It’s not easy being a Disney villain, and as such most diabolical dude or dudettes tend to enlist a little extra help to fulfill their dubious plots. Some baddie sidekicks help their master's evil schemes because of stupidity and ignorance. Others do it because they are horrible cretins themselves, some even more so than their boss!
So in this list, we are going to count down five Disney classic animation henchmen (or women, or animal or…something else) who are truly evil and five who truly aren’t. Spoilers ahoy!
10 Evil: Anastasia & Drizella, The Wicked Step Sisters
Anastasia and Drizella are utterly abusive to their step-sister, Cinderella. On top of forcing her to do all the housework and chores, they degrade and bully her whilst doing so, and this is before they even have anything to gain from it!
Clearly jealous that young Cinders may show them up with her beauty at the prince's ball, their most heinous act is taking turns to tear their orphan step-sibling's ball gown to pieces whilst simultaneously verbally abusing her. The sequence is actually quite nasty, especially for old school Disney!
9 Aren’t: The Hyenas
OK - technically, Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed, collectively know as the hyenas from The Lion King, did play their part in the assassination of a monarch and the attempted murder of his infant son, and they do enjoy the odd Nazi-style goosestep during a passionate speech (that Scar sure knows how to work a room), but you need to see things from their perspective. They have been banished to live in an elephants graveyard. Their home is literally made up of the rotting corpses of giants.
One could hold a little resentment towards a power that imposes such a fate, so when a sassy British Lion comes along proposing a plan that will grant food, water and hygienic living you can see why they side with him. Then when it turns out that leader wasn’t all he appeared to be, you tear him apart in one of the most brutal Disney fatalities of all time! Hyenas gotta eat!
8 Evil: Fidget The Bat
Basil, The Great Mouse Detective is a rodent rendition of Sherlock Holmes and every Holmes needs their Moriarty! Basil’s comes in the form of Ratigan, whose right-hand bat is Fidget, a beer-drinking, baby dressing, child stealing creepy so and so. Thanks to a peg leg and deteriorated wing, Fidget can’t fly and this factor, plus his most heinous attempted act, proves to be his undoing.
Suggesting they chuck young child mouse Olivia off an airship so he and Ratigan can make a speedier escape, Ratigan responds by giving Fidget the boot instead. Crime doesn’t pay kids.
7 Isn't: Sir Hiss
Disney’s Robin Hood came about during a weird time where Disney characters were kind of played by other Disney characters. Balloo is clearly Little John, and Kaa is clearly Sir Hiss, complete with hypnosis powers.
A voice in the ear of Prince John (the phony king of England), Sir Hiss may appear to be quite vile, however his reaction of horror when John suggests murdering Friar Tuck shows that Hiss does have a limit to the dirty deeds he is willing to do, and slaughtering peaceful church folk isn’t one of them!
6 Evil: Iago
Most animal henchmen can claim ignorance when it comes to being wicked. For example, Hayabusa from Mulan, despite being a nasty piece of work, can be forgiven as he is a pet Falcon and was probably trained in his vicious ways by his master Shan Yu. Jafar’s feathered friend Iago cannot claim the same ignorance.
The loudmouth parrot shouts and screams all through Aladdin and not in the same way as a normal scarlet macaw. Iago is sentient and desires gold and glory, not a cracker! Gilbert Godfrey screaming voice provides the perfect tone for his obnoxiousness. Iago actually does a Vader and turns to the light-side at the end of the Aladdin sequel, Return Of Jafar; however, in the original, he is pure evil until the end.
5 Isn't: Mr. Smee
Mr. Smee is the first mate of the Jolly Roger and quite the bumbling, lovable soul. Although he is loyal to his Captain, James Hook, he does try to divert his commanding officer away from his life of self-destructive vengeance towards the Lost Boys of Neverland. Smee would much rather be sailing the seven seas living the pirate's life than murdering children.
Yes, whilst Smee does worryingly bring up “slitting peoples throats” a few times during the film, one of those times is as a suggestion of a more humane way of killing Peter Pan rather than blowing him up, so he can’t be all bad.
4 Evil: Flotsam & Jetsam
Flotsam and Jetsam are two evil eels and sidekicks to The Little Mermaid's main antagonist Ursula. They don’t have a cute song or jovial “schtick.” They are just two evil, sinister, spooky sea creatures who float in and out of the shadows performing their mistress’s sinister wishes and scaring the living bejeezus out of any child watching the film. Most adults as well, to be fair. Pure nightmare fuel.
3 Isn't: LeFou
Short and dumpy LeFou’s only real crime in Beauty and the Beast is having a man-crush on the most popular guy in town, despite being punched and smacked around the head with gun-barrels in return. In fact, the entire town seems to be in love with Gaston singing his praises to the point they even have a song and dance routine worked out around his neck muscles, cleft chin and hunting abilities.
LeFou does storm the Beast's castle with the rest of the townspeople, but that's because they believe that the monster has kidnapped Belle and is forcing her to live there as some kind of sadistic prisoner. Actually, there is no misunderstanding here. Let’s be honest here people, that is exactly what the beast did!
2 Evil: The “Friends On The Other Side”
The Princess And The Frog’s Dr. Facilier is probably one of the most underrated Disney villains, and as such, has one of the best villain songs “Friends On The Other Side.” As well as own mischievous shadow Facilier’s aforementioned “friends” aren’t dopey short rotund men, comical animals or misguided creatures.
They are literal demons who possess voodoo masks and dolls, transform into snakes and are intent on nothing more than feasting upon human souls. You can’t get more evil than that!
1 Isn't: Kronk
Topping the list for bad guy besties with a heart of gold, to nobodies surprise, is Kronk from The Emporer's New Groove. Kronk isn’t evil, in fact, he is far from it. He cares for the elderly, is great with kids, is an awesome chef and has the muscles of a god.
Konk would be the perfect man if he wasn’t thicker than Winnie The Pooh’s honey! Kronk is so lovable, he is the only Disney henchperson to receive their own feature-length spin-off in the straight to video Kronk’s New Groove. That’s gotta be saying something for his likability!