My Top 5 Scariest Disney Villains

My sincere apologies for the lack of posts lately. This is entirely due to preoccupation and laziness on my part, but I will post more “vs.” articles very soon. Next on the list is Sleeping Beauty.

In the meantime, here is a “Top 5” post to join the legions of others on the internet. Facebook friends, I am afraid this is old news, but hopefully worth revisiting.

Even if you’re a grown-up, you can still appreciate how intimidating or creepy some Disney villains are, so let me have my say before you point and laugh.

SPOILER: None of the villains in this image are featured here. Just to mess with your minds.

disney villains header

#5: Shere Khan

From: The Jungle Book

Why is he scary?

To start with, he’s a man-eating tiger. He’s also a pre-emptively man-eating tiger, in that he wants to kill Mowgli before he grows up into a man. Add to this the fact that even a panther, a bear, a deadly python and a pack of wolves are scared of him, so before he even appears on screen there’s a huge build up for how much of a badass he is. Somehow the fact that he’s also charming and polite makes him seem even worse, as you never know when he’s going to strike. I’ve put him at the bottom of this list though because he becomes a pussycat when faced with fire, and as well as being an endangered species, his prey consists of smart-alecky ten year-old boys, so he’s not all bad news.

#4: Gaston

From: Beauty and the Beast

Why is he scary?

Admittedly his chest hair is pretty terrifying, but Gaston is more threatening than scary. He’s used to getting what he wants, and can justify anything in order to do so, even bribery, throwing innocent people into an asylum and murder. His worst asset is his power over the mob – although the townspeople seem to like Belle and her father, at Gaston’s say so they lock them up and then go and storm a castle trying to kill the Beast. Gaston doesn’t know when to stop or that there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed, which is why he goes out fighting.

#3: The Coachman

From: Pinocchio

Why is he scary?

This guy is often overlooked as he’s only in the film for a couple of scenes, but his job consists of taking naughty little boys to an island where they eventually turn into donkeys, which he then sells off for massive profit. This sounds like a great idea, but there’s an uncomfortable scene where you see a group of “donkeys”, still clothed and able to talk, begging to be sent back to their families. The coachman thinks their turning into donkeys is ample payment for the fun they’ve had on his island, and sits and waits for them to lose the ability to speak before kicking them into crates and sending them away. Since the coachman looks suspiciously similar to the kind of people you see playing Santa Claus or a kindly toy shop owner, this scene fuelled my nightmares for weeks.

#2: Monstro the Whale

From: Pinocchio (again)

Why is he scary?

Monstro is a huge black sperm whale who swallows Pinocchio and his father, and is outraged that anyone should try to escape him. The worst thing about this villain is that he lives in the sea, so trying to get away from him is like trying to escape a bad guy in a nightmare – you feel like you’re running through treacle and can’t get away fast enough. He also generates enormous waves and leaps impossibly high when he’s coming after you.

#1: Judge Claude Frollo

From: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Why is he scary?

Judge Frollo is a sadistic and genocidal madman who also tortures members of staff that don’t pull their weight. When he’s not looming over you from his height of 6ft+, he’s towering above you on the back of his black steed. Unlike all the other villains on this list, his determination comes from the fact he thinks he’s doing God’s work, and that the above is therefore totally okay and doing the world a favour. Frollo is scary because he’s not an evil sorcerer or a deadly animal that can talk – he’s just a normal human being with really warped values, the kind that often make the headlines in the real world when they carry out their deeds.

The moral of the story? Endangered species and British people are all terrifying and should be avoided at all costs.

17 thoughts on “My Top 5 Scariest Disney Villains

  1. Excuse me but threatening and scary are the same thing. But you’re right that Shere Khan, Gaston, and Frollo deserve to be in that list due to my hatred for them.

    • Hi again. From now on I’ll address you as “Nymmy” (anoNYMous) if that’s okay 😉

      I would disagree here and say that “scary” is the next step above “threatening”. Someone staring at you and slowly pulling out a knife is not quite as intense as them shouting and waving said knife in your face, for instance. It’s a testament to Disney that we hate these characters so much, and for different reasons too.

  2. Where is The Horned King, dude best Disney villain ever, and a creepy one

    • Hi Ashleigh,

      The Horned King is a good call. I’ve only seen the Black Cauldron twice and I was slightly older then so I didn’t find him quite so scary! You can’t go wrong with a horned skull though. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Frollo isn’t scary :).Maleficient is far more scarier than him.And the Coachman definitely deserves Number 1
    I mean 🙂 He turns Kids into Donkeys,Abuse them and sell them for Slavery
    That tops anything Frollo has done…Frollo is not scary just a Spoiled Brat nothing else.Maleficient makes him look like a Joke

    And why the 🙂 is Monstro here? Monstro is not Scary and he’s really not a Villian…he’s just a Whale

    • Hi DAMN,

      Thanks for your comment, but I’m afraid I had to replace some of the words with smiley faces. I think we all get the gist though 😉

      Well, this is my personal list, but given what the coachman does I see your point. I think it’s the fact that Monstro is an animal and can’t be reasoned with or escaped from, and that when I first saw Pinocchio I was very young and thought a giant scary whale in the sea was more frightening. And Monstro is definitely a villain as he’s an antagonist in the story – he deliberately swallowed Geppetto and doesn’t want anyone to escape him, plus all the undersea creatures are terrified of him.

      Frollo has definitely done worse though – he condemns an entire people to being burned at the stake, and this is after a long and presumed history of torturing citizens as well as his own staff. As I said, I find him threatening because the likelihood of finding someone like him in the real world is very possible and has happened – fanatics who do terrible things and can justify their actions. And don’t forget he was going to drown a baby – the coachman at least only goes for older boys who would be able to escape him, in theory.

      I’m interested to know why you find Maleficent scary. To me, she was the spoiled brat! Also I thought her pet raven was cool. Maybe there’s something about her I missed, what do you think?

      Thanks again for stopping by.

      • “As I said, I find [Frollo] threatening because the likelihood of finding someone like him in the real world is very possible and has happened – fanatics who do terrible things and can justify their actions.”

        This is EXACTLY the reason why Frollo is the scariest Disney villain to me, as well.

        Also, re: the Coachman, the one scene in ANY Disney movie that absolutely never fails to scare the crap out of me is the part where the Coachman says “They never come back–as BOYS!” and then does that evil Slasher Smile thing and aakgsldhgdkghkgshg nooooo *pulls blanket over head*

      • Ha ha thanks Mysticalchicken, love your comment! I wholeheartedly agree. The bit when Monstro leaps out of the water towards Pinocchio when he’s trying to pull Geppetto under the cliff always used to scare me.

  4. I’m glad the coachman finally got some mention. now that i’m older i realize how scary pinocchio can actually be. and the fact that he doesnt look scary like the witch from wnow white is even scarier. he looks like a nice old grandfather or something

  5. “The moral of the story? Endangered species and British people are all terrifying and should be avoided at all costs.” Ha ha! Nice way to wrap up the list!

    Ugh, Gaston definitely creeps me out a lot more now that I’m older. He’s a prime example of just how much damage a dangerous person with plenty of charisma can do.

  6. I feel Cruella deserves a mention. From my childhood I laways remembered the bad guys as hapless fools who were often outsmarted by young children. Cruella De Vil struck me as a character who would tear a child limb from limb given half the chance.

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