20 Greatest Classic Disney Villains

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The saying goes that the hero of your story is only as great as your villain,

On podcast #124 I made a bold statement that the key difference between classic Disney movies and Pixar films is their villains. I love Pixar films, but in my mind classic Disney movies like The Jungle Book and The Lion King are still superior films, principally because they all have the missing ingredient Pixar lacks; iconic, classic and memorable villains.

Pixar films are anything but weak, some credit must go towards the heroic characters who inspire courage, hope and charm their ways into our hears, but the same can’t be said about the Pixar characters whose job it is to create havoc and fear with their malicious deeds.

Whether you love or hate Disney, it cannot be denied that they have come up with some greatest on screen villains in movie-making history. Here is my list of the twenty most memorable villains.


20- The Ring Master

Dumbo (1941)

Voice: Herman Bing

Quote: “And now, comes the climax!”


19- Judge Claude Frollo
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
Voice: Tony Jay

Quote: “I’ll find her. I’ll find her if I have to burn down all of Paris!”


18- Clayton
Tarzan (1999)
Voice: Brian Blessed

Quote: “Even if you hadn’t grown up a savage, you’d be lost. There are no trails through a woman’s heart.”


17- Stromboli
Pinocchio (1940)
Voice: Charles Judels

Quote: “And when you are growing too old, you will make good firewood!”


16- The Queen of Hearts
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Voice: Verna Felton

Quote: “Off with their heads!”


15- Chernabog
Fantasia (1940)


14- Shan-Yu
Mulan (1998)
Voice: Miguel Ferrer

Quote: “I tire of your arrogance, old man. Bow to me!”


13- Yzma
The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
Voice: Eartha Kitt

Quote: “It’s called a “cruel irony”, like my dependence on you.”


12- Captain Hook
Peter Pan (1953)
Voice: Hans Conreid

Quote: “I’ll get you for this, Pan, if it’s the last thing I do!”


11- Ursula
The Little Mermaid (1989)
Voice: Pat Carroll

Quote: “If you want to cross a bridge, my sweet / You’ve got to pay the toll / Take a gulp and take a breath and go ahead and sign the scroll! / Flotsam, Jetsam, now I’ve got her, boys / The boss is on a roll / This poor unfortunate soul!”


10- Gaston
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Voice: Richard White

Quote: ” Take whatever booty you can find, but remember: the Beast is mine!”


9- Lady Tremaine
Cinderella (1950)
Voice: Eleanor Audley


8- The The Queen
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Voice: Lucille La Verne

Quote: “Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”


7- Maleficent
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Voice: Eleanor Audley

Quote: ” The Forest of Thorns shall be his tomb! Borne through the skies on a fog of doom! Now go with the curse, and serve me well! ‘Round Stefan’s Castle, Cast my spell!”


6- Kaa
The Jungle Book (1967)
Voice: Sterling Holloway

Quote : “Just you wait till I get you in my coils!”


5- The Horned King
The Black Cauldron (1985)
Voice: John Hurt

Quote: “Soon, the Black Cauldron will be mine. Its evil power will course through my veins, and I shall make you Cauldron Born. Yes. Yes. Oh, yes. Then you will worship me! Me. Oh, my soldiers. How long I have thirsted to be a god among mortal men.”


4- Jafar
Aladdin (1992)
Voice: Jonathan Freeman

Quote: “How many times do I have to kill you, boy?”


3- Shere Khan
The Jungle Book (1967)
Voice: George Sanders

Quote: “Ah, you have spirit for one so small. And such spirit is deserving of a sporting chance. Now, I’m going to close my eyes and count to ten. It makes the chase more interesting… for me. One…”


2- Scar
The Lion King (1994)
Voice: Jeremy Irons

Quote: “I know that your powers of retention, are as wet as a warthog’s backside / But thick as you are, pay attention! / My words are a matter of pride / It’s clear from vacant expressions / The lights are not all on upstairs / But we’re talking kings and successions / Even *you* can’t be caught unawares!”


1- Cruella De Vil
101 Dalmatians (1961)
Voice: Betty Lou Gerson

Quote: “Alright, keep the little beasts for all I care! Do what you want with them! Drown them! But I warn you, Anita, we’re through! I’m through with all of you! I’ll get even! Just wait! You’ll be sorry, you fools! You… YOU IDIOTS!”

From the unsubtle symbolic name to her hideous physical appearance, the evil of Cruella De Vil is overt. This may be what makes her stand out as one of Disney’s most memorable villains. Any bitch that kills puppies out of fun tops my list.

  1. LlovesM says

    Nice list, but what about Zira (Lion King 2) and the man from Pinocchio who takes the boys to Pleasure Island?

  2. Cynthia says

    What about the poacher from the Rescuers Down Under? I also think Ursula should be a little higher on the list…she remains one of the scariest Disney characters to me – even into my adulthood.

    Good job on the rest of the list though – I often forget some of those characters.

  3. Ashley says

    I agree. Hades was classic.

    “I’ve got 24 hours to get rid of this bozo, or the entire scheme I’ve been setting up for 18 years goes up in smoke, and you are wearing his merchandise!?”


    How can you NOT mention Professor Ratigan? Even Vincent Price said it was his favorite role of his entire career!

    “Oh, I love it when I’m nasty.”

    Now THAT’S classic Disney Villany.

  4. MartyK says

    How about Man…from Bambi.

    1. Ricky says

      I thought about it but decided against it . I already had too many to list.

  5. Kat says

    Do me a favor and rewatch a these movies buddy.

  6. Anonymous says

    You forgot Hades and Rourke instead of Kaa and the Ring Master.

  7. Jeremy says

    You’re wrong, Chris. The picture of Chernabog is indeed a picture of Chernabog.

    1. Ricky says

      Thanks for clearing that up Jeremy. I started to doubt myself there.

      1. Al says

        You should. It WAS Hades, but I changed it.

  8. Chris says

    Your picture for Chernabog from Fantasia is… Hades from Hercules.

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