The villain does his best to give his worst, and Walt Disney Productions are no exception. Good cannot triumph without evil. In 479 animated cartoons and features, they have brought to life some rogues who will go down in history. On the following pages, we pay tribute to some famous characters who did not win, however hard they tried.
1. Witch-Walt Disney's most famous and terrifying witch made her debut in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" in 1937, the academy award winning story about the queen who turns into a witch and offers her stepdaughter a poisoned apple because she is jealous of her youth and beauty. The witch eventually fails, of course, but not until she's given the Seven Dwarfs and children all over the world a healthy scare or two.
2. Cinderella's Stepmother-Best remembered for her cruel treatment of her stepdaughter and her piercing stare, Cinderella's stepmother was outwitted in the end, thanks to the help of two dedicated mice and a fairy godmother. Like many of Disney's feature cartoon villains, her debut as a performer so associated her with the cartoon she first appeared in that she was never asked to perform again.
3. Captain Hook in "Return to Neverland" in 2002 plots to destroy Peter and gain his treasure all at the same time. His first part of the plan is to kidnap Wendy to lure Peter to his doom but he mistakingly takes Jane, her daughter. Fortunately for Hook, Pan arrives and Hook summons an undersea giant octopus to kill both Peter and "Wendy". Peter dives down to battle and is seemingly killed. Just as Hook begins to celebrate, Peter reveals to be alive and by using pixie dust, Tinker Bell boards the octopus onto Hook's ship. After accidentally swallowing Hook, the Octopus develops a taste and becomes another crocodile problem for the Captain. The Octopus pulls him out of the ship and into the water (the first pull accidentally pulled his pants down). Hook flies back onto the ship and gently asks Smee to fix the broken plank so he can "make him walk it!".
Later on during a massage, the Captain is again attacked by the octopus who is shooed away by Smee. This encounter angers Hook even more to the point where he gathers the pirates to sail to the island to find and kill Peter. While searching, they witness the girl they kidnapped is not Wendy but her daughter Jane and that she is desperate to return home. This gives Hook yet another plan. That night, he tricks Jane into working for him. If she can find his treasure; he'll give her a ride home on his ship. Jane acts as if she's playing the game treasure hunt to have Peter and the Lost Boys assists her. Eventually, the treasure is found but she changes her mind and throws the whistle to summon Hook into the waters. It is found by Lost Boy Tootles who blows it; calling the pirates. An ambush follows resulting in Peter and the boys being captured and taken to The Jolly Roger.
Back in the ship, Captain Hook prepares to watch Pan's death but is interrupted by Jane and Tinker Bell. A battle follows and in during which Pan is set free. Hook's anger and frustration is targeted for Jane who is the cause if his failure. Just before he is given the chance to murder her, Peter saves the day by having Hook fall into the ocean attracting the octopus. It chases Hook through the ship, now sinking. Hook and the pirates are then chased away altogether.
4. Queen of Hearts-The lady above would certainly never win any prizes in a beauty contest! The Queen of Hearts from "Alice in Wonderland" in 1951, she did her best to scare Alice silly. Although most villains are remembered for thier characters and personalities (or the lack of them!), the Queen is probably best remembered for her line "Off with her head!" It was a wasted command, though, since Alice awoke from her dream before it could be carried out.
5. Maleficent-Of all the villains Walt Disney created after the witch in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", none is as sinister or as powerful as the wicked witch Maleficent. So awesome were her powers in the 1959 release "Sleeping Beauty" that she was able to turn herself into a monstrous, fire-eating dragon to try to prevent Prince Phillip from reaching the beautiful Princess Aurora. But her powers proved to be no match for the virtue and sword of the Prince.
6. Cruella De Ville-What most villains do for money, power or revenge, Cruella de Ville did for a very unusual coat: one fashioned from the black and white spotted coats of dogs. The film was "101 Dalmatians" (1961) and she was the enemy of Pongo, Perdita and thier puppies. Her dream was never fulfilled, though, thanks to all the dogs in London, who, being alerted to the situation by the mysterious "Twilight Bark", freed the imprisoned puppies before they could be turned into coat fur, something they wouldn't have liked!
7. Edgar-Knowing that Madame Bonfamille's wealth reverted to him if misfortune befell her cats, Edgar the butler plotted to get rid of the heirs apparent. He was the villain in "The Aristocats" in 1970. But with the help of O'Malley and his alley-cat gang, the plot was twisted around, and Edgar wound up in a trunk bound for Timbuktoo.
8. Prince John and Sir Hiss-Walt Disney Productions' newest animated culprits make their debut in the feature-lengh cartoon "Robin Hood". A scrawny lion plays the part of Prince John, Richard the Lion-heart's treacherous brother who conspires to bring himself to power while the king is away. His assistant is Sir Hiss, who has more intelligence than Prince John gives him credit for. The voices for the two characters are supplied by Peter Ustinov and Terry-Thomas and as anyone who has seen the movie will testify, they live up to the best evil traditions of Walt Disney villains.
9. Jafar-The Evil Vizer desires power over Agrabah and lusts over the Sultan's beautiful daughter, Princess Jasmine. He is the second most powerful authority in Agrabah, answering only to the Sultan. He is always accompanied by his sarcastic, devious pet parrot, lago. Whilst presenting a charming and respectable exterior to the Sultan and the people of Agrabah, he secretly holds everyone around him in contempt and manipulates the Sultan by means of hypnotizing him with a magical snake-headed staff, which he always carries on his person. He has traveled widely and amassed a wide knowledge of magical artifacts and legends. Until he uses Genie's powers to become a sorcerer, however, his magical abilities are limited to the use of such artifacts as he has collected, and his prowess as an accomplished alchemist. Like some villain characters from other (including non-Disney) franchises, Jafar is attracted to a beautiful girl or woman that is a protagonist. Here, he is attracted to Princess Jasmine, but primarily for her good looking body, and not for Jasmine herself as a person. His final wish was initially for Jasmine to fall desperately in love with him so he could make her his queen (he and Iago originally planned on killing her as soon as he became Sultan, but at some time later he refused to kill her, instead sparing her life); he first creates a golden crown for her from her shackles to do so with a wave of his hand, saying that a girl as beautiful as her "should be on the arm of the most powerful man in the world". Genie could not grant this wish, but after she spotted Aladdin and Abu above Jafar and the Genie in a balcony, Jasmine got the idea to pretend to do so, and she and Jafar shared both their first kiss together on the lips, in order for Jasmine to distract Jafar's attention from Aladdin as he tried to get the lamp back. (Much earlier, though, he says in a sexist manner that Jasmine's speechlessness is "a fine quality in a wife"). Jafar transformed himself into a giant cobra to kill Aladdin, but just as he was about to eat him, Aladdin tricked Jafar into using his third and final wish to become an all-powerful genie himself. In this form Jafar was red in hue, possibly to represent his more "evil" nature, contrasting with Genie's blue tone. In Western culture, genies are almost always portrayed as being confined to small oil lamps until they are released to do a human's bidding; Jafar was therefore trapped by his own selfish wish for power. Screaming in rage he was sucked into a black oil lamp, dragging the protesting Iago with him. The Genie then flung the lamp into the Cave of Wonders for 10,000 years in "Aladdin" in 1992.
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