Disney has a way of creating characters so memorable that they remain firmly embedded in pop culture. For example, everyone knows who Snow White is, although the character first appeared on the silver screen in 1938. But more importantly, everyone still remembers who the Evil Queen is. In fact, some of Disney's villains are so iconic that those are the characters that many fans prefer over the heroes.
Forget princesses, it's the villains that rule Disney.
Think about it: who is more notable than Jafar, the dastardly sorcerer who wanted to steal the genie's power for himself? Or Maleficent, who could turn herself into a massive dragon? How about Scar, who terrified us when he told Simba to run away? Or Ursula, who convinced Ariel to give up her voice for a pair of legs? Or Cruella deVil, who wanted to kill puppies and turn them into fur coats? These are the most dastardly villains to ever appear in movies, much less films targeted at families and children.
These villains have inspired hundreds of fan artists to take the original designs and turn them up a notch.
Here are 15 Crazy Disney Villain Redesigns Way Better Than The Movies.
15 Realistic Cruella De Vil
"Cruella De Vil. Cruella De Vil. If she doesn't scare you, no evil thing will." This villain is so evil that she has her own song, but what would one expect from someone whose last name is literally "devil"?
She first appeared in the animated movie 101 Dalmations, and then got a live-action makeover, with Glenn Close taking on the role. And yet again, it seemed that Disney used the villain in the movies for comic relief, although Cruella is terrifying: she wants to kill puppies to make a fur coat out of them. That's pretty dark.
This depiction of Cruella, though, by artist Fernanda Suarez captures a Cruella that seems so real, so elegant and yet, also so scary. This is a woman that dogs would run from, with good reason.
14 Steampunk Evil Queen
As far as character design goes, the Evil Queen was fairly simplistic, but she did appear in the first full-length animated movie way back in 1938. Animation has come a long way since Snow White. But the character remains permanently affixed in Disney fans' minds because she was just so incredibly evil (and they loved her for it).
Here she gets reimagined by Jasinai as a steampunk version of herself, in such a way that fans might hope that Disney decides to remake Snow White and the Seven Dwarves as a live-action steampunk-inspired movie (seriously, they would throw money at such a venture). We love all the details here that make up who the character is: check out the small vial of poison dangling from the hand holding the apple. Mirror, mirror, on the wall, indeed!
13 Female Jafar
Who doesn't love (or hate) Jafar? He was a thin and old wicked man who wanted to steal the city of Agrabah away from Jasmine's father and use the genie's power for himself to control everyone. He was so evil that his only friend was Iago, a parrot that Jafar kept around so he could have someone around to manipulate and torture on a daily basis.
But what if Jafar were a woman? What if he were a woman that looked like this piece of art by Wendy Chew? We really love the art style here, although Jafar looks more cute than villainous. But maybe that's better - because who would ever suspect this adorable woman dressed in a harem outfit to be so evil?
12 Spooky Ursula
The Little Mermaid's Ursula was already terrifying: she was the evil sea hag that Ariel went to for help to win the heart of Prince Eric. But Ursula made a deal with Ariel for the latter's voice and then tried to use that voice to win the prince for herself.
This artwork by Jose Andres depicts an Ursula who's even scarier than how she appeared in animated form, with a smile that pretty much confirms that she eats children for breakfast. With Ursula are her faithful lackeys, Flotsam and Jetsam, the pair of eels that are always up to no good. This version of Ursula nearly glows with malevolence: it oozes out of her pores, warning merfolk to stay far away. Ariel should have heeded that warning.
11 Terrifying Queen of Hearts
What's more terrifying than a woman in charge consistently yelling "Off with their heads!" and meaning it? And yet, in the Alice in Wonderland animated movie, this woman, the Queen of Hearts becomes a buffoon of a villain for me movie viewers to laugh at. Even in the live-action films by Tim Burton, the Queen of Hearts is more of a character meant for comic relief than anything else. Did anyone really ever fear her?
This Queen of Hearts would make any adventuring girl think twice about crossing her. The Queen of Hearts by Asuncion Macian Ruiz uses the blood of her enemies as the mask for her face and she even has horns coming out of her ears. Make sure those roses get painted red... or else!
10 Young Madame Medusa
Disney seems to think that its female villains should mostly consist of middle-aged women one might once have considered past their prime. Madame Medusa from The Rescuers was one such woman, drawn as a frumpy older lady with a penchant for diamonds. She masterminded the kidnapping of a little orphan girl, Penny, so that she could use the girl to help her find the world's largest diamond (only a girl could fit into the small space where the treasure lies).
But imagine a younger Madame Medusa, as envisioned here by Paula Franco. She might not look quite as scary, but she definitely looks like she could organize a criminal treasure hunting scheme a lot better. Maybe this version of the character wouldn't have scared Penny so much.
9 Female Frollo
Monseigneur Claude Frollo spent much of his time in The Hunchback of Notre Dame stalking around the church while leering in an entirely inappropriate way at Esmerelda, the gypsy girl who befriended Quasimodo, the hunchbacked man who has lived in the cathedral his entire life.
Frollo was evil as a man, but here he gets reinvented as a woman by BATMAB, and, for some reason, that makes him even scarier. The scowl seems more villainous, and the dress is indicative of the robes that Frollo wore in the film, but again, are somehow better. That also makes the personality a little more devious, because this was a time period when powerful women manipulated men behind the scenes because they couldn't do so in public. Who knows what this Frollo is up to?
8 Showgirl Yzma
Yzma is one of those villains that doesn't get enough credit. For starters, she had the voice of Eartha Kitt, one of the most iconic actresses and singers ever. Second, she's not just evil, she's also funny and thinks she's the most beautiful woman in all of creation despite looking like a reanimated corpse. Yzma comes up with some of the best plans in the history of villainy, but still somehow manages to miss the details to make those plans go off without a hitch.
This version of Yzma, by artist Astrid Vega, really captures the personality so perfectly. Yzma would think she was beautiful enough to be a glamorous cabaret singer or showgirl, but we still have to admire the fact that she has a lot of respect for herself, right?
7 Captain Hook and his scars
It's no secret that many fans' favorite depiction of Captain Hook is by Colin O'Donoghue, who plays a reimagined version of the character on Once Upon A Time. Sure, that Hook isn't very villainous at all, and has a lot of redeeming qualities, but fans still love him all the same. The first time Disney portrayed the character, though, was in Peter Pan, which gave fans a Captain Hook worthy of being frightened of: this Captain Hook wanted to kill Peter Pan and his friends. The same goes for the version fans got in the live-action movie Hook.
This version of the pirate by hellcorpceo is a lot more realistic. As a pirate, Hook has seen some things. And anyone who has seen Black Sails know that pirates often got caught and whipped. This is a Hook with scars.
6 Chernabog as Darth Vader
Chernabog isn't necessarily one of Disney's most known villains, but the demon is horrifying nonetheless. Based on a god from Slavic mythology, he only put in one appearance in the "Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria" segment of Fantasia. In that piece, he summons up his dancing evil minions, then he starts throwing them into the fiery pit of a mountain while they dance. Yikes!
He is the embodiment of pure evil in his depiction, so it's hard to improve upon that. But this piece of art by Richard manages to keep that original ideal of Chernabog by turning him into Darth Vader, another embodiment of pure evil (at least until he wasn't). It's so perfect because Vader would probably throw many of his minions into a volcano, too.
5 Female Hades
Hercules is probably not one of Disney's most beloved films, but fans still love the main villain, Hades, as much as they love Jafar, Ursula, and the Evil Queen. Hades was hip and fun, in addition to being voiced by James Woods: what's not to love?
Drawn from the character from Greek mythology, this blue-haired character is still one of Disney's best villains of all time. But imagine if Hades were a different gender, as in this artwork by Sakimichan. This is a Hades fans could still get behind, maybe even more so. The details are all there: the flaming blue hair and skull accessories.
Hades is also certainly more appealing, which might have led Hercules into even more trouble: never trust a pretty face, right?
Here's another piece by artist Sakimichan, as well as another reimagined gender for a famous Disney villain. Maleficent was so misunderstood in Sleeping Beauty, where she got depicted as an evil sorceress out for Aurora's blood, but in the live-action movie Maleficent, moviegoers saw a different side of the character: a young fairy wronged by a mortal who had every reason to cast the sleeping spell on the princess.
This piece of art imagines that version of the character as a male, and it is actually quite stunning. Here, Maleficent looks like the King of the Fairies, ready to take the kingdom back from the world of mortals who ruin everything that they touch. This version of the character also looks a lot more evil.
3 Young Mother Gothel
In Tangled, Mother Gothel captures Rapunzel and keeps her in a tower because of the princess' magical hair. That hair helps Gothel maintain her youth and beauty. But in the animated feature, Mother Gothel isn't really all that young and beautiful. She comes across as yet another bitter middle-aged woman who doesn't have many striking features.
This piece of art by Elias Chatzoudis, though, shows a Mother Gothel that's more like what she probably wished she looked like after going to all that trouble of taking care of Rapunzel in the tower all those years. If this is what eternal youth and beauty actually looks like, most women would want to sign up, right? This version, though, is probably a little too sexy for Disney.
2 Shiva Queen of Hearts
Disney fans are already familiar with the more cartoonish versions of the Queen of Hearts from its Alice in Wonderland movies (both animated and live-action), but what if she didn't look so odd, but appeared as some sort of goddess instead? This is the most powerful woman in Wonderland, so it is a little weird that Disney put so much effort into making her so laughable after all.
We like this version of the character by dyadav that imagines the character in a completely different way. Here, the Queen is young and beautiful and has a sense of royal intrigue about her. We also like the Shiva treatment with the multiple arms, suggesting that this is quite possibly a supernatural being - someone far removed from mortals like Alice.
1 Female Doctor Facilier
Thanks to Disney's The Princess and the Frog, moviegoers got introduced to one of the most fun Disney villains to ever exist: the wonderfully evil, yet charismatic, Dr. Facilier. The voodoo witch doctor had evil plans to take New Orleans for himself so that he could run the city. He also comes up with a pretty complex plan that uses magic to turn Prince Naveen into a frog and another man into Naveen.
In voodoo, it's women who generally rule the roost. So what if Dr. Facilier was a woman, as imagined here by Ariella? This is pretty much exactly what he would look like. Sure, she doesn't look evil, but that's part of what makes her evil so fun: you never see it coming. This is one woman who could rule New Orleans with an iron fist.
What's your favorite reimagined Disney villain? Share in the comments!