Disney movies are responsible for some great villains, but many of them have truly messed up origins. The studio may be best known for the lovable and heroic lead characters that they've created throughout several decades of material, but characters like Simba, Ariel, or Mulan can only be that way if they have something - or rather someone - to oppose. Thanks to the recognition that the heroes receive, some of these villains can sometimes be overshadowed or not given large enough roles.
When Disney does put the time and energy into their villains though, they can turn out to be quite great. Scar is a very popular foe from The Lion King, as is Ursula from The Little Mermaid, but the list doesn't stop there. Jafar from Aladdin is incredibly creepy, Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians hates puppies, and Sid from Toy Story terrorized a whole generation of toys. For each of them, and many others, Disney used some strange origin stories.
In the latest Screen Rant video, we take a look at 25 famous Disney villains and explore just how truly disturbing some of their origins are. For instance, did you know that Gaston from Beauty and the Beast actually suffers from PTSD from the war, which is why he acts the way he does? That is just one of the examples raised in the video, but you can learn about the other 24 by watching the video featured at the top of this post.
As messed up as some of these origins are, not all of this is actually explicitly revealed in the films. Cruella's mother torturing her with Dalmatians makes her hatred for them more understandable, but that fact isn't included in the film itself. There's even examples included in here that are loosely part of the films, such as the queen from Snow White thinking that she eats the livers of young girls, which is just a bit too disturbing for a kids movie.
With Disney now in the business of remaking several of these animated films in live-action, it's been fascinating to see how they're adjusting these villains and their origins along the way. Maleficent received a major change by making her the star of her own movie, and Angelina Jolie is set to reprise the role later this year in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. We'll also see a new version of Scar in this summer's The Lion King, who's been made the runt of the litter. The changes don't stop there either, and hopefully Disney will keep finding new ways to make these villains more compelling.