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Who’s the meanest of them all: Disney’s most evil villainesses that give Cruella strong competition

A list of Disney’s five most evil villainesses who are almost as ‘good’ as Cruella de Vil

Harshita Alok Sharma
May 23, 2021
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The warm and fuzzy feeling you get at the end of a Disney movie is precious, but you know what’s even better? Watching a Disney villain absolutely crush it by being the meanest, baddest and the most chaotic element of a plot that would otherwise be a snoozefest.

Disney has given audiences some powerful villains to hate (like Scar from The Lion King), but the power that a villainess holds is beyond measure. She inspires fear, conspires so much better in her multi-dimensional evil plans, and has a vengeance that never seems to die. Cruella de Vil, one of Disney’s most popular villainesses, imbibes all of these aspects and then some more. She’s sassy, she’s beyond fashionable - a true revolutionary in her endeavours, might we add - and she’s unafraid of leaving her city a wreck if that allows her to reach her full potential as the epitome of malice and villainy. Emma Stone, leaning more towards her Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) angsty persona with a decent mix of her conniving self from The Favourite, is all set to bring this villainess back in Cruella on Disney+ Hotstar on May 28.

At OTTPlay, we’re celebrating the sheer brilliance of Cruella’s evil by noting some of Disney’s most memorable villainesses over the years:

Ursula - The Little Mermaid (1989) | Disney+ Hotstar

Not only is Ursula the most recognised Disney villainess, she’s also the most evil. Drenched in all things wicked, Ursula causes real problems in the life of her enemies with her intimidating personality. She steals voices, stirs trouble and ensures that her ends are met ultimately.

Mother Gothel - Tangled (2010) | Disney+ Hotstar

Mother Gothel - Tangled

If you’re able to pretend to be a caring mother for years, steal a baby just to preserve your youth, and lock her up when she grows up knowing fully well what you’re doing, you’re only scratching the surface of what it’s like to be Mother Gothel. Her evil is veiled by her appearance of being kind and that makes her a dangerous individual.

The Evil Queen - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) | Disney+ Hotstar

The Evil Queen - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Every child has known The Evil Queen to be the first Disney villainess. Her obsession with beauty and vanity is so overpowering that it motivates her to kill Snow White simply because the latter is more beautiful. She doesn’t even have a legit reason for being the way she is and that is the most horrific aspect of her personality.

Sharpay Evans - High School Musical (2006) | Disney+ Hotstar

Sharpay might not be the first villainess one thinks of in the Disney universe, but she certainly is the most modern spin on a teenage girl who loves brewing trouble. Over the years, Sharpay has emerged to be a legendary character - her blatant disrespect for people (and their relationships), her sense of entitlement that demands everything she wants to be delivered to her, and her diminished sense of morality make her the perfect evil highschooler queen bee.

Yzma - The Emperor’s New Groove (2000) | Disney+ Hotstar

Yzma in The Emperor's New Groove

Yzma is funny, eccentric and one of a kind. But she is no fool - her desire for power and domination leads her to manipulate Emperor Kuzco and take control of his decisions in the slyest way possible. Her ambition is large and she is undeterred in her attempts to become the Empress of the Incan Empire. She’s not the scariest villainess on this list, but she’s certainly the most memorable.

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