Think about the worst Disney Villain, the one who’s morals were the most corrupted, who’s the most despicable, who’s the scariest or most threatening. What if I told you there was a good chance the villain in your mind isn’t all the bad, or might even be better role models than the heroes and heroines of our beloved Disney films?
Warning, I’m taking creative liberties and interpreting the motives and backstory of the villains I’m talking about in this blog.
Let’s start with the woman in the featured image, Cruella De Vil from Disney’s 101 Dalmatians. She started off as friends with the wife of the owner of the main character. Looking at her name alone says she’s bad news, but for all we know, it might just be a cruel nickname she got from bullies. Similar to how Cinderella’s birth name is Ella, and she was given the nickname Cinderella by her evil step-family after she was covered in cinders, I believe Cruella was born named Ella and perhaps was bullied to the point where she snapped and decided that cruelty should be repaid with cruelty. Some form of revenge might have gone too far and she was known as Cruella rather than Ella. The reason I believe this is because of her behavior in 102 Dalmatians. She receives intense therapy and is the kindest woman in London. When approached by the press, reporters call her Cruella, to which she replies “Please, call me ‘Ella’.”
Question is, if her behavior in 102 Dalmatians is how she used to be, then how did she get from that to how we all know her in her debut in 101 Dalmatians? I believe it was due to the possible bullying and her mentality of “fight fire with fire”, which might have lead to the mentality of “if that’s what you believe, then that’s what is true”. Thus, she transformed from a kind, fun, good friend with a bad temper into a cruel, torturous, monster with a horrid temper we all know her to be.
Let’s look at another villain who gets a bad reputation, Gaston from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Gaston is a brute, but he started as the most admired man in the village. He’s adored by everyone, and actually, it’s all for good reason. Gaston protects the village from wild animals, he built a tavern to give the people a way to forget their troubles, he promises that his heart belongs to Belle.
In both the animated version and the live action version, Gaston stands up for Belle and her father. In the animated version, he defends Maurice against Lafou after seeing how distraught Belle is at Lafou’s comment. In the live action version, Gaston stands up against the villagers for Belle after the villagers dump her laundry and show her cruelty for her being a little different. he also, in both versions, believes the Beast is a monster and a threat. Even though Belle knows the Beast is kind and wouldn’t harm anyone, Gaston and the village didn’t even know the Beast was even there; they don’t trust that is Beast is capable of humanity. For all they know, the creature in the magic mirror could be just like any other wild animal. Think really hard. If someone walked up to you and said a lion, or bear, or wolf, or any type of wild predator wouldn’t harm a fly, would you believe them? No. Admit it, you’d call them crazy.
Another villain I want to talk about is Scar from Disney’s Lion King. Since I already talked about Scar in my Best King blog, I’ll make this quick. Scar is neglected as a cub and was more-or-less forced to find companionship with the hyenas. After hearing the hyena’s position, Scar makes the bold promise to become king, and then allow them to roam the Pride Lands. He does keep his word; when he does become king, he does bring the hyenas and lions together in one ecosystem. However, because his father didn’t teach him how to be king, his maturity and strategic thought disappear almost instantly. Scar struggles to handle the authority of being a ruler, which makes him crack under pressure, which leads to sudden bursts of rage and, when backed into a corner, placing blame on the hyenas to make himself seem free of all blame and hopefully with little to no punishment. If he had learned how to propery rule a kingdom, he might’ve been a king either as good, or dare I say, better than Mufasa or Simba (safe to say, I was rooting for Scar to be the king he thought he was, and the king he could’ve been).
There you have it, and that was only three villains that I could think of off the top of my head. Do you think there might be more Disney Villains who might have a better moral compass than the heroes, or who are justified in their actions? I know I’ve missed at least a few due to this already getting so long. Let me know in the comments below who your favorite Disney Villain is and if he/she is justified in his/her actions, and have a villainous rest of your day~!
Want to see these villains in a new light? Get them right here from Amazon. It’s easy to get the DVDs for 101 Dalmatians, 102 Dalmatians, Beauty and the Beast, even the live-action version, and the Lion King. Go ahead, watch them all again with this thought of how the villain could’ve been brought up or lived their lives, I dare you to see them the same way again.