Everybody loves a good Disney villain — because where would the good guys be without the baddies?!
Some of history’s most legendary evil characters have been created by Disney, as adversaries for everyone from Aladdin to Simba in the Lion King.
This list was compiled by Monsters and Critics’ movie experts and contains the characters our team thinks are the most brilliant Disney villains from their animated movies.
Interestingly, more than half of them are women. But they all have one thing in common — they’re all bad!
10 Jafar (Aladdin)
Easily one of the best villains in the Disney pantheon, Jafar’s creepy little beard alone is enough to let on that this is a guy not to be trusted.
Aladdin’s arch-nemesis, Agrabah’s former Royal Vizier is a sinister piece of work. He tries to hide his own narcissism, but it’s so deeply ingrained in him that it can’t help but repeatedly erupt to the surface.
He’s a power-hungry egomaniac and will do anything to get his way.
He’s also got the bad buy look down to a T, with his flowing black and red cape, pointy shoulder pads, and serpent-headed staff.
9 The Evil Queen (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
The Evil Queen is…well, just look at her. Those eyes pretty much say it all.
Originally named as Queen Grimhilde, the Queen was the main baddie in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
The fact she still makes top ten lists of Disney villains is testament to her wickedness, as it’s now been 80 years since she and Grumby, Bashful et al. first graced our screens back in 1937.
She was the first villain in a Disney animated feature, and who can forget her transformation into the haggard old Witch.
Poisoned apple, anyone?
8 Lady Tremaine (Cinderella)
Lady Tremaine is not a good person by any step of the imagination. Rather than harm poor old Cinderella physically, she plays a psychological game trying to run her down through mental games.
That’s really what makes her such an awful piece of work — because she doesn’t have any magical powers she has to resort to just being horrible. Basically, like the most wretched kind of people in real life!
Worst of all, she’s driven completely by jealousy — never a good trait. And all because her own daughters are, well…ugly.
7 Captain Hook (Peter Pan)
Seriously, a guy with a hook for a hand and a mustache that straight could hardly not make this list.
But what’s so magical about Captain Hook is that despite his inherent evil-ness you pretty much spending the whole of Peter Pan feeling sorry for him.
The odds are stacked against him as he tries to wreak revenge on the boy who fed his hand to a Crocodile, as a) he can’t fly and b) that Crocodile.
He also made the mistake of hiring bungling Mr. Smee as his sidekick.
6 Ursula (The Little Mermaid)
Gaaah! So big and blue and scary! If you grew up as a girl in the 1990s then in all likelihood The Little Mermaid was your favorite movie.
And Ursula played a huge part in making it great. Based on the sea witch from Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid story, she was such a great character that Disney had her take on a much bigger role in the movie than in the original fairy tale.
And what made her so great? Well, she was half octopus for a start. And she had pet eels. And she turned her victims into polyps.
What’s not to like?
5 Hades (Hercules)
When you’re a bad guy, there are probably not many more legit jobs than being God of the Underworld.
As if that wasn’t enough to prove you’re evil, how about razor-sharp teeth and hair that’s constantly on fire?
Hades, from 1997’s Hercules, had all that and more. His main aim was to usurp his older brother Zeus as King of Deities, and uses a combination of manipulation and dodgy deals to try and get his way.
Anyone who gets to introduce themselves as “Lord of the Dead” is always going to make an interesting character. What’s more, Hades’ humor was also totally LOLs — which certified his place on this list.
4 Cruella de Vil (One Hundred and One Dalmatians)
Who doesn’t love puppies! So someone threatening to make a coat out of the fur from 99 of them goes straight to the top of our bad books.
Cruella is legendary in the world of Disney villains and has appeared several times — the most iconic of which was in the 1961 animated version of the story, above.
She was also played by Glenn Close in the 1996 live action remake.
Her character in the animated version was developed brilliantly, often times resembling some sort of wild animal. Then there was that lack and white hair, skeletal body and fingers and that mink coat.
3 Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)
With one of the most famous pointy chins of all time, Meleficent from 1959’s Sleeping Beauty was a proper piece of work.
Kitted out in the most extraordinarily terrifying outfit, she was basically the embodiment of evil.
Anyone who doesn’t like the three good fairies Flora, Fauna and Merryweather has got to be bad.
And cursing a baby just because you didn’t get invited to the christening? Seriously, get a grip! Arrogance and vengefulness are never a good combination.
2 Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland)
Often overlooked in our opinion as an iconic Disney villain, the Queen of Hearts from the original 1951 version of Alice in Wonderland was a truly great character.
Basically an angry kid trapped in an adult’s body, she was prone to incredible temper tantrums and was completely psychotic.
To be honest, all the supporting characters in Alice in Wonderland could probably make this list in some form or other, but the Queen of Hearts tops them all.
Her remedy for pretty much everything? Beheading.
1 Scar (The Lion King)
The ultimate Disney villain, Scar had it all. Intelligence, vanity, a hunger for power. And…he murdered his own brother.
Scar’s character is without doubt one of the best baddies in the history of animation. His tone when dealing with young Simba is the most perfectly-executed form of pompous sarcasm and his greedy, manipulative and jealous nature just oozes evil.
And who will ever forget Jeremy Irons’ incredible voice as Scar telling his nephew Simba, following Mufasa’s tragic death: “Run. Run away, and never return!”