When it comes to Disney movies, a good antagonist is key. From man-eating tigers to hook-handed pirates, the mouse-eared company has given us a wide variety of villains to root against. However, a few stand out above the rest. Read on for every Disney villain, ranked from pretty mean to purely malicious.
Every Disney Villain, Ranked from Just Mean to Pure Evil
25. Madame Medusa, ‘the Rescuers’
Madame Medusa's entire life is centered around riches—specifically diamonds. As we see often in Disney films, the lesson here is greed can lead people to do some pretty awful things (like holding Penny and Snoops at gunpoint). Overall, even with a name like Medusa, (aka the the snake-for-hair Gorgon who could turn you to stone if you looked her in the eye), we think she’s pretty harmless, which is why she’s landed #25 on this list.
24. Si And Am, ‘lady And The Tramp’
We’ll use the word villain lightly here since these Siamese cats don’t really bring about any harm. In fact, Si and Am are more like mischievous troublemakers, looking to cause problems for Lady the Cocker Spaniel. The real issue in this film? The stereotypical message that dogs are good and cats are evil.
23. Te Kā, ‘moana’
She might be a lava demon, but there’s something relatable about Te Kā. Her anger stems from the fact that her heart was stolen by demigod Maui. Te Kā’s storyline actually ends on a high note when she turns back into her original self, the island goddess Te Fiti.
22. Mor'du, ‘brave’
As a bear, he's terrifying. But when he was a human (a prince to be exact), he betrayed his own brother, which even some of the worst villains wouldn’t think about.
21. The Coachman, Honest John And Gideon, ‘pinocchio’
Remember these guys? Coachman is dangerous because he lures children to Pleasure Island so he can turn them into creatures and sell them (which is just plain creepy). He also uses Honest John and Gideon to help do his dirty work. They’re not classic Disney villains per se—and they only have a small role in the film—but considering they're manipulative child traffickers, they get a spot on this list.
20. Doctor Facilier, ‘the Princess And The Frog’
Otherwise known as Shadow Man, Dr. Facilier’s one goal in life is to become a wealthy man and take control of New Orleans. To do so, this evil, smooth-talking witch doctor recruits help from his “friends on the other side” to take down the most powerful man in the city, Eli "Big Daddy" La Bouff.
19. Clayton, ‘tarzan’
We hate a poacher as much as the next guy, especially one whose main concern is getting his hands on all of the gorillas he can to sell in the illicit market. However, in the end of the film, Clayton’s manages to foil his own plan, which makes him pale in comparison to the other Disney villains.
18. Captain Hook, ‘peter Pan’
In Captain Hook's defense, Peter Pan is the reason he lost his hand to a hungry crocodile. And Hook does have a funny way about him that makes him humorous, but still, the guy's constantly on the hunt to murder kids.
17. Mother Gothel, ‘tangled’
We don’t think we’ve ever seen someone so obsessed with clinging to their youth. Mother Gothel takes it as far as kidnapping Repunzel and locking her away in a tower to exploit her magical hair, which is twisted, to say the least.
16. Claude Frollo, ‘the Hunchback Of Notre Dame’
We don’t think it gets more evil than trying to burn someone (in this case Esmeralda) alive. Yup, wanting to kill someone for not returning feelings definitely screams toxic masculinity.
15. Shan-yu, ‘mulan’
Perhaps it’s the fact that Shan-Yu is the leader of the Hun army (or just that mustache), but from the first time he appears on-screen, we’ve had trouble sleeping. Not only does he murder thousands of people, but it seemed like he enjoys it a little too much...Plus, we thought this guy was supposed to mortal, so how the heck does he survive that avalanche?!
14. Governor Ratcliffe, ‘pocahontas’
“Bigot” is the perfect word to describe Governor Ratcliffe. A gold-digging (literally) xenophobe, his actions against Pochantas and the Indigenous people are just downright nasty. Luckily, it's not just viewers who see how horrible he is, considering his own people decide to turn against him at the end of the Disney film. We also have so may question about those pigtails.
13. Hades, ‘hercules’
It really doesn’t get more evil than the gatekeeper of Hell. Not only does he take souls and try to steal the throne away from Zeus, but he even attempts to kill his own sibling. We’ll admit that his witty banter makes Hades a little less intimidating, but overall he makes for a pretty malevolent antagonist.
12. Shere Khan, ‘the Jungle Book’
The fictional Bengal tiger is a man-eater who wants to feed on a young Mowgli, and that's....pretty terrifying if you think about it. Even more disturbing, he likes to antagonize his food before he kills and eats it. (Idris Elba’s 2016 version is definitely more frightening than the original.)
11. Maleficent, ‘sleeping Beauty’
When it comes to jealousy, Maleficent might take the cake. Come on, putting a spell on a baby is a pretty intense punishment for not being invited to a christening. And oh, right: She can turn into a fire-breathing dragon whenever she feels like it. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t get more terrifying than Angelina Jolie’s live-action portrayal (and cheekbones).
10. Jafar, ‘aladdin’
Aka the Royal Vizier of Agrabah, Jafar truly has no mercy or concern for anyone but himself, like when he tries to keep Jasmine as his slave so he can ultimately steal the throne. And look at the way he treats Lago? What did the parrot ever do to him?
9. The Evil Queen, ‘snow White’
The original Disney villain—officially known as Queen Grimhilde—set some pretty high standards for those to follow. Not only does she have remarkable powers (she turns herself into an old witch for goodness sake), but she also successfully poisons Snow White, which makes her one of the most dangerous.
8. Man, From ‘bambi’
He may be unseen, but Man is one of the most hated antagonists in all the Disney films (and he doesn’t even have a name). Yup, we’re talking about the hunter who kills Bambi's mother in the scene that proved that humans are, indeed, horrible.
7. The Queen Of Hearts, ‘alice In Wonderland’
C'mon, her favorite phrase is, “Off with their heads." But in case you need more convincing, this foul-tempered monarch prides herself on giving out death sentences like they are going out of style. Really she’s just a brat who throws a temper tantrum when she hears the word “no," the most dangerous type of ruler.
6. Ursula ‘the Little Mermaid’
She collects “poor unfortunate souls” and sings about how much she loves doing it. Need we say more? Ursula also tricks a vulnerable Ariel (who happens to be her niece) into handing over her voice and proceeds to use it against her and try to steal her man.
5. Wicked Stepmother, ‘cinderella’
Lady Tremaine is most likely one of the most realistic of the Disney villains, which is what makes her so scary. While she has absolutely no powers or riches, she still manages to make the life of her enslaved orphaned stepdaughter, Cinderella, a living nightmare with her cruel and manipulative ways.
4. Gaston, ‘beauty And The Beast’
Gaston earned one of the top five spots on this list for the sole fact that he’s a self-centered misogynist who uses his good looks and fit physique to get by in life. He even has a song named after himself. Instead of going on his merry way after Belle denies him on multiple occasions, he can't take the rejection (once again, toxic masculinity) and leads a murder spree after the Beast.
3. Chernabog, ‘fantasia’
We’d be lying if we said Chernabog didn’t give us nightmares into our teen years. The demon is featured in the "Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria" segment of the film and only appears briefly to summon his minions who he ultimately sacrifices into a fiery pit of death.
2. Scar, ‘the Lion King’
Throwing your brother off of a cliff into a stampede of wildebeests may not land you in the top spot on this list, but it definitely warrants the second. In a jealous rage, Scar concocts an evil plot that could end up killing his nephew as well. Plus, once he gains the power he’s been longing for he uses it for evil and eats his way through the kingdom that he is supposed to protect.
1. Cruella De Vil, ‘101 Dalmatians’
We’ll start by saying this—if you’re skinning puppies, you’re dead to us. Cruella de Vil’s crimes are centered around animal cruelty to benefit her personal style. And even though she gives off some Meryl Streep vibes from the Devil Wears Prada, we are officially naming her the evilest Disney villain of all.