Disney Villains Changed Over the Years- Is Blatant Bad?

Ceaco Disney Villains Jigsaw Puzzle, 1500 Pieces

Ceaco Disney Villains Jigsaw Puzzle, 1500 Pieces

Taylor Gates, Writer

When Disney first started making full length animated features back in 1937, most of their movies followed a format where they had an obvious villain with obviously bad intentions. Some of these are still most people’s favorite Disney villains. Villains like Maleficent, Captain Hook, Scar, and The Evil Queen are some of the most remembered and beloved disney villains. So why do the newer Disney movies tend to have either twist villains, or no villain at all? Nobody was complaining about these kinds of antagonists, so what made Disney stray away from this format. 

First of all let’s discuss the positives of an obvious villain. For one thing, it’s a lot easier for kids ( Disney’s main demographic)  to be able to identify who the protagonist and antagonist are if the movie makes it blatantly obvious. The movie also wouldn’t have to spend as much time developing the character seeing as their goals and aspirations are usually expressed in the beginning of the movie. Whereas for example a twist villain, their goal is usually expressed within the last ten to twenty minutes of the movie. Therefore the writers can use the villain in many ways throughout the movie, they can be the comic relief, the reason certain things happen, or just terrifying in the eyes of children. 

There aren’t really that many down sides to a blatant villain. However it’s easy to see how Disney would want to switch things as their company evolved and changed. At the end of the day these early obvious villains are the ones that tend to stay in our heads and are most people’s favorite disney villains.