We count down the Disney villains we love to hate…

MALEFICENT is released in Irish cinemas this week, and Angelina Jolie’s show stealing performance as the Mistress of All Evil got us thinking about the other Disney villains we love to hate. From THE LITTLE MERMAID TO 101 DALMATIANS, we bring you the best of the worst…

Hades – HERCULES

Hades – based on the Greek God of the same name, and voiced by James Woods – appears in Disney’s HERCULES, as the cynical God of the Underworld, with serious anger issues. Hades plans to take over Mount Olympus from his holier-than-thou brother Zeus. The Fates warn Hades that if the newborn Hercules fights against Hades in his fight against the Gods, Hades will fail, so Hades hatches a plan to make sure Hercules stays out of the fight.
We love Hades for all his evil scheming, his sidekicks/underlings Pain and Panic, and his constant struggle with rage and impatience. The character was originally supposed to be slow talking and menacing, until James Woods was cast, when he upped the tempo and ad-libbed many of the character’s lines.
OUR FAVOURITE LINE: “I’ve got 24 hours to get rid of this bozo, or the entire scheme I’ve been setting up for 18 years goes up in smoke, and you are wearing his merchandise!!?”

Cruella DeVil – 101 DALMATIANS

A woman with an eye for fashion, Cruella DeVil is the man antagonist of Disney’s 101 DALMATIONS. Infatuated with fur clothing, Cruella becomes obsessed with Pongo and Perdita’s 15 Dalmatian puppies, intending to have them – and the other 84 puppies she has bought – skinned and made into a fur coat.
DeVil has become an iconic villain over the years, and even had a Northern Irish punk band named after her. She is reckless in her actions, a fact that makes her all the more scary, since we never know what she will do next.
OUR FAVOURITE LINE: [In response to being asked how she is] “Miserable, darling, as usual, perfectly wretched.”

Jafar – ALADDIN

Jafar is the Sultan’s most trusted advisor but, in the grand tradition of Disney villains, Jafar wants the Sultan’s power for himself. Having lost the magic lamp containing the Genie, Jafar believes he can rise to power by marrying the Sultan’s daughter Jasmine, but a spanner is thrown into the works by Aladdin’s appearance as Prince Ali, and his possession of the Lamp and the Genie inside.
Jafar is perhaps the most evil of all the Disney villains, after all, he plans to marry then murder Jasmine, and throw all of Agrabah under his spell. We do love him, for all of his wickedness though, and he and his scheming parrot Iago are a great double act. Still, for all our admiration of his grand plans, we are still firmly on the side of Aladdin, magic and true love.
OUR FAVOURITE LINE: “Marry the shrew; I become sultan. The idea has merit.”

Ursula The Sea Witch – THE LITTLE MERMAID

This scheming sea witch, designed as a Cecaelia; a legendary hybrid of human and octopus, is voiced by Pat Carroll in THE LITTLE MERMAID. Although she once lived in the royal palace, Ursula was banished, and swore revenge on King Triton. That revenge comes in the form of the naive Ariel, who falls in love with a human, and goes to Ursula, begging to be made human. Ursula gives Ariel legs in exchange for her voice, but warns the little mermaid, that she must win a kiss from her handsome prince in order to stay human forever, and if she fails, she will be bound to Ursula forever.
They say ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’, and that is certainly true of Ursula, however we still love the sea witch, for all her faults. Ursula is manipulative, but makes her schemes sound like great ideas, luring the unsuspecting into her traps. Oh, we love her evil pet eels too; Flotsam and Jetsam.
OUR FAVOURITE LINE: “Now I am the ruler of all the ocean! The waves obey my every whim!”

Scar – THE LION KING

Another villain with power on his mind, Scar is the main antagonist from THE LION KING, and is beautifully voiced by the silver tongued Jeremy Irons. Jealous of his brother Mufasa’s position as King of Pride Rock, and incensed by the arrival of baby Simba, which killed any designed Scar may have had for the throne, Scar sets out to ascend to the throne by any means possible. Scar starts a stampede, which kills Mufasa and convinces young Simba that his father’s death will be blamed on him. Simba runs away and Scar, believing Simba to be dead, takes over as ruler of the Pride Lands.
We love Scar’s evil schemes and silky voice, and we also love his army of hyenas – terrifying though they are. As well as this, we are always entertained by Scar’s narcissm, sarcasm and cutting insults.
OUR FAVOURITE LINE: “I’m surrounded by idiots.”

Who is your favourite Disney villain? Let us know in the comments below.

MALEFICENT is released in Irish cinemas on May 28th

Words: Brogen Hayes