How Far Disney Villains Have Come

“The bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and, uh, we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies and… everybody lives happily ever after.”

Who doesn’t remember their first ever Disney movie? Mine of course was the tale as old as time, Beauty and the Beast. If you remember your first Disney movie, you remember your first Disney villain… All of the Disney movies of the 90’s portrayed villains that you could spot even with the trusting mind of a child. You just knew because of his personality that Gaston was up to no good, and even though Beast was frightening for my young mind, Disney took the time to show his transformation from an angry, scary, sharp-toothed monster to a loving, kind, sweet fur ball. In The Little Mermaid, Hercules, and Aladdin, the villains and the heroes are clear cut and obvious. 

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(SPOILER ALERT for Frozen! If you haven’t seen it yet, A. Do you live in a(n ice) cave or something???!? and B. You should probably skip ahead to the next paragraph or go back to the main Nerdy Minds page & choose another article…) Of course if you have seen Disney’s newest Oscar and Academy Award winning blockbuster, Frozen, you know that this is no longer the case. Yet, is this the only movie in which we see a dramatic switch in the actions of a character we thought we as the audience knew? The answer is no. From The Emperor’s New Groove to Toy Story 3 and a handful of movies in between and after, we see this shift. The only reason the audience is so shocked during the big reveal of Frozen is that this great shift does not happen over time with a series of character building events, but instead it happens in one sentence.

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The fact is that Disney villains are all unique in their own way and in some cases even more complex than the main characters they take a backseat to. I would like to think that this attention to the character development of the villain is what has kept Disney on top for so long. I mean, Disney even took the time to make a movie based completely on a villain’s story to redemption with Wreck-It Ralph.

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Disney villains have thrilled, chilled, and entertained audiences for years, and I cannot wait to see how the iconic Disney villain progresses next. 

WHO WAS YOUR FIRST DISNEY VILLAIN? And your favorite? Let us know in the comments here or on Facebook!

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2 thoughts on “How Far Disney Villains Have Come

  1. Another reason why the audience was so shocked I think is because it was the first time Disney made the prince a straight villain. Princes have been spoiled (the Beast, Kuzco) but never really evil. But my first Disney villain was the Evil Queen. And she always terrified me, lol!

    Liked by 1 person

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