The villain they are fighting and vice-versa heavily define a hero. And Disney has some of the best and memorable villains. Sadly the truth of the matter is that, there were a couple of Disney villains that didn’t quite hit the mark. This list takes a look at the five of them. Note: No Pixar villains nor villains from Disney sequels will be featured on this list.
Edgar Balthazar-The Aristocats
This guy is probably one of Disney’s dumber and more incompetent villains. An example of this is the fact that he believed cats literally had nine lives and that they would outlive him. He also didn’t realize that technically he would have control over the money they would inherit since the cats couldn’t use the money on their own. Sometimes he can be funny in his incompetence but the man is barely able to stand up to the cats. All in all he’s just rather pathetic.
Mulan is a great movie with some ambitious storytelling, beautiful animation, and likable heroes. But Shan Yu is very one-dimensional. He has a threatening design but no real purpose behind his motives other than that he’s the bad guy. We don’t know anything about how this guy came to be, how he rose to power, etc. In a decade where we had Frollo, Gaston, Scar, Hades, and Jafar there should be far more effort for a guy like this.
Now there are other Disney villains that had the same motivations of greed as this guy. And the greed motivation is quite cookie-cutter. But what made those villains such as Clayton, Madame Medusa, and Commander Rourke more memorable is that they were sharp contrasts to their heroes in terms of personality and could match the heroes in strength in their own way. Ratcliffe doesn’t feel like much of a rival to the stronger and confident John Smith. He’s just a man bent on acquiring gold from Native land refusing to listen to anything else and it comes at a huge detriment to the character. What’s worse is that somehow with no explanation in the sequel he was able to convince the King that Smith (and everyone else by extension), was a traitor.
Alameda Slim-Home on the Range
Slim is supposed to be a cattle rustler who hypnotizes cows through yodeling. That is a goofy setup for a villain and has potential. But they don’t go all the way with him. If they completely embraced the goofiness of the idea that would be funny but they also expect us to take him seriously in how threatening he is. Other villains have done this but what makes it work so effectively is that they are presented as such in terms of power and how they use it but are comedic in personality through how they act and work off of other people. Examples of this include Prince John, Captain Hook, and Gaston. These villains are quite balanced in terms of comedy and menace. Slim’s motivation is rather boring for a villain for such a goofy villain. Early drafts had the character using his hypnotic yodeling for world domination. Something like that is questionable but it would have been a start for a fun villain.
Aunt Sarah-Lady and the Tramp
The movie tried to make Aunt Sarah an antagonist but really she takes a huge backseat to her troublemaking cats. Even though Aunt Sarah’s actions towards Lady may you feel sorry for her, in contrast to her cats (and even the Rat) she doesn’t have much in the way of malicious intentions.
Are there any other villains you think deserved to make the list? Any you agree or disagree with? Well leave your thoughts in the comments below.