Everybody likes to see evil Disney Villains get out of the picture (it's made all the more enjoyable by that fact that even if they die in the most definitive ways imaginable, sequels and tie-in comics will bring them back anyway). Some die, some are just sent away to jail or something. It's very normal. But since Tangled, I feel like they are bestowing the wrong punishments on the wrong villains. The more sympathetic ones get killed, while the more evil ones walk away unscathed and are just jailed. Let me demonstrate.

1 - Why kill those?

Mother Gothel

I won't argue about Gothel being evil. She does, undoubtedly, do very wrong things over the course of the film, starting with her manipulation of Rapunzel, of course.

But I can't help but think that she had a very relatable, very forgivable motive. As you know, Living Forever Is Awesome. Her main goal isn't to take over the world or become the most beautiful woman on Earth or find a treasure or kill a mischievous young boy. She just wants not to die. Her main sin is of course that she is selfish and only uses the flower/Rapunzel's hair on herself, keeping both sheltered and hidden, stopping others who need it (like the ill Queen) from using it like her. I'm not saying that she isn't a villain, but she is a villain whom you shouldn't be too harsh on.

But what happens to her? Flynn cuts Rapunzel's bloody hair and she ages into dust in a visibly very painful process. (Slight Off-Topic Discussion Incoming) I'd also like to point out that Flynn was absolutely stupid when he did that. For a start, his sacrifice was entirely unneeded, since he could just as well have cut Rapunzel's hair after being healed, anyway. And since we're at it, Rapunzel could have cut her hair herself later. But even then, that would have been bloody stupid. Sure, it turns out the power is transferred to Rapunzel's tears (which is a very convenient safeguard, since from now on she can only heal sincerely and can't be forced into it), but there was no way Flynn predicted that. For all he knew, once Rapunzel's hair was cut, the magic was gone for good. And if there was the tiniest chance that Rapunzel would escape Gothel (and she would, eventually: she would have eternity to work on it, after all) and go back to using the power in a just, ethical way, Flynn had just condemned all the future ill queens to death. (End of the Off-Topic)

Turbo/King Candy

Turbo in his Cy-Bug Form

He too was kind of understandable. A little less so than Gothel, since if he'd just kept quiet in his own game to begin with instead of trying to take over the rival game, nothing would have happened (as long as the game doesn't get unplugged, the video game characters seem pretty much immortal); but you musn't forget that Turbo was making almost the same mistake as Ralph.

And once both games were unplugged, Turbo actually did a very smart thing, programming himself into another game; that ensured he too would be immortal (since in this universe, if you die inside the game to which you belong, you'll be revived), whereas he was permanently in danger living as a homeless character. This technique in itself isn't considered immoral: the Q.Bert characters do the same thing at the end and it's treated as a good thing. Once again, Turbo just went too far, insisting on making himself the ruler of the game rather than being content with programming himself as just one more racer.

Also, this is much less deep that the previous moral argument, but he was funny. Very funny, even. And from Captain Hook to Prince John, it is a Disney standard that the more comedic, enjoyable villains are kept alive because the audience will just be sad if such an entertaining character dies. It just doesn't feel like they deserve it.

And yet, what happens to Turbo? He gets eaten by a Cy-Bug, a pretty horrific death indeed. (The Cy-Bug itself, as is characteristic of them, begins to look like Turbo, and later dies too, but that doesn't count; it wasn't really Turbo anymore, but a nameless Cy-Bug mimicking Turbo.)

2 - Why keep them alive?

Prince Hans

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While Gothel and Turbo, who had reasonable, serious, relatable motives, suffer brutal and painful demises, let's take a look at Hans. There is a very tenuous hint as to why he's become so evil (he appears to have been bullied by a dozen older brothers), but regardless of how he became the way he is, present-day Hans is a heartless sociopath. He could live a humble, quiet, comfortable life in the Southern Isles. But no. This greedy con artist wants to become the king of something, and, for it, is shamelessly prepared to murder innocent young women.

Alright, what happens to this cold-blooded murderer? He is punched in the face once and then just kicked out of the country, sent to return to his own kingdom. Come on.


Bellwether in jail

Similarly, there is a sort-of reason given for Bellwether's evil: she is apparently mistreated by her boss, Mayor Lionheart. But once again, come on. Deciding to have all predators enslaved or mass-slaughtered by the population is not a viable, reasonable way of dealing with being slightly disrespected by one predator. When she tries to get Judy to join her, Bellwether flat-out admits that she mostly wants preys to rule Zootopia, especially considering she'll probably rule the prey society herself. She is prepared to kill ruthlessly for this, as she tries to do in the climax (and in a pointlessly sadistic way, too).

But no. After an extremely underwhelming climax, Bellwether is arrested and is last seen pouting in a childish way. 


Let me make one fact clear: I don't demand that Hans and Bellwether die. Their defeats were fine (though I'll say it again, Bellwether's arrest is underwhelmingly short; she hardly puts up a fight at all). I only find it jarring when compared to the villains that do die, who deserved it significantly less than them. Only in Big Hero 6 do they get it right, Prof. Callaghan being just arrested because he had understandable, relatable motives.