What Happened to Great Disney Villains?

Disney villains these days don’t have the same evil presence as the classic ones. Why is that? Nostalgia Critic takes a look.

Donate to this week’s charity here Check out our store here
//Taboola Area

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.

Leave a Reply

136 Comments on "What Happened to Great Disney Villains?"

thatgirlinthewheelchair
Guest
thatgirlinthewheelchair

Holy hell for the first time in my life I’m, well, first.

Olddog
Guest

Well, if Disney still wants the heel-turn, they could always just try the opposite of what they’ve done. A person could start as a villain and turn out to not be one.
Like a little boy bullies a little girl, but only because he likes her sort of thing.

Olddog
Guest

Crap. Didn’t mean to make this a reply and don’t know how to fix.

JamiSings
Guest

Oh no, not that trope. People already pull that crap to justify boys being abusive towards girls. We don’t need movies justifying it. How about he’s a bully but changes because he realizes being evil is stupid?

Goldstar
Guest

Honestly, I’ve seen more cases of girl characters abusing boy characters because they’re secretly crushing on them than the reverse, but, yeah, I agree. That trope stinks. However, I like the idea of a bully character deciding not to be mean anymore and changing his/her ways half way through the story. Now that’s outside the box thinking.

Brydont
Guest

I think Olddog just means that a villain can seem evil but turns out they did it with the best of intentions, not exactly the “boy likes girl” thing. So, for example, if it turned out in Tangled that Mother Gothel wasn’t a witch emotionally abusing Rapunzel but was actually keeping her locked away as a misguided means of protecting her

POTENTIAL MOANA SPOILER
Plus, you can sort of argue that they did the heel-turn in Moana

MrXemnas1992
Guest

Considering the likes of Xehanort, Toffee, and Bill Cipher; I’m gonna just guess they’re not in the movies anymore.

Rocketboy1313
Guest

Bill is terrifying, and I say that as a grown ass man.

AquorFan22
Guest

True, video games and TV shows seem to allow free range. Don’t forget Lord Dominator, Ludo and Gideon, or even more harmless comedic villains like Lord Hater, Dr. Doofenshmirtz, and Cedric the Sorcerer.

Someoneelse
Guest

Dr. Doofenshmirtz is great and 2nd dimension Doofenshmirtz was a surprisingly good serious villain

lilith_ascennding
Guest
Bill’s a great example of a heel-turn villain in my opinion. We may have known he’s evil since the beginning of Gravity Falls, but he seemed more like the “cartoony” type of evil, that villain who shakes their fist at the screen as they curse their plans being foiled by the flawless hero. Yet as the show progresses, more and more of Bill’s true colors are revealed and by the finale, he’s seen as a genuine threat. Sure, he still has his morbid sense of humor and glee for all things chaotic, but he’s a lot more violent and sadistic… Read more »
thatchickwithlonghair
Guest
thatchickwithlonghair

POINTS FOR TOFFEE. XD That guy is great.

Someoneelse
Guest

There’s also good live action villains like Loki,Ultron Kylo Ren or Barbossa but yeah I don’t think any of them can compete with bill.

Tactlesscat
Guest

Excuse you but where is LORD HATER, THE GREATEST IN THE GALAXY!!!!!

CrisJoe
Guest

The horned King is awesome! Also, Bellwether split society in two. She was awesome as well. And Doctor Facilier, he’s amazing!

Olddog
Guest

Everyone loves Loki.

Tiago
Guest

But is he evil? Is he a villain still? Right now, I’m not sure…
At best he is an anti-hero (he did help Thor in The Dark World)

Rocketboy1313
Guest

Evil doesn’t become less evil just because they fight another evil person.
You have to do good things to be a good person, and weaving conspiracies to tyrannize worlds is not good.

Tiago
Guest

Uhn… That’s exactly the point of ALL anti-heroes. The Punisher, Wolverine, Ghost Rider, Spawn and many more are the lesser of two evils.

Devlerbat
Guest

I think he was just counting animated stuff.

Hardback247
Guest

RIP John Hurt (The Horned King’s voice)

lilith_ascennding
Guest

I freaking love Dr. Facilier. He definitely has one of the best Disney Villain songs ever 😀

Nerwen Aldarion
Guest
I have disagree, not about his song which was okay but a good song doesn’t equal a good villain. My problem with Dr. Facilier is his motives and his connections with the heroes. Mostly because he has none. He’s going after the rich blond girls father’s money, it really has nothing to do with Tiana and Naveen. He was literally just there as an excuse to turn Naveen into a frog, after that he really has nothing to do with them. Even more so his motive is pretty bland…greed. It’s not original or even interesting. Compare that to other villains.… Read more »
Steve the Pocket
Guest

I’d say Dr. Facilier’s backstory, that he needs the money specifically because he got his powers by making a literal deal with the Devil—or at least, demons of some kind—and has been struggling to pay it back, is interesting in its own way. If for no other reason than, holy shit, Disney actually went there.

GumballSupreme51
Guest

Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear does give me chills.

AquorFan22
Guest

Me too. He really doesn’t belong on a list of “lesser” villains. Doug oughta watch Toy Story 3 again to be reminded of that.

Jiro
Guest

I actually found the bear from Toy Story 3 to be more of a villain than he was pretending to be nice. He is shown to be evil for the majority of his time on screen. Or at least in my opinion and from what I can remember (haven’t seen the film in a while).

AquorFan22
Guest

You are absolutely correct. He only pretended to be nice in one lengthy scene, and part of another which ended with him dropping the facade. For the most part, Lotso was straight-up evil.

Brydont
Guest

I think you’re 100% correct, Lotso was a great villain. However, I think Doug’s argument is that modern villains are nowhere near as memorable as the iconic ones of the past, not that their acts aren’t villainous enough. So, people remember just about every aspect of Jafar, Ursula, Maleficent, etc, but Lotso (Arguably one of the more memorable modern villains he used as an example) and the others don’t hold up by comparison.

Raptor Rex
Guest
I wonder if Doug recently watched this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PifXfBfhSBc&t=496s From what I gathered from both videos, while it’s certainly commendable for wanting to see more humanity in their villains, from time to time it’s still always fun to have antagonists who are bad for badness sakes. So allow me to present a middle ground for a future villain. For a future Disney film, let’s have an antagonist who has almost as much screen time as the hero, make him/her just as devious and charismatic as the old school villains, but give that character some back story to why that character fell… Read more »
Jasmine
Guest

You thought Silver from Treasure Planet was complex? That took me off guard since you never commented on his character when you did the Disneycember on the movie.

AquorFan22
Guest
MountCDOSgamer
Guest

Frankly, it was rather painful to see you talk about a lot of Pixar films in a video that was supposed to be about Disney films. We all know Disney owns Pixar, but Walt Disney Animated Studios and Pixar are still two distinctly separate studios. Hell, many of the Pixar films you used as examples weren’t even made when Disney owned Pixar, they just distributed their films!
Also, even you’ve talked about Disney and Pixar as being two distinctly separate studios, such as how Pixar made studios besides Disney brave enough to release G-rated films again.

RobbyB
Guest

Not really, Since Lasseter took over they’ve mixed and matched the talent quite a bit. They have the same head guy and most of the same story people, and all the same tech involved in both studios now, and both studios sit in on the “watch the early reel and suggest story idea” sessions.

They’re still separate but they’re really heavily entwined now. The only real difference at this point is Disney films still have song numbers…. sometimes.

MightyDavidson
Guest

Sikes occupies a complicated middle ground. If he was an original villain I’d agree that he wasn’t that great. However since he’s the Disney version of a great villain, namely Bill Sikes from Oliver Twist, that complicates the issue a bit.

dterribletwins
Guest

Should be What Happened to Movie Villains in General.

Bromigo
Guest
Persoanlly, I thought that Turbo/King Candy was one of the more classic style villains but initially with a hint of modern subtlety which is why I still think that he’s the best modern DIsney villain he’s simultaneously terrifying yet human, however for the best Pixar villain I think Syndrome takes the cake, even above that of Turbo in my book, being that they make you feel for him, and they also make the danger real, they make you despise him because this guy is so dastardly that he captures infants, infants, man! Anyways, for the most part I do agree… Read more »
Disney-Trivia-Fanatic
Guest
Disney-Trivia-Fanatic

Okay there is another great villain that he forgot to mention that person being Yzma from “The Emperor’s New Groove”. She is funny, tries to be threatening, has a great voice (rest in peace Eartha Kitt), and overall fun to watch! Especially when she is with Kronk!

allav866
Guest

The henchmen are the best part of any villain! I always love seeing them interact with each other, whether it’s Hook and Smee, Jafar and Iago, Yzma and Kronk, or Prince John and Sir Hiss!

ErichoTTA
Guest

Animated Disney shows follow a similar format. They set up someone who seems to be the main villain (like Gideon from “Gravity Falls” or Ludo from “Star Vs. The Forces Of Evil”) but then introduce a guy who’s much more evil (Bill Cipher or Toffee). I guess they can’t do this with movies. Sorry, I’ve just been getting into SVTFOE a lot lately. I liked the Shadow Man! I thought you said he was one of your favorites!

AquorFan22
Guest

Lord Hater and Lord Dominator also followed that format.

Gideon was at least a legit threat, unlike Ludo and Hater (although Ludo ironically ended up becoming a legit threat following Toffee’s introduction, but still not in Toffee’s league.)

kkre4368
Guest

*No Spoilers”*

Doug. Please, please play Castlevania Lords of Shadow 1 on PS3.

You will frikking love it especially related to this video!

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Moon Spirit
Guest

Doubt he will. He’s no gamer so I don’t expect him to buy any games for a PS3 other than as a Blu-ray player.

OldManHermit
Guest

Yeah, he doesn’t strike me as a gamer, but I know exactly what you’re talking about. The twist ending of LoS is amazing.

Tiago
Guest
I think the fact that even the Marvel villains are also generic and boring says a lot more about what Disney is actually nowadays, and I don’t think it is to catch up with the times. Come on they shoehorned a villain to Civil War… It is to be as non-threatening and forgettable as possible so that we don’t get too attached about this guys when they die by the end of the movie… But I truly think this is not the right approach, and in Batman: The Animated Series lies the answer. Every villain has its shot and wheter… Read more »
Fan01
Guest

“I remember when Disney villains were cool.” says all fans from the 90s lol. Seriously though Disney needs to get back on track with their villains and they will.

JediPrime21
Guest
Makes me think back on one of the reasons why I love Kingdom Hearts. It contains the most memorable Disney villains (including Maleficent and Hades) and also dealing with in-depth villains/antagonists like the members of Organization 13. This is reacting to both past and modern villains nowadays and Kingdom hearts had both. What bugs me about villain standalone films like Maleficent is I believe it takes away the memorable villainous nature Maleficent was. They did the same with Randal in Monster University and the Red Queen in Through the Looking Glass. The last thing I want is a “back story”… Read more »
AquorFan22
Guest

Xemnas, Saix, Axel…and that’s it. The other evil members of Organization XIII were no more or less “in-depth” than any regular Disney villain.

Oddworld Inhabitant
Guest

What about Xigbar? Maybe not the deepest character, but certainly one with personality.

thatchickwithlonghair
Guest
thatchickwithlonghair

Lol Maleficent the film was just really bad fanfiction. XD

Kirsten425
Guest
I thought I dreamed that this video happened because I was kind of half asleep when I saw the promo for it earlier on the Facebook page. But, I have to agree that the villains of Disney now aren’t as memorable as Disney past. I remember Maleficent and Ursula a lot more than King Candy or Stinky Pete. Part of it might also be the voice acting. Not that King Candy and Stinky Pete had bad actors voicing them, but the words, inflections, and ways of saying the lines should be a good or memorable match to the characters. However,… Read more »
Necro Critic
Guest

Funny you mention how Sykes and The Horned King won’t make anyone’s Top 10s. Because, they made mine. (https://vid.me/staY)

Note: I don’t usually spam my videos in other people’s videos, but I felt like that particular statement had to be corrected.

empeanutson
Guest

Looks like the Necro Critic is in… the Channel Awesome comment section…

I’ll just let myself out.

OmegaX2000
Guest
Can you talk about the MTV series Good Vibes and Daria? On a side note, I mention this all before, why do you review a classic horror like this one I’ve finally found after all these years after just seeing a few scenes of it and never knowing how it ended. It’s called Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama. You might like it. Maybe. Also what do think of these TV series shows called: John Doe Forever Knight The Misfits (British Show) Misfits of Science (Movie and series) and The Zeta Project (I think some of these shows are like… Read more »
Cyborcat
Guest

No, he can’t.

Grinch
Guest

Hey, Sykes is pretty neat vilian, it’s just the movie he’s in sucks.

Also, someone brought up Yzma. And yes, her duo with Kronk is superb. But I guess, it only means that straight up vilian can be done only in a comedic way now.

mr grump
Guest

Yes maybe the classic charismatic villain will come back….right about when they start doing 2D films again, Oh wait…

joe england
Guest

Surprise villains? Sure, sometimes. But I spotted the villains in Zootopia and Big Hero 6 the second they first stepped on screen. Didn’t surprise me one bit!

empeanutson
Guest

You must have a better eye than me if you spotted Professor Callahan. I mean, there was his slight moment of anger at Krei, but I initial thought that was to establish Krei’s character instead of hinting at Callahan’s motives.

Camseyeview
Guest

I think Doug does have a fair point. Maybe a tad harsh on the newer villains past the 90s, but a fair point.

I guess I would just have more interesting leads than villains, but yeah some good villains would be nice.

I also felt like he missed the point of some of them, but the video was good

happymel
Guest

Yeah, I wish more people liked Treasure Planet. I love that movie. Still, interesting video like usual. Also, the more people talk about the Frozen twist, the more I realize I hate the twist.

MLPFan91
Guest
I don’t, though I did at first. But rewatching it a few times, you see the subtle moments of Hans’s true intentions. 1. He is the youngest of many sons, highly unlikely to rule the Summer Isles. 2. He explicitly says in song, “I’ve been searching my whole life to find my own place.” Not meaning, “I want to find a place to belong,” but, “I want to find a place I can control.” 3. He just so happens to bump into Anna and changed his plan as soon as she falls in love with him after one day. 4.… Read more »
Lotus Prince
Member

I generally agree with the sentiment that Disney villains aren’t what they used to be, but Lots-o from Toy Story 3 was damn good.

JiCi
Guest
Hmmm… I feel like a few things should be pointed out here and there… – Back in Disneycember 2 (Pixar), Doug said that he liked Toy Story for its character focus, but kinda hated A Bug’s Life because it was too cliched. He felt that the story was too “predictable”, including the fact that there’s a clear villain, Hopper the grasshopper. Strangely enough, Hopper follows pretty much the same template as classic Disney villains 😛 – A movie’s story also has to be good to order to flesh a good villain… which is why movies like Pocahontas, Brother Bear, Home… Read more »
thatchickwithlonghair
Guest
thatchickwithlonghair

I freaking LOVED Hopper as a villain. But I love that whole movie so…..yeah. XD I wish more people did. ;_;

JamiSings
Guest

I think Dr. Facilier (AKA Shadowman) is every bit as awesome as cartoon Malifect, while Gaston is a lousy villain. And frankly, I want the story of the grand struggle, not “here’s a bunch of crap that happened when this bratty kid moved to San Francisco, and BTW the show Herman’s Head did this better.”

I think getting away from the grand villains is why so many Disney movies are so lame. Especially many of the Pixar ones like Brave.

SpikeGal
Guest

Thought I was the only one who remembered ‘Herman’s Head’!

Devil's Advocate
Guest
I disagree on the point that villains should be more complex. some should but it is unfortunately ignoring reality to say that EVERYONE had good in them, there are people in real life who are pure evil, Complete Monsters, as TV Tropes calls them. does anyone really believe Hitler had humanity in him? or the first recorded serial killer in the United States, H.H. Homes who literally said “I was born with the devil inside me”. or Jane Topan who was the inspiration for the Bad Seed’s idea of being born evil and said her life’s ambition was to murder… Read more »
Goldstar
Guest

Real life and fiction are two different things, bro. Try to understand the difference.

Honestly, I don’t know what this “Evil people need to be killed” trip you’ve been on lately is all about, but it’s mildly disturbing, to say the least.

Goldstar
Guest

Also, I could point out the flawed logic in your arguments regarding the likes of Hitler, but it would be irrelevant to the video’s topic, so I won’t. I’ll just say that your view is short sighted and leave it at that.

Devil's Advocate
Guest

it’s somewhat on topic as making villains more human was one of the points Doug/Critic brought up. so, how can you argue my point when I quoted a real life serial killer who said “I was born with the devil inside me”.

The Real Silverstar
Guest

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: seek professional help, D.A. You desperately need it. The more of your comments I read, the more I think, “It’s only a matter of time before this kid snaps and does something that makes headline news”.

The Real Silverstar
Guest

Take my advice, stop taking these cartoons so darn seriously and lighten the F up. You’ll thank me later.

Goldstar
Guest
Well, since you asked I’ll tell you. You’re argument is flawed for a couple of reasons: 1. Quoting a real life serial killer is completely irrelevant for a discussion about FICTIONAL villains. Like I said before, REAL LIFE and FICTION are two different things. 2. Since you insist on blurring the line between fantasy and reality, I must also point out that yours is a very narrow minded view of the world. In your eyes, a person is either Mother Theresa or Satan, with absolutely nothing in the middle. That’s how a child views the world. In reality, everything isn’t… Read more »
Devil's Advocate
Guest

again, Doug brought up the point of humanizing villains to reflect reality.

and I know there is gray and not everything is black and white. but some people are pure evil, just because not all of them are doesn’t mean none are.

Devil's Advocate
Guest

and I did bring up a fictional example of a monstrous fictional villain that still reflects reality.

Devil's Advocate
Guest

also, I do actually sympathize a little bit with Jeffery Dalmer because he regretted his actions, it’s other serial killers who are not remorseful that I denounce as human beings.

Darth_Biomech
Guest

Hitler had wife and kids, and also loved dogs.

Devil's Advocate
Guest

even if Hitler wasn’t all bad, there is still people like Jane Topan, the real life Bad Seed.

Fulchrum
Guest

What the fuck? Their latest one is a being of pure rage, power and flame.

RobbyB
Guest

Sure, its a cool concept, but said villain had no actual personality, dialogue, or screen presence. It was just a large monster they had to sail past to get to the maguffin. That would have just been *a* obstacle in another movie.

Blue Griffin
Guest

Agree. The other “villain” was a sparklely crab with an ok song. His bio-luminescent transformation was cool, but he was in and out of the picture too quickly and not very threating.

1 2 3
wpDiscuz