Our Ten’s List: Less Famous Disney Villains.

Our Ten's List: Less Famous Disney Villains.

With Disney trying to rehabilitate Cruella De Vil, we decide to rank overlooked Disney Villains.

With Cruella De Vil back in the spotlight, and being in the mood for Disney nostalgia after watching Raya and the Last Dragon, I decided to do another power-ranking list of the Mouse’s villains. Last time out, we looked at ten of the most popular villains in Disney’s roster and rated their power across several metrics. I titled that list “Best Disney Villains” assuming their notoriety corresponded with their actual threat level. Turns out, I may have been premature.

While this list has ten of the more obscure villains in the pantheon, many of them proved to be as formidable as their famous compatriots. So, rather than “Worst Disney Villains,” I’m going to rank ten of the lesser known villains and see how they stack up.

Aunt Sarah, Lady and the Tramp

Score: 10.

Evil has a new name. And a frumpy hat.

Prowess: Frail Human. Besides being a prime candidate for Cruella De Vil’s “Puppy Haters Anonymous” support group, she really doesn’t boast any physical talents. 1/10

Planning: Game of Checkers. Aunt Sarah doesn’t really plot to make Lady and Tramp’s life miserable. She’s just very open to the concept and takes her shot when fate (and a pair of racist-stereotyped cats) presents it to her. 2/10

Minions: Mildly Competent. Again, the Siamese cats (or the R&B monstrosities in the “live” action remake) are just a couple of assholes who are in the right place at the wrong time to make the hero miserable. 3/10

Ambition: Euthanasia. Aunt Sarah gets Lady and Tramp branded as Bad Doggos of the “menace to society” ilk. This is pretty much a death sentence for them, as the remake explicitly shows. 3/10

Demise: None. Lady’s wet-noodle owners kick her out of their life, but that’s about the extent of the repercussions. I don’t know about you, but as a cat person, if somebody with a Cocker Spaniel and new baby cut me out of their life, I’d send them a thank you note and a fruit basket. 1/10

Yzma, The Emperor’s New Groove

Score: 13

Prowess: Normal Human. While Yzma does posses a bevy of magical potions to aid her ploy, otherwise she’s just kinda a frail old lady. Also, her magic is not exactly reliable, which kinda was the reason she got fired by the Emperor in the first place. 3/10

Planning: Game of Checkers. A plan hatched on the fly with spite as the main motivation is not exactly likely to be a well-oiled machine. While she does manage to install herself at the top of the pecking order (briefly) she pretty cocks up every other aspect of her scheme, making herself her own biggest liability. 1/10

Minions: Comic Relief (and prone to desertion!) As the usurping holder of the throne, she does have access to an army. An army of bumbling cretins. Top it off with her right-hand man, Kronk, constantly going over to the good guy’s side, and you have a recipe for disaster. 1/10

Ambition: Regime Change. While revenge is her main motivation, the upshot of turning Emperor Kuzco into a llama is that she gets to rule the Empire. 5/10

Demise: It’s Complicated. In the original movie, Yzma falls prey to one of her own potions and gets turned into a cat. In the sequel, she rips off a peasant mob and is forced to turn into a rabbit to escape their wrath…and is promptly captured by a falcon. We don’t see her buy the farm, but its heavily implied she winds up as bird chow. 3/10

Madame Medusa, The Rescuers

Score: 14

Put me higher on the list or the bear gets it!

Prowess: Normal Human. She doesn’t boast much in the way of brawn, but she makes up for it, American style, by packing a lot of heat. Could use some work on her aim, though. 3/10

Planning: Game of Checkers. Her plan is as simple as it is cruel: force an orphaned girl to work in a diamond mine because she’s 1. expendable 2. small enough to fit in the tight caverns. Not really a Swiss watch, but it works well enough. 2/10

Minions: Competent. Her business associate, Mr. Snoops, is a bit shaky when it comes to ability and loyalty, but her pair of swamp gators, Brutus and Nero, are as vicious as their namesakes. It revealed that they’ve thwarted Penny’s attempts at escaping the mine several times, thus necessitating the intervention of The Rescuers. 4/10

Ambition: Shiny Rocks, Child Cruelty. Medusa’s perfidy isn’t exactly the most grand ambition, but its (dis)honest work. 3/10

Demise: Presumed Gator Chow. Mich like Captain Hook, Medusa presumably winds up in the belly of a reptile…but it’s not explicitly shown. Now THAT would have been one hell of an ending to a Disney movie! 2/10

Shere Khan, The Jungle Book

Score: 14

Prowess: Apex Predator…in the movie. Shere Khan is so formidable that he inspires terror in any animal who even hears his name, even fellow apex predators like Baloo, Bagheera and Kaa. At least in the movies. In the book, he’s a crippled tiger who hunts man because its easier prey than most other animals. He’s also a bit of a scaredy cat. Good thing Disney gave him an upgrade (except for that scaredy cat thing!) 6/10

Planning: Game of Hide and Seek. Shere Khan muffs most of his attempts to get at Mowgli when the boy is at his most vulnerable, only picking the trail back up when the boy is about to hit puberty. His grand plan to score a free meal is…to go around intimidating other animals into ratting out his location. Not exactly The Great Mouser Detective. 1/10

Minions: None. While he does bully the other animals into doing a lot of his leg-work, they’re not exactly on the payroll. At least in the books he wised up and recruited Mowgli’s own wolf pack to do his dirty work. 0/10

Ambition: Easy Dinner. You have to wonder, with how many times Mowgli gives him the slip, how “easy” this easy dinner really is. Especially since it puts him into open conflict with other rough customers like the elephants, a giant bear, and a 20 foot long anaconda with mind control powers. 1/10

Demise: Down, Down, Down in a Burning Ring of Fire. In the two animated movies (yes, Disney indeed tried to squeeze more money out of the film during their straight to VHS sequel phase!) Khan just gets run off the block with his tail between his legs on fire. It’s not till the 2016 “live” action remake that Khan got what was coming to him in the classic Disney fashion: plummeting to his death in a burning jungle. 6/10

Mother Gothel, Rapunzel

Score: 15

Prowess: Modified Human. Besides being ageless, Mother Gothel really lacks any real potent threat. I mean, she’s bested by a girl whose super power is “has long hair,” so you can see she’s really going to suffer in this category. 2/10

Planning: Game of Checkers. Mother Gothel pretty much has to come up with all of her schemes on the fly. She’s easily outwitted by a teen who’s never left her bedroom and a common thief. All that time stuck in that tower, you’d think she’d have spit-balled some contingency plans. 1/10

Minions: Competent. Pretty much what’s written on the tin – garden variety hired thugs. Excel at kidnapping, locking people in towers, menacing those much weaker than them. At least they’ve got a great handle: The Stabbington brothers! 4/10

Ambition: Who Wants to Live Forever? It’s a modest and selfish goal, but one Mother Gothel is very proficient at. For centuries she stayed young by tending a mystical plant, and when the plant’s power is transferred to Rapunzel, Gothel quickly gets into the princess kidnapping game. 3/10

Demise: Fell Down, Went…Woosh? Mother Gothel gets a variation on the old Mouse special – dropped of a ledge. The wrinkle here is that thanks to Rapunzel cutting her hair, she’s rapidly aging as she falls. What finally lands at the foot of the tower could safely be dealt with by a Dustbuster. I honestly don’t know if that makes it better or worse than the standard swan-dive ending. 5/10

Madam Mim, The Sword in the Stone

Score: 15

Prowess: Variable. Mim is one tough cookie when it comes to categorizing her physical prowess. On one hand, she’s just an old lady who gets felled by the common cold. On the other hand, she can turn into any creature she wants, up to and including a fire-breathing dragon. So I’m just going to split the difference on her grade, since the coming down with the flu thing happened directly because of the becoming a dragon thing. 5/10

Planning: (Cheating at a) Game of Poker. Mim’s a cunning opportunist, who frequently bends and breaks the rules of the game. Even before cheating in her wizard’s duel, she was adept at quickly swapping forms to counter whatever Merlin was throwing at her. She didn’t quite think her endgame through, but she’s quick on her toes. 5/10

Minions: None. Once again, another Disney villain who was looking to be at the top of the heap neglects the crucial minions category. Maybe her and Maleficent could go halves on the price of renting some comic relief goons to help their scores out. 0/10

Ambition: Homicide, Spite. She just really really doesn’t like people in general and Merlin in particular. Their duel is more a crime of opportunity than a deeply plotted vendetta. 4/10

Demise: Chicken Noodle Soup. Mim catches a nasty bug from Merlin’s desperate last gambit and is sentenced to bed rest with lots of her least favorite thing: sunshine. Not exactly a fate worthy of a viking funeral. 1/10

Prince John, Robin Hood

Score: 19

Just oozes menace, eh?

Prowess: Frail Lion. John is everything his regal brother is not: namely, he’s a craven coward who sucks at combat while sucking on his thumb. 1/10

Planning: Game of Chess. While most of the comedy of the movie comes about from sly Robin Hood outsmarting John and the Sheriff of Nottingham at every turn, that’s usually more about how clever Robin is, not how dumb Prince John is. His ploys are actually pretty clever, even resulting in the eventual capture of our hero. Hell, he must have done something right to have effectively usurped the throne! 4/10

Minions: Proficient. Once again, their general lack of success with Robin Hood is more on him than on them. The Sheriff is a cruel and vicious bastard, and besides Robin’s relatively small freedom force, he’s got the kingdom on lock-down. The power dynamic at court points to the Sheriff and first minister actually being the real brains and muscles behind John remaining on the throne. 6/10.

Ambition: Regime Change, Capital Punishment. While a coward and mental midget, John at least as set his sights high, taking the throne from his absent brother, ruling the peasantry mercilessly, and sending any dissidents to the gallows. 6/10

Demise: Dethroned. While real life would probably see such usurpation result in John’s head replacing Robin’s in the noose, King Richard goes relatively easy on him. John gets sentenced to hard labor pounding rocks after losing his throne and riches. 2/10

Bellweather, Zootopia

Score: 19.

Our Ten's List: Less Famous Disney Villains.
Make a sweater joke, punk. I dare you.

Prowess: Normal Sheep. She’s a sheep. They’re not generally known for their brawn. 1/10

Planning: Game of Thrones. Making the most of everyone underestimating her (cause she’s a sheep…see above), Bellweather engineers one hell of a plot: using a toxic flower to turn carnivorous animals into mindless killers, she plans to get every predatory animal in Zootopia kicked out of town, leaving just the herbivores to rule. Unfortunately, she breaks the first rule of villainy – DON’T TELL THE HERO YOUR PLAN WHEN YOU’VE GOT THEM CORNERED. Seriously, leave that idiocy to James Bond‘s rogues gallery. 6/10

Minions: Competent. Bellweather’s rams are pretty standard henchmen. You can count on them to run errands, secure a secret lab, and play an aggressive game of hide and seek with the heroes. They don’t really go above and beyond, but at least Bellweather got what she paid for at Hench-O-Rama. 5/10

Ambition: Ethnic Cleansing. When you boil it down, this is one seriously demented sheep. She methodically works her way up the power structure of Zootopia, eating plenty of humble pie while plotting to get half the citizens of the city exiled…and causing more than a few murders along the way. Nothing like some good old war crimes to really up your score. 6/10

Demise: Book ’em, Danno. Bellweather wisely avoids any high ledges that Disney may have been tempted to drop her off, but her fall from power does result in her doing time in the pokey. 1/10

Clayton, Tarzan

Score: 22

Prowess: Peak Human. Clayton is a cunning hunter who hunts the biggest game. He’s equally dangerous with his hands as he is with his gun, so he’s a double threat to Tarzan. 5/10

Planning: Game of Chess. Clayton is working a double cross on Jane’s expedition, secretly plotting to capture and sell the gorillas instead of observe them. He manipulates the love-struck Tarzan into betraying his ape family, and then completes his treachery by imprisoning everyone involved so that he reap the rewards alone. 4/10

Minions: Competent. Clayton’s men are JUST this side of competent. They manage to round up the apes, but are quickly outwitted and forced into their own cages. Maybe Clayton should have invested his ill-gotten hunting gains in a better crew. 3/10

Ambition: Murder, Animal Cruelty. Clayton shows no compunction about murdering or enslaving anyone he deems beneath him…which is essentially everybody. 4/10

Demise: Hung by the Neck Till Dead, Dead, Dead. In a thrilling, back-and-forth battle with Tarzan, Clayton goes from wounding our hero to being at his mercy, and then turning the tables once again. Unfortunately, his vanity and rage cause him to overplay his hand, leading to his untimely demise, swinging in the breeze by the neck. 6/10

Bill Sykes, Oliver & Company

Score: 25

Don’t gloat buddy, without the dogs you get creamed by the sheep!

Prowess: Adept Human. Sykes sports a physique that would make Gaston proud, and he’s got a vicious mind to employ it effectively. Until the very end, we don’t see him in action, but several scenes hint that Sykes is engaging in murder and torture as part of his criminal enterprise. 4/10

Planning: Game of Checkers. As with his prowess, we’re left to infer more about Sykes acumen than we directly witness, which hurts his score. He’s positioned himself pretty high in the criminal underworld, even managing to feign a patina of respectability. From what we see, though, his M.O. seems to be to exploit any target of opportunity he stumbles upon. Unfortunately, his rage often causes him to screw the pooch. 2/10

Minions: Ruthlessly Effective. Sykes doberman’s, Roscoe and DeSoto, are some of the most menacing and effective henchmen in the business. I mean, they actually savage one of our heroes and are a constant threat to kill anyone their master snaps his fingers at. 8/10

Ambition: Kidnapping, Murder, Extortion. The list pretty much speaks for itself; Bill Sykes is one bad customer. 4/10

Demise: Caught the A Train. In one of the more glorious send offs to a villain (and one of the few unambiguous ones where Disney doesn’t flirt with “maybe they’re not really dead?”) we witness Sykes engage in a very ill-advised game of chicken with a locomotive. His recklessness is so complete, it even gets his dogs unambiguously electrocuted to death as well. 7/10

About Neil Worcester 1574 Articles
Neil Worcester is currently a freelance writer and editor based in the Portland, Maine area. He has developed a variety of content for blogs and businesses, and his current focus is on media and food blogging. Follow him on Facebook and Google+!

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