6 Disney Villains That Should Get Their Own Movies
With the upcoming release of “Maleficent”—the live-action movie about the sorceress from the animated movie “Sleeping Beauty” before she became evil—Disney may have just launched a new genre of bio films about their most famous villains. (Which thanks to their purchase of the “Star Wars” franchise now includes before Darth Vader, so maybe they can just redo Episodes I through III.) This naturally leads one to wonder what other animated wrongdoers Disney should tell the story of they before they turned bad…and then died…often by falling off a cliff.
Ursula (“The Little Mermaid”)
Ursula may be one of the most gleefully evil characters Disney has ever created. She also appears to be a cross between the 80’s drag queen Divine and an octopus that lost two of its tentacles due to either cosmetic surgery or poor bar bets. It seems fitting, then, that her live-action film explain how she became half-human and half-cephalopod, with a telling flashback to her days when she was just a tiny, flamboyant sea monkey in a very twisted kid’s bedroom. From there we see his gene-splicing third-grade science fair project, the enlarging ray his parents got him to help him get into the right middle school, and finally the moment Ursula makes a run for the ocean to attack the palace of King Triton, leaving the uber-competitive child to go insane from the pressure of only getting a “B’ in lab.
Queen of Hearts (“Alice in Wonderland”)
What does it take to rule a kingdom of walking playing cards, where practically everything is an ingestible drug, and the sporting goods industry consists mainly of flamingos? Well, quite frankly madness. That’s why the story of the Queen of Hearts should be one of a ruler who just wanted to govern a land fairly with an eye towards fiscal responsibility, prudent civil engineering, and social advancement, only to realize every meeting with her constituents involves floating cat smiles, hookah-puffing caterpillars, and some lunatic in a hat drinking what’s clearly laced Lipton celebrating every single damn day. Eventually the politician who only wanted to do good loses her freaking mind, starts teeing up hedgehogs, and runs on a new platform of head chopping, all while wearing an outfit that suggests she’s been hanging around underground poker clubs a lot.
Mother Gothel (“Tangled”)
By now you may have begun to notice a disturbing number of Disney villains are women, from the cleverly-named Maleficent (“malefic” meaning “cause great harm through supernatural means”) to the blatantly-named Evil Queen (meaning, well, “really, really not nice”) to Disney being able to make “stepsisters” forever mean “bitches on wheels” in “Cinderella.” And like the Evil Queen, Mother Gothel needs to be thought of as young and beautiful forever, which in her movie we learn is because her mom would put her in one child beauty pageant after another, often in outfits that would cause a hooker to say, “Oh, hell no.” The film ends with a taping of the medieval version of “Toddlers & Tiaras” (and by “taping” we mean some artist furiously trying to capture the whole thing with several hundred oil paintings), at which point Gothel finally snaps, uses her powers to curse the other competitors, and wins because she is the only one not covered in more boils and feces than usual for the time.
Scar (“The Lion King”)
The moment Jeremy Iron’s voice comes out of anything you immediately know that character is evil, even if the actor is doing “Superman” or “Soup Kitchen Operator.” And so the story of Scar as a young cub would be that of a character who realizes he was destined to be a villain the moment he opened his mouth. (Just like the “Evil Queen” in “Snow White” realized she didn’t have much of a chance after she first saw the name “Evil” printed on her birth certificate.) He asks his fellow cubs if they want to play hopscotch rope only to see them flee in terror. He asks out a lioness he’s had a shy crush on for years if she’d like to go to the prom with him only to hear her scream, “Oh God! That’s the voice from ‘Dead Ringers’!” He goes in for a job interview only to immediately be given control of the company so long as he promises not to kill all of the hostages. And so with no choice—and after a disastrous attempt to change his voice to sound more like Mickey Mouse—Scar eventually comes to the conclusion, “Yeah, I guess I might as well kill my brother.”
The story of Jafar is really the story of a love between a man and his pet parrot. Granted, a parrot voiced by Gilbert Gottfried, which makes you wonder if Jafar could only stand to be around him because he was actually deaf and lip reading throughout the entire cartoon, but still. That’s why Jafar’s movie would need to be about how the two first met, whether it was at a school that had a very-open admittance policy to all creatures, through friends on a blind date that goes horribly wrong before they both realize they like being evil, or simply bumping into each other while each spending their days aimlessly wandering around the desert, since this was before killing time on the internet.
Cruella de Vil (“One Hundred and One Dalmatians”)
It’s hard to feel sympathetic for a character whose first name is essentially “Cruel,” whose last name is basically “Devil,” and whose goal is specifically skinning a bunch of puppies for a fur coat. (The fact that she also smokes only compounds the problem.) So naturally her story is the one that’s closest to becoming a reality. In fact, Disney has already announced plans for a live-action version in which the story is retold from her point of view, perhaps in the hopes that maybe we will come to understand a would-be animal serial killer more. No doubt we’ll learn at what point she went off her meds, why one scratch at a Petco drove her to consider murder, and how her two-toned hair was an inspiration for her equally insane granddaughter, Harley Quinn.
Which one was your favorite? Let me know in the comments!