The 10 Best Cartoon Villains – Part Two: The Evil Villains
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Okay, now that we’ve done away with the light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek villains [The 10 Best Cartoon Villains - Part One: The Funny Villains] (they had it coming!), how about the ones who aren’t winking at the audience, aren’t camping it up? Just as before let’s run them down (non-automotively) in reverse order, from mildest to meanest…
10. Frank Bean, The Fantastic Mr. Fox. “Possibly the scariest man currently living,” according to one of the film’s characters. (Due to his resemblance – both vocal and physical – to media mogul Rupert Murdoch?) Not content with being the ringleader of the film’s trio of villains (“Bogus, Bunce & Bean / One fat, one short, one lean / These horrible crooks / So different in looks / Were nonetheless equally mean”), Bean is also an unforgiving music critic: coming across an underling indulging in a bit of impromptu lyricizing, Bean pelts him with a lit cigarette and opines “you wrote a bad song, Petey!”
Anytime a live-action director like Wes Anderson dabbles in animation and adapts the work of an author like Roald Dahl, odds are you’re not going to wind up with a standard issue Hollywood cartoon; indeed, Anderson applied his quirky yet straight-faced sensibility to an animal tale that was pretty unusual to begin with.
9. A tie between Mok in Rock & Rule and Hexxus in Ferngully, The Last Rainforest. (This is a sneaky trick to cram 11 villains into a ten-best list, but don’t tell anyone.) Once you overlook the rather unusual schnozzola sported by Rock & Rule’s hero (okay, so the human race has wiped itself out and animals have evolved upwards to take their place, but does he have to have a snout stretching out to here?), you can enjoy ultra-decadent, rock and roll megastar Mok’s evil scheming. (You see, if he finds the ‘perfect voice’ he can unleash a demon from another dimension yadda yadda…)
The velvet voiced Mok might resemble the love child of Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Dorian Gray, but he sings like Lou Reed and Iggy Pop – which is not surprising since that pair of punkers perform Mok’s songs on the soundtrack.
And as for his musical counterpart… Tim Curry gender-bended for all he was worth in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and wore a wicked set of horns in Ridley Scott’s Legend; as Ferngully‘s Hexxus, the unleashed spirit of destruction, he belts out “Toxic Love,” a torch song to pollution that would make Dr. Frank N. Furter jealous as all hell. Viscous goo one second, shadowy smoke the next and a leering grin on his face the entire time, Hexxus can’t wait to destroy the titular rainforest and replace it “with parking lots and shiny shopping malls” with a little help from his friends, the “greedy human beings [who] will always lend a hand.”
Lyric-wise, Curry had a little help too: Thomas Dolby, Mister “Blinded by Science” himself wrote and produced “Toxic Love,” one of the best I Love Being a Villain songs ever.