ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Oh, Those Naughty Ladies - My Favorite Female Disney Cartoon Villains

Updated on May 1, 2018
RedElf profile image

RedElf (Elle Fredine), published author, musician, life-long fan of Disney, Pixar, classic cartoons, and great entertainment of any kind

The Artful Villains of Walt Disney

This started out to be a nice little hub on villains in film, inspired by kpfingaz's forum. As I began my research, however, I quickly realized that there was simply too much material for one hub. Can you say...series?

Good villains (yes, there is such a thing as a "good" villain) require certain elements to be in place for their villainy to be truly apparent and appreciated. A decent plot is always welcome, and the requisite not-overly-bright henchmen add a nice touch, but truly evil villains need a truly good hero or heroine to upon whom to vent their spleen. It is difficult to vent one's spleen adequately if the target is unworthy in some way.

Good Witch? Bad Witch? Great Witch!

There's a lot of competition out there in the witching world. And almost anyone can be a decent enough bad witch. But it takes true artistry to lift a character from the merely "bad" category into a fully realized, truly awful, despicable, and magnificently evilness of a Great Villain.

And Mr. Disney certainly knew his witches.

First Ladies of Villany

Snow White's Wicked Queen
Snow White's Wicked Queen | Source
Cruella De Ville - One Hundred and One Dalmatians
Cruella De Ville - One Hundred and One Dalmatians | Source

Spleen Venting - Did Somebody Say, "Spleen Venting"?

Well, what can I say. When it comes to the ladies, they certainly seem to have the edge in the evil department - at least on film...and nobody can be a witch like a Disney witch.

The wicked queen was one of the first of many notable scary women I encountered. She was a force to be reckoned with as the queen, but when she transformed herself into the sly old crone, she was downright frightening. That film certainly taught us to be wary of stranger bearing gifts. Pity the poor old lady in a cloak who approached any of us with a juicy red apple - we knew what to expect, and were already primed to slam the door, or run - or both.

Cruella De Ville was a nasty piece of business, too. I couldn't imagine anyone wanting to skin those cute little puppies. Her "staff" left a lot to be desired in the efficiency department, but that is only to be expected. I really think there must be a special agency where one applies for hench-people.

Henchmen / Henchwomen Wanted

Every Great Witch Needs Few Good Men - Henchmen, That Is.

Let me see... where on earth could one find a good henchperson these days? There must be a few places to look up a good, er bad, er - well, a henchperson. Maybe the "minions" would know of a few unattached henchfolk out there.

Perhaps in Social Media posts? Though, I really can't see anyone actually adding that category to their online profile... Or maybe in the "want" ads? Aha!

Wanted - henchperson/creatures

Qualifications for Hench-person:

  • hard-working and obsequious
  • not stupid, but not overly bright
  • somewhat useful in small ways but inept when the chips are down
  • willing to accept all manner of abuse and come back for more

Ursula didn't really need many hench-fish, but her barracudas were rather frightful - all those sharp teeth.

Queenly Attributes of a Great Villain

The White Witch from The Narnia Chronicles
The White Witch from The Narnia Chronicles | Source

Best Villains Ever? The Ladies Have It...

Sorry men, but let's be realistic here. When it comes to the sheer wicked duplicity that goes with creating mayhem and all sorts of nastiness, the ladies have it, hands down...and no cute remarks from the peanut gallery, thank you.

The fair sex is amply represented here by Tilda Swinton, a very classy lady, and, my goodness, doesn't she make an amazing bad girl? And, Susan Sarandon's earthly charms were certainly well-displayed in "Enchanted." Unfortunately, her magical charms are somewhat handicapped by the ineptitude of her (male) hench-twit...but she did make a lovely, campy spectacle striding down the neon-lit streets of New York in search of the enchanted Ella.

For absolute, awe-inspiring evil, though, few can top the White Witch from the Narnia Chronicles. She is truly a study in B.A.D.

She brings to mind the Snow Queen from the Brothers' Grimm fairy tale, but the queen pales in comparison. A pretty nasty package in her own right, she can't hold a candle to this computer-realized vision of Nasty, with her unquenchable lust for power.

Let's Not Leave Out the Men...

The Headless Horseman - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
The Headless Horseman - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow | Source
The Evil Wizard - Aladdin
The Evil Wizard - Aladdin | Source
Scar - The Lion King
Scar - The Lion King | Source

Don't Be Discouraged Men...

Women Just Make Better Villains

Sociological and gender concerns aside, you have to admit it, men. Or maybe you don't - after all, what rugged villain likes to get beat out by a girl? When it comes to BAD-ness, the women have it bagged.

But I wouldn't want you to think that the distaff side was being showcased at the expense of our menfolk. Men make great villains! (...and trust me, that's meant as a true compliment... )

One of the scariest dudes I remember from Walt Disney's Halloween Specials was the Headless Horseman. Mind you, he had a great build up before we ever laid eyes on him. We loved those Halloween shows. Hosted by the Mirror of Snow White Fame, the hour-long show featured all our frightful favorites: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Night on Bald Mountain, The Sorcerer's Apprentice - come to think of it, that wretched broom certainly took on a nightmarish villainy all its own - and all the pranks of Donald Duck and his boys, Huey, Dewy and Louie, out for Halloween treats.

The evil wizard from "Aladdin" certainly owes a lot to the wicked viziers of the Arabian Nights. Sinbad's voyages in print or on screen would not have been complete without an evil advisor or two.

Jeremy Irons lent his voice and awesome talents to Scar, creating a truly frightening characterization. He out-smarmied the snake from Jungle Book: he cringed and begged with deplorable oiliness. He was truly a scary force to be reckoned with, unrepentant and unregenerate to his bitter end.

...and really, that's what it's all about, isn't it? The wicked ones must be vanquished and all put to right with the world. There will be loss, but in the end, the sacrifice will bring about renwal and the rebirth of peace. The boy will get the girl, the lost will be found, loved ones will be reunited - at least until the next evil villain crawls out of the woodwork...

A New Generation of Gorgeous Villany

The Amazing Re-Imagined Snow Queen
The Amazing Re-Imagined Snow Queen | Source

New Entries into the 'Top Villains' category

Though technically not true cartoons, many of our new entries into the "let-me-scare-you-to-death" category do use CGI (computer generated/graphic interface) to produce some amazing effects. So much more advanced than the old "blue-screen" processes of earlier film-making, CGI has been a real game-changer in bringing fantastic and magical realities to life on the screen.

Uma Thurman turns in a totally awesomely evil performance as the wicked Queen in "Snow White and the Huntsman." From the same producers that brought us "Alice in Wonderland" this film takes the fairy to version to a much darker place.

This lady certainly proves she has the chops to take on the best of them. Her character leaps off the screen - scary, evil, and all too believable.

Keep an eye out for the pre-quell, another must-have for the Blu-ray collection. The morphing of her birds, rather scary black ravens, into her attire/person and she into a cloud of them so she can fly about creating mayhem are only a few of the stunning visual effects that make both films a feast for the eyes.

The inevitable confrontation between the is brilliantly realized, but the special effects never eclipse the talented cast. We never lose sight of the essential humanity of the characters, even though the heroics and the evil-doings are on an epic scale.

And There Will Be More Villains To Come...

So with fiendish laughter echoing in our ears, "Moo-ooo-hoo-aaa-aahhhh haahahaaaa", and with a passing nod to Si and Am, so ably voiced by Peggy Lee - Si and Am were,of course, the Siamese pussycat monsters who made life so miserable for poor Lady in "Lady and The Tramp" - we bid a fond farewell to our villainous crew, confident that the next time we need a good scare, they wiil be on hand to provide the goose bumps.

And the Ladies Have the Last Words...

© 2009 RedElf

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      20 months ago from Canada

      @Chris - and we're so good at it, too (being villains, I mean) :)

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      20 months ago from Canada

      Thanks so much, Chris - a good villain is worth their weight in gold. And it's such a long and glorious history :)

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      20 months ago from Green Bay, Wisconsin...for now

      I enjoyed this walk through the history of female villainy. I'll be paying closer attention to the villains in my own stories.

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      20 months ago from Canada

      Hey, Nell. She's right up there for me too. I have a funny story about the C.S. Lewis books - might write about that one of these days...

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      20 months ago from England

      It has got to be the White Witch from The Lion the witch and the wardrobe for me! I have loved those books and films since I was a kid. Great list!

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      20 months ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Oh agreed

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      20 months ago from Canada

      Thanks so much, Eileen. Often the villain is the best part of teh movie - it's hard to be really good unless teh villain is really bad :)

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      20 months ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Wonderful memories here. You cannot beat a good villain male or female

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      22 months ago

      You're welcome and keep up the Hubs.

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      22 months ago from Canada

      That is definitely something I will have to research. I had always dismissed MDDD as one of those new, fashionable, psychological-sounding terms the media is so fond of coining. :) :) But it certainly could be a seriously fun topic for another article. Thanks for the idea :)

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      22 months ago

      This is a fun article. I would point out the male deficit dastardliness disorder (MDDD) might be a problem with Disney. You may want to do some research and come back to us with another Hub.

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      7 years ago from Canada

      daisydayz, what can I say, except to let you know that another "villains" hub is definitely in the offing. It should include some previously 'passed-over' villains.

    • daisydayz profile image

      Chantele Cross-Jones 

      7 years ago from Cardiff

      You didn't include the queen of hearts! I love the queen of hearts especially in the Tim Burton version! Although Cruella De Ville is awesome!!

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Roskyisadog, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Cruella DeVille - her name even has a villainous ring to it, don't you think/

      LARPERBOY, thank so much for commenting.

    • profile image

      LARPERBOY not for sale 

      7 years ago

      CRUELLA IS A DEVIL

      URSALA IS AN OCTUOPUS (wonder if she got that from her mom or her dad?)

      MALANIFICENT IS AN EVIL FAIRY

      THE EVIL WITCH IS ALSO AN OLD HAG

    • profile image

      Rockyisadog 

      7 years ago

      really enjoyed this!When I was little and saw 101 dalmations,when ever Cruella came up on the screen doing something sinister or what ever i would say "she a bad,bad lady", for some reason i would always see it with my older cousins and they would say "well,duh!" good times,good times.( I love Cruella)

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Dan, you hit the nail right on the head - as the old song says, "You can't have one without the other..." Yes, she was downright mean and nasty - sure made the lesson about accepting gifts from strangers come alive :D

    • Dan90017 profile image

      Dan90017 

      8 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      Villains truly are essential to any story. It would be pretty difficult to have a hero or a moral in a story without a villain. I remember as a kid though I had nightmares of the witch from Snow White. Poison apples? No thanks!

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      8 years ago from Canada

      You gotta love those naughtie ladies, carco!

    • carcro profile image

      Paul Cronin 

      8 years ago from Winnipeg

      Have to agree, Disney has the best cartoon villains, without them their movies would be nothing. Our family has enjoyed Disney cartoons ever since I can remember. Great Hub, Voted Up and Awesome...

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Yes, indeed. Cinderella's step-mom was e real baddy, too, kmc!

    • kmcmichael profile image

      kmcmichael 

      9 years ago from Athens, Georgia

      Cinderella's stepmother was pretty evil too, if you count her as a villain. Very entertaining hub!

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      9 years ago from Canada

      His naughty ladies certainly seem to have a lot of fun - at least 'til the end of the movie :D

    • yenajeon profile image

      Yena Williams 

      9 years ago from California

      Cruella Deville is definitely a FAV of mine! Hoorah for Disney Villanesses!

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Oh, no! How could I have missed Madame Mim - she was truly villanous! Seriously, though, I really didn't mind when she "got hers."

    • profile image

      Flu-Bird 

      9 years ago

      What about MAD MADAME MIM from SWORD IN THE STONE she its a crazy witch,

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Thanks so much, Dobson. Cinderella's stepmother always seemed meaner to me because she was just a person with no magical powers - only financial ones. Pernicious!

    • Dobson profile image

      Dobson 

      9 years ago from Virginia

      Of all the Disney villains, I guess I found the step mother to Cinderella to be the one I wanted to see dealt with the most. She is so wicked. Cruella was more humorous to me and Ursula was almost unbelievable. I also enjoyed the villainess in the Rescuers.

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Glimmer515, one of my favorite commercials is one for the Space Network about villains "who will one day rule the world". It is just a hoot - everyone needs a spendable minion or two.

    • Glimmer515 profile image

      Glimmer515 

      9 years ago from Never Never Land

      love the villains and all things disney!!just did a hub on the disney sidekicks!! but the hench men thing is a great idea for another hub!!!

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Thanks so much, Granny's House. I love the ladies!

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 

      9 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      They are some of my favorites too.

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      10 years ago from Canada

      Thanks so much, Deborah-Lynn. So glad you stopped by!

    • Deborah-Lynn profile image

      Deborah-Lynn 

      10 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      Great Hub on Witches and villians....great shopping for Christmas too:)

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      10 years ago from Canada

      Aahhh! A Cruella fan... Yes, bingskee, she was truly scary.

    • bingskee profile image

      bingskee 

      10 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

      truly, susan sarandon gave justice to that role as a villain. made her versatile as well.

      love cruella, btw.

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      10 years ago from Canada

      Greeting, deepestwisdom. I think you've hit it - it's the glamorus element added to the mix that makes a truly great villain, LOL.

    • deepestwisdom profile image

      deepestwisdom 

      10 years ago from England

      Those Disney villains definitely have a menacing, but also glamorous, quality to them!

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      10 years ago from Canada

      Too true, Flu-Bird, they certainly could... by the way, you have a most unusual name.

    • profile image

      Flu-Bird 

      10 years ago

      The EVIL QUEEN and MILIFICENT COULD COMPETE AS VILLIANS THEY BOTH USE BLACK MAGIC

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      10 years ago from Canada

      Nice to meet you, Gerard. Yes, he certainly seems to be following that bent, but then, Freud would have had a heyday with Old Uncle Walt, anyway, from what I have read.... I have had two stepmothers, and never any real problems, lol.

    • Gerard Daniels profile image

      Gerard Daniels 

      10 years ago

      hmmm, interesting. i never thought of how Disney seems to have a hate on for Step Mothers. Me thinks Freud woulda said or wrote something on that :)

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      10 years ago from Canada

      Oh, Staci, there are so many lovely ladies on TV that seem to have modelled their wicked ways after truly great villains. They are so darn good at it, too. There's another hub or two in there, I am sure.

    • Staci-Barbo7 profile image

      Staci-Barbo7 

      10 years ago from North Carolina

      Red Elf, I remember the first time I saw Snow White - I was around 6 years old, and I had never watched a movie with a real villain in it.  I was so frightened of that awful queen-witch that I couldn't watch the movie straight through.  I took several breaks just to get through it!  

      How about Joan Collins always working to undermine Crystal's happiness in Dynasty?  Now there was a wicked woman in anyone's estimation.  I really took umbrage at her shenanigans on Crystal's behalf - I loved to hate her!!

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      10 years ago from Canada

      No argument there, ethel. She is a stinker.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      10 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Cruella is the meanest

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      10 years ago from Canada

      Thanks so much and so pleased to meet you, jill. You got that one right...and Disney's heroines are truly loveable. I think my fave is Belle. Besides, where would poor Pauline be without a dastardly stinker to contrast her stirling character? Hardly in Peril, methinks, lol.

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 

      10 years ago from Philippines

      Wow! You have really named them all! The villians simply have to be good, otherwise we will never appreciate how lovable and pure of heart the heroines are.

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      10 years ago from Canada

      Good to see you, rawlus. I must admit I had to flip a coin over some of them, lol. My personal scariest movie moment is still the pink elephant parade from Dumbo - such a nightmare!

      Thanks for stopping by, Shalini. So glad you enjoyed them. You just never seem to forget a "good" villain.

      I'm with you, Queen. She always seemed just plain mean to me. Some of the others were scary, or funny, but she was just downright nasty.

      Thanks so much, LM. So glad you enjoyed them. Though they have done an overall excellent job of adapting the C.S. Lewis novels to film, and the CG characters are quite wonderful, they do get a bit "talky" at times, and some of the intimate moments drag - perhaps they are a bit "over-reverent" to the written word in spots.

    • Laughing Mom profile image

      Laughing Mom 

      10 years ago

      Is it safe to admit here that I have never been able to sit through "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe"? I fall asleep everytime!

      Great picks here redElf!

    • Queen of the Lint profile image

      Queen of the Lint 

      10 years ago from The Laundry Room

      Great hub! I always hated Cruella de Ville. I mean, she wanted to make a coat out of puppies? That's really bad if she doesn't even have a heart for puppies. The book 101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith? was really good, too. Cruella was even scary on the page!

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      10 years ago from India

      You've rounded all the great ones up and presented them so well - that was a great walk down memory lane :)

    • profile image

      ralwus 

      10 years ago

      I especially liked that boogy man thing in the Jack Halloween. I can't recall the name of the film now, it was way cool and lots of music. You have a nice selection here.

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      10 years ago from Canada

      Thanks so much Christoph...and lucky you !

      I never got to play many real villains, though I once played the BBC Lady in "The Killing of Sister George". She was quite a piece of work, but not truly a villain.

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      10 years ago from St. Louis

      "We are Siamese if you please." It was fun to revisit the Disney Villains! I well-rounded thorough look at some of the greatest ever to hit the screen. As an actor, I can say villains are easily the most fun roles to play! Great job!

    • RedElf profile imageAUTHOR

      RedElf 

      10 years ago from Canada

      Hey there, Enelle - love the new avatar, btw...Right on that one - there are so many really good villains, and so little time, lol.

    • Enelle Lamb profile image

      Enelle Lamb 

      10 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      And who can forget Easma (spelling?) and Kronk - villiany and stupidity personfied lol in The Emperor's New Groove...

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)