17 Best Villain Characters of All Time

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Updated on: Educator Review By: Michelle Connolly

Sometimes they make us laugh, and sometimes they make us cry. They mainly give cartoon heroes and heroines something to fight for, which means they add some spices to the story. Disney’s animated studios give us some genuinely despicable bad guys and girls and more than a few that we really love to hate.

These evil characters have some characteristics, but the most important traits a villain must possess are ambition, arrogance, and manipulation. But, of course, the most powerful feature is being ambitious; it means being willing to do anything or having a strong desire or determination for their success.

Villains are a great part of any story, as this evil part is a push and influences the hero’s story. Without a villain character, there is no peak, no suspense, and no good story-line. This war of evil and good makes any story interesting for kids; it also sometimes brings morals to the table and shows that good is better and wins in the end.

What are the Most Popular Villains of All Time?

Here are the most popular and favorite villains of all time:

The Joker (Batman)

The Joker is one of the public’s favourite villains. He is famous and attractive. In the 1940s, Batman was part of the Comics series. At some point, Batman started to be more separate, eventually becoming the hero of a comic with his name on the heading. Just like all good heroes, he required a contender. That is why the creators started to put the Joker.

The matter of who created this character is highly disputed. The first Joker looked like the card with the same name in poker. His techniques were less detailed than the new Joker, and one of his characteristics was fashionable.

By this time character became more popular, and he was an important figure in the Batman comics, as the two characters were with sides of the same coin: one side is good, and the other is evil. It seems that Batman and his rival were utterly inseparable.

This idea that acclaimed British Screenwriter Alan Moore tried to cover in Batman: The Killing Joke. He desired people to see that hero and the villain is not different. However, Batman’s justice isn’t as pure as people may think. Nor is the Joker so much evil, Batman: The Killing Joke came out during a crisis for the old order. The old publishing rules were no longer adequate, and the old ways were beginning to lose their glamour for people. Even the Joker’s jokes weren’t funny as they used to be.

He managed a turn to a radical direction. He gave the Joker a new shape and never transformed the Joker’s core as a villain. Thanks to Moore, the Joker is no more a secondary character. Before he was concerned with an exciting story-line, he had been in a secondary place. He was nothing but a villain in Batman’s story.

Who’s the Joker?

His physical appearance is the opposite of Batman’s. The series’ hero is serious, dark, and has a tragic past. The Joker’s bizarre and colourful appearance reminds us of circus performers. Many writers explained his physical appearance because he fell into a chemical tank. This effect on his face and changed his skin tone.

Then, we need a clear picture of the Joker’s past; his past is unknown. And maybe that dark past and sadism have made the character of Joker. Extremely intelligent, manipulative, crazy, sadistic and always ready to dummy, these words describe the Joker. His crazy attitude appears close to the character, and he manages to extend it to everyone around him. But, of course, that’s what happens to Harley Quinn. Although she’s a psychiatrist, she loves him and his character.

The Joker does have a lot of charm. He’s narcissistic, egocentric, and cruel, but he can fascinate anyone. The Joker mocks life and death; his plans are twisted but intelligent. He loves jokes and laughing at things which are not funny. All of that makes him the flawless villain. He’s the ultimate villain. And that has worked to attract lots of fans.

Prince John (Robin Hood)

Prince John is not precisely what one would call much of a threat. He does not have magic powers to inflict evil spells, no destroyer weapon or energy source, and he doesn’t even fight and cross swords with Robin Hood. Nevertheless, Prince John is memorable. He is a spoiled, bratty kid who grew up to gain power, making him one of the funniest characters in Disney.

Ratigan (The Great Mouse Detective)

The best villains are those who completely and shamelessly like their work. And Disney fans can’t find any better model than Professor Ratigan, the World’s Greatest Criminal Mind. Imagine a villain so deliciously cruel that his picture smiles whenever his name is mentioned, that takes an impressive amount of Disney magic to carry out. Ratigan’s power comes from his voice actor, horror legend (Vincent price).

Dr. Facilier (The Princess and the Frog)

Dr Facilier can compete with Ratigan in showmanship; it’s the Shadowman of New Orleans. But, like Ratigan, the not-so-good doctor moves his power from presence and personality. No one linked with the spirits of the underworld can be good news, but Dr Facilier can make it good.

Syndrome (The Incredibles)

Syndrome is the most dangerous villain in all of the comics. Syndrome might be an abandoned fanboy, but with a high level of intelligence. That’s definitely worth some things in the supervillain bureau. Even Dr Doom would like him and be impressed. But what makes Syndrome deserve a spot on the list is his social motives and the vulnerable side that he shows.

Chernabog (Fantasia)

Chernabog is Disney’s version of Satan. He is the Slavic god, skeletons, darkness, and demons from the deeps of the underworld for a black magic bacchanal on Mountain, with his huge horns, batwings, and iconic theme song.

Randall Boggs (Monsters Inc.)

Randall Boggs is one of the main rivals in “Monsters Inc.”, he looks like a chameleon with a severe case of jealousy regarding those who exceed him. It had to be difficult to live in Sully’s shadow and observe him overpower the hierarchies on the Scare Floor. However, that was no reason to create a device that could harm children; he was jealous of sully and his friends.

Many villains are pushed to evil after a life-changing event. Still, Randall Boggs’ turned out to be a villain after many years of bad life, which made him one of the most charming villains that Disney and Pixar have ever concocted.

Hans (Frozen)

Hans chattered his way into Arrendalle, then swept Anna off her feet with minimal effort. He promised to protect his fiance’s beloved home while she went away to find her sister Elsa. Once Kristian appeared in the picture, Hans didn’t seem like an excellent match for her, but many of us spent most of Frozen assuming he was a decent guy. That’s what made his late-in-the-game betrayal feel quite villainous.

Hans craved the power and dignity of heading a kingdom by himself. He was eventually willing to do anything to achieve his goals. He tried to murder Elsa with his sword, leaving Anna to freeze to death and mocking her for daring to think he loved her. Hans’ power trip achieves pretty high and proves that if anyone falls immediately in love with someone who sounds too good to be true, he is probably a bad guy.

Yzma (The Emperor’s New Groove)

The Emperor’s New Groove never got the attention it deserved because it’s one of Disney’s most light-hearted and thoroughly entertaining animated films ever made. But, of course, that was because of its main villain, Yzma. But, unfortunately, her fabulous sense of style and bizarre personality far overshadow her actual villainy.

Her main goal is to beat Kuzco and become Empress, a stunning standard for evil plans. Since she only desired to turn her former assistant into an animal instead of killing him as other Disney villains do, she didn’t pose the same serious threat to our protagonist. Her incapacity to care for the details surrounding her field made her nearly unbelievable to take seriously, but she was still brilliant.

Mother Gothel (Tangled)

Most of us would love to get the beauty and energy of the youthful peak again; generally, many invest in expensive night cream and never think of kidnapping innocent, magical-haired princesses to satisfy those wishes. But in Disney’s 2010 movie Tangled Mother Gothel did just that. Then she dares to act as Rapunzel’s mother, and she gaslights the young girl whenever she asks why she is being kept in a tower in the middle of a wood.

Some Disney villains try to get their way by manipulation, but Mother Gothel’s techniques are very abusive. She was willing to murder Rapunzel and her lover Flynn for a wrinkle-free complexion. Despite all this, Gothel was so lovely, so in a very twisted and tangled way, it’s easy to see why Rapunzel would have trusted her for so long.

Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland)

Queen of Hearts wasn’t a model of royal grace under pressure. On the contrary, she was an utterly unhinged adult with an endless temper tantrums. From threatening anyone she faced with beheading to pushing her subjects to play a nearly unattainable game of croquet, she made almost everyone in Wonderland completely miserable, especially her servant, the incredibly stressed-out Mr White Rabbit.

Queen of Hearts is still completely unforgettable. She constantly depended on a thin line between being very entertaining and downright terrifying, mostly because her behavior is incredibly unpredictable.

Jafar (Aladdin)

Jafar is like many other villains; his primary goal is to become as powerful as possible. So naturally, he’s willing to use everyone he can to achieve these lofty heights, from poor street urchins to naive sultans. However, it was his moves and skills of both manipulation and magic that genuinely made him stand out among his fellow baddies.

Jafar was Agrabah’s advisor leader; he handled his way into the upper echelons of authority and used magic to persuade his boss that he was a ready suitor for his daughter, Jasmine. He set lives on the line and his soul in jeopardy without a second thought, all for the chance at ultimate power. Ultimately, his political opportunism and supersized ego were his downfalls, but he still proved a worthy menace.

Shere Khan (The Jungle Book)

Shere Khan compiled an influential position amongst his peers because he is calm, calculating and relaxed. The tiger kept a unique blend of charm and chilling anger. The mention of his name hit fear in other animals. Even though he’s not a dominant villain, he remains one of Disney’s weirdest and most troubling antagonists. He’s ready to stalk his prey across the jungle, all because of a long-held grudge against the man, although Mowgli was a child.

Hades (Hercules)

Hercules could be a better Disney animated movie; however, it still has some bonuses, like its main villain, Hades. He’s so terrifying, with his ugly, fiery face and love of skull accessories. However, unlike other villains, Hades is good at being bad because of his high intelligence, effective magical powers and brilliant strategies. Hades was so unforgettable and enjoyable that anyone almost felt bad when he didn’t get what he wanted at the end of Hercules, even if that meant real disruption on Mount Olympus.

Cruella De Vil (101 Dalmatians)

Cruella De Vil, the villain from 101 Dalmatians, is extreme in her awful behaviour. Arrogant, glamorous and sociopathic, she puts vanity first, even if it means murder to get the look she’s after. Unfortunately, Cruella was so evil, greedy, and terrible that she skinned puppies to have nice fur coats. So instead of cutting her failures, she went into full-villain mode and released one of the terrifying examples in comic history.

The Evil Queen (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)

Queen Grimhilde, known as the Evil Queen, was so intimidated by the idea that someone could be more beautiful than her that she was ready to kill anyone who could take her place; she could even ask for an innocent child’s heart. She was completely insane. She trusted her magic mirror to satisfy her insecurities, and when she found out she had a competitor, she tried to harm her stepdaughter (Snow White). The Queen still stands up as an utterly scary villain.

Scar (The Lion King)

Scar is the greatest villain that Disney ever created. Many villains might be likelier or scarier than The Lion King’s evil enemy. However, his evil ways carried on a Shakespearean quality (appropriate, given the film’s source material). His murder of Mufasa was a traumatic moment in many young kids’ lives, and it was one of the most violent actions a Disney villain ever took. Then he used his brother’s death to take Simba’s place as the new king and get the habitats of Pride.

In the end, Scar meets his fate; and deserves death more than any other villain. Still, his villainous story arc primarily makes The Lion King unforgettable.


Finally, It’s good to say that villains are important to any story; surprisingly, many people adore them for many reasons. Heros are always warm, friendly and caring. Still, villains always have the choice to be whatever they want and reveal their dark side. In addition, villains have more freedom as people expect nothing good from them, and villains are realistic.

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