54 Frightening Facts You Didn’t Know About Disney Villains

Badder is better.

1. Most Disney villains wear red, black, purple, or some combination of the three.

2. The Disney Channel has a live-action movie called Descendants in production that focuses on the children of Maleficent, Jafar, the Evil Queen, and Cruella de Vil.

3. The Evil Queen from Snow White actually has a real name: QUEEN GRIMHILDE. It just SOUNDS terrifying.

4. Queen Grimhilde sits on a peacock throne to symbolize her extreme vanity.

5. The Queen was the first Disney character to ever speak in a feature-length animated movie.

6. Lucille LaVerne voiced both the Queen and the Evil Witch she transforms into. She achieved the change in voice by removing her false teeth, then recording her lines.

7. The Queen’s design was based off of multiple sources, but one was legendary Hollywood actress Joan Crawford.

8. The Queen was ranked #10 on AFI’s list of 50 greatest cinematic villains of all time, just ahead of Michael Corleone from The Godfather.

Disney

Disney

 

9. Eleanor Audley not only voiced Maleficent, but also Lady Tremaine (the evil stepmother in Cinderella) and Madame Leota in Disney’s Haunted Mansion ride.

10. Maleficent’s design was based off of the devil (her horns), bats (her collar), and medieval Czech designs illustrator Marc Davis found in his house (her flame-like robes).

11. Maleficent’s name in Sleeping Beauty the movie (she isn’t named in the fairytale) comes from the Latin word maleficenta, which means “evil-doing.”

12. Tim Burton was originally supposed to direct the live-action Maleficent movie.

13. Artisans who specialize in fetishware crafted Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent horns for the movie.

14. And Jolie’s children Pax, Zahara, and Vivienne all make cameos in the movie.

15. Cate Blanchett is slated to portray the evil stepmother in 2015’s live-action version of Cinderella.

16. And one of the evil stepsisters (Drizella) is slated to be played by Sophie McShera, who you may know better as Daisy from Downton Abbey.

17. Lady Tremaine is drawn as more realistic than the other villains in Cinderella (Lucifer the cat, her two stepdaughters) to give her a chilling effect.

Disney

Disney

 

18. Captain Hook was designed to be a comical villain and a foil for Peter Pan.

19. Walt Disney himself insisted Captain Hook not be killed at the end of Peter Pan because he knew the audience would take a liking to the wily character.

20. Tom Hiddleston (yes, LOKI) voiced Captain Hook in the Disney animated movie Tinker Bell and the Pirate Fairy.

21. Gaston from Beauty and the Beast is the first male villain to appear in a Disney Princess film.

22. Gaston wasn’t supposed to be the primary villain in the original version of Beauty and the Beast. That honor would have gone to a character named Marguerite, who was Belle’s evil aunt. She didn’t make the cut.

23. Additionally, the character Gaston does not exist in the original Beauty and the Beast fairytale.

24. In his climactic battle with the Beast, Gaston originally was supposed to yell “Time to die!” but this was deemed too graphic, and was changed to “Belle is mine!” However, you can still see him mouth the original line in the film version.

25. And depending on which version of Beauty and the Beast you see (theatrical, VHS, DVD) you might be able to see skulls in Gaston’s eyes for two frames while he falls to his death. Ah!

Disney

Disney

 

26. Bea Arthur from The Golden Girls was the original choice to voice Ursula in The Little Mermaid, and Roseanne Barr was also in the running to voice the character.

27. Elaine Stritch was cast to voice Ursula, but was eventually replaced with Pat Carroll.

28. King Triton and Ursula are siblings in the theater version of The Little Mermaid. This is implied in the film version, but never explicitly stated.

29. Ursula’s design is based off of the legendary drag performer Divine.

30. Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel, also voiced Vanessa, the human Ursula transforms into (which makes sense, because she stole Ariel’s voice).

31. Although it is not mentioned in The Lion King, Scar’s real name is Taka — the Swahili word for “want.”

32. The villains in The Lion King are voiced by an all-star lineup. Jeremy Irons is Scar, Whoopi Goldberg is Shenzi, Cheech Marin is Banzai, and Jim Cummings (the current voice of Tigger and Winnie the Pooh) is Ed.

33. Jeremy Irons blew out his voice while singing “Be Prepared” so Cummings had to come in and mimic his vocals for the last third of the song. Listen closely, and you might be able to hear the difference!

34. You’ve probably noticed by now, but Scar makes a cameo in Hercules, which Zazu actually predicted earlier in The Lion King when he said Scar would make a great throw-rug!

35. Scar’s death at the hands of his hyena minions is actually how Gaston was originally supposed to die in Beauty in the Beast. Gaston was supposed to survive his fall and then be eaten by wolves, but this was deemed too graphic by Disney.

36. Sterling Holloway, the voice of Kaa in The Jungle Book, also voiced the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland.

37. Kaa is actually an ally of Mowgli’s in Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book novel, but was changed to a villain for the animated version.

38. Jack Nicholson and John Lithgow were originally targeted to voice Hades in Hercules, but the role eventually went to James Woods.

39. Hades and Jafar are the only two Disney villains to meet in canon official to their movies; Jafar cameoed in an episode of the animated Hercules series.

40. Cruella de Vil checked in at #39 on AFI’s list of 50 greatest cinematic villains of all time.

41. During early production of The Rescuers, Cruella de Vil was considered as the villain but was replaced by Madame Medusa.

42. Due to the success of Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent, Disney has a live-action Cruella de Vil movie in production with the writer from The Devil Wears Prada penning the script.

Disney

Disney

 

43. Sir Patrick Stewart was offered the role of Jafar in Aladdin but had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts with Star Trek.

44. Tony Jay, the voice of Claude Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, also voiced Monsieur D’Arque, the villainous asylum director in Beauty and the Beast.

45. In Tangled, Mother Gothel’s dress dates to the Renaissance, several hundred years before the movie is set, to demonstrate how old the character is.

46. Mother Gothel is also the first Disney villain to die of old age.

47. Sid Phillips from Toy Story makes a cameo as a garbage truck driver in Toy Story 3.

Disney

Disney

 

48. Yzma had her own song in The Emperor’s New Groove called “Snuff Out The Light” but it was cut from the final version. However, it was featured on the film’s soundtrack.

49. Governor John Ratcliffe was actually a real person, not just a character in the movie Pochahontas.

50. Robert De Niro was reportedly the first choice for the role of Hopper in A Bug’s Life but turned down the part. Kevin Spacey voiced the evil grasshopper in the end.

51. In early scripts of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Judge Doom was revealed to be the man who killed Bambi’s mother in Bambi.

52. Tim Curry auditioned for the role of Judge Doom but was considered too terrifying for the character; instead, the part went to Christopher Lloyd.

53. Hans from Frozen and Gaston are the two youngest Disney villains at 23 and 25 years old, respectively.

54. And last but not least, Disney villains fall to their deaths — A LOT.

Disney

Disney

Disney

 

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