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The Five Top Female Disney Villains of All Time. Muahahaha.

It’s easy to focus on the hero or heroine of the story.

But without these pesky villains there wouldn’t be a film, unless we want to watch everything running smoothly for two hours.

One thing is certain, the top female Disney villains take many forms.

‘Rule one – no mineral or vegetable, only animals. Rule two – no make-believe things like pink dragons and stuff. Now, rule three – no disappearing.’

Throughout Disney history, female villains have taken all guises, they’re ambitious and they know every trick in the book.

Quick head’s up – contains spoilers.


Introducing The Five Best Female Disney Villains

5. The Witch

Brave – 2012, Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell

In my mind, the Witch is the most original of Disney villains, in the first Pixar film with a female heroine.

This spooky part-time woodcarver grants people’s own desires, laced with unexpected consequences.  She’s not the most evil.  Instead, the Witch is fantastically ambiguous.

Another great thing about this villain?

Her woodcarving shop is a treasure trove of hidden Disney and Pixar characters. You might need to freeze frame, you’ve got to be fast to catch them!

4. Mother Gothel

Tangled – 2010, Nathan Greno, Byron Howard

Now here’s a female villain with a talent for evil plots.

Before the prologue’s over, Mother Gothel conceals a life-saving flower and kidnaps Rapunzel.  She uses psychological trickery and devious schemes at every turn.

Mother Gothel doesn’t even use magic.  Her brand of evil is very human, and that’s even scarier.

3. Cruella de Vil

101 Dalmations – 1961, Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, Wolfgang Reitherman

She’s mean to puppies!

If she gave out sweets and loveliness for the rest of the film, it wouldn’t be enough to balance that out.  Luckily we have no such problem, Cruella is pretty ghastly all the time.

Cruella is also an attention seeker, so let’s annoy her and move right on.

2. Maleficent

Sleeping Beauty – 1959, Clyde Geronimi

Evil fairy Maleficent curses Aurora to a sticky end by spinning wheel.

Unluckily for this well-dressed villain, she’s surrounded by incompetent henchmen, but that doesn’t stop her.

In a scene thought to be originally intended for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937, David Hand), Maleficent ramps up the evil by kidnapping Philip before turning into a fire-breathing dragon.

1. Ursula

The Little Mermaid – 1989, Ron Clements, John Musker

Not content with setting Ariel up to fail, thanks to a double-edged enchantment, she uses Ariel’s own captured voice and tries to marry Eric herself.

When that plan fails, does she turn into a dragon?  Nope, a gigantic version of herself.

She, in her own form, is more terrifying than a dragon.

Now that’s a villain.


If that’s not Enough of Disney Evil Female Villains…

Do you need some cheering up now?  How about a nice discussion to get all that Disney villain angst out in the open?

Let me know who you think the best female Disney villains are!


Hi, I’m Jane, BA (Drama, Film and TV) and MA (Cultural and Creative Industries). When I’m not writing about creative things, I’m designing or planning them. If you’re brave enough to risk an avalanche, look behind the stacks of books and DVDs and you’ll find me balancing a cup of tea, a handful of knitting and a cupcake.
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