The 10 Best Cartoon Villains – Part Two: The Evil Villains
8. Dr. Facilier, The Princess and the Frog. ‘The Shadow Man’ originally ranked higher on this list, but the competition knocked him down a few slots. (These guys are villains, they know how to fight dirty.) He’s no slouch in the singing department either: thanks to Keith David he delivers a powerhouse performance of “Friends on the Other Side,” his ILBaV song, backed up by an exceptionally creepy chorus of voodoo dolls and scary masks.
Animation villains tend to hold the upper hand until the very last second (if not later) when a risky gambit on the part of the hero suddenly saves the day. Facilier happens to be an exception to this particular trope; halfway through the film he’s forced to turn to his Friends to keep his plans afloat – and it’s pretty obvious he’s already quite a bit in debt to (and more than a little intimidated by) said Friends.
7. Shere Khan, The Jungle Book. George Sanders lent his sophisticated, urbane voice to the sophisticated, urbane tiger, a one of a kind performance that could never be duplicated (except by the late Tony Jay, who did an excellent job voicing Khan in the direct to video sequel).
Khan’s above-it-all delivery is an interesting alternative to the voiceless predator usually threatening the hero in a Disney film. (i.e., the leopard in Tarzan, the bear in The Fox and the Hound and the saurians in both Rescuers movies.)
6. Scar, The Lion King. Another glib feline Disney villain. He edges out Khan for the number five slot thanks to his ILBaV song, “Be Prepared,” expressing sentiments definitely not boy scout-approved. Jeremy Irons’ plummy delivery and sarcastic personality are on the money as Scar imagines himself a fuehrer in the song’s Triumph of the Will-style imagery.
Scar (voice by Jeremy Irons) ©Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
5. Tai Lung, Kung Fu Panda. Tai Lung may be animation’s most unique villain: not only does the Ian McShane-voiced snow leopard have a reason for his villainy… he might also have a legitimate grievance.
It’s this attention to story and character that makes Kung Fu Panda one of my favorites: Panda is way superior to most other films of its ilk (including its own sequel) thanks to the interlocking relationship between its three protagonists (Po the panda, Shifu the red panda and Tai Lung), each of whom has issues with the other two in serious need of resolution; there’s a lot more going on here than kung-fu fighting.