The Disney Renaissance period had some of the most memorable Disney villains of all time. Whereas on past Disney lists I would do a top 5, there are far more than just five great Disney villains of this era. So instead this article is going to rank all of them.
10. Governor Ratcliffe-Pocahontas
This villain is at the bottom of the list because his motivation is rather boring in just wanting gold and refusing to listen to anything else. Whereas most Disney villains of this era feel like a genuine rival contrasting with the personality of the hero, Ratcliffe doesn’t contrast at all with John Smith.
9. Percival Mcleach-The Rescuers Down Under
This was yet another villain merely motivated by greed. What made him a tad more memorable was his voice actor George C. Scott who gave an enjoyable and fun life to this villain. Unlike most villains motivated by greed he was actually rather intelligent in carrying out his plans.
Much like the last two villains on this list this villain’s motivation merely boiled down to greed. What made this villain a tad more interesting though was him being a foil to Tarzan. Despite his chivalrous and polite nature he gradually unfolded into a vicious animal willing to do anything to get rich off of selling the gorillas. Whereas Tarzan became more human as the film went along, Clayton became less human and became more of an animal. While a good villain to rival Tarzan, he just had lackluster motives.
7. Shan Yu-Mulan
This villain was given a great design and voice to match. In addition his actions gave way to one of Disney’s darkest moments. He’s a destructive and menacing foe for sure but his motivations are weak merely boiling down to the fact that he’s the villain. On top of that even though he is the main villain he has only about six minutes on screen. Despite that this proved to be one fierce leader giving the movie its grand scale.
This guy has a great design and is given a good balance of intimidation and comedy. The voice acting by James Woods makes this character like a fast-talking and shrewd deal-maker which makes him all the funnier and enjoyable. The way the dialogue is delivered synergizes well with the animation of this character.
This guy had a sinister voice and had just as much wit as Aladdin, which made him a worthy adversary. Combined that wit with power and you’ve got a dangerous villain taking a huge variety of dangerous forms from a sorcerer, to a snake, and a genie. The voice actor Jonathan Freeman combines both flair and humor in the way he goes about his motives whether it be working off his parrot Iago or in taking on our heroes. In his conquest to marry Jasmine and become Sultan this villain has cemented himself as an Arabian nightmare.
4. Ursula-The Little Mermaid
This is easily the most fun villain to watch. All she really wants is ultimate power but the manner in which she goes about and revels in having it is nothing short of enjoyable in every moment. Although she only achieved ultimate for a couple of minutes in the climax the amount of joy she had in controlling the ocean makes up for that. With a unique flair for villain and an amazing villain song this is one dangerous place under the sea.
3. Gaston-Beauty and the Beast
This is a very different kind of villain in that he doesn’t start of as the epitome of all evil or even that much of a bad guy. He’s just a good-looking and self-centered jerk who in any other movie would probably be the hero. But as he fails to get what he wants he resorts to more evil and horrible measures becoming far more of a monster within in contrast to the monstrous Beast who becomes more human over the course of the film. Gaston was a humorous villain but overtime became more threatening which made him an enjoyable villain to sit through. No one has a combination of humor and threat like Gaston.
2. Scar-The Lion King
Jeremy Irons gave this villain a fantastic voice making the character just as likable as he was despicable. He is actually one of the few Disney villains to actually succeed for a long time, which leads to one of the most haunting deaths in the history of Disney. It did not stop there for Scar as he manipulated Simba into exile and decimated the Pride Lands. Although clearly the villain, the large scale actions of this villain is something no one could be prepared for.
1. Frollo-The Hunchback of Notre Dame
This guy embodied the dark tones and themes of religion, love, and lust in this movie. There are just so many evil and horrible things that this guy did particularly being such a high-ranking official of society. Yet he’s completely aware of it and is convinced he is doing God’s work all throughout the process. The song Hellfire is the best and creepiest villain song out there and it only pushes his horrific actions to extreme lengths. All of this is what truly ranks him above Scar. Whereas Scar didn’t do much after obtaining power, Frollo had a huge amount of it and used it to dark and disturbing lengths.
How do you rank the Disney villains of this era? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.