THE LION KING vs. FROZEN

The Lion King Poster  VS.  Frozen Poster

A short while ago, I started seeing a bunch of versus movie videos on YouTube, and a lot of them were Disney movies: old Cinderella (Clyde Geronimi, 1950) versus new Cinderella (Kenneth Branagh, 2015), Beauty and the Beast (Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, 1991) versus Aladdin (Ron Clements and John Musker, 1992), and so on. Yeah, they were pretty odd, but the strangest one, in my opinion, was Tangled (Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, 2010) versus Frozen (Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, 2013). People were comparing these movies? Fans were trying to determine the better one between the two? This was odd to me for a couple of reasons. First, Frozen is better. Second, these aren’t the movies I’d put together. To me, the real competitor of Tangled is The Princess and the Frog (Ron Clements and John Musker, 2009). If you read my review of these movies, you already know which movie I think is the better. Maybe I’ll make a versus post between them later, though probably not. But I digress. The real competitor of Frozen, however, is…drumroll please…The Lion King (Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, 1994)! Right now, the Walt Disney Animation Studios is enjoying the Disney Revival, which is very reminiscent of the Disney Renaissance from the ’90s. The Princess and the Frog became The Little Mermaid (Ron Clements and John Musker, 1989) for today’s youth. Winnie the Pooh (Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall, 2011) is like today’s The Rescuer’s Down Under (Hendel Butoy and Mike Gabriel, 1990). And Frozen is today’s The Lion King. Both movies are incredibly popular, they brought in TONS of money, they’re still memorable, and we’re still singing the songs. But which movie is the best? Which is truly the better complete film? Well, I must admit that The Lion King is my favorite Disney movie ever, as well as one of my favorite films period. But putting personal feelings aside, I’m looking at this from a fair, analytical perspective. I’ll be judging this based on the same categories I review these films: animation, songs and music, romance, characters, and story. That being said, let’s dive in and see which is the better movie. This is The Lion King vs. Frozen!

 

ANIMATION: The animation in both movies is spectacular! I love how animation can transport us into worlds that don’t look like our own, but feel like our own. The way Frozen makes winter look is incredible! This is the kind of winter we dream about – the kind of winter we want to see! I also love how the ice and the snow look. The texture, the weight, and the shape of them is just outstanding! I love it!

To be honest, however, those are the only pieces of animation that really impress me in this film. In The Lion King, everything impresses me! From the first frame, I’m instantly spellbound! Look at how the animators captured Kenya! Look at the sunrise! The sky! The trees! The mountains! The complete landscape! The waterfall! They not only brought the size, scope, and spirituality of Kenya to the film, but they made it a bit more epic by adding mythological elements to the layout. But what really does it for me is the animals! The Lion King has an all animal cast. This means the animators had to really capture the movements and behaviors of all these lions, hyenas, wildebeasts, giraffes, elephants, birds, ants, and everyone else! They don’t just become animators trying to draw animals – the animals are just there! Simba is a lion in this movie, not a cartoon or animated character! The characters are alright in Frozen, but they’re humans – they’re ordinary. Also, they have a sort of plastic texture to their skin; the people look more like toys and dolls than actual humans.. Point goes to The Lion King!

The Lion King - Stampede

 

SONGS/MUSIC: These movies have some of the best and biggest Disney soundtracks of all time! We can’t help but hear these songs in our heads whenever we think of these films. And The Lion King doesn’t just have great and fun songs to accompany the film; it also has an amazing score composed by the great Hans Zimmer to go with it! And again, Lebo M. helped bring the sound of the music to the continent of Africa! We’ve got some fantastic talent behind the music here!

Again, I personally love the songs from The Lion King more. One thing I realized about this film in contrast to other Disney movies is The Lion King doesn’t have one Number One song. Most people would agree the Number One song from The Little Mermaid is “Under the Sea.” The Number One song from Beauty and the Beast is “Be Our Guest,” and the Number One Song from Aladdin is “A Whole New World.” We can name other songs from those movies, but those are the songs most people remember the most. While, of course, Frozen has “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” and “For the First Time in Forever,” we all know “Let It Go” is the film’s Number One song. However, if you were to ask a large group of people to name the Number One song from The Lion King, some would say “Circle of Life,” some would say “Hakuna Matata,” and some would say “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” TAKE THAT, FROZEN!

Also, as my girlfriend pointed out, the you can tell all the songs in The Lion King have a consistent style or genre. They all sound the same. Part of that comes from the fact that the filmmakers and music leaders wanted to capture the spirit and culture of the land this film is set. The style of the songs in Frozen isn’t as consistent. Some of them sound like musical theatre, some of them sound like modern pop music, the ice cutting song sounds like Irish-type music, and the music over the studio logos reminds you of The Lion King anyway. Having said all that, the point should go to The Lion King, right? Well…

While I love and prefer the songs from The Lion King…I have to admit…the songs from Frozen are better. Why? Because they actually do a better job of tying the songs into the story and what’s going on. No, not all of them do that, but, again, they do it better than The Lion King. Songs like “Do You Want to Build a Snowman,” “For the First Time in Forever,” “Love is an Open Door,” and “Let it Go” continue the story and tell us how the characters feel. The only songs to really do that in The Lion King are “Circle of Life” and “Be Prepared.” I can make arguments for “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” and “Hakuna Matata,” but it’s pretty obvious which movie utilize the songs more. What can I say? Point goes to Frozen.

 

ROMANCE: Is there really a competition here? I love The Lion King, but I know that the romance in that movie is unnecessary. The story is about coming to age, accepting responsibility, and the care and balance of life…Where the crud does a romance fit in to this? OK, romance is a part of life, but how does it fit into the story the filmmakers were trying to make? It doesn’t!

In Frozen, the romance is much better intertwined with the story. Anna’s romance with Hans is sort of the initial incident that sets the rest of the movie into motion. When Elsa and Anna fought over the sudden engagement, Elsa’s nerves got the best of her, prompting her to run away. After that, Anna’s discovery of true love begins. Not only does she learn the dangers of giving her heart to any random person, but she also develops a romance with Kristoff. I also like that their romance doesn’t end with a marriage or “true love,” but rather an attraction. They’re attracted to each other, they’re dating. All in all, the romance  in Frozen works its way in the story much better than The Lion King. Point goes to Frozen!

 

STORY: OK, I know that I usually follow the romance with characters, but that section actually gave me a hard time. I’ll talk about that in a minute, but let’s skip over it and go to story for now. Both of these films have really great stories! Whereas Frozen is very loosely based on The Snow Queen and The Lion King is…inspired by Hamlet, both films still stand out as unique. But which story is told better? Neither story is told perfectly, there are some holes in both of them; but they’re still good stories, and they’re told rather well. To be honest, this category almost gave me as much difficulty as the characters. I stumbled for a minute, but here’s what it came down to…

One of the main problems people have with Frozen’s story is the reveal that Hans is the villain. It could have been a clever, welcomed surprise twist like the reveal in Wreck-It Ralph (Rich Moore, 2012). In that film, hints were given throughout the film that supported why and how King Candy’s being Turbo could work. It made sense. It was a good surprise. It was smart. In Frozen, however, the surprise twist was random and seemed to come out of nowhere. The reason it doesn’t work that well is because there isn’t anything in the film to support the reveal of Hans as the villain. True, he talks about having 12 older brothers, but what else justifies him being the villain. There wasn’t a villainous thing he did in the film prior to the twist.It offers more questions than it does answers. Was Hans making up his plan all along? Why did he keep Elsa alive for so long when there were several opportunities he could have killed her? When he finally does kill her, why do it in front of everyone? I’m not saying this is a bad twist, but it wasn’t set up that well. It’s like the romance in The Lion King; if the filmmakers wanted this twist to be in the movie and have it work, they needed to work it in the story better.

Ironically enough, we sort of have the same problem in The Lion King. Scar had a perfect opportunity to kill Simba himself right after the stampede. Why the crud didn’t he? None of the reasons I hear ever really hold water, so it does become a plot hole. So, then, if both stories have the same story, is there a worse one? Well, in my opinion, I’d have to give the point to The Lion King. Why? Because in that movie, what you see is what you get.  The film as a whole cares about telling a good story. There’s symbolism in there and everything, but the filmmakers aren’t trying to throw any clever twists at you. In Frozen, they are. One twist works, but the other one, as I discussed, doesn’t. Again, if they wanted the twist, they should have worked it in better. It’s not clever otherwise. Therefore, point goes to The Lion King!

The Lion King - Paw Print

 

CHARACTERS: OK, so the score is all tied up. This category will be the deciding factor; let’s get back to the characters. This section gave me the hardest time because both films have a great cast of characters! I’ll admit it, I enjoy Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Hans, the Duke of Weselton, and Olaf. But I’ll always love Simba, Mufasa, Sarabi, Zazu, Scar, Timon, Pumbaa, Nala, Rafiki, and the hyenas! It is hard! They’re all fun, they support the story, they’re very relatable, and they’re timeless…Then again, are they?

This is actually where I was able to make the distinction. While I believe both casts are going to be timeless and beloved forever, I think the cast of The Lion King is more timeless. The cast of Frozen still feels modern. The language they use and their behaviors reminds me this film was made in the 2010s. Nowhere is this truer than in Anna. Her quirkiness and awkwardness really make her a product of this modern age we’re in now. “This is awkward. I mean, not this – not you. I’m awkward! You’re gorgeous. Wait, what?” You hear so people talk like that today. I’m not saying Anna or any of the other characters will be forgotten 20 years from her, but I do think this makes her at least a tad bit dated. When I watch the characters from The Lion King, I don’t get 1990s. I just see Simba. All I see is Timon. He’s just Pumbaa. They’re just Mufasa and Rafiki. They don’t  seem dated or a product of the ’90s. If it weren’t for that, this section would be a tie, causing this contest to be a tie. However, since the timeless factor rests more with The Lion King cast, I must give it to that film. Point goes to The Lion King!

The Lion King - Characters

 

CONCLUSION: Well, with a score of 3 to 2, The Lion King wins, becoming the better movie! Does that mean I hate or dislike Frozen? Not at all! I really like that film! And if you think Frozen is better than The Lion King, there’s nothing wrong with that either. For me, however, I can objectively and subjectively declare The Lion King as the better movie between the two! COME AT ME!

The Lion King

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MOVIE REVIEWS: The Little Mermaid (Ron Clements and John Musker, 1989)

The Little Mermaid

There’s no question that Walt Disney Animated Studios has given us some memorable and impactful films for nearly 80 years. There are iconic films that have definitely stood against the passage of time. One of those films is the picture that sparked the Disney Renaissance of the late ’80s/1990s, The Little Mermaid. It grossed over $212 million in the box office upon its release, and people are still talking about it 15 years after its cinematic premier. But how good is it? What’s good and bad about the film? That’s what this review is going to answer!

Since this is my first Disney review, let me tell you the 5 categories I will judge these movies on: the animation, the songs and music, the romance, the characters, and the story. With that being said, let’s start the review!

ANIMATION: The animation is one of the best things about the movie. It looks absolutely beautiful! Whether you like the movie or dislike this film, you can look at the animation and tell why it sparked the Disney Renaissance. The lighting, the colors, the fluent movement of the characters, the lining – it is just amazing. In some cases, it does look a bit dated, though. I think that might depend on what you’re watching the film on. If you’re watching a video release, of course it’ll look old. If you have a newly remastered DVD or Blu-Ray version, the movie might not look like it was made in the ’80s. I don’t know, there’s something about the way it was drawn and some of the shots that reads “1989” to me. Even then, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It still looks fantastic! If you can’t admire anything else in this movie, you should definitely admire the animation! The Little Mermaid Animation

SONGS/MUSIC: As with most Disney movies, the songs are some of the most memorable things about this movie. This is the first Disney film that has Broadway/showtune-type songs, and, apparently, it worked really well. It’s important to note that the songs were brought to us by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. These two had great success on Broadway and in Hollywood with some great hits, including the ever so popular musical, Little Shop of Horrors! Needless to say, I think they knew what makes a good musical, and they definitely brought it to this movie! Let’s talk about the songs one at a time:
1) Daughters of Triton: Oh yeah, that was a thing…Man, that song is forgettable. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhAPACQRr_w
2) Part of Your World/(Reprise): Ah, yes, one of the famous Disney “I Want” songs. Well, I must say, this is not a bad song. It does one of the things a song in a musical should do; it tells us how a character is feeling and what he/she wants. We clearly learn what Ariel is feeling and she obviously tells us what she wants…Though am I the only one who is tired of hearing characters use the phrase “I want more?” Could you clarify a bit what you mean by that? But I digress. She actually does tell us what she wants. The music is memorable. The tune is enjoyably catchy, and the orchestrations are great as well. I don’t enjoy the lyrics as much, but that’s not Howard Ashman’s fault. We’ll talk about that later.

3) Under the Sea: I wonder what the reasoning was for putting this song in the movie. It doesn’t do anything for the story or characters. We don’t learn about anyone, it doesn’t reveal anything, and we already know we’re in the sea; thus the song isn’t really needed. However, it is a lot of fun. The lyrics, the music, the tune, the singers – it’s all way too enjoyable. This is the movie’s Number One song for a reason. Everyone knows this song, most people love this song. While it’s not my favorite song, I have to admit I like this song as well…And it won the movie an Oscar.

4) Poor Unfortunate Souls: YEAH MAN! This song kicks butt! It’s just an incredible, awesome villain song – an incredible, awesome song period! THIS is my favorite song in the movie! It’s sung by a great character (who we’ll get to later), the lyrics are creative, and the music is wonderful! Not only that, but it does what songs in musicals are supposed to do: it progresses the story. We see Ursula convincing Ariel to go along with this obviously evil plan. Because of the lyrics and the pacing, we see Ursula’s menacing spirit, so one could argue it gives us character development as well. I love this song! It’s awesome!

5) Les Poissons: Like “Under the Sea,” I have to ask why was this song put in the movie? This song REALLY has nothing to do with anything. The character who sings this song is only shown twice in the movie, during this scene and again at the end. Not only that, but I really don’t remember it or enjoy it that much. It’s not bad, it’s just unnecessary. However, many people do enjoy this song, so maybe there is something there. As a stand alone song, I guess it’s alright. As a song in a musical, though, it’s definitely filler and could have been taken out.

6) Kiss the Girl: There’s not a whole lot I can say about this song. Unlike the last song, this is kind of necessary. It’s also beautiful to watch and listen to. It sounds nice, we see a romance happening, and it was even nominated for an Oscar.

ROMANCE: I don’t really know how to judge the romance in this movie. On one hand, Ariel fell in love with Eric at first sight. This, as we know, is a cliché that has been forsaken long ago, but that’s how Ariel falls in love. And, yes, I know Ariel spends time with Eric later, but did her feelings change at all? Did she love Eric more when she spent time with him? Not really. The same feelings she had for Eric at the beginning of the movie are the exact same feelings she has for him throughout the entire film. So…yeah, it seems pretty stupid in that regards. On the other hand, however, they do have a nice connection when they are together. It is rather nice just watching these two spend time together. As a matter of fact, it’s peculiar how Eric falls for Ariel since she can’t talk. It’s so strange, yet somehow charming. I give the romance a 6 out of 10.
The Little Mermaid Romance

CHARACTERS: I do have mixed feelings about the characters as a whole in this film, so let’s talk about them from first to worst:
1) Ursula – I LOVE Ursula! Gosh, if she were real, I’d marry her! If you read my Top 10 Favorite Disney Villains essay, you know this character is my second favorite Disney villain! She has attitude, she’s sassy, she’s direct, she’s an over-the-top drama queen! Not only that, but she’s menacing, conniving, and downright evil! I love it! I love her! For more details, go read my Top 10 Favorite Disney Villains essay.
The Little Mermaid Ursula
2) Sebastian and Scuttle – I put these two together because I have the same thing to say about the both of them: they’re fine. They’re supportive of our main character and the story, and they can have some funny moments. There are times I find them annoying, but they never become too annoying or unbearable. They’re not the best, but they’re not the worst either. They’re fine.
The Little Mermaid SebastianThe Little Mermaid Scuttle
3) Eric – I always say that Eric is like the earlier Disney princes, except he can talk. I don’t feel like I get a character from him. He’s nice and all, but what is he outside of that? What does he do? What does he enjoy? The later Disney princes (like Naveen and Flynn) definitely have a lot more character and personality to them. Eric? No, I’m still trying to figure out who he is.
The Little Mermaid Eric
4) Flounder – I don’t like Flounder. Why? First of all, he’s too cute. His design, his voice, his gestures and actions, his face – UGH! It’s too much! Secondly, I don’t like how he never says, “Hey, Ariel, maybe we shouldn’t do this! Didn’t your father say not to go to the land?” There’s not one moment in the film he thinks of the rule King Triton made. He just goes along with Ariel’s foolishness, and it’s annoying. Speaking of the king…
The Little Mermaid Flounder
5) King Triton – I didn’t see this film until the summer of last year, 2013. Prior to my seeing it, I heard a lot of people say how great King Triton is. I was expecting a sort of pre-Mufasa character: a great and loveable king and father. And…I sort of got that. My only problem with Triton is that the movie never gives us a reason why he doesn’t want Ariel to go to the surface. We as the audience have to relate to why he feels so strongly about this, and we’re never told what his motivation is for keeping Ariel under water. That makes him look really weak, and that’s not what I wanted from him. I like him, but there’s no reason for his actions, at least none the movie offers. And, I’m sorry, that’s really lame.
The Little Mermaid King Triton
6) Ariel – Alright, let’s get into it. I dislike Ariel with a passion. She’s selfish! If she had an option to take anything back, I don’t think she would! Why? Because not only did she know what she was doing (deliberately going behind her father’s back and disobeying him), but she got everything she wanted! Yes, despite her rebellion and causing so much trouble for everyone around her, she still got her precious Happily Ever After! What the crud? Her song “Part of Your World,” though it sounds nice, is basically her just whining about not being content with anything she has; and she won’t be satisfied until she has more! It wouldn’t bother me as much if it weren’t for the fact that Ariel is the main character – the character we’re supposed to learn from and identify with! What does she teach us? “Hey kids! If you do the opposite of what your parents say, you’ll live happily ever after! They’re just parents! Just because they’re older than you doesn’t mean they’re smarter or wiser or more experienced than you!” I’m not asking for her to be perfect, but I don’t think she learned a lesson in this film. When she apologizes to her father towards the end, I think she was saying that because Ursula caught her. If she didn’t mean any of the trouble she caused, she wouldn’t have caused it.
The Little Mermaid Ariel

STORY: I must admit, I’ve never read or heard the original Hans Christian Andersen version of this story, so I can’t really compare this movie to its original source material. On paper, the story is fine. It’s good, in fact. It’s interesting, and I want to follow it. I do have one problem with it, however, although this is more so a problem with the movie and not necessarily the story (if that makes any sense). What is the message of the film? I won’t harp on it again, but I don’t like what the movie is saying about teenagers making their own decisions or parenting or love. Between the message and Ariel, I find great and fantastic fault with this movie.
The Little Mermaid Story

CONCLUSION: Based on my annoyances with Ariel and the message, you’d think I’d hate this movie, right? Well, in all honesty, I don’t…I cannot for the life for me bring myself to say I like this movie, but I don’t hate it either. I think the reason for that is the good things I mentioned before are too good. The animation is great. The songs as a whole are good. The romance is enjoyable. Ursula is incredible, and worth the price of admission! In fact, I would like the movie a lot more if Ursula won! I think this movie is a guilty pleasure for me. I do find myself coming back to it often. However, the problems I have with it are some pretty big problems. If you like this film, there’s nothing wrong with that. I just have my own reservations about it. If the same things that bother me also bother you, this is not the movie for you.
The Little Mermaid 2

My Top 10 Disney Villains

Disney Villains
I’ll admit, it took me a long time to really appreciate Walt Disney animated films. I saw some of them as a kid, I liked them OK, but I always thought to myself, Where are the Muppet videos? After seeing a web series special called “Disneycember” (check it out on YouTube), I acknowledged these films as more than just popular entertainment for audiences or jobs for employees; I saw them as art and as a cultural phenomena. Not only did I quickly learn why these movies mean so much to so many people, but I also became a bigger fan than I previously was. Because of that, I began analyzing the formula a lot of Disney films have. As you all know, most of these films have a villain. I figured I’d share who my top 10 favorite villains are. Before I do so, keep the following in mind: 1) This is a list of my favorite villains, not the best Disney villains – there is a difference. 2) I still haven’t seen half the Disney films, like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (William Cottrell, 1937), Alice in Wonderland (Clyde Geronimi, 1951), or The Great Mouse Detective (Ron Clements, 1987). This may be one reason why your favorite villain(s) may not be on this list. 3) This is, as I said, my favorite villains’ list. I’m not saying you have to like any of these villains. I’m just letting you know which villains I like the most. With that being said, let the countdown begin!

Number 10: HADES from Hercules (Ron Clements and John Musker, 1997).
Hades Hades - Shakes Hercules' Hand
It took me a while figuring out who my tenth favorite villain would be. It finally came down to Hades. First of all, he is, in my opinion, the only good thing about Hercules! If you like this movie, that’s fine; but when I saw it for the first time last year, I was completely underwhelmed by it. The characters didn’t engage me, the songs are forgettable, and I don’t like the story. Hades definitely shined, though. He’s funny, clever, devious, and cunning. Secondly, I love his design! That picture above of Hades taking Hercules’ hand is absolutely great! That’s when both the animation and Hades show their true colors, and it is amazing! If Hades had won, I probably would have liked this movie a lot more. As it is, Hades is a great character!
FAVORITE LINE: “We dance, we kiss, we schmooze, we go home happy. What do you say? C’mon!”

Number 9: KING CANDY from Wreck-It Ralph (Rich Moore, 2012).
King Candy
I’ll be honest, I did not expect to like Wreck-It Ralph simply because it’s a Disney movie. But once I saw it, I was blown away! One of the reasons for this unexpected feeling is King Candy! The main reason I love him so much is because he’s the only Disney villain I know who’s evilness was a mystery to the audience upon his introduction in the film! That’s rare! Usually, other characters are blinded to the villainy taking place, but the audience can easily tell which character is the villain. Here, it takes a while for us to learn King Candy’s reasons for his actions. I love the back story he’s given – it was so perfectly blended in the story! And, of course, the character himself is a very interesting character. He’s charismatic, but his evilness will inevitably be revealed! This candy is definitely sour and bitter!
FAVORITE LINE: …I don’t have one yet. It’ll come later…

Number 8: PRINCE JOHN from Robin Hood (Wolfgang Reitherman, 1973)
Prince John 00 Prince John 01
How can you not enjoy Prince John? He’s such a classic funny villain! He’s a child who pouts and whines when he can’t have his way. The only difference between him and the children watching this film is that he’s a king, and he can take his anger out on an entire kingdom. The question I always asked myself was why does he want to make the citizens of Nottingham poor? I know he wants to be as rich as he can be, but he knows that his people are poor, and yet he taxes them an arm and a leg anyhow. How cruel can he be? Not only that, but after he takes all their money away, he puts them in jail for not being able to pay their taxes anymore! My word, what’s his problem? Despite his greediness and cruelness, however, he will resort back to his childish antics. He is a lot of fun!
FAVORITE LINE: “EGHHH! Mommy!”

Number 7: YZMA & KRONK from The Emperor’s New Groove (Mark Dindal, 2000)
Yzma and Kronk 00Yzma and Kronk 01
Anyone who is familiar with this movie knows that these two characters MAKE the film! They have got to be the king and queen of funny villains! It’s ironic, though, because in all honesty Yzma is probably the only villain. Kronk just follows her and does what she says. What makes these two stand out, obviously is the comedy. The filmmakers went as far as they could to make these two as funny as possible. You wouldn’t expect this type of movie or these characters from Disney, but the studio proved that they could make it; and they made a great funny movie! Often times, you kind of want the villain to win in a Disney movie if the lead character is anything less than good, or if the villain is unbelievably good. Here, I want the villains to lose because that’s where the best comedy is found in the movie. Watch Yzma’s expressions when something goes wrong. Look at Kronk, who is often the cause of Yzma’s demise. These two will have you split your sides laughing throughout the entire film!
FAVORITE LINE: “Pull the lever, Kronk!” *Kronk pulls a lever; Yzma falls down* “WRONG LEVER…!”
AND
“He’s gonna lead you down the path of righteousness. I’m gonna lead you down the path that rocks!”

Number 6: SCAR from The Lion King (Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, 1994)
Scar 00Scar 01
In my opinion, a villain has to do one of two things to have successfully done their job: they have to either make the audience love them or hate them. I mentioned how much I love the villains listed above, but I legit hate Scar. Why? Because HE KILLED MUFASA!!! That’s right, don’t act like you didn’t fall in love with Mufasa in the first third of the movie! He’s not only a great and powerful king, but he also became the best father Disney has ever known!…And Scar threw him off of a cliff…The douchebag…That’s not the only reason Scar is on this list, however. Unlike most Disney villains, who use magic and spells to get them what they want, Scar used his intelligence. He thought of a plan and implemented it perfectly. He knew just what to do, just what to say, and how to manipulate everything for his own diabolical purposes. Not only that, but he was willing to kill his own brother! I know I talked about him killing Mufasa already, but let’s move away from the fact that Mufasa is a great king and father; he’s Scar’s brother! Scar is willing to murder his own family to get what he wants. This is one bad kitty!
FAVORITE LINE: “…As far as brains go, I’ve got the lion’s share. But when it comes to brute strength, I’m afraid I’m at the shallow end of the gene pool.”

Number 5: GASTON from Beauty and the Beast (Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, 1991)
Gaston 00Gaston 01
Gaston, much like King Candy, is a character you wouldn’t expect to be a villain. If this were any other movie, he’d probably be the hero. This is what makes him a great character; he doesn’t start out as a villain. In the beginning of the film, he’s just an egotistical, self-centered jerk. His story arc is interesting because, as I discussed with my brother a few weeks ago, it’s his pride that causes him to become a villain. All the people in the town are so used to him getting what he wants, and yet Belle rejected him in front of everyone. He’s ashamed and publicly humiliated, and he doesn’t know how to take “no” for an answer. What’s ironic is that he could have any woman in the city – they all throw themselves at him. The only one he wants is Belle. Not only is he the type of character who would be the hero, but his motivation and objective are different than those you would normally see in Disney villains. Gaston is a gem.
FAVORITE LINE: “Here in town, there’s only she who is beautiful as me!”

Number 4: SHERE KHAN from The Jungle Book (Wolfgang Reitherman, 1967)
Shere Khan 00Shere Khan 01
There are two main reasons why I enjoy Shere Khan: 1) He is very proper and distinguished. He’s a dignified creature. You respect him, not just because he’ll rip you to shreds if you don’t (although that’s a good reason, too), but also because he’s respectable. The way he holds himself and the way he treats other people – you’d want to be with someone as classy and sophisticated as Shere Khan. 2) He is frightening! The characters built him up big time before his appearance in the movie – and we don’t even see him until half way or two-thirds into the movie! When he does arrive, he’s menacing! He’s vicious! He’s not afraid of anyone, thus no one intimidates him! It intimidates you how fearless he is! Shere Khan is one of Disney’s proudest villains.
FAVORITE LINE: “…You should also know that everyone runs from Shere Khan.”

Number 3: FROLLO from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, 1996)
Frollo 00Frollo 01
I don’t know where to begin with this man! He’s a murderer, a slaveholder, a pervert/rapist, a liar…and I’m sure he holds more titles that are causing him to break other Commandments! The reason this is great is because of the complications it gives him. He does all of these wicked deeds, not because he necessarily wants to, but because he doesn’t see the wrong in it. He convinces himself and others that everything he does is OK because God wants him to do it. Does that make him a good guy? No, he’s a hypocrite. However, I would argue that he’s not necessarily evil. I think he’s corrupt. For whatever reason, he thinks that all of his actions are holy and righteous – that he himself is holy and righteous. Most villains would admit to their sins as long as they get what they want; but he believes he has a spot in Heaven for being an upright man. It’s really sad and depressing when you think about it. However, his corruption gave The Hunchback of Notre Dame an edge that Disney didn’t really have before. For that, we love him!
FAVORITE LINE: “It’s not my fault, if in God’s plan; He made the Devil so much stronger than a man!”

Number 2: URSULA from The Little Mermaid (Ron Clements and John Musker, 1989)
Ursula 00Ursula 01
Oh my gosh, I am in love with Ursula! I mean it! If she were a living, Christian human being whose sole purpose was not taking over the underwater world, I would marry her! I am in love with her personality! She’s not just a bland villain who’s evil for the sake of being evil. She’s sassy, she has attitude, she has a style and elegance to her. She’s over the top like a Broadway star, but not too over the top that it’s annoying or unbearable. I know I said I’d marry her if she weren’t evil, but I do love how evil she is! She deceits, she lies, and she has shriveled up souls living on her floor and in her cupboards! That is awesome! Also, as I’m sure I’ll post later, I really can’t stand Ariel; I do not like her at all. Because of that, this is one of the times I’m rooting for the villain to win in the movie. Ursula is a lot of fun, and her “Poor Unfortunate Souls” number is my favorite song in the movie! I love it, and I love her!
FAVORITE LINE: “C’MON YOU poor unfortunate soul! Go ahead, make your choice!…If you want to cross a bridge, my sweet, you’ve got to pay the toll. Take a gulp and take a breath, and go ahead and sign the scroll. Flotsam, Jetsam, now I’ve got her, boys! The BOSS IS ON A ROLL! This POOR UNFORTUNATE SOUL!”

And my Number 1 favorite Disney villain is…

SHADOW MAN from The Princess and the Frog (Ron Clements and John Musker, 2009)
Shadow Man 00Shadow Man 01
My word…I just love this guy so much! I absolutely love this movie and our lead character, but the Shadow Man is such a great and fantastic villain, he still becomes my favorite character over Tiana! First of all, HE’S FRICKIN’ COOL!! Look at the style of his movements. Listen to how elegant his speech is, the way he delivers his dialogue. Watch how he interacts with the other characters – it’s just too cool! Second of all, when you watch him you’ll notice how animated he is. His movements are so big, quick, and expressive. A great example of this is when he’s talking to the other spirits and shadows, and he says, “Now we’re cookin’! We’re gonna find ourselves a frog!” He is so lively, and that is throughout the film! Third of all, I love how deliciously evil he is! Listen to how he talks to Tiana in their confrontation scene towards the end. He uses her own words against her; he tempts her to do what she knows she shouldn’t by convincing her it’s the right choice to make. The way he talks to her makes him sound like the Devil – that’s such a great villain! Fourth of all, Keith David; HELLO! Fifth of all, I love his death scene; it is amazing! It’s somewhat of a bittersweet moment for me because, as great of a scene as it is, I don’t want to say good-bye to the Shadow Man! Sixth of all, I LOVE HIS SHADOW!!! That’s such a great idea; his shadow is alive, and it affects everyone and everything around him by messing with their shadows! That is a genius concept! Relating to that, I know that I said earlier that Scar’s a great villain partially because he has no powers. However, the powers really serve Shadow Man here. There’s nothing he can’t do! He can alter the things and people around him, chance appearances, perform fantastic card tricks, and he can do so many other wonderful things with his magic! Last and finally, in my opinion, Shadow Man is the perfect villain. Why? Because the other villains I named were all the cause of their own downfall. Whether it was their pride, the fact that they weren’t looking at the death coming near them, they slipped and fell from great heights, or whatever the reason, they caused their own demise. The Shadow Man did not cause his downfall. If it weren’t for the other characters who altered his plan, he would have won. For example, if Tiana wasn’t roped into the situation, she wouldn’t have broken the talisman, and Shadow Man would have been running New Orleans. Despite his eventual demise, Shadow Man is definitely my favorite Disney villain!
FAVORITE LINE: “Aren’t you tired of always living on the margins, while all those fat cats in their fancy cars don’t give you so much as a sideways glance…?”

I’m sure you all have you favorite villains, characters, and movies. Leave a comment at the bottom and share your thoughts. Let me know what you think of my list and reasons; I’d love to hear from you. God bless you all, and I love you! BOOYIKA!