RANKED! Our Favorite Female Disney Villains in Live-Action Movies
Villains are essential characters in any film worth watching. Without a villain, you have no conflict, and therefore, no story. Though the name Disney conjures sappy fairytales, the entertainment brand has actually mastered the art of creating villains audiences “boo” for. There’s nothing viewers love more than to triumph over evil, even if only vicariously. We have a handful of favorite villains, all of them female, and all of them prominently featured in recent or forthcoming Disney live-action remakes. Check out our picks and see if you agree. Are these the wickedest of them all?
Cover Photo: Walt Disney Pictures
7. Emma Stone in 'Cruella'
Can Emma Stone do sinister? We'll have to see it to believe it. (And we'll have to wait to 2021 to see it.) Still, we have high hopes for Stone's interpretation of a fur-crazed maven in this modern, live-action take on the cuddly animated classic 101 Dalmatians.
Photo: Walt Disney Pictures
6. Melissa McCarthy in 'The Little Mermaid'
Though she has yet to sign on to the forthcoming live-action remake of the 1989 animated cross-species romance, we can already imagine Melissa McCarthy in her rumored role of Ursula, the vindictive sea witch who will stop at nothing to keep mermaid Ariel from marrying Prince Eric. We can hear the underwater cackles now...
Photo: Jon Kopaloff / Stringer (Getty Images) and Walt Disney Pictures
5. Helena Bonham Carter in 'Alice in Wonderland'
Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter are a match made in creepy heaven. As the Red Queen, with her outrageous hair and makeup on her oversized head, this authoritative and unhinged performance surely gave every child viewer (and, OK, some adults, too) bed-wetting-level nightmares.
4. Cate Blanchett in 'Cinderella'
Cate Blanchett stole the show of this 2015 live-action remake of the beloved classic. As the wicked stepmother, Lady Tremaine, she seems to walk on air in impossibly elegant ball gowns, but cuts everyone around her down to size with her sharp tongue and devilish laugh.
3. Gong Li in 'Mulan'
In this 1998 Disney animated flick, a girl dresses as a man to take her father's place in the Chinese military. The villain of the film was Shan Yu, a ruthless male general. For the 2020 live-action remake, screenwriters created a female (still unnamed) antagonist role to be filled by Memoirs of a Geisha actress Gong Li. No matter the tweaks being made to the original, we're sure this film is going to kick some serious butt.
Photo: Beijing New Picture Film Co.
2. Glenn Close in '101 Dalmatians'
Glenn Close scares the shit out of us no matter what role she plays. She just has that power. Her turn as a judgmental fashionista puppy-killer in this 1996 live-action remake sent shivers up and down our spines.
1. Angelina Jolie in 'Maleficent'
We always knew Angelina Jolie was naughty, but did you know she could be evil, too? Maleficent may have been a misfire of a live-action riff on Disney's dreamy Sleeping Beauty, but that wasn't Jolie's fault as the titular character. Those cheekbones alone are frightening enough to give us goosebumps. Add her terror-inducing gaze, wild horns, and an ominous winged friend and now we're crying for our mommies.