as Shere Khan, but he's every bit as dangerous... possibly even moreso, since he's capable of tricking his victims into thinking he's not a threat! He's incredibly sly, and his soft tone and ability to hypnotize others with his eyes helps lure his prey into a weary, dreamlike state, thus allowing him to devour them!
Sharpay Evans is your typical self-obsessed high school mean girl. She's all about people sticking to the status quo so she can hog the spotlight for herself. She has no problem making enemies and manipulating her classmates (or even her own brother) to ensure she gets the chance to shine like the star she believes herself to be.
Captain Hook abandoned his dreams of sailing the high seas in favor of spending his entire life seeking revenge on Peter Pan for cutting off his left hand and feeding it to Tick-Tock. We honestly understand his anger towards Peter, but our sympathy for this hook-wielding pirate doesn't make him any less intimidating!
When Emperor Kuzco fired sorceress Yzma from her longstanding position as his advisor, she dedicated all of her time towards eliminating him. Luckily her bumbling sidekick Kronk kept messing her plans up, because if they were carried out correctly, Yzma's magical powers and assortment of potions could have made her a seriously dangerous threat!
Shan Yu, the leader of the Hun army, is definitely one of Disney's most ruthless and merciless villains. He loves proving his strength by eliminating nearly everyone he comes across... including women and children. If it wasn't for Mulan's bravery and ingenuity, Shan Yu's brutal invasion of China likely would have been a success.
Chernabog's appearance in Disney's 1940 classic Fantasia still confuses us, because he didn't really have any place in the context of the story... his sole purpose seemed to be to create random chaos and havoc. The gigantic demon simply summoned a bunch of minions, who danced furiously as he threw them into Bald Mountain's fiery pit. So odd!
King Candy did a great job pretending to be the slightly flamboyant, noble ruler of Sugar Rush, but he was secretly Turbo, a character from another game who was obsessed with fame, attention and power. We were totally shocked when we found out he was the one who diabolically turned Vanellope into a glitch and wiped her memories away!
Shenzi, Banzai and Ed
Scar's trio of cackling hyenas weren't exactly the best at carrying out his diabolical plans, but they were loyal and incredibly twisted so they still made for great henchmen! Or, at least, Shenzi and Banzai did... we're not sure Ed was smart enough to realize what was going on around him.
Flotsam and Jetsam
These moray eels served as Ursula's loyal minions, and the way they spoke in unison, finished each other's sentences, and entwined their bodies absolutely scared us as kids. We totally understand why Ariel was desperate enough to trust Ursula, but these sketchy eels probably should have alerted the little mermaid to the fact that she was dealing with villains!
Some Disney villains don't realize they're villains—they think they're totally justified in their actions and attitudes. But Professor Ratigan knew he was a bad guy and simply didn't care. In fact, he actually bragged about his wrongdoings, boasting to his henchmen about his plans to commit "the most evil, the most diabolical scheme of my illustrious career." No one wants to mess with a giant rat with a moral code that twisted, right?
We're pretty sure the only reason Queen Narissa doesn't get the credit she deserves for being one of Disney's most powerful villains is because not enough people have seen Enchanted! She uses poisoned apples to take out enemies, just like Snow White's Queen. She can turn into a dragon, like Maleficent. And she can also do what no other villain has done—send heroes to another reality... ours! She was a lot of fun to watch, but we definitely wouldn't want to cross her path.
We totally respect kids embracing their imaginations when playing with their toys, but what Sid did with his toys can hardly be considered "playing." He subjected them all to some seriously unusual punishments, swapping their heads and turning them all into seriously weird monstrosities!
Jafar spent years pretending to be the Sultan's loyal Grand Vizier, but behind the scenes, he plotted to usurp his boss and rule over Agrabah. Once he finally acquired the magic lamp and took ownership of the Genie, he used one of his wishes to become the most powerful sorcerer in the world and another to become an all-powerful Genie, so he's definitely one of Disney's toughest and most dangerous villains!