Top 10 Disney villains who just needed some therapy
#10 – Ursula (The Little Mermaid)
All we know about Ursula is that she’s an ugly half-octopus woman who STEALS Ariel’s voice and turns King Triton into a sea worm. For a little while. Y’know, before she gets stabbed in the heart by a BOAT and all her evil is handily undone.
But WHY did she hate Triton and his family so much, eh? That’s the real story… and we think you’ll feel quite different for her when you discover that Titan was, in fact, her half-brother. Probably.
Yeah, these two share a mum. But, while Ma Mermaid created a pretty handsome regal fish-man in Titan (just look at those flowing white locks!), she created an octopussy monster in Ursula – and that’s all down to the fact she had an affair. With, presumably, an octopus. Try and picture THAT little bump ‘n’ grind in your head – gross, right? Although we guess he’d have a lot of hands to spare…
Anyway, when born, the misshapen Ursula was shunned by her family, not to mention every other mermaid and sea critter out there. Condemned to live in the darkest depths of the ocean, she was accompanied only by two green moray eel minions, who raised her to be… evil. Obviously.
Now do you see why she hates Triton so much? He got everything and she had NOTHING, damn it! All she needed (probably) was a little acceptance, perhaps a kind word or just a smile. Instead, she was driven to insanity and ended up as expendable as a plate of calamari.
#9 – Big Bad Wolf (Three Little Pigs)
Again, it’s all down to animal instinct. A wolf needs to eat to survive, so who can blame him for wanting to chow down on three walking sides of ham? We reckon, if anyone’s the villain in this sitch, it’s the pigs themselves – they BOIL the wolf ALIVE. He’s an endangered species, damn it!
#8 – Captain Hook (Peter Pan)
This one’s easy; Captain Hook was a fun-loving pirate, plundering and pillaging to his heart’s delight, until some kid flies in, chops off his sword-wielding hand and feeds it to a crocodile.
Not cool, Peter. Not cool. You just did it because you hate adults so much, didn’t you? DADDY ISSUES, WAS IT PETER?
In those days, there wasn’t a great emphasis on sanitation during medical procedures, so we imagine the poor man had to endure a LOT of blood loss, a feverish (and non-anaesthetised) hook insertion, all while lying in a dirty, smelly ship’s cabin. Delirious for weeks, he was slowly nursed back to health by the lovable Smee – and returned a different man. A cold, unyielding man, hellbent on revenge against Peter Pan. Which, to be honest, we don’t blame him for. Not one little bit.
#7 – Judge Claude Frollo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
So why do you hate gypsies so very much, Frollo? We get that they’re a bit of a nuisance, but most people seem to be able to, y’know, just get on and deal with it. Not you, though – and we’ve figured out why.
YOU are of gypsy descent, aren’t you? We reckon your Romany mother had a dalliance with a French citizen, got preggers, gave birth and left you to be raised by Notre Dame’s Archdeacon, because she couldn’t deal with another mouth to feed. So, naturally, you came to hate them. You came to hate your heritage. And you wanted to punish every single gypsy out there and make them atone for your abandonment.
THAT’S WHY YOU GREW TO LOVE QUASIMODO, ISN’T IT FROLLO – HE REMINDED YOU OF YOURSELF! AND THAT’S WHY YOU BECAME SO FIXATED ON ESMERELDA – CAN WE GET A BIG FAT “OEDIPAL-COMPLEX” FROM ALL THE FREUDIANS OUT THERE?!
Yeah, Frollo has abandonment issues. Still… talking his problems out with someone may have been better than, y’know, burning hundreds of innocent people alive. Just a thought.
#6 – Shere Khan (The Jungle Book)
HE WAS JUST A TIGER, DAMN IT! Poor big cat knew exactly what threat a human being posed to his fellow jungle inhabitants, so he planned on wiping out the danger before it was too late. And what did he get for his troubles? Set on fire.
Just in case you assume Mowgli wouldn’t grow up to shoot down his fellow friends, just check this out:
One line: “Father’s hunting in the wood.” As in, he’s HUNTING in the WOOD. Seriously now, jungle critters – wanna admit maybe Shere Khan had a point?
#5 – Queen Grimhilde (Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs)
Stepmothers are always portrayed as evil in Disney films, but it’s simply not true. Just ask… well, there must be a nice one out there somewhere, anyway. Denise Richards is doing a pretty awesome job with Charlie Sheen’s kids while he’s off being all tiger-blooded, isn’t she?
Anyway, the Queen started off as a nice woman. Through an arranged marriage to a grieving King, the fourteen-year-old welcomed a chance at a happy life away from her own domineering mother – but the King never really took to her. Still in love with his dead wife, he shunned her, treated her horribly and, obviously, little Snow followed her father’s suit. She didn’t know any better, we guess.
Unsurprisingly, the Queen was left heartbroken and went a little… insane. Bad insane. She wrapped her heart in ice, waited patiently for her cruel husband (who would always be in love with a corpse) to die himself and took the throne, banishing Snow – a constant reminder of the torment and humiliation she suffered – to work in the kitchens.
No, we don’t know why she wanted to eat Snow’s heart. That’s where we stop sympathising with her – cannibalism is NEVER easily explained away.
#4 – Shan Yu (Mulan)
We’re not big history buffs, but we imagine the Huns had a pretty good reason for wanting to invade China. Or, at least, they probably THOUGHT they had a good reason. Shan Yu is just another military leader – albeit with evil yellow eyes – who thinks he and his armies are doing the right thing. Just throw him in the same category as Napoleon, Hitler, Hague and Darth Vader – all basically good guys, if we recall correctly.
#3 – Edgar Balthazar (The Aristocats)
It’s a lonely old life being a butler; just watch The Remains Of The Day if you don’t believe us. You give up your entire… well, your entire everything. You serve day and night, you give up the chance of a family, you live alongside your employer in their home, as close as any relative, but downstairs, in the servants’ quarters. And, in Edgar’s case, it was even worse – he was the ONLY servant in that massive house. Think of all the cleaning, all the cooking, all the horse-shoeing and all the dusting he had to do – not to mention the fact he has to act as a companion to his eccentric mistress, Madame Adelaide Bonfamille.
So we understand why he gets pissed off when he hears that she’s leaving her entire fortune to her cats. Her entire fortune. To her cats! And he has to wait for them to die naturally before he gets even a whiff of a single franc. Do you know how long cats live? About 18 years, give or take. There’s three kittens in the mix, none of which are neutered, and we bet they’ll more than likely get a little amorous when they’re fully grown. Cue more kittens. More incest. More kittens. FOREVER!
We doubt Edgar would ever have inherited anything, to be honest – he’d have lived out his days waiting on felines. No wonder he goes bonkers, eh?
#2 – Gaston (Beauty And The Beast)
When Belle first arrives at the Beast’s castle, she’s terrified of him. Remember that? Remember how she was TERRIFIED of him? Based on his looks. Yeah. That lasts for so many weeks, until she attempts to run away, he recaptures her and they forge some sort of romance / Stockholm Syndrome-type thing.
Her father, likewise, isn’t a fan of the Beast – and he runs off to tell Gaston, an arrogant jock-type who’s always had a thaaang for Belle, that she’s been captured by a horrific monster and locked up in a tower. Would you believe the word of a babbling eccentric? Us neither. Gaston probably wanted Maurice locked away in an insane asylum for his own good or something (not, y’know, as emotional blackmail against Belle).
Anyway, when Gaston discovers the Beast is real, he reacts in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY AS MAURICE AND BELLE DID. Exactly the same way. He’s terrified. He rouses up a mob and leads them to destroy the monstrous creature residing in the nearby woods and, sure, he gets a little carried away. But we reckon being Friend Zoned in favour of a lion-bull-man thing probably drove him mental, so we’re not going to frown on Gaston too harshly.
Plus, y’know, if he’d never stabbed the Beast, the spell would never have been broken and Belle would have lived out her days embroiled in bestiality. So thanks Gaston, you kinda did us a favour!
#1 – Scar (The Lion King)
Interesting thing about lions is this; they usually have more than two cubs. So where did Mufasa and Scar’s brothers and sisters all disappear off to?
Well, according to David Attenborough, introducing a father to his cubs is a very tense moment as… well, he’s prone to killing and eating them if he doesn’t like the look of them. It’s to do with wanting to save on food, keep all the females for sexy time to himself or, y’know, maintain his own sense of power over the pride.
With this in mind, we’re guessing a few baby lions were gobbled up. Mufasa, for whatever reason, was spared and Scar, little rust-coloured runt that he would have been, was initially attacked, rescued by his fearless mother (who probably died doing it) and left a little psychologically damaged by the whole experience.
Chilling stuff, right? So let’s fast-forward to the birth of Simba and a happier time… except where are Simba’s siblings, eh? Mufasa? You didn’t, did you?
Of course he bloody did. WHY ELSE IS THERE JUST ONE BABY LION, EH?
We imagine Scar had managed to get over his initial terrors, but the birth of Simba served as a reminder of his traumatic childhood / cubhood and he was (as with all the others on the list) driven to insanity. Surviving a mass infanticide will do that to you, y’know – especially if you see your own brother, and only fellow survivor, resorting to his murderous cub-gobbling father’s old tricks.
So, sure, Scar wanted Mufasa dead. And he probably wanted Simba dead to end the Circle of Terror. But we doubt any psychologist would blame him, to be honest. He’s not legally culpable for his actions.
Want the low-down on the real Disney villains? We’ve put the House of Mouse’s real black sheep (we love animals, whevs) on trial here.