Skip To Content

    16 Disney Villains Ranked By How Much They Deserve An Origin Story Movie

    I still can't believe they made Cruella before Ursula.

    Now that Emma Stone's Cruella has graced the multiplex with its presence, it's time to answer the question that Disney executives must be asking themselves at this very moment: Who's next?

    Disney / Via

    But fear not, Extremely Powerful Multinational Entertainment Conglomerate. I'm here to deliver a ranking of which villains most deserve their own big budget, live-action, questionably-necessary-at-best origin story.

    Disney / Via

    In exchange, I only ask that I'm invited to the premiere of the Yzma movie you're definitely going to make. 

    Just so you know, this ranking is neither comprehensive nor determined by anything other than my own personal feelings, so with that in mind, let's make some wild guesses about what will be coming to a theater near you in 2025 or so.

    Cruella and Maleficent
    Disney / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Also, I'm excluding Cruella and Maleficent, since they already got their own movies. 

    16. The Hunter Who Kills Bambi's Mom (aka Man) — Bambi

    Bambi weeping after the death of his mother
    Disney / Via

    I don't want to spend another second of my life thinking about this unseen bastard. On the American Film Institute's list of the top 50 film villains, he comes in at #20, above the Terminator (#22), Jack Torrance (#25), and Freddy Krueger (#40). Serves him right.

    Likelihood of a Spinoff: 0%, unless it gets real bleak at the House of Mouse. 

    15. Amos Slade — The Fox and the Hound

    Amos Slade in his old fashioned car
    Disney / Via

    I've never seen this movie or heard this character's name before, but it looks like he's another hunter of the small, furry, and innocent, and to be honest I'm not interested in learning about his childhood. Great villain name, though.

    Likelihood of a Spinoff: 1%, just because he's not as reviled as Man.

    14. Stromboli & Coachman — Pinocchio

    the two evil figures in Pinocchio
    Disney / Via

    I thought the antagonist of Pinocchio was the concept of dishonesty, but nope, it's these two. Anyway, this movie is a nonstop horror show of the otherworldly torments that await you if you misbehave, which in 1940 probably qualified it as a lighthearted romp. Let's not revisit it.

    Likelihood of a Spinoff: >5%, because if they made a live-action version of the scene where Pinocchio turns into a donkey, it would be scarier than anything Cronenberg's ever done.

    13. Claude Frollo — The Hunchback of Notre Dame

    Disney / Via

    While I'd love to see a movie about the origins of Frollo, a man who uses the facade of religious piety to mask a deeply troubled soul, somehow I don't think the fine folks at Disney are the people for the job. Not that they'd want it: Frollo's story begins with his parents perishing in the plague and gets bleaker from there.

    Likelihood of a Spinoff: 5%, because anyone who wanted to pitch it would probably read Victor Hugo's novel and realize that it's a terrible idea. But hey, that didn't stop them the first time!

    12. Jafar — Aladdin

    Jafar and Iago
    Disney / Via

    Jafar is a grosser version of Yzma, and his main motivation is getting to marry a 16-year-old, so I'm happy leaving him in that genie lamp. That being said, Iago could easily carry a film franchise. 

    Likelihood of a Spinoff: 15%, through the sheer force of Iago's villainous charisma. Do we ever learn why he's a talking bird? Do other birds in the Aladdin universe talk? These are the questions we need answered, Disney. 

    11. Gaston — Beauty and the Beast

    Gaston flexing
    Disney / Via

    We all know a Gaston, and none of us need to know another one.

    Likelihood of a Spinoff: Apparently 100%, since a prequel series about Gaston and his sidekick LeFou is coming to Disney+. They must've come up with a really convincing answer to that age-old question: How does one become the Absolute Worst?

    10. Prince Hans — Frozen

    Prince Hans putting out the fire in Frozen
    Disney / Via

    Do we really need to hear more from the human embodiment of a man interrupting you at a meeting? I think not.

    Likelihood of a Spinoff: 25%, because if they managed to write him a song as catchy as "Let It Go," everything he did would be forgiven.

    9. Lady Tremaine — Cinderella

    Lady Tremaine gasping
    Disney / Via

    The culture doesn't need any more anti-stepmother propaganda.

    Likelihood of a Spinoff: 30%, which she earns on recognizability alone. 100%, if they cast Anjelica Huston, like 20th Century Fox did in in the era-defining masterpiece Ever After. 

    8. Scar — The Lion King

    Scar looming over the hyenas
    Disney / Via

    I'd like to know if he was nicknamed Scar after getting the scar (cruel, but kind of metal) or if he was named Scar at birth (seems like the parents were tempting the universe with that one). Other than that, eh. 

    Likelihood of a Spinoff: 25%, because they already did the live-action remake with Beyoncé (and all those other famous people, but mostly Beyoncé), and you can only revisit the well so many times. 

    7. Evil Queen — Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

    the evil queen holding the box for snow white's heart
    Disney / Via

    I have a confession to make: I thought that the Evil Queen and Maleficent were the same character. But now that I know they're not, there's not much more to say about the company's first-ever antagonist. She's vain, she's cruel, and she demands her 14-year-old stepdaughter's heart in a box. Pretty typical Disney stuff. 

    Likelihood of a Spinoff: 35%, since her being a blank slate might actually be an advantage to whoever has to justify the "feeding an innocent girl a poisoned apple" episode.

    6. Dr. Facilier — The Princess and the Frog

    Dr. Facilier drinking some champagne
    Disney / Via

    Facilier is a charismatic witch doctor who wants to take over New Orleans with a little bit of help from the dead, and if that character description doesn't make you want to know more, the world of villain origin stories may not be for you. 

    Likelihood of a Spinoff: 40%, because to be honest this movie came out after the point that I was forming warm nostalgic connections to Disney movies, so I have no idea if it's popular or not. 

    5. Mother Gothel — Tangled

    Disney / Via

    Mother Gothel is campy and fun, and "Mother Knows Best" is one of the best Disney villain anthems out there. But she's also legitimately scary, both because she locked Rapunzel in a tower (not great) and manipulated her into believing that her actions were motivated by love. That's rich material for an origin story, and more interesting than any "I want to stay young and beautiful" nonsense. Speaking of which, is Disney ever going to get over that? 

    Likelihood of a Spinoff: 45%, because while Tangled is great, it didn't get a sequel because the directors thought it worked best as a stand-alone story, and they're the experts here. 

    4. Hades — Hercules

    Disney / Via

    On Wikipedia, Hades is described as "a combination of Satan and a sleazy dodgy persuasive Hollywood agent type/car dealer." You can't tell me those aren't the ingredients for a hit. 

    Likelihood of a Spinoff: 55%, because while this is pure gold, marketing the god of death as a family-friendly character is a hard sell, even for the House of Mouse. 

    3. Captain Hook — Peter Pan

    Captain Hook
    Disney / Via

    Here's a delightful fact: In 1929, J.M. Barrie gifted the rights to Peter Pan to Great Ormond Street Hospital, meaning that the London children's hospital is entitled to royalties from each new iteration of the story. This, combined with the fact that Captain Hook has a genuine grievance against the hero (lest we forget that Peter cut off this man's hand and everyone seems cool with it), makes this a backstory worth bringing to life.

    Likelihood of a Spinoff: 60%, due to both philanthropic and storytelling potential. 

    2. Ursula — The Little Mermaid

    Ursula blowing a kiss
    Disney / Via

    Cruella star Emma Stone said that she thought Ursula deserved her own origin story, which surprised me, because I thought an Ursula movie was already in production. But nope, I was thinking of the upcoming live-action remake ofThe Little Mermaid, where Ursula will once again have to play second fiddle to a mermaid with self-esteem issues. Here's the thing: If the Divine-inspired, endlessly entertaining Ursula is did we end up with movies about the pro-fur dog kidnapper and the mean fairy from Sleeping Beauty

    Likelihood Of A Spinoff: 90%, because Melissa McCarthy was cast as Ursula, and I could see executives offering her a contract for her own movie on her way out of the premiere. 

    1. Yzma — The Emperor's New Groove

    Disney / Via

    Here I am, waving to you from the hill I'm willing to die on: Yzma wasn't wrong. Kuzco was a tyrant who regularly had people executed (OK, thrown from the palace, but we all know what's being implied) for minor slights. Sure, jumping straight to poisoning him isn't awesome, but the lady's a revolutionary, and I want to learn how she got to where she is. Plus, she was voiced by the legendary Eartha Kitt, which is reason enough to return to the character.

    Likelihood of a Spinoff: 100%, if there's any justice in the world. And like 90% if there's not, because c'mon, wouldn't you watch this? 

    TV and Movies

    Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

    Newsletter signup form