Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Most Powerful Disney Villains

So I finally saw Moana, which was decent, if pat. But it got me thinking about what makes a good Disney villain, and then thinking about which were most powerful. So here's my ranking, open for debate, of Disney's top ten most powerful villains.

Notably, regular human types are essentially absent, and everyone on the list will have some sort of incredible or supernatural ability. Which brings us to our honorable mention:

Honorable Mention:

Yokai – Big Hero 6. The ability to control robots with your mind makes Yokai a phenomenally powerful adversary. In the realm on non-magical humans it is close to a supernatural ability. Arguably he could devastate some of the people on the list. But one incantation and – poof – your mind robots are now daisies.

10. Evil Queen

The Evil Queen from Snow White has a rather limited sort of magic – one of spells and incantations. And she uses it, destructively, on herself. Time, preparation, the need for ingredients – these all relegate her to the final spot on the list.

09. Tamatoa

The crab is able to beat the crud out of a demigod, which is pretty significant power. But…he’s a giant crab. Super strength can only go so far, and his vanity and laziness put him in a passive role. He could still easily destroy / eat a Gaston-level villain, though. So he gets a nod.

08. Madam Mim

Mim has incredible power of transformation – but she only uses it in a very limited way. Even when she uses her anamorphic skills to become a dragon her shortsightedness still undoes her. Lacking ambition, creativity, and other traits, restricts her. Could probably take Tamatoa, though.

07. Ursula

Ursula has phenomenal power once she achieves the power of the trident. But she’s significantly handicapped – she only has control over the ocean, and while storms and gigantism are not nothing…she is defeated fairly easily even at the height of her powers. Being water-bound also means easier to escape.

06. Doctor Facilier

Facilier’s sight into the past, and people’s desires, is tremendous. He also seems to possess a number of smaller magical abilities – but they all come at too steep a price. Being tied to his magical talisman, he is vulnerable. Further need of support for these gifts, which can be (and are) rescinded makes him only as powerful as his ‘friends’ will allow.

05. Maleficent

No need for spells or items of power here. Maleficent has incredible dark magic within her - she can control whole kingdoms, transform into a dragon, and summon her army of (stupid) demons. More impressive – she is not sidetracked. No distractions: she doesn’t let vanity, laziness, or a lust for power blind her from her purposes and goals.

04. Chernabog

He’s limited in a couple of critical ways – he only has power of the dead for a single night of the year – which is phenomenal, but also, seemingly, he's geographically hampered by his need to stay on his mountain. And then, you know, dawn. Since he’s only a conscious, empowered entity for that one eve, though, he could probably take most comers, even Maleficent, when he’s alive.

03. The Horned King

What’s better than controlling the dead for a night? Controlling them for longer than a night! Assuming he steered clear of Chernabog that one night, he could wreak havoc and rule the land with his undead army for the rest of the year. He would be difficult to oppose, although he is constrained by his item – the necromancer’s black cauldron. Still…compared to singing nuns and dawn…

02. Jafar

“The universe is mine to command! To control!” With universe-wielding might, Jafar-as-genie is the most powerful villain in terms of outright capacity. The servitude – the cuffs on the wrist – are what limits him. In the right hands he could destroy essentially any enemy. But in the hands of another he can only use his powers for their beneficent purposes, hamstringing his villainous nature. And, you know, itty bitty living space.

01. Hades

As a literal god Hades is pretty difficult to beat in a fair fight. He suffers from Movie Villain Syndrome, true (why not destroy Hercules by sending all of your beasties at once?) Yet he is a pretty good strategist, for example, using the Titans to help with his overthrow of Olympus. His literal hot temper is a drawback, but not a significant one. He gets very close to achieving his goal. Only another godlike power can vanquish him, making him the most powerful of Disney villains.

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