Heroes may be the main focus of some of our favorite Disney movies, but that doesn’t mean the villains aren’t just as memorable. In fact, many of them are featured in some of the best musical numbers and scenes in Disney history. To celebrate how obsessed we are, we’ve rounded up some fun facts about them. Enjoy!
1. The Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first character to speak in a full-length animated feature.
Her first line of dialogue was: “Slave in the magic mirror, come from the farthest space, through wind and darkness I summon thee. Speak! Let me see thy face.” The cool thing is Lucille LaVerne voiced both the Evil Queen, and the old hag she turns into. She transformed into the hag by removing her teeth.
2. Two Disney Villains are voiced by the same actress.
Eleanor Audley leant her voice to both Lady Tremaine (from Cinderella) and Maleficent (from Sleeping Beauty). As if that wasn’t cool enough, she was also the original voice of Madame Leota in The Haunted Mansion attraction.
3. Scar’s famous song “Be Prepared” from The Lion King is sung by two different actors.
After Jeremy Irons blew out his voice, Jim Cummings (who voiced Ed in The Lion King) stepped in to finish the song. He did such a great job that most people can’t even tell!
4. Gaston, Scar, and Jafar share the same lead animator.
In addition to the three villains above, Andreas Deja was also in charge of adult Hercules (Hercules), King Triton (The Little Mermaid), Lilo (Lilo & Stitch), and Roger Rabbit (Who Framed Roger Rabbit).
5. Cruella de Vil from One Hundred and One Dalmatians was animated by one person.
Despite a group animation effort being the norm, Marc Davis (who also worked on Maleficent, Alice, Tinker Bell, Cinderella, Aurora and more) was the only artist who worked on the One Hundred and One Dalmatians’ famous villain.
6. Captain Hook and George Darling from Peter Pan are voiced by the same actor.
Keeping with the tradition of J.M. Barrie’s stage play, Hans Conried lent his voice to the characters—who appropriately bear a strong resemblance to one another. Of course this isn’t the first time this has happened. Jodi Benson famously voiced both Ariel and Vanessa (Ursula’s human form) in The Little Mermaid!
7. Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas wasn’t in Tim Burton’s original poem.
The addition of Oogie Boogie came about later on, after Burton sketched a creepy portrait of a weird potato sack guy with horrible things inside. Animators described the character as the “Ultimate Halloween Nightmare.”
8. One of the songs from Tangled inspired Mother Gothel’s design.
After struggling to find the perfect balance between maternal and evil, animators heard “Mother Knows Best” and knew exactly where they wanted to take the film’s villain. They wanted her to have a dramatic actress-like personality, and dress in bright colors, with lipstick and thick mascara. The final design was based on a drawing by director Byron Howard.
9. Voicing Ursula in The Little Mermaid was a dream come true for Pat Carroll.
In fact, the iconic role in The Little Mermaid is one of her favorites. After playing funny and nice characters for so long, she delighted in taking on the film’s evil sea witch. She’s reprised the role in The Little Mermaid animated television show, the Kingdom Hearts video game franchise, House of Mouse, and more.
10. James Woods’ audition influenced Hades’ personality in Hercules.
The actor recalled coming into the audition and approaching the character as a fun, fast-talking car salesman. The writers liked it so much that they incorporated it into the role. Like Pat Carroll did as Ursula, Woods has voiced Hades several times.
Which of these facts about Disney Villains surprised you the most? Tell us in the comments!