9 best Disney villains ranked from bad to evil

Disney villains are the unsung heroes of storytelling, adding flavor and challenge to the mix. Let's look at 9 of the best ones and see how they rank.

The Little Mermaid - Courtesy of Disney via Image.net
The Little Mermaid - Courtesy of Disney via Image.net /
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Disney villains are like the spice in your favorite dish - without them, the story would be just another boring fairy tale.

Imagine Scar not being the sly, power-hungry lion he is - The Lion King would just be Simba singing "Hakuna Matata" without any real problems. Or what about Ursula? If she wasn't around to make shady deals and steal voices, Ariel would just be swimming around, brushing her hair with a fork and crying over her father forbidding her from seeing Prince Eric. These, among other baddies, make sure our heroes have mountains to climb, giving us tales filled with drama, suspense, and lessons to learn.

Now, some villains are just born to be bad. Some whose evil comes from a place of desperation and betrayal. But, let's not forget about those who seem to stumble into their villainy by accident. Take the precious and iconic Hades - sure, he's got a temper and a grand plan to take over Mount Olympus, but you get the feeling he'd be just as happy if he could beat Zeus in a game of chess and call it a day.

The beauty of Disney villains isn't just in their wicked plans or catchy songs - it's in their ability to teach us about the shadows and the light within the world and ourselves. They show us that bravery isn't the absence of fear but the strength to face it, that love can conquer hatred, and sometimes, just sometimes, even the baddest of the bad can find redemption.

Let's look at 9 of my favorite (and least favorite) Disney villains and put them up against each other. From bad to absolutely evil, how do they rank?

9. Hans (Frozen)

Hans, a prime example of how red flags can be very easily hidden until they're not, grabs the 9th spot on the villain leaderboard.

This isn't because he's got magical powers or an army at his command, but because he's the king of the long con. With a smile that could thaw Elsa's ice castle, he waltzes into Arendelle and into our hearts, only to reveal his true colors as a master manipulator. What makes Hans stand out isn't brute strength, either - it's his chilling ability to charm and deceive. He's one of those. He's proof that you don't need a dragon or a magic wand to be a memorable villain and that, sometimes, a good old-fashioned betrayal does the trick.

Hans is one of those irredeemable jerks who teach us that the scariest villains might just be the ones who could pass as a friend.

8 . Grimhilde, the Evil Queen (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)

The bane of my existence - the reason 8 or 9-year-old me had an accident at the Snow White ride at Disney World decades ago, the reason why I still refuse to rewatch this movie.

Grimhilde, the Evil Queen, snags the eighth spot on our villainy leaderboard, not for lack of trying to be wicked, but because her villainous tactics are a tad old school. Sure, she's creepy and ugly as hell, but this queen's obsession with being the fairest of them all is the real catalyst here. It drives her to some pretty dark places, like hiring a hitman and dabbling in poison apple cuisine to kill a FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD CHILD because she's pretty. Luckily, her plans crumble faster than a poorly baked pie crust, or like the hill that ultimately ends her.

It's her vanity and jealousy that earns her a spot on the list, but compared to the heavy hitters of Disney villainy, she's playing in the minor leagues. She's still the ugliest, though.