Disney Villains is a Walt Disney Company franchise, based on animated fictional characters who have been featured as part of the Disney character line-up. Some of these villain characters have appeared in sequels, video games, comic books, stage productions, or live-action adaptations of the original films.
- 1 Official list of Villains used in franchise marketing
- 2 Merchandising
- 3 Live events
- 4 Other media
- 5 Commentary
- 6 Further reading
- 7 References
Official list of Villains used in franchise marketing
This list of characters are those featured in Disney productions and merchandise as "official" villains. While other characters may also have been named as villains in their own stories, they have not been included as part of the Disney Villains marketing franchise.
- Villain merchandise is available at the Villains in Vogue in Sunset Blvd, a store dedicated to the Disney Villains at Disney's Hollywood Studios. This first store was so successful that the Disneyland Villain Shop was opened afterwards in 1991.
- USAopoly has released a number of products featuring Disney Villains. Among them are a Monopoly-based board game called "My Disney Villains Monopoly" where the players decide which of 30 villains can appear on each space on the board (characters that appear in the game that are not part of the official Villain list include The Beagle Boys, Three Little Wolves, Sheriff of Nottingham, Buster, Anastasia Tremaine, Drizella Tremaine, Pom Pom, Lucifer, and Roscoe and Desoto; a checkers game; and a collector's card game set.
- Several books dedicated to Disney Villains have been released. Among them are Disney Villains: The Top Secret Files by Jeff Kurtti, Disney's The Villains Collection: Stories from the Films by Todd Strasser, Disney's Villains: A Pop-Up Book by Walt Disney Company, and Disney Villains: The Essential Guide and Disney Villains (Ultimate Sticker Books) by DK Publishing. There are also books to color like Disney Villains: All the Rage and Disney Villains Giant Book to Color ~ Diabolical Deeds!
- An online Disney trivia game called "Who Wants to be a Villionaire", released in October 2001, is loosely based on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and features several villains as hosts, asking questions about the film in which they are featured. The "Phone-a-Friend" feature is renamed "Phone-a-Fiend" and will connect the player to Cruella de Vil.
- There is sub-franchise derived from Disney Villains entitled "Disney's Divas of Darkness" (shortened as "Disney Divas", and also called "DDD"). The official line-up so far includes Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Cruella de Vil, Ursula, and the Queen of Hearts.
- The Villains Designer Collection re-imagines the stylish wickedness of classic Disney Villains. Designed and carefully crafted to capture the essence of evil at its best dressed, this line of merchandise includes Maleficent, Cruella de Vil, The Evil Queen, The Queen of Hearts, Ursula and Mother Gothel.
Several characters from the Disney Villains franchise make appearances at Disney's Hollywood Studios in the daily Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade, and in Disney's Once Upon a Dream Parade. Each parade features a float dedicated to villains: SpectroMagic (a Chernabog float), and Parade of Dreams (an Ursula float). The villains are also meetable characters at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
A 1999 exhibit at the Cartoon Art Museum entitled "The Disney Villains" included displays featuring Disney's official villains, along with other villainous characters such as Ronno from Bambi, Clayton from Tarzan, and Br'er Fox from Song of the South.
Disney Villains play a vital role in the night time show Fantasmic!, performed at the Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios theme parks. In the shows, the Evil Queen decides it is time to finish off Mickey Mouse once and for all, and invokes other villains to help her.
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Disney Villains appear in Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, a Halloween-themed event held annually during the months of September and October at the Magic Kingdom theme park of the Walt Disney World Resort and at Disneyland Paris Resort. A stage show and meet-and-greet with the villains led by Dr. Facilier (and prior to 2011 by Maleficent) titled "The Disney Villains Mix and Mingle" is held on the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage. Among those to visit are The Queen of Hearts, Captain Hook, and The Evil Queen among others. During the fireworks show HalloWishes some villains arrive to the celebration, starting with Ursula "plopping in" on the party and adding her own musical mix to the festivities. Jafar and Oogie Boogie (from The Nightmare Before Christmas) soon follow, and arriving last is Maleficent showing the audience how Halloween should really be celebrated.
Dream Along with Mickey
In the Dream Along with Mickey stage show at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, the Disney Villains appear onstage to threaten Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. Maleficent states that since people no longer believe in dreams, it is the perfect time for her to return to power and make the Magic Kingdom "The Place Where Nightmares Come True" - a play on the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts slogan of "The Place Where Dreams Come True." She is also accompanied by Captain Hook.
The Disney Villains star as the main characters in the Disney Cruise lines' variety show, Villains Tonight. This musical stage production features Hades on a quest to get more evil in the Underworld by summoning up Disney's most powerful villains so he can keep his job. This show features Maleficent, Jafar, the Evil Queen, Cruella de Vil, Captain Hook, Scar, Yzma, Ursula, and Chernabog in a variety of comical situations while performing various musical numbers from their respective appearances. This show debuted on the Disney Magic cruise ship March 27, 2010, and the Disney Dream on January 26, 2012.
Characters from the franchise have been featured in television specials. The first, Our Unsung Villains, was aired in 1956 as part of Walt Disney Presents. In the special, Walt Disney himself hands hosting duties over to the Magic Mirror, who hosts a show devoted to Disney Villains such as The Big Bad Wolf, the Evil Queen and Captain Hook, and Br'er Fox & Br'er Bear. In 1977, there was an update to this show entitled Disney's Greatest Villains, that featured the Evil Queen and Captain Hook again, along with eight other characters from the franchise, plus Madam Mim and Willie the Giant. Segments from this special were featured in A Disney Halloween.
Once Upon a Time
Several characters of the franchise have been featured in ABC's television series Once Upon a Time, albeit with different background stories, physical appearances, and personalities. The Evil Queen (named Regina in this version) is one of the central characters in the series, and the primary antagonist during the first season. Regina's mother, Cora, is revealed to be the Queen of Hearts and is the main antagonist in the second season along with Captain Hook. Both Regina and Hook join the protagonists later in the series. Maleficent makes several guest appearances since the second episode of the series, and has a major recurring arc during the fourth season along with Ursula and Cruella de Vil; the three of them together are referred to as the "Queens of Darkness". Gaston makes a cameo in the first season but is not portrayed as a villain. Chernabog also makes a cameo during one episode. Jafar is the main antagonist in the series' spin-off, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.
In the 2015 Disney Channel made-for-TV movie Descendants, Prince Benjamin, the son of Belle and the Prince from Beauty and the Beast, decrees that the children of four Disney villains shall be enrolled at the same prep school as the children of heroes. The children he selects are Mal (Daughter of Maleficent), Evie (Daughter of the Evil Queen), Jay (Son of Jafar), and Carlos (Son of Cruella de Vil). In the movie, Maleficent is played by Kristin Chenoweth, the Evil Queen is played by Kathy Najimy, Jafar is played by Maz Jobrani, and Cruella is played by Wendy Raquel Robinson.
Mickey's House of Villains
The Disney Villains star in Mickey's House of Villains, the 2002 film adaptation of the Disney Channel animated television series Disney's House of Mouse. Set during a Halloween party, Jafar, Cruella de Vil, Captain Hook, Ursula and Hades take over the house with a musical number of "It's Our House Now", and all the other villains in the house join in. In the process, they trap all the heroes in the kitchen, throw Mickey and the others out into the street, and change the House's name to the "House of Villains". Mickey, Donald, Goofy and Minnie Mouse in turn try to return things to normal, but Captain James Hook keeps throwing them out. Afterwards, Mickey dresses in his famous sorcerer outfit from Fantasia and challenges Jafar to a magical duel using fireballs. Mickey's sorcerer hat is bounced off and there is very little time to put it back on, but then Aladdin saves the day by escaping the kitchen to the backstage room on the magic carpet and giving Daisy who gives Mickey the lamp to trap Jafar. Mickey sucks Jafar into the lamp, while the rest of the villains flee, restoring the house to normal.
Once Upon a Halloween
In the film Once Upon a Halloween, on the night before Halloween, the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs plans to conquer Halloween, and asks her cauldron to show you several villains to which one of them helps her in her plan.
Disney's Villains' Revenge
Disney's Villains' Revenge is a video game which tells the story of how the Evil Queen, Captain Hook, Queen of Hearts, and the Ringmaster from Dumbo change the story from the original movie to the way they wanted the story to end, with no "Happily Ever After".
Kingdom Hearts series
In the Kingdom Hearts series of action role-playing games developed and published by Disney Interactive Studios and Square Enix, Disney Villains play a major role as they seek to harness the power of darkness within the Kingdom Hearts. Led by Maleficent, the villains are antagonists in different worlds, such as the Queen of Hearts of Wonderland, Hades of the Olympus Coliseum, Jafar of the city of Agrabah, Ursula of Atlantica, Captain Hook of Never Land, Chernabog of End of the World/Symphony of Sorcerery, Shan Yu of the Land of Dragons, Scar of the Pride Land, The Evil Queen of Dwarf Woodlands, Lady Tremaine of Castle of Dreams, and Claude Frollo of La Cité des Cloches. Peg Leg Pete appears as Maleficent's main henchman in Kingdom Hearts II. Other villains outside the official line-up that also make appearances include Clayton and Sabor of Deep Jungle, Oogie Boogie of Halloween Town, Captain Barbossa of Port Royal, the Master Control Program & Sark from Tron of Space Paranoids, Captain Gantu of Deep Space, CLU & Rinzler of The Grid and The Beagle Boys of Country of the Musketeers. Beast's Castle and Prankster's Paradise remain the only worlds in the series so far where their main villains do not appear at all.
Epic Mickey series
Epic Mickey introduces new villains to the world of Disney, most of which are from old-style Disney movies and attractions. In the first game, Mickey unwittingly creates a monster called the Shadow Blot (not to be confused with the Phantom Blot). As Mickey tries to get rid of it, Yen Sid approaches and Mickey is forced to flee, leaving some of the Blot undestroyed. Years later, the Blot has Mickey kidnapped so that his heart can be used to escape Wasteland. With Oswald's help, Mickey returns home as the Blot is defeated.
In the second game, a character called The Mad Doctor tries to rule in the Shadow Blot's stead. In the first game, the Mad Doctor supplied robots for the Blot. If the player choose the Hero path, The Mad Doctor turns from a robot into a toon. If the player chooses the Scrapper path, The Mad Doctor is left in the final battle room to rot. Lastly, at the end of the second game, several versions of Pete look like they're going to try to take over the Wasteland.
The Kingdom Keepers
In The Kingdom Keepers, Disney Villains form a group known as the "Overtakers", stated to be the actual characters from the original stories from long ago, given form by Walt Disney's imagination and powered by the people's belief in them, the same way they believe in the heroes. Maleficent acts as a de facto leader of the group, though their goal throughout the series is to restore power to their true leader, Chernabog. Queen Grimhilde is third in command when Maleficent is indisposed, and other members include Claude Frollo, Ursula the Sea Witch, Cruella De Vil, Tia Dalma of Pirates of the Caribbean, the Broomsticks from The Sorcerer's Apprentice segment of Fantasia, and many others. Jafar and Shan Yu also appear but work towards their own means rather than with the group.
The majority of Disney's villain characters are regarded as being age 55 or older. A study from Brigham Young University reviewed seventy years of Disney films, and found that 42% of the 93 characters reviewed reinforced negative stereotypes of elderly people by portraying those characters as evil or sinister. The conclusion was that Disney was influencing children to have preconceived notions about all older adults.
Disney Villains proved their mark in cinematic history when the American Film Institute named The Queen as the 10th greatest movie villain of all time. Other Disney Villains on AFI's list were Hunter from Bambi and Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians. AFI did not rely on Disney's classification of who qualified as a villain, but used this definition instead:
a "villain" was defined as a character(s) whose wickedness of mind, selfishness of character and will to power are sometimes masked by beauty and nobility, while others may rage unmasked. They can be horribly evil or grandiosely funny, but are ultimately tragic.
- Thomas, Frank and Johnston, Ollie, The Disney Villain (1993) ISBN 1-56282-792-8, ISBN 978-1-56282-792-2
- Dave Smith. "Disney Archive's List of Disney Villains". Disney Archives. Disney Enterprises. Archived from the original on 2010-04-02. Retrieved 2008-08-14.
- Sneak peek: Scene-by-scene preview of World of Color water show at Disney’s California Adventure "The story grows dark during Color of Fear, which features fire effects and a number of Disney villains
- Martin Miller (1994-12-23). "Welcome to Disney's Creep Show Legion of Evildoers Await Fans' Dark Fancy at the Theme Park's Vilclain Shop". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-06-22.
- Disney Villains Checkers and Tic Tac Toe Collector’s Game Set
- Disney Villains 2 in 1 Collector’s Card Game Set
- "Who Wants To Be A Villionaire?" by Matthew Walker
- "Who Wants to be a Villionaire headlines Disney.com Halloween magic" (PDF). Walt Disney Internet Group Newsroom. October 11, 2001. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
- Report: Disneyland's October 26th Diva Villain's Event
- "Villains Designer Collection at Disney Store". Official Disney Store Blogger. Jun 25, 2012. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
- Dennis M Blank (2001-04-08). "Disney Goes High Tech With New Parade". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-22.
- Disney Corporation (2004-05-10). ""Walt Disney's Parade Of Dreams" Premieres During "The Happiest Homecoming On Earth" Celebration". Mickey News (Disney press release). Retrieved 2009-06-22.[dead link]
- Peter Stack (1999-06-18). "Disney's Dark Side in the Spotlight at Cartoon Museum". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-12-16.
- "Water Animation and Fireworks Combine for Fantasmic! Show at Disney's Hollywood Studios". WDW News. Disney Enterprises. 2002-11-23. Retrieved 2008-12-16.
- David Foucher (2007-10-09). "Dress Up and Get Down at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party". EDGE Boston. Retrieved 2009-06-22.
- Unknown (2009-12-08). "First Look: Disney Cruise Line’s ‘Villains Tonight!’ Stage Show". Stitch Kingdom. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
- Fiona MacRae (2007-05-31). "Disney's villains 'give children negative images of the elderly'". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
- "AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heros and Villains". American Film Institute. July 2003. Retrieved 2009-06-22.[dead link]