There have been fifty-three animated features in the official Disney animated features list, not including Pixar cartoons and any movies released under the many other studios and brands owned or run by Disney over the years. Fifty-three movies in nearly eighty years, and so many Disney Villains, sometimes more than one in a single movie. Disney Villains can fall into typecasting, just as any well-established character type can: thats certainly what happened with villains like Hades in the Hercules movie, who (despite the wit in James Woods voice performance) was the most cliched Disney Villain in years. But there are many other Disney Villains who managed to avoid the pitfalls of becoming a stale, boring stereotype: who were scarier, or nastier, or weirder, or, frankly, darker and more disturbing than they had any right to be, in a cartoon for children. Those are the Disney Villains we loved to hate, the ones that kept us up at night when we were kids, but also kept us coming back to watch them get their comeuppance again and again and again. This article is dedicated to the worst of the worst, the blackest hearts and beastliest creatures in the Disney Villain pantheon...
15. Shan Yu - Mulan (1998)
The nomadic tribes of the Hun are invading China, and the Emperor has commanded a man from every family to join the army to oppose them. Thats when Mulan, fearful for her aged fathers life should he return to the battlefield, decides to pose as a man and sign up instead of him, assisted by a tiny dragon afflicted with the voice of an incredibly irritating stand-up comedian. Shan Yu is the huge, bloodthirsty ruthless leader of the Hun barbarians, a cruel army of giants from the steppes. Utterly merciless, he cares not for human life, or for the fact that he looks like an eeeevil Hulk Hogan. He jokes about murdering soldiers as they run away, and is set to wipe out every village and town he passes on the way to the Imperial City, including killing men, women and children. Of course, whats far worse is that Shan Yu, as huge and fearsome as he is, is really only representative of the violence and oppression of the times. Two millennia ago, sh*theel warlords like Shan Yu were ten a penny, and not every culture had a fierce warrior woman of legend with a winged stand-up comedian sidekick to protect them probably only about 68% of them, in fact. The other 32% had to make do with farmboys with royal blood, anthropomorphic animals with kung fu powers, and Dwayne The Rock Johnson.
Professional writer, punk werewolf and nesting place for starfish. Obsessed with squid, spirals and story. And pro wrestling, which is both a blessing and a curse depending on exactly how bad RAW is this week. I tweet nonsense under the name Jack The Bodiless at @desincarne. You can follow me all you like, just don't touch my stuff.