Favourite Disney villain.

Someone wrote…

I just watched the “Be Prepared” bit from The Lion King for the first time in years.

I never realized how big an influence on my mannerisms and gestures was Scar. Seriously, his motions and mannerisms can get so…queer!

Makes a certain amount of sense, since Scar was always one of my favourite Disney villains.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on August 18th, 2010 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 25 comments »

25 Responses to “Favourite Disney villain.”

  1. Elle

    My favorite villain was always Ursula the Sea Witch. As an adult, I know the character is loosly based on the drag queen Divine, but as a child all I knew was that the magic squid lady could make me a real girl from the waist down.


  2. juilan

    @Elle *dies from cute*


  3. Elle

    I can’t even watch The Little Mermaid anymore. I know it isn’t about gender, but it is about social roles and physical transformation. Imagine Ariel as a transwoman instead of a mermaid. Her secret collection, disapproving friends, the violent father, a dangerous operation in secret, trying to pass, eventual discovery and revulsion… at least the Disney version has a happy ending.


  4. Nick

    Brian safi has a great review of gay villains on That’s gay:


  5. JayVon

    Haha, my favourite was Jaffar. He had a similar imperial, arch flamboyance going on.


  6. Alex

    It’s sad to me that it’s only the villains in Disney movies that have queer mannerisms. It’s just one more influence telling kids that defying conventional gender roles is wrong…


  7. Anonymous

    @Elle: there is actually some researchers who believe that HC Andersen (the original author) wrote The Little Mermaid as a metaphor for their own transsexualism


  8. Juan

    Favorite Disney villain? Definitely Cruella De Vil! She’s so fashion-oriented and classy! Both in the cartoon and (specially) in the live-action movie, where she’s portrayed by Glenn Close.

    Now… my favorite animated character EVER is Bugs Bunny. He’s charming, witty, and he always pulls it off! Oh… and did I mention he’s a cross-dresser too?… speaking of childhood influences!



  9. kendall

    Oh alex, get the hell off your high horse…
    Do you REALLY think that bagera and baloo raising an adopted son while their snake frienemy lisped and hissed at their arrangement WAS NOT queer?

    Do you REALLY think bambi’s little skunk friend who was male being named flower, was not genderplay?

    Do you really think the fact that disney often casts random gay [out or not, we know they’re queer] actors, like ellen in finding nemo and rosie in tarzan? Terk is totally androgynous until the mom ape calls her young lady, and she’s definitely one of the boys, albeit a catty one.


    However: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ya-95pqaWk epiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiic


  10. J

    kendall, they could hire an all-gay voice cast, with all-gay animators and crew, and their treatment of effeminate villains versus macho heroes would be just as homophobic and misogynistic. (Let’s not forget the vilifying of feminine males begins with the subordination of femininity as a whole.)

    That’s one of the things I liked about Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along blog: The “hero” character was your typical hyper-hetero macho man, but it was portrayed in a negative light. Here’s hoping that’s the beginning of a turning tide for gender subtext in fiction.


  11. kendall

    Mulan ended up in drag, she was brave and awesome, she stepped outside of the box she was placed into to do good for others. I think she’s positive.

    I think a “bear” and his male friend adopting a child is fantastic, it wasn’t long term, but I mean junglebook had some serious gay themes, there was awkward drag in the king louie scenes.

    I think in some instances, it’s not just the princess or female lead [because if I say heroine I know people would say they’re portrayed as weak and cause dramas] but the “female lead” to me often saves the “hero” as much as he saves her, if they’re in a dire situation, its usually team work that allows them to prevail, I think the same could be said of any successful partnership

    I don’t think that the princes are really that masculine, most of them don’t even possess the ability to grow facial hair, I see them all as pretty metrosexual actually.


    Levi replied:

    The King Louie thing is more racist than gender-bendy, sadly. (Think Louie Armstrong.) Urk.

    Too bad, because I still totally adore large chunks of that movie. I never saw Bagheera and Baloo as a queer couple, but that interpretation is glorious! And Kaa! *dead of awesome*


  12. Anonymous

    Ursula scared me more than any other Disney villain, I think because she stole Ariel’s voice.


  13. Gabriel/Sam

    I love where this all has gone in the comments, I’m going to watch some movies very differently now :)


  14. Erica (the photo curator)

    @Alex and the author of this post: I knew for a long time that I tended to like the villains in movies best, but it wasn’t until recently that I understood why!


  15. kendall

    Personally I always hated gaston the most, because he killed animals, misogyny aside, he killed animals! O the priorities of a child who didn’t eat meat


  16. A

    Well, now I feel like a jerk for liking Frollo the best… Oh well, he got the best song.

    Also, now I have to go re-watch all my old Disney movies! Especially Bambi. No wonder Flower was my favourite. :P


  17. blablah

    Alex! “It’s sad to me that it’s only the villains in Disney movies that have queer mannerisms. It’s just one more influence telling kids that defying conventional gender roles is wrong…”

    haha – that’s sadly true for quite a few other films, as well. once you notice the archetype – you see them everywhere! we discussed this in a film studies class a few years ago – after watching some films which featured some old school camp nazis.

    But I think it makes it all the more exciting for the kids to defy conventional gender roles, ‘cos it’s all the more forbidden.

    anyway. fave villain?
    Wasn’t there a really cool evil queen in sleeping beauty?
    or was it a witch?
    she had this awesome imperious, overly made up, ice queen persona going on…


  18. Anonymous




  19. kendall

    also the redqueen seems butch as hell, even in a dress…but is married to a man, she is emotionally as well as physically abusive to and is more powerful than him in both size and personality? I’d like to say as woman’s lib. goes that would be a step forward to see a queen more powerful than a king…however…its probably one of those things you’d think were negative long term


  20. Jasper

    I gotta say that Professor Rattigan was always my favourite Disney villain. Definitely the queerest :D Or maybe he was just a fellow fop? Anyway, allegedly most of the movements Rattigan made were ones that Vincent Price himself made while recording XD


    A replied:

    Oh man, really? That’s so awesome! One more reason for me to love Vincent Price.


  21. Anonymous

    There is an unfortunate trope of villianous swishy guys

    This may start to turn around, but at least this is better than the 1 dimensional joke charcters that seem to be all the rage (eg Jack McFarland)


    Juan replied:

    One more evidence supporting the old showbiz claim that playing the villain is always more fun!


  22. evee

    What about that movie… about the star who falls and becomes a lady… ummm
    The pirate captain ( good guy) is a cross dresser
    and has both traditionally masculine and traditionally feminine mannerisms


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