- “When she breaks the tender peel, to taste the apple in my hand, her breath will still, her blood congeal, then I'll be fairest in the land!”
- ―The Evil Queen on her plans to poison Snow White
The Evil Queen, also known as the Wicked Queen or just the Queen is the main antagonist of Disney's 1937 film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the first Disney animated features canon villain. Determined to remain the fairest of all, the Queen becomes insanely jealous of Snow White, the only one whose beauty surpasses her own. She eventually uses dark magic in the form of an aging potion to transform herself into an old woman, in a final attempt to do away with her only, unknowing rival. Depicted in early designs as a fat character, her appearance eventually evolved into a much more sinister, stately beauty. She is generally one of Disney's most iconic and menacing first villains, once being voted the 10th greatest movie villain of all time. The Queen was animated by Art Babbitt and the Witch by Norman Ferguson. Although they are technically the same character, official materials such as the 1993 Disney Classics card set have depicted them as being different entities.
Her name was given as Queen Grimhilde in some old publicity material and comics, but the Walt Disney Company does not seem to acknowledge it as canon. She is sometimes referred to as the Wicked Queen, while theme parks sometimes refer to her as the Snow Queen (Not to be confused with Elsa the Snow Queen). The Witch is sometimes referred to as the Old Hag after drinking the aging potion.
Design and animation
In the early stages of design, the Queen was drawn as a fat, frumpy, comical character, in the style of the characters of the Silly Symphonies. The Fleisher Betty Boop short Snow White, which, like much of Fleisher's work, had probably been studied by Disney's animators, also has a fat, ugly Queen. However, when Albert Hurter introduced a more realistic style of character design to the Disney animators, it was ultimately decided that the Queen should be more beautiful, regal, cold and sinister, creating a much scarier character than had ever been attempted in animation before. Rather than a comical villain, she became a femme fatale, a type of character with which the Disney artists would have been familiar, through the silent screen; at the same time she is a figure from ancient Europe, viewed by American audiences in the 1930s as a symbol of not only charm and elegance, but also decadence and self-destruction. The Queen's costume is rumored to be based on that worn by Helen Gahagan in the 1935 film She, though animator Art Babbit and other Disney artists have denied this. At a meeting on October 30, 1934, Disney suggested that the papier mache masks by Art Deco illustrator Vladislav Theodor Benda (an influence on Joe Grant's work) be used as inspiration for the Queen's face. Her 'Hollywood mask' of a face may also draw inspiration from Joan Crawford, particularly in the lips and eyes. The Queen's costume and general silhouette may have been inspired by a column statue at Naumburg Cathedral depicting Uta, wife of the Margrave of Meissen. There are also facial similarities to George de Feure's La Femme au chapeau noir (1898-1900).
Babbit based the Queen on "all of the women I've ever known", and noted that, while the animation of the Queen relied, to an extent, on live-action footage, he felt the need to 'caricature' and 'invent' in order to justify the medium of animation; the animation was not rotoscoped as the Prince's was.
The Witch resembles hags in European illustrations of fairy tales, in particular Arthur Rackham's illustration for Hansel and Gretel; a similar character was used in the Silly Symphonies short Babes in the Woods. Disney may also have been influenced by stage traditions, such as transformation scenes in which the hag is transformed into a beautiful fairy that were later used for Beauty and the Beast in 1991. Many of the artists at the studio tried designs for the Queen's Witch form; Joe Grant's pastel designs for the character were ultimately approved and used as the model for the animators to follow. Norman Ferguson was thought to have been cast as animator of the Witch because of his skill at creating a lifelike effect while not actually being able to animate a living creature. He initially found difficulty in animating the Witch, as her illustration-influenced design was not thought to lend itself perfectly to animation, and there was concern that the witch would amuse, rather than intimidate, the audience. However, Ferguson animated the Witch with respect to acting and personality rather than inner emotions. He set part of the Witch's phrases to the melody of a popular song of the time and animated to this rhythm, singing to himself as he drew. Notably, the Witch is the only character who occasionally looks directly into the camera and appear to address the audience; it is likely that this is because Ferguson's approach was inspired by vaudeville performers.
Live-action footage for the Witch was shot of actors Don Brodie and Moroni Olsen, who performed in drag. Ferguson's animation was also partially influenced by Lionel Barrymore's drag performance in The Devil Doll. As a result, the Witch possesses certain masculine qualities that make her seem more aggressive and dangerous. John Lounsbury was Ferguson's assistant in animating the Witch, and animated the scene in which the Witch disappears underneath a trapdoor, cackling that Snow White will be "buried alive". In story meetings concerning the transformation sequence, and the sequence at the cauldron, Walt Disney made reference to Dr. Rotwang Rotwang's laboratory in Fritz Lang's Metropolis and the scene in Macbeth in which the three witches brew their potion. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is another influence. The sequence in which the Witch rows a boat from the catacombs underneath the castle suggests the influence of an illustration of Charon by Gustave Dore for Dante's Inferno.
Lucille La Verne was first asked to provide only the voice of Vengeance in A Tale of Two Cities, but read for both parts and was later offered the part of the Queen when no other actress was found. Some at the studio felt that her voice was too deep, but David Hand argued that she "knew how to deliver lines," particularly when adding ingredients to the potion. Bill Cottrell and Joe Grant were in charge of La Verne's recording session. At first they felt that her voice was too smooth for the Witch. Asking herself to be excused, La Verne left the room; upon returning a few moments later, her voice was exactly what Cottrell and Grant wanted. When asked how she achieved this, La Verne admitted that she had removed her false teeth. Cottrel was so convinced by La Verne's performance that, at the line "A drink of water! Please!", he leaped from his chair to fetch her a drink. Joe Grant noticed La Verne's changing attitude and posture when voicing the Queen and Witch, and sketched these poses down for animation reference.
The Queen does not appear to be significantly involved in governing her kingdom (since she is solely focused on being the fairest in the land), though the skeletal remains of prisoners in her dungeon point to her being a cruel ruler. She wants nothing more than to be the fairest in the land. She is cold, cruel and has an extreme vanity that made her utterly intolerant of rivals. Her vanity and jealousy of Snow White's superior beauty and the Prince's affections eventually drove her to murderous insanity. She transformed herself into a hideous hag and conjured a poison named 'The Sleeping Death' to achieve this end as a sign of her determination and desperation.
The Witch, being an alternate form of the Queen, has some of her personality traits, most notably her vanity and unstable jealousy of Snow White, kept intact. However, due in part to the transformation, she has also become more outwardly maniacal and sadistic, constantly cackling insanely as well as once trying to play an extremely cruel joke on her pet raven by making it seem as though she wanted it to eat the poisoned apple. Despite her insanity, she was also extremely intelligent and calculating, wanting to ensure that she not overlook anything in order to make her plans an absolute success. This trait was especially evident in her stopping herself while gloating about how the poisoned apple will ensure Snow White's eventual demise in order to look up whether there was a cure to the effects of the poisoned apple that would be able to cause her plans to fail.
However, the book My Side of the Story: Snow White/The Queen reveals that the Queen was actually very kind to Snow White at first (she even has a portrait of her stepdaughter on one of the walls of the castle), but she gets too wound up in her jealousy, which ultimately results in her untimely end. The book also reveals her, when not in her castle, owning a grocery store (as seen in the last page of the book) and that the Huntsman was a very good friend of hers. She also, according to her explanation, made Snow White a servant in her castle to keep her stepdaughter from being lazy (The Queen also tells Snow White to do chores everyday because it's a "good exercise" - this is proven in one scene from the book where Snow White eats some cake, only for The Queen to snatch it away from her stepdaughter, telling her not to eat sweets because she is "still in growth & needs to diet"). Also, according to The Queen, she never asks the Magic Mirror who is the fairest in the land. But the Magic Mirror keeps complimenting on how beautiful The Queen is (in its opinion). In the scene where Snow White first meets The Prince and flirts with him, The Queen watches them from her window with a worried look on her face, concerned about Snow White's safety with an older boy (whereas in the film, she watches them with anger and jealousy of Snow White's beauty).
In addition, the Serena Valentino novel Fairest of All paints her in a far more tragic light, that of an extremely broken woman who, due to emotional abuse from her father, was feeling extremely insecure about whether or not she truly was beautiful. It also showed that she did initially genuinely care for Snow White as if she were her own daughter before the king's untimely demise.
The Queen is an icily beautiful woman with a serene, unfeeling face and a slender figure. She has pale skin, long raven black hair, green eyes, red lips and seemingly penciled-on eyebrows. Her features and her royal attire create a very stunning and beautiful Queenly image. The Queen is seen wearing a purple gown with long sleeves and a red rope belt tied around her waist. She wears a black balaclava that covers her ears, neck and hair, leaving her face exposed. The Queen wears a long black cloak that appears to be part of the cowl. The cloak is lined with red inside and the bottom of the cloak is lined with white fur. She has a high white collar attached to her cloak. She also wears a golden pendant that seems to connect with the collar. She also wears orange-yellow high-heel pumps. To top off her royal appearance, the Evil Queen wears a golden crown atop her head with 5 spikes on the front and a jewel on the tip of the middle and tallest spike. The color scheme of her attire represents her pride and vanity.
In her witch disguise, the Queen's physical appearance changes from that of a youthfully beautiful queen with an unfeeling look on her face to that of an ugly, old peddler vividly displaying emotions. She has long, tangled white hair, thick eyebrows, green eyes and dark rings around her eyes. Her nose becomes long and crooked with a large wart, and she only has one visible tooth on her bottom jaw. Her hands are gnarled and have pointed, dirty fingernails. She dons a black, cowled robe that retains the hanging sleeves of her gown. She also seems to wear gray slippers.
Walt Disney described the Queen as "a mixture of Lady Macbeth and the Big Bad Wolf... her beauty is sinister, mature, plenty of curves... she becomes ugly and menacing when scheming and mixing her poisons; magic fluids transform her into an old, witch-like hag."
Imprisoning the Prince
It was originally planned that, jealous of the Prince's affections for Snow White, the Queen would have him brought to her, and she would have him locked in her dungeon. As the Witch, she would have made the skeletons in the dungeon (one of whom would have been identified as 'Prince Oswald') rise up and dance. She would have left the Prince in the dungeon, and he was to escape in the manner of Errol Flynn, enabling him to reach Snow White and break the spell. The idea was abandoned when it was realized how difficult it was to animate the Prince convincingly, and the character only appeared when he needed to further the story, which centered primarily around the relationship between Snow White and the Queen.
However, comics released to promote the film include such scenes; the Witch locks up the Prince and tells him of her plans for Snow White, telling him that she will win his affections, while the Prince is defiant. Later, as the animators became more experienced at animating human characters, a similar concept was used in Sleeping Beauty, in which Maleficent has Prince Phillip captured and taken to the Forbidden Mountains, where she shows him visions of the future she has planned for him.
A very short sequence involving the Witch stirring her cauldron was fully animated and completed, and was among the scenes cut from the film by Walt Disney at the last minute. In the sequence, the Raven looks on as the Witch stirs the cauldron with a huge bone. She pauses to see that the smoke rising from the brew is shaped like skulls, and adds a drop of an unknown ingredient to the concoction. At this, smoke from the cauldron fills the room. This sequence would have occurred immediately after the scene of the Seven Dwarfs going to sleep in their cottage; the sequence would have been followed by the scene in which the Witch dips the apple into the brew to make it poisonous.
Discovering Snow White's Beauty
Jealous of her stepdaughter Snow White's beauty, the Queen forces her to work as a servant in her castle; even in rags and wooden shoes, however, Snow White's beauty shines through, causing the Queen to worry that Snow White's beauty may one day surpass her own. She has such vanity that she consults her Magic Mirror every day, ordering the slave within to reveal the name of the fairest in the land. Every day the spirit says that the Queen is the fairest, and she is content, until the mirror informs her that Snow White has finally become the fairest in the land. Outside, as Snow White works, she sings to herself, attracting the attention of the Prince, who is passing by, and they are instantly infatuated with each other. The Queen watches from her window, unseen by the two lovers, and, jealous both of Snow White's beauty and the Prince's affections, closes the curtains furiously.
The Huntsman's Orders
Summoning her faithful Huntsman to her, the Queen orders him to take Snow White far into a secluded area of the forest, where she can pick wild flowers, and kill her. She presents him with a box, in which Snow White's heart must be brought as proof. The Huntsman is reluctant to carry out such a deed, but, knowing the penalty for failure, takes Snow White deep into the forest. Just as he is about to stab the princess, he finds that he cannot bring himself to destroy such innocent beauty and, frantically warning Snow White of the Queen's vanity and jealousy, tells her to flee into the forest. He returns to the Queen, bringing in the box the heart of a pig to fool her.
Meanwhile, Snow White finds the Cottage of the Seven Dwarfs, and is found by the dwarfs, whom she tells of the Queen's attempts to kill her. They are fearful of the dark magic of the Queen, not least because, Grumpy, not keen on having a woman around the house, refers to her as an "ol' witch", and suggests that she may have discovered them already, have made herself invisible, and be watching them right now. They nevertheless take pity and agree to take her in.
Transformation into the Witch
That night, the Queen once again consults the slave in the Magic Mirror, who tells her that Snow White is living in the cottage of the Seven Dwarfs and that the Huntsman has brought her a pig's heart. Furious, the Queen descends a spiral staircase, entering a dark chamber filled with arcane and magical artifacts, as well as her pet raven perched on a skull. She decides to go to the cottage herself, disguised as a peddler. Consulting a book on disguises, she mixes the required potion ingredients (though exactly how she prepared most of them into a tangible form for the concoction can be anyone's guess), such as mummy dust to make her old, the black of night to cloak her clothing, an old hag's cackle to age her voice, a scream of fright to whiten her hair, a blast of wind to fan her hate, and finally a thunderbolt to mix it well. After putting all the ingredients together, she drinks the potion and turns herself from a regally beautiful queen to an ugly old hag. She then decides to dispose of Snow White with a poisoned apple, which will send its victim into the Sleeping Death.
The Sleeping Death
The Witch brews the poison and dips an apple into the brew, turning it black, then, upon her orders, a tempting red, giving the poisoned fruit the appearance of an ordinary, if not exceptionally appetizing in appearance, apple. She then voices her plot to her raven, before having her boastful declarations halted by the possibilities of her schemes facing failure. To ensure no antidote gets in her way, she consults her spell book, quickly finding that the victim of the "Sleeping Death" can only be revived by "Love's First Kiss". This brings no sense of fear or apprehension to her, as she firmly believes the dwarfs, as they would think Snow White is actually dead, will bury her alive. Cackling to herself, she puts the apple in a basket, and walks down through the dungeon below, emerging from the castle's catacombs in a raft. On her way down the catacombs, she passes by a skeleton who appears to be reaching for an empty jug of water and sarcastically asks if he wants a drink before kicking the jug into the skeleton, smashing it to pieces. As she makes her way to the dwarfs' cottage, two sinister vultures see her and, sensing that death is imminent, quietly pursue her.
She reaches the cottage and, according to plan, finds that the dwarfs have left and Snow White is alone. Catching her by surprise as she is preparing a gooseberry pie for the dwarfs, the Witch offers her the apple, claiming apple pies to be the superior dish and offering the poisoned apple for Snow White to sample. As the meeting occurs, however, Snow White's bird companions spot the vultures darkly observing and anticipating what's to come, indirectly informing them that the Witch has evil intentions. They attack her before Snow White is able to take hold of the apple, successfully delaying the former's plot, though Snow White orders them to leave, as she still believes the Witch to be a harmless peddler. The Witch cleverly uses Snow White's kindness to her advantage and pretends to be shaken from the attack, asking for shelter within the cottage, to which Snow White obliges to. This forces the birds and other forest animals to rush over the diamond mines and alert the dwarfs of what's happening.
Meanwhile, the Witch manipulates Snow White into believing the apple is actually a "magic, wishing apple", capable of making one's dreams come true with one simple bite; offering it in gratitude of fending off the birds. Snow White becomes taken with the idea once the Witch openly mentions speculation that her wish may have something to do with someone she loves, referencing the Prince. Wanting to finally reunite with him, she takes the apple, makes the wish to live a happy life by his side, and takes a bite. In a matter of seconds, she falls under the curse and drops to the floor unconscious. The Witch cackles in joyous victory, declaring she'll now be the fairest in the land, and makes her leave to return to her castle, only to find the dwarfs have learned of her villainy and have come to rescue Snow White. The Witch fearfully flees the furious dwarfs, and soon finds herself trapped on the cliff of a rocky mountain, with the vultures perched onto a nearby tree branch, watching the events unfold. Spoting a massive boulder nearby, the Witch tries to kill the dwarfs by crushing them with it, cackling insanely as she does so. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning strikes the cliff, destroying the portion holding the Witch, and causing her to fall hundreds of feet below to her death. The boulder tumbles down after her, crushing her body and ensuring her demise. The vultures then fly down the cliff to devour her remains.
In "Pluto Saves the Day", the Queen (in her hag form) was seen selling poisoned apples to Pete in his plot to cast the sleeping death spell on Mickey and friends. Her evil plot was used as an advertisement later at the end of the episode.
In "The Stolen Cartoons", she gave a visual representation of Daisy's exclamation "The crowd's getting ugly!" by turning into her hag form. Earlier in that same episode, she was seen visiting the Magic Mirror in the lobby, only to immediately by dismissed with "Save it, Queenie. Everyone's fairer than you."
The Evil Queen can also be spotted several times in Mickey's House of Villains, usually in her witch form.
She is the main antagonist of the show, before turning into the tritagonist.
As revealed in the episode "The Stable Boy", that before marrying, Leopold Regina was kind and caring, and was in love with a stable boy named Daniel Colter. However, when Snow White was little, Regina's mother Cora caused her horse to go wayward, leading to her being saved by Regina and a friendship to be formed between the two. King Leopold wanted to marry her as thanks and to give his daughter a mother. Resolving to run away with Daniel, Regina made Snow promise not to tell her mother when she caught the pair kissing, but later, Snow accidentally revealed this to Cora who then killed Daniel. Regina was then forced to marry King Leopold. Though she granted the young princess a kindness by lying to her and telling her Daniel merely ran away to spare her feeling, Regina vowed to destroy Snow's happiness to avenge Daniel. Rumpelstiltskin also mentored her in the ways of Magic following Cora's banishment to Wonderland, under the pretense of helping Regina exact her revenge upon Snow, but in reality, intended to have her ultimately cast the Dark Curse on his behalf. She kills the king by taking advantage of the love the Genie holds for her. This enacts the first part of her plan and makes her ruler of Leopold's realm. She then contrives ways to kill Snow — first by enlisting the Huntsman's help. However, the Huntsman is unable to kill her, and Regina punishes him by tearing out his heart and making him her slave.
She then accuses Snow of treason and places a bounty on her head and eventually puts her into a death-like sleep with a cursed apple, after confronting her in front of Daniel's grave. However, Snow is awakened and she and Prince James are happily married. On the day of the wedding, Regina vows to cast a curse on all of the inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest and take away all of their happiness so that she is the only one who is happy. She previously traded this curse to Maleficent in exchange for the sleeping curse. However, she forcibly retrieves it from her only friend when negotiations go sour. She has difficulty enacting it and goes to see its creator, Rumplestiltskin, for advice. In exchange for the information she desires, he asks that she give him a place of comfort and respect in the "new world" the curse will send them to and that she must do anything he asks when he utters "please." Agreeing, Regina learns she must use the heart of "the thing [she] love[s] most." She understands this to be her father Henry; with reluctance, she cuts his heart out and enacts the curse. Shortly after, she travels to Snow's castle where she triumphantly exclaims to Snow White and Prince Charming that the curse is taking them "somewhere truly horrible." Her desire to "win for once" fuels her endless quest for revenge.
In Storybrooke, she is Mayor Regina Mills. With Mr. Gold's help, she adopts a baby who she names Henry who, unbeknownst to her at the time was really the son of Snow White and Prince Charming's daughter Emma Swan. However, her relationship with Henry is strained: he prefers the company of his birth mother, he constantly rebels, and he constantly lies to her to spend time with Emma. Because of this and after discovering who Emma really was, Regina is antagonistic toward her and is determined to keep Emma away from Henry, even going as far as to forbid Emma from seeing him without her permission and threatening to file a restraining order against Emma. Regina is also determined to convince Henry that his theory about the curse and the true identities of the Storybrooke residents is false, and she starts him on regular sessions with therapist Archie Hopper. When Archie's methods are too slow, Regina tries to force Archie to tell Henry that his idea is crazy; however, Archie refuses and threatens to declare her an unfit mother if she continues to meddle in his sessions with Henry. She has a sexual relationship with Graham, who is really the huntsman, but he eventually breaks up with her. Out of jealousy, she crushes his heart and kills him, revealing that she remembers her identity as the Evil Queen. Regina manipulates Emma's trust of Sidney Glass to keep an eye on Emma's activities. She also tries to prevent the relationship between David Nolan and Mary Margaret Blanchard, really Prince James and Snow White, by reuniting David and his wife Kathryn, as well as using David's and Mary Margaret's affair to discredit Mary Margaret after the Nolans' marriage falls apart, and stealing Kathryn's letter stating that she never loved David and that she is allowing him to be with Mary Margaret. Regina desperately wants to remove Emma from his life, resorting to attempting to poison her. However, Henry willingly consumes the curse instead, dying shortly after. Emma finally believes, awakening Henry with true love's kiss and breaking the curse.
Later her mother arrives in Storybrooke, Cora convinces Regina to obtain the Dark One's dagger to gain power, though she later dies during the fight to protect Mr. Gold. Henry is then kidnapped and taken to Neverland by new arrivals Greg and Tamara, after they are stopped by Regina and Emma from destroying Storybrooke. Regina travels with Emma, Mary Margaret, David, Mr. Gold, and Captain Hook, eventually managing to rescue Henry from the evil Peter Pan, and return to Storybrooke. However, Pan enacts Regina's curse once more, forcing her to reverse the original curse returning her and the remaining inhabitants to their original worlds while Emma and Henry escape to New York City.
Back in the Enchanted Forest, Regina struggles to come to terms with the loss of Henry, though Mary Margaret and Robin Hood persuade her to move forward. Regina soon learns she is half-sisters with Zelena, the Wicked Witch of the West. To save them from Zelena's threats, Regina helps Snow and David enact a new curse to return to Storybrooke, before Zelena adds a forgetting potion to it. With no memories of the past year, Regina faces the struggle of Henry's lost memories of her in Storybrooke until his book restores his memories and she breaks the curse with true love's kiss, restoring the residents' memories of the past year. She meanwhile forms a bond with Robin Hood, which turns romantic after she learns he is her soul mate. Zelena later obtains Regina's heart as an ingredient in her scheme to change the past, though Regina uses her newly discovered light power to defeat her.
After Emma and Hook are dragged into Zelena's time portal, they inadvertently return with Maid Marian, who was originally sentenced to death by Regina. To the anger of Regina, Marian, Robin, and Roland are reunited, causing a schism in her own relationship with Robin. Marian is later frozen by the Snow Queen, leading Regina to try to find a cure for her to help Robin, while removing Marian's heart to prevent the Freezing Curse from killing her. Meanwhile, Regina and Henry seek to discover the writer of his book, believing that the events depicted, are the cause of her suffering. Later on, Regina forgives Emma, after they confront an ice warrior generated by the Snow Queen. Eventually, Regina helps locate Emma, after she runs away when she loses control of her magic. After the defeat of the Snow Queen, Regina puts Marian's heart back in her, but when she realizes that remnants of the Freezing Curse still remains, she realizes that Marian, Robin Hood, and Roland have to leave Storybrooke. Regina later learns from Henry that the writer might be in storybook.
Regina has become mayor again, but since then her fixation have been trying to find the Author, even as going far as joining Gold, Maleficent, Ursula and Cruella De Vil in order to seek out the writer, only to be found out by Gold as a traitor. Afterwards, she is then blackmailed by Gold, who tells her that Zelena is alive and has taken Marian's place by stealing Robin Hood away from her.
Regina, Mary Margaret, David, Hook and Emma are all in Granny's diner where Emma is asked by Maleficent to locate her daughter. When Emma discovers Maleficent's daughter is her childhood friend Lily, Regina decide to leave with her as they realize that Lily is in New York and Regina has to go there anyway to save Robin from Zelena. The pair head into an old apartment where Lily used to live, but another tenant reveals that she died a few years ago. Emma and Regina later drive until the car's tire is punctured, Regina tells Emma to go have some coffee while she deals with the tire. Emma tells Regina that the woman who served her coffee is Lily, when she recognizes the star shaped birthmark on her wrist. . Emma and Regina break into Lily's house where its revealed that she knows about magic and Storybrooke. Suddenly, Lily breaks into Emma's car with the intention of getting revenge on Emma's parents who wronged her but the pair catch up in another car Emma breaks into. Emma is about to shoot Lily but Regina talks her out of it and the two than have a heart to heart, but are interrupted by Regina who tells Emma that they need to go to Robin's house as her leverage over Gold has been taken. The three travel to Robin's House where she reunited with Robin. She explains to him that Marian died through the time portal and Zelena has been disguising as her the entire time. Zelena reveals herself to Robin, but when Regina tells him that her and Roland need to leave with her, Robin tells her he can't leave her and reveals to Regina that Zelena is pregnant.
Regina goes back to Storybrooke with everyone. She puts a magic proof cuff on Zelena and locks her in the mental asylum until she decides what to do with her. She later recruits The Author and shows him a page of herself and Robin even though it didn't happen. He tells her that he needs savior darkness to make the ink and so Regina stabs Lily in the hand and uses that as an alternative ingredient for the magic ink. The pair go to the asylum and she decides to spare Zelena. Just as she does this, The Author disappears and she realizes she has been double-crossed by him as he is working for Gold.
The Author then writes everyone in an alternate universe where the the sides of the characters of the Enchanted Forest have reversed. Regina is no longer the Evil Queen, but a bandit on the run and Snow White is the Evil Queen. Henry is able to locate her but she brushes him off, not believing him to be her son. Henry is able to find his other mother Emma who convinces Regina to find Robin and confess her love for him, despite the fact he is engaged to the Wicked Witch of the West and her half sister Zelena, in the universe. The trio go to the church, but are met by Rumplestiltskin. He aims his sword at Henry, but Regina pushes him out the way. She is stabbed by Rumple, but Henry becomes the new Author and he is able to use Regina's blood to transport back everyone to Storybrooke. Regina then goes to find Robin and the two walk for a date, however, what they don't know is that the Darkness has been released for Rumplestiltskin and tries to tether itself to Regina, making her evil again. However, Emma decides to sacrifice herself for Regina, and Emma becomes the Dark One.
Shortly after Emma vanishes to Camelot, Regina and Zelena use the Apprentice's wand to create a cyclone, one which Zelena originally intended to be used to return to Oz; however, Regina hijacks the portal and uses it to take Granny's Diner to the Enchanted Forest, where they arrive just in time to talk Emma out of killing a princess named Merida. Regina and the others help convince Emma to find another way to locate Merlin without killing an innocent person. Afterward, Emma entrusts the dagger to Regina, believing the Queen to be the only one willing to kill her if things got out of hand. Shortly after, King Arthur and his knights arrive, stating that the newcomers were prophesized to return by Merlin. As such, Arthur leads them to his kingdom in Camelot. During this time, Regina takes Emma's place as the Savior.
During their time in Camelot, Regina and the others realize that they cannot trust Arthur, who has been driven mad by his desire to destroy the Dark One so he may reunite the dagger with Excalibur. In the episode "Dreamcatcher," Regina helps Emma free Merlin from the tree by fending off Arthur and his knights with her dark magic. However, their plan to steal Excalibur from Arthur in order to reunite it with the dagger backfires after Zelena betrays the heroes and helps Arthur tether Merlin to Excalibur. Afterward, Regina is among those held captive by Arthur, who orders Merlin to kill her and the others if Emma doesn't surrender the dagger to him. Though Emma manages to use her dark magic to free her family and escape from Arthur and Zelena, Hook is struck fatally and collapses while Emma reunites Excalibur. To save Hook's life, Emma tethers him to Excalibur and makes him a second Dark One. After Hook becomes consumed by the darkness and casts the Dark Curse, Regina and the others' memories are wiped by Emma, who seeks to take on responsibility for what has transpired and find a way to destroy the darkness within her and Hook on her own.
After Hook's curse is cast, Regina wakes up with the others in Granny's Diner with no memory of what had transpired. Confronted by Emma, Regina threatens to use the dagger on her, only to discover that Emma has reclaimed the dagger. While the heroes try to deal with a Dark One Emma, Storybrooke is plagued by a Fury there to claim Robin's soul. However, Regina, aided by her friends, sends the Fury back to the Underworld. In the episode "Birth," Regina tries to protect her niece from Emma, only to learn that the Dark One was after Zelena, not her child. Confronting Emma at her mansion, Regina learns that Emma had planned on placing her darkness in Zelena and using Excalibur to kill her and destroy the darkness once and for all, a plan Regina and the others cannot support. Ultimately, however, the plan backfires when Zelena and Hook recover their stolen memories, and the latter resumes his original dark plan to return the souls of the Dark Ones to life in exchange for help in killing Rumplestiltskin. Regina is among those whose souls are claimed; as such, in desperation, the Queen banishes Zelena to Oz in order to protect Robin's child. In the final confrontation with Hook in "Swan Song," Regina and Emma speak to Hook and remind him who he is, forcing him to reconsider his actions and sacrifice his life to destroy the darkness. However, upon learning that the darkness merely transferred back into Gold, Regina supports Emma's plan to venture into the Underworld to save Hook from Hades.
Upon her arrival in the Underworld, Regina is confronted by her mother Cora, who threatens her father Henry if Regina does not leave the Underworld. However, when speaking with her father, Regina is advised not to abandon her friends. Instead, Regina confronts her mother. Though Cora attacks him, Henry's soul is allowed to pass on to Olympus, since his unfinished business has been completed. However, this fact leads Hades into claiming Regina's soul, as well as Snow's and Emma's.
When Zelena arrived in the Underworld with her baby, this added to more tensions for Regina, who soon discovers that Hades and her sister had met back in Oz and is being enticed by Hades to become a couple, resulting in Regina breaking Cora free from Hades' manual labor camp in order to stop Zelena. The reunion doesn't go well as planned until Cora restores a memory spell (when Cora brought Zelena to the Enchanted Forest to help save Regina after she tampered with a wand that left her unconscious, but when Cora tells them that they're sisters, Cora erased their memories of having met each other). Regina and Zelena finally made up and with that allowed Cora to move on to Mount Olympus as part of her unfinished business.
On May 5, 2013, during the episode "Second Star to the Right", Queen Regina appeared in a commercial promoting New Fantasyland. During it, she mused over how she would change the stories of the new arrivals. At the end of the commercial, she sees a girl dressed like the classical Disney Snow White and says "Seriously?"
The Evil Queen appears in the Disney Channel original movie Descendants. Here, she is the mother of one of the protagonists, Evie and is portrayed by Kathy Najimy. For 20 years of imprisonment on the Isle of the Lost, she has taught her daughter how to cook, sew, and do make-up. Due to her influence, her daughter has an ingrained obsession with beauty and the domestic skills that can entice a husband. She is also said to be the neighbor of Maleficent.
Maleficent always relies on the Evil Queen to open the refrigerator in order to help get her spellbook since she has no knowledge on how to open it herself. She plots with Maleficent along with Cruella De Vil and Jafar to use their children to steal the Fairy Godmother's wand so as to bend good and evil to their will. Though, she doesn't seem quite as invested as Maleficent, however, she does seem more invested than Jafar. To allow her children to make sure their mission in Auradon is a success, she gives her daughter the magic mirror (apparently smaller than it used to be) to help them find the wand; hoping her daughter could also find a prince to marry as well. She still holds a grudge against Snow White for being the fairest of them all.
After the comic adaptation of Snow White, the Queen, in her hag form, returned as a recurring antagonist to the Seven Dwarfs, and later many other Disney protagonists, occasionally teaming up with fellow Disney villains like Pete and Captain Hook. One story in the 1980s, "The 7 Dwarfs and King Arbor's Crystal" provided an explanation for her return, and why she couldn't change back to her normal form. Specifically, she fell onto some branches and bushes that eased her fall, and her castle had been burned down by Hubert the Huntsman as revenge, with her book of spells being destroyed with it. In two 1940's stories, it was also revealed that she had a deceitful twin brother.
The novel, written by Serena Valentino, shows what caused the Queen to become the monster that she is in the film. It was revealed that her father, a maker of mirrors, never told her she was beautiful thus making her insecure of her appearance. When her father died, she married the King whom she met at the well by her father's house. She grows to love Snow White as if she where her own daughter. But when the King's three witch-like cousins come for a visit they give her the Magic Mirror of which the spirit was that of her dead father. It would serve as a corrupting influence on her throughout the novel. After her husband's death, the Queen slowly descends into madness. By the end of novel, Snow White obtains the mirror and the Queen becomes the spirit inside the mirror after her death in the film.
The Queen is first seen in the fourth book at Disney Quest. She and Cruella replace Maleficent and Chernabog as leaders of the Overtakers when they were captured and cast a spell on some friends and schoolmates of the keepers to spy on them or send their messages. In the fifth book, she and Cruella appear again aboard the Disney Dream while following the hyenas who caught the Keepers' scent. In the seventh book, the Queen escapes the labyrinth in Mexico along with Chernabog. Having spent three years trapped there, she has lost her beauty more of her sanity.
In this story, the Evil Queen changes the ending of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by writing the Prince out of the tale. She then manages to kidnap the seven dwarfs and hold them hostage in an attempt to force Snow White to eat the poisoned apple in exchange for their safety. Snow White does so, and the Evil Queen leaves her laboratory to bestow the same cruel fate upon the imprisoned dwarfs. However, Jiminy Cricket and the player manage to restore the Prince, who immediately rescues Snow White through "true love's kiss".
In Terra's scenario, the Queen has just learned from the Magic Mirror that Snow White is now fairer than her in beauty in an almost identical way to the original film. However, the mirror continues to say Snow White's heart was of pure light, and the Queen should be wary of it. It is then the Queen notices that Terra has been listening in from the shadows and is asked if she has met Master Xehanort. Truthfully answering that she does not, the Queen sends Terra away. However, she then calls him back with an offer: kill Snow White and bring her heart back as proof of the kill in exchange for asking the Magic Mirror where Master Xehanort is. Terra initially asks if she had interest in the hearts of light, and she replies that she only wanted Snow White's life, and that her radiance was all the light that the kingdom needed. She sends Terra to kill Snow White in the Flower Glade not far from the palace. However, Terra had no intention of doing as she wished, merely inquiring of her the location of Master Xehanort, of which she was also ignorant, before the Unversed chase Snow White into the forest. Upon his return to the castle, the Queen voices her rage at Terra for his failure. Terra replies that he never intended to follow her orders, and that despite her claims of radiance, all he could see were thick shadows of jealousy hanging on her heart. Furious, the Queen commands the Magic Mirror to consume Terra. However, the mirror respectfully states that it is incapable of following the Queen's order, having no power apart from answering questions truthfully. Losing all patience, the Queen (in the Japanese version) glows red and uses her darkness to force the mirror to obey her or (in the English version) tosses a green potion at it that transforms it into an Unversed. Empowered, the Magic Mirror sucks Terra inside its realm. However, it proved to be no match for the Keyblade wielder, and Terra is quickly released. Terra commands the Queen to ask the mirror where he can find Master Xehanort, and she grudgingly complies, though the couplet that the Mirror gives is of no help to Terra, who is unable to discern that it refers to the Keyblade Graveyard. Regardless, Terra thanks them and leaves, whereupon the Queen begins to think up another way to kill her stepdaughter.
In Ventus's scenario, she appears under the disguise of an old hag and prepares to carry the poisoned apple to Snow White, but drops it on her way. Ventus, unaware of her motives, politely gives the apple back. Upon seeing Ventus's Keyblade, the Queen remembers her encounter with Terra and twists the truth to make it look like Terra had threatened an old lady with his Keyblade just to learn if she knew any information about Master Xehanort. Though she succeeded in troubling Ventus, the Queen truthfully tells him she has no clue where he is now and departs for the forest, leaving Ven with a tale of half truth...
Some time between Ventus and Aqua's scenarios, the Queen succeeds in having Snow White eat the poisoned apple. She is then only briefly mentioned in Aqua's storyline by the Seven Dwarfs, who tell Aqua they chased away the Queen following her foul deeds. The Spirit of the Magic Mirror later confirms to Aqua the Queen's death after the Keyblade Master defeats him, also saying that his service was complete as a result before departing from the mirror.
The Witch makes a cameo appearance in the original game during Sora's Dive to the Heart. Along with the dwarfs and forest animals, she appears on the stained glass podium that shows Snow White.
The Queen herself did not appear; however, her Witch Form, as well as the Poison Apple, did. In the game, there are robotic enemies known as Beetleworx, made by The Mad Doctor to help Oswald the Lucky Rabbit build the Cartoon Wasteland, and move characters to their new homes. Once the Shadow Blot arrived, however, the Mad Doctor reprogrammed his Beetleworx. Among these enemies, are large types with canons that shoot paint and thinner, and have a painted shell that Mickey must erase. One of these "shells" has the head of the witch form of Queen Grimhilde, the body of the poison apple, and their guns look like bottles of poison, even marked with skulls and crossbones. These enemies only appear in the Lonesome Manor level, after irritating the Organ in the Ball Room, or in the Attic.
The Queen is a stock character who makes appearances at all of the Disney theme parks. She appears both as a normal human and sometimes as the witch.
The Queen practically stars in Snow White's Scary Adventures. She is seen more than any other character in all four versions of the ride, recreating classic scenes from the movie, including peering out her window at Snow White in the movie (and the guests in the theme parks), transforming, creating the apple, offering the apple to the guests, and on the cliffs for her comeuppance.
In the 2015 rendition of World of Color, the Evil Queen made a cameo appearance during the segment celebrating Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
The Queen is the main Villainess of Wishes, the firework spectacular at the Magic Kingdom. She drowns out Jiminy Cricket, and consults her Magic Mirror, asking it's assistance in casting a spell that will allow her evil Wish to come true as well.
She can often be found at Disney's Hollywood Studios for the Random Afternoon Pop-Ups that take place on The Streets of America, and around Echo Lake.
The Queen was the primary antagonist of the former Magic Kingdom's castle show Cinderella's Surprise Celebration. During the show she took over Cinderella's Castle, and forced Cinderella back into servitude and called upon Captain Hook, Shan Yu and Jafar to help her in her conquest of the Kingdom.
The Queen can be seen in the new Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular show during Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom. She is the first of the villains to be conjured by Maleficent when the Sanderson Sisters need "frightful friends" during the show.
The Queen makes a cameo appearance in the form of an audio animatronic at the end of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train; spying on Snow White and the dwarfs in her witch disguise.
In One Man's Dream II: The Magic Lives On!, located in Tokyo Disneyland, The Queen appears alongside Maleficent and Judge Frollo in the villains act of the show. The Queen seems to be the leader of the trio in the show.
She makes appearances at Walt Disney Studios Park. She is also commonly found in Disneyland Paris park.
In Villains Tonight, aboard the Disney Magic cruise ships, Hades' evil meter has gone down, which can result in him being fired as Lord of the Underworld. To regain his evil, Hades calls forth Disney's most powerful villains for help. He sends Pain and Panic to give The Queen an invitation, but she declines since Hades also invited Maleficent. The Evil Queen and Maleficent are rivals for Hades' affections and for the status of "The Evilest of Them All". In the end however, they put their differences aside as all villains should stick together. The Queen, and Maleficent, advises Hades to find evil within himself, and not from others.
To Pain and Panic, the Queen claims not to be Hades' girlfriend, but they just had "an interesting weekend" on Castaway Cay.
The Queen appears in the second act of Fantasmic!, and asks the Magic Mirror who the fairest one of all is. The Mirror, projected onto water screens, replies that Mickey Mouse's imagination creates fairer things than she. Jealous, the Queen pulls down her collar and recites a spell that transforms herself into the Witch and uses the Mirror to summon various 'forces of evil', including Ursula, Cruella De Vil (only in Florida), Scar (only in Florida), Judge Claude Frollo (only in Florida), Jafar (only in Florida), Hades (only in Florida), Chernabog and Maleficent, who transforms into a dragon. Mickey is able to defeat the villains with a glowing white sword, which he first uses to defeat the dragon. This causes white sparks to surround every one of the villains. The Witch is the last to be defeated, transforming back into the Queen as she dies.
The Queen is considered one of the greatest movie villains of all time and, along with Cruella De Vil, Maleficent and Ursula is one of Disney's most popular villains, regularly appearing in polls; she was nominated for a place in 'AFI's 50 Greatest Villains list' (along with Stromboli, Man, Lady Tremaine, Maleficent, Cruella De Vil and Ursula; the Disney Villains to make the final list were the Queen (10), Man (20), and Cruella De Vil (39) and was ranked fourth in fan site Ultimate Disney's countdown of the most popular Disney Villains. The Witch was voted to seventh place in an official poll for favorite animated Disney Villains (behind Cruella De Vil, Maleficent, Ursula, Captain Hook, Scar and Jafar). The Queen was also ranked as the greatest Disney Villain in the tongue-in-cheek Disney Villains: The Top Secret Files (which includes a photo of her in her 'first modelling job', and a list of foods she contemplates poisoning). The Queen is also one of Terry Gilliam's favorite villains. However, Gilliam noted that her transformation into ugliness in order supposedly to become the fairest of all was "a truly strange thing".
Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston considered the Queen to be one of Disney's greatest villains, citing, as reasons for the good villain-victim relationship, in particular the fact that her motivations were clear, that she had no redeeming qualities, and that Snow White was childlike in her belief that she was safe. The Queen's menace and intensity was considered too frightening for young audiences by some parental group, and the scene in which she transforms into the Witch was initially cut from the UK release. It was voted number 80 in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Scary Moments. Thomas and Johnston felt that Disney restrained his animators from creating such a terrifying villain again.
Al Hirschfeld criticized the design of the Queen, the Prince and Snow White as "badly drawn attempts at realism...Disney's treatment of these characters belongs in the oopsy-woopsy school of art practiced mostly by etchers who portray dogs with cute sayings." Similarly, Michael Barrie considers the Queen "cold and unappealing... even closer to live action than Snow White herself." However, Robin Allan considers her to succeed better than any live action equivalent could because "her character and movement have been distilled until she is the epitome of evil... in animation, nothing that we see is not intended." Barrier praises the Witch as "a striking character", but in an "ultimately false manner."
The sequence in which the Vultures watch the Witch fall to her death, then fly down to her body, impressed Sylvia Moberly-Holland enough to inspire her to apply as an Inspirational Sketch Artist at the Disney studio.
The Queen provided the inspiration for many villains that followed, particularly MGM's Wicked Witch of the West and Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty. Critics have also noted similarities between the Witch and the cackling, hooded Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious, the ultimate villain of the Star Wars saga.
- In the Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, the Queen uses her own darkness to control the Magic Mirror and force it to battle Terra. In the English version, however, she simply smashes a potion on the Mirror to make it obey.
- In the English version of Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, the Queen is voiced by Susanne Blakeslee, who also voiced Maleficent, and Lady Tremaine in the same game. Her iconic scene with the Magic Mirror is near-faithfully recreated in the English version, save for changing her term to refer to the mirror from the original film's "slave" to "spirit".
- She, along with other Disney villains, helped inspire Queen Narissa from Enchanted. It is interesting to note Queen Narissa sends Giselle to the "real world" so she won't have a happy ending. Queen Regina, who is also based off the Queen, does this as well, but not just to one person, but to a whole kingdom.
- Her name, Regina, in Once Upon a Time is Latin for "Queen".
- The Evil Queen is the very first female antagonist in a Disney movie.
- The queen is ranked number 10 on the AFI's 100 Years, 100 Heroes and Villains, being the highest ranked animated villain on the list, in front of Man (Bambi) at number 20 and Cruella De Vil (One Hundred and One Dalmatians) at number 39.
- The Queen never interacted with Snow White in the film on-screen. She only interacted with her in her witch form. In the original story and even in alternate versions of Snow White, however, she does indeed interact with her stepmother.
- Her scream upon falling to her presumed death is later reused for Maleficent when she gets stabbed in the heart by Prince Phillip.
- Her transformation is considered one of the scariest scenes in a Disney animated movie.
- As a Witch, she speaks directly to the audience. This can be considered breaking of the Fourth Wall, although Grimhilde's insanity may actually be leading her to talk to herself.
- When talking to Princess Sofia, Snow White mentions her stepmother when telling her not everything is as it seems.
- The Queen never smiles in the film, while in her normal form, except when making the potion, while, adding the black as night potion, if you look closely, she gives a brief grin. She does smile more frequently when she is in her hag form.
Differences from the source material
- In the first Brothers Grimm version of the fairy tale, the Queen was Snow White's biological mother; however, in all later versions, she was the heroine's stepmother, as she is in the film.
- In the original Snow White fairy tale, the Queen did not drink a potion to transform into a peddler woman, but merely 'painted her face.'
- The Queen also visited Snow White three times, each time in a different disguise and with a different object; first, she came with a corset, which she used to draw the breath from Snow White (the dwarfs arrive in time to remove the corset); second, she came with a poisoned comb, which she put in Snow White's hair (the dwarfs simply remove it); and finally, she came with the poisoned apple, the effects of which the dwarfs were unable to undo. However, as noted in the Deleted Scenes section above, they were considered to be implemented, but were removed due to time constraints.
- Snow White was not cured in the original story by being kissed; the Prince was amazed at her beauty and had her carried in the glass coffin to his castle; on the way, she was knocked, and the piece of poisoned apple fell out of her mouth. The awakening kiss is transferred from another fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty (which was also adapted by Disney).
- In some versions of the fairy tale, the Queen was killed much later and in a far more gruesome manner, at the wedding of Snow White: she is forced to wear red-hot iron shoes and dance with them in front of Snow White until she drops dead. Later, bowdlerized versions say instead that she died instantly from the rage in her heart after seeing Snow White still alive.
- In one of the oldest versions, the Hunstman brings her the liver, heart and lungs of a boar, and the Queen, thinking them to be Snow White's organs, eats them in a stew.
- ↑ 
- ↑ http://cartoonresearch.com/index.php/mickeys-christmas-carol/
- ↑ Animated Voice Talents. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Platinum Edition (Disc 2).
- ↑ http://rose-magnifique.net/wicked/myside6.jpg
- ↑ http://rose-magnifique.net/wicked/myside8.jpg
- ↑ http://rose-magnifique.net/wicked/myside9.jpg
- ↑ http://rose-magnifique.net/wicked/myside11.jpg
- ↑ http://rose-magnifique.net/wicked/myside17.jpg
- ↑ http://rose-magnifique.net/wicked/myside13.jpg
- ↑ http://rose-magnifique.net/wicked/myside4.jpg
- ↑ http://rose-magnifique.net/wicked/myside7.jpg
- ↑ Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs production timeline (DVD feature)
- ↑ http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/06/19/kristin-chenoweth-maleficent-descendants-2/
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