Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week’s theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!
This week’s theme is all about villains, and to be honest I’m really bad at remembering villains in books and being scared of them or intimidated by them. A lot of my favourite books don’t have a villain in the form of one single person and, in all honesty, I’m just not one of those people who loves villains.
Disney villains, on the other hand, are another thing entirely, and today I’m going to talk about my ten favourites!
Gaston from Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Beauty and the Beast is my favourite film, and I’ve always thought it has one of the best Disney villains, too. Why? Because Gaston is someone who exists. There have been (and still are) men out there who think the way he does, so while we might laugh him off there’s something truly sinister there. No matter how many times Belle says no, he refuses to listen.
Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
Judge Claude Frollo is the ultimate Disney villain in my eyes. He is terrifying because, like Gaston, he’s the kind of man who has existed, and that he hides his racism, xenophobia and sexism behind a mask of virtue is horrifying.
The Horned King from The Black Cauldron (1985)
The Black Cauldron is such an underrated Disney movie and I love it – it has a very traditional high fantasy feel to it, which makes sense considering it’s an adaptation of a traditional high fantasy book – and when I was younger the Horned King terrified me so much that my mum had to fast-forward the first section of the movie where he appears, walking across the skulls of his victims.
Scar from The Lion King (1994)
I just bloody love Scar. That he kills his own brother and then blames his death on a child is so, so evil. He also has one of the best Disney villain songs, in my opinion.
Ursula from The Little Mermaid (1989)
Another villain with a great song, and one I love just because she’s so fabulous. I find it interesting that Ursula is the one villain that is often defended a lot because Ariel did sign a contract, and if it was as simple as that I’d be inclined to agree, except Ursula does everything she can to make sure that Ariel fails. Ursula is villainous through and through.
Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Maleficent is another one who genuinely terrified me as a child – that bit where she appears in the fireplace and leads Aurora up the stairs still gives me shivers now – and yet she’s also one of the villains that I always defend. So get ready, because this is where my nerdery rears its ugly head. I did not like the movie starring Angelina Jolie – I wanted a villain origin story, not a story that turned Maleficent into the hero – but I will say that Maleficent is justified in her anger. Sleeping Beauty is set in what looks like the Middle Ages, and in the Middle Ages to openly snub a noble the way the king and queen do by inviting everyone but Maleficent to Aurora’s (Christening, I guess?) is a real insult. Looking back now we think that she goes way too far, and I definitely think cursing Aurora to die is harsh when she hasn’t done anything wrong, but her parents could have prevented all of this if they’d just sent her an invite. Maybe she didn’t even want to go! But if she did, and she got invited, can you imagine how cool her gift to Aurora would have been?
Hades from Hercules (1997)
When I think of the Greek God of the Underworld I’d never be inclined to think of James Woods, and yet it works so well in this movie. Hades isn’t scary, but man is he fun, and one thing I will say in his defence is that he does keep his word, and one of the reasons Hercules ultimately succeeds is because Hades keeps his word.
Jafar from Aladdin (1992)
Another one who isn’t exactly scary, but the way he says ‘Prince Abooboo’ cements him on this list forever. He’s so fun and the way Aladdin manages to use his greed against him is so clever.
Lady Tremaine from Cinderella (1950)
JUST LOOK AT THAT FACE. This woman scared the crap out of me as a child, she’s just so cruel. She’s frightening because she doesn’t want world domination, she doesn’t want to be the queen, she doesn’t want to kill Cinderella – she just wants Cinderella to be miserable, and that’s just, well, mean.
Clayton from Tarzan (1999)
Tarzan is the first film I can remember going to see in the cinema and I still adore it. Any man who wants to kill and stuff gorillas is evil, and Clayton also gets a place on this list for having possibly my favourite Disney villain death.
What did you talk about this week?