The 10 Best Cartoon Villains - Part One: The Funny Villains
9. Mad Madam Mim, The Sword in the Stone. (Voiced by Martha Wentworth in 1963 – the ancient age of pre-celebrity voice work.) Mim’s no slouch either when it comes to singing her own praises, vocalizing while transmogrifying from one form to another, from curvaceous charmer to pig-faced monster. In fact, her wizard’s duel with Merlin – with both of them shape-shifting for all they’re worth – is the film’s highlight.
The victim of studio politics, the top-notch CDD didn’t deserve its quick slide into obscurity, taking a slew of first-rate Randy Newman songs with it. (If there was any justice in the world, “Tell Me Lies” would’ve been a 1997 Best Song Oscar nominee.)
7. Gru, Despicable Me, voiced by Steve Carrell. We’re stretching the rules here a bit; Gru is the film’s villain and hero all at once. His villainy is more on the order of mega-pranks and never seems to actually put anyone in physical danger. Gru’s rival, the nerdy Vector is the film’s villainous villain; he might have great taste in decorating (his headquarters looks like it was designed by Apple – a veritable iLair), but he just isn’t top ten material. (Speaking of which, sorry Megamind; in last year’s battle of similarly themed animated features, Gru won easily thanks to his latent cuddliness, not to mention his goofball horde of mini-minions.)
I had the pleasure of meeting Eartha in 2005, a few years before her passing. When I told her I loved her performance in the film she burst out laughing; I was the first person to ever compliment her on her animation work. I just wish I had added “or, to save on postage” had become a family catch phrase.