Nobody does evil villains quite like Disney. Whether is the sly Jafar, the vengeful Scar or the deliciously terrifying Cruella Disney is dialed in to what makes us squirm.
Thus far Disney has done an amazing job walking the fine line between scary enough to make your heart pound but not quite nightmare inducing.
I decided to compile a list of who I think are the top ten scariest, most evil villains in Disney history.
There are a couple conspicuous absences (can you guess who almost made the cut?) but, in the end, some villains have too much of a sense of humor to be considered truly terrifying.
There’s just no telling how a character will affect you until you’re sitting there in the dark, munching popcorn, watching it all unfold in front of you.
Interestingly, a majority of the scariest villains turn out to be women. Conniving, manipulative, vengeful women, many of whom are angry about declining looks as they age.
What’s up with that?
So, what say you? Which Disney villain scares you the most? Who is the evilest of them all?
10. Stromboli 1 of 11
Remember, Stromboli? He was, like, a Hollywood agent before his time. He burns his marionettes for firewood when they have grown too old to perform and then keeps Pinnochio in a cage when he realizes how much he's worth. Not super evil. In fact, he's not even as bad as most stage moms nowadays? Kris Jenner is way more evil than Stromboli.
Photo Credit: losflippos.be.
9. Jafar 2 of 11
Jafar is scary, but he's too funny to be terrifying. Also, Jafar gets a lot of screen time which allows the viewer to become closer to him, in a way, as opposed to the more infrequent yet terrifying appearances of other Disney villains. Still, he turns into a snake which I just cannot deal with, so he made the list.
Photo Credit: disney.wikia.com
8. Scar 3 of 11
If you remember, Scar is Simba's uncle, the younger brother of Mufasa in The Lion King. He's evil and scary but something about being an animal keeps him from really dominating the evil department so he comes in at number 8 on the list.
Photo Credit: fanpop.com
7. Cruella de Vil 4 of 11
"Poison them drown them, bash them on the head!" What's worse than a creepy looking old broad who kidnaps puppies to skin them for fur coats? Not much.
Photo Credit: eggwork.com
There's something quite modern about Mother Gothel's "mother knows best" mantra, including the way she tries to dissuade Rapunzel from being with the man of her dreams. Any of us who have ever had to deal with an overbearing mother can relate. In fact, a friend of mine says Gothel reminds her so much of her own mom that she hates the movie Tangled. However, unlike most of our moms, Mother Gothel doesn't manipulate with Rapunzel's best interests at heart, her motivations are pure evil.
4. Lady Tremaine 7 of 11
Lady Tremaine, from the 1950 classic Cinderella, is the prototype upon which all "evil stepmothers" in film are held up against. Unlike most villains, Lady Tremaine doesn't have any magical powers which, in a way, makes her even scarier because she's so real. Psychological abuse is way scarier than a giant octopus woman, even if she does collect souls.
Photo Credit: sakuratard17.com
3. The Horned King 8 of 11
Not everyone remembers The Horned King from The Black Cauldron released 1985 because the film was a flop, but dude is terrifying. As opposed to someone like Jafar or Ursula, who both show some personality and humor, The Horned King is stereotypically evil; dark castle, smoke, creepy voice and skeleton face. Stereotypically evil or not, it's scary.
Photo Credit: plsgennep.com
2. Maleficent 9 of 11
Interestingly, the original voice actress for Lady Tremaine, was Eleanor Audley, who went on to voice Maleficent, who I believe is the second scariest Disney villain of all time. Sleeping Beauty was released nine years after Cinderella.
Photo Credit: latimes.com
1. The Evil Queen 10 of 11
And the number one most evil, scariest Disney villain is... THE EVIL QUEEN from Snow White. Technically, she is THE original evil stepmother but a lot of people forget that fact as it's only noted in the very beginning of the tale. I vacillate over who is scarier, Maleficent or The Evil Queen in Snow White. In the end, The Evil Queen is just pure evil. Maleficent cast an evil spell but she didn't kill anyone. There isn't a drop of humor in the Evil Queen character who straight up tries to murder Snow White first by sending others and then by taking matters into her own hands. No Disney villain is scarier, in my opinion. FUN FACT: According to DisneyVillains.net, "While recording the voice of the Queen as the hag, Walt Disney was not happy with the voice Lucille La Verne was producing. After several retakes La Verne asked if she could go to the bathroom. When she returned and tried again to do the voice, she performed it perfectly. Amazed, Disney asked how she had achieved it. La Verne replied that she had removed her false teeth."
Photo Credit: monroesmile.blogspot.com
(Honorable Mention) Pink Elephants On Parade 11 of 11
Those dead-eyed dancing elephants freak me out more than half the villains on this list. Seriously.
You can also find Monica on her personal blog, The Girl Who.