While villains have a lot of positive aspects, they also have a lot of flaws. Keeping with our theme of Disney villains this month, we’re going to look at and learn from the worst flaws of all, the Seven Deadly Sins. Guess who’s helping us?
In my opinion, Gaston is a fine example of a Disney villain who’s full of lust – even though he’s a great candidate for pride too. He wants to marry Belle, but only because she’s the most beautiful maid in the village. He wants prestige, he wants power, and he wants Belle. When she turns him down after he hosts a marriage party prematurely, his desire for her takes over. He tries to kill the man who appears to be a beast, and ends up showing that his lust has turned him into the beast.
There seems to be a lot of protagonists in Disney movies and series that are gluttons. Remember Heimlich from Bug’s Life? But for a villain, I have to go with the Big Bad Wolf. He’s an oldie but a goodie. He’s the precursor for Pete, the original antagonist who made Mickey’s life a drag. He wants to eat three pigs whole! As Pete, he was always smoking cigars and, in some incarnations, eating. This leads him to be a slovenly pig, pun intended.
Many a Disney villain’s greedy, but my favorite is Jafar from Aladdin. He tried to use Genie to make him powerful enough to be ruler of Agrabah. His greed led him to wish to become a genie, as the beings are insanely powerful. But Aladdin used this desire as a trap, as genies are not free beings.
While this might be controversial, I have to choose Hopper from A Bug’s Life as the Disney villain for sloth. Yes, he’s motivated to kill ants and generally be a tyrant. Yes, he is cunning and powerful. But he’s still a grasshopper who’d rather steal from ants than work for his food. In the end, his thievery puts him in the crosshairs – and beak – of a bird.
Since vengeance is involved, I have to go with Demona from Gargoyles as the Disney villain for wrath. After betraying her castle’s humans, her plan goes awry when Vikings kill her gargoyle clan, which includes her lover (don’t worry, he isn’t really dead, he’s just been frozen in stone by a magic spell that will end only when the castle rises above the clouds). She blames the humans, not herself. She spends the next thousand years trying to exact vengeance on the human race. In her quest to make gargoyles superior and humans, well, extinct, she’s frozen a city in stone and tried to unleash a world-wide plague. For all her pains, she’s only ended up…alone.
Of course the best Disney villain for this is the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. She wants to be the fairest in the land. She is not, but she is very beautiful. She is also rich, powerful, and charming. In her quest to destroy the girl who is the fairest, Snow White, she instead reveals the ugliness in her own heart and loses all she has.
While Gaston is one prideful jerk, Claude Frollo from Hunchback of Notre Dame takes the prize. I’m sure he’s proud of that. Frollo considers himself the mouthpiece and hammer of God. Frollo decides who is pure, who is true in the religion he practices. He has no respect even for the Arch Bishop. He’ll kill entire classes of people without a second thought because he is purging the city of Paris from their filth. Even torture is fair game. He sees himself as pure, being the Minister of Justice, not corrupt like “the common vulgar, weak, licentious crowd.” His pride leads him to mistreat people, which in turn leads to his downfall.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments. Perform your own villain assessments with the Villain Matrix. Use the Villain Matrix spreadsheet that comes free when you join the Research Team, where you’ll also get our newsletter with its exclusive updates and content.
Author: LC Champlin
About me: Writer, traveler, adventurer, prepper. Lover of all things Geek and Dark. INTJ. I share my experiences because they can help you adapt, advance, and achieve.
I write fiction because the characters in my head have too much attitude to stay in my skull, I want to see the world through different eyes, and I want to live life through different souls.