20 Best Quotes From Disney Movie Villains

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Over the past 100 years, Disney has provided audiences around the world with some of the most memorable and iconic villains ever committed to film. From The Evil Queen in 1937’s Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs to Assistant Mayor Bellwether in Zootopia. Combining striking animation, engaging story arcs, and fiendish personalities, many of these villains have left an indelible mark on the world of cinema.




One of the ways Disney has mastered the art of conveying the evil of its villains is through razor-sharp and well-thought-out dialogue. Sometimes, though, a single quote stands out above the rest that really defines the particular character.

Below, we look at the 20 greatest quotes from Disney villains, from sassy retorts to fearsome final words.


20 “The most beautiful girl in town, that makes her the best! And don’t I deserve the best?” – Gaston

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Beauty and the Beast 1991 Poster

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Release Date
November 22, 1991

Runtime
1h 24m

During the opening number of Beauty and the Beast, audiences are introduced to the movie’s heroine Belle. It reveals her goals and aspirations, but also reveals how the townsfolk treat Belle as an outcast due to her rejection of their simple ways and her desire to further herself through reading and education. During the song, viewers are also introduced to Gaston through a short, spoken conversation with his sidekick, LeFou, during a musical break.


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Shallow and Arrogant

The conversation serves as the viewers’ first glimpse into the mind of Belle’s want-to-be husband and sums him up to a tee. It demonstrates his shallow focus on beauty over brains and his arrogance in his assertion that he deserves the best. The quote is a great insight into a character that ultimately proves to be the movie’s vile antagonist.

19 “Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” – Evil Queen

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1967)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Release Date
February 4, 1938

Director
David Hand

Cast
Roy Atwell , Stuart Buchanan , Adriana Caselotti , Zeke Clements , Eddie Collins , Pinto Colvig

Runtime
83


Disney’s first fully-fledged animated movie villain also happens to be one of the most dastardly. Vein and self-obsessed with an undercurrent of insecurity, the Evil Queen uses her magic mirror to regularly reassure her that she’s the most beautiful woman in the kingdom. This seemingly keeps her satisfied until the mirror, one time, replies that it is now, in fact, Snow White. This shatters her world and sets in motion her wicked plot to take Snow White out of the equation, permanently.

No Words Necessary

Released in 1937, Snow White revolutionized the world of animation when it became the first ever animated feature film. Full of iconic moments, The Evil Queen’s quote is one of the most memorable in Disney history and has been cemented in pop culture, having been referenced countless times since.

18 “You poor, simple fools. Thinking you could defeat me. Me! The mistress of all evil!” – Maleficent

Sleeping Beauty (1959)

sleeping beauty

sleeping beauty

Release Date
June 10, 2011

Director
Julia Leigh

Runtime
104


Following positive feedback from her voice work as the evil stepmother in Disney’s Cinderella, 9 years prior, Eleanor Audley upped the evil even further as Maleficent.

Everything About Maleficent Oozes Evil

With her dark, jagged, and dramatic art style and her even darker and more dramatic personality, Maleficent demonstrates her utter disdain for everyone around her and describes herself superbly as ‘The Mistress of all Evil.’

17 “I’m surrounded by idiots.” – Scar

The Lion King (1994)

disneys-the-lion-king-1994-animation-movie-poster

Positioning himself as the leader of the hyena pack may have been a strategic move for Scar in his plans to rule Pride Rock, but his inflated ego and his exasperation at his ‘inferior’ minions is never kept secret.


The Meme-Worthy Quote Is Often Used on Lion King Merchandise

It’s safe to say that almost everyone has experienced, at least once, a similar sense of exasperation. Used in many a meme about incompetent coworkers and plastered across a plethora of Lion King merchandise, it’s this relatability that has made this particular quote so enduring.

16 “Off with their heads!” – Queen of Hearts

Alice in Wonderland (1951)

The Queen of Hearts might just be one of the most unhinged Disney villains ever. Based on Lewis Carroll’s original character, “Off With Their Heads” becomes almost a catchphrase for the domineering Queen.


Decapitation Is The Queen of Hearts’ Go-To Solution

Whenever the Queen of Hearts feels disrespected in any way, shape or form, its guaranteed she will scream at her minions to remove the perpetrator’s head. While no decapitations are actually seen to take place in the family-friendly animated movie, it’s still somewhat of an extreme response but perfectly adds to the offbeat humor and surrealism found in the classic story.

15 “Miserable, darling, as usual. Perfectly wretched.” – Cruella de Vil

101 Dalmatians (1961)

101-dalmatians.jpg

After screeching to a halt outside the Dearlys’ house, audiences are introduced to Cruella de Vil as she bursts through the door in a flurry of manic energy with her trademark black and white hair, fur coat, and lit cigarette.

Always the Pessimist

Definitely not a glass-is-half-full kind of character, when asked how she is by Anita, she casually explains in typical Cruella fashion that she’s both miserable and wretched, as usual. This is the perfect introduction to a character that has since become synonymous with greed, vanity, and evil.


14 “The world is dark and selfish and cruel. If it finds even the slightest ray of sunshine. It destroys it.” – Mother Gothel

Tangled (2010)

Tangled

Tangled

Release Date
November 24, 2010

Runtime
100

Mother Gothel is a repugnant character who kidnaps princess Rapunzel and locks her away in a secluded tower, to hoard her healing magic.

Instilling Irrational Fear into Rapunzel

In order to keep Rapunzel from leaving and remaining under her control, she poses as Rapunzel’s loving, albeit overprotective mother determined to protect her from the “cruelty” of the outside world. By constantly filling Rapunzel’s head with news of the dangers outside she can manipulate her into staying locked in the tower without questions. This particular quote stands out for being almost poetic in its deception.


13 “He’s gotta have a weakness, because everybody’s got a weakness.” – Hades

Hercules (1997)

hercules

Hercules

Release Date
June 20, 1997

Runtime
86

Achilles had his heel and Icarus was reckless, but what is Hercules’ weakness? That was the question on the mind of Hades, god of the Underworld. Up until this point, demi-god Hercules had overcome everything Hades had thrown at him, with ease.

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The Answer Was in Front of Him

Hades had sent in Meg, one of his reluctant minions, to gain intel on Hercules. As Meg and Hercules grow closer it soon becomes clearer to the scheming villain, that Meg and Hercules’ love for her, is in fact his weakness. Ultimately, though, his love also proves to be his ultimate strength too.


12 “And when you are growing too old, you will make good… Firewood!” – Stromboli

Pinocchio (1940)

pinocchio

Pinocchio

Release Date
February 23, 1940

Director
Hamilton Luske , Ben Sharpsteen

Cast
Mel Blanc , Don Brodie , Walter Catlett , Marion Darlington , Frankie Darro , Cliff Edwards

Runtime
88

Pinocchio is one of the world’s most beloved Disney animated movies, but looking back, it definitely didn’t skimp on the dark stuff. It follows the story of Pinocchio, a puppet brought to life by a blue fairy, on a quest to become a real boy. Unfortunately, things aren’t easy for Pinocchio. Not only does his nose visibly grow every time he is dishonest, but he also seems to go from one horrific encounter to the next.

Pinocchio’s Journey Is an Ordeal

From being kidnapped and trafficked to actually getting eaten alive by a whale, the film has very few glimpses of happiness. The most terrifying of his adversaries has to be Stromboli, whose true colors are brought to the forefront when he threatens to use Pinocchio’s wooden body as firewood when he can no longer exploit him.


11 “Stuck tight? You get that diamond or you’ll never see daylight again!” – Medusa

The Rescuers (1977)

Madame Medusa The Rescuers
Disney

Released in 1977, The Rescuers was a huge hit with critics who praised it for being genuinely funny and touching. It follows two mice, Benard and Bianca, who embark on a perilous mission to rescue a kidnapped girl from the clutches of the evil Madame Medusa.

Greedy and Ruthless

Medusa is often overlooked in conversations about Disney’s most fearsome villains, but she is utterly ruthless. After kidnapping young Penny, she forces her into a tight and dangerous cave to retrieve a diamond. Medusa’s greed means that she prioritizes the retrieval of the diamond over Penny’s safety and well-being and will stop at nothing to get what she wants.


10 “You really should have thought of that before you became peasants!” – Yzma

Emperor’s New Groove (2000)

The Emperor's New Groove

Emperor’s New Groove was released at a somewhat tumultuous period for Disney, at the tail end of its 90s renaissance. While it may not have achieved the same kind of financial success as many movies before it, it has since gone on to amass a strong, almost, cult-like following.

Hilariously Out of Touch

The movie has found a special place in the hearts of those who appreciate its offbeat, irreverent humor and meta moments. The movie’s main antagonist, Yzma, has lived a life of privilege, and her thirst for power clouds her understanding of how the class system operates within the kingdom. This is hilariously demonstrated by her ignorant response to a family who are unable to afford bread to eat.


9 “My friends, we are about to embark on the most odious, the most evil, the most diabolical scheme of my illustrious career! A crime to top all crimes, a crime that will live in infamy!” – Professor Ratigan

The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

The Great Mouse Detective

The Great Mouse Detective is a criminally underrated Disney classic loosely based on the adventures of Sherlock Holmes… but with mice. The main villain is Professor Ratigan. Based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Moriarty character, Ratigan is a conniving, dastardly villain who prides himself on always being one step ahead of Basil (the mouse detective based on the Sherlock Holmes character).

Vincent Price Shines

Voiced by the legendary Vincent Price, Ratigan revels in his own dishonorable notoriety. No stranger to playing the villain, Price oozes evil in a performance full of diabolical monologues and maniacal laughter, all delivered in Price’s hauntingly deep and velvety timbre tones.


8 “Fear always works!” – Bellwether

Zootopia (2016)

zootopia

Zootopia‘s surprise villain is responsible for one of Disney’s most powerful quotes. “Fear always works” highlights how fear is the most powerful tool for control and influence. A lot like much of the movie, the statement is just as relevant and relatable in the real world as it is to the land of Zootopia.

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

What makes Bellwether such an effective villain and the quote even more memorable, is how, throughout the majority of the movie, her meek and timid persona positions her as a loveable underdog. A master of misdirection and manipulation, it’s not until near the end that it is revealed this was all a part of her plan to gain control.


7 “What am I, an echo or something? Hello? Hello?! Am I talking to, what, hyperspace? Hello, It’s me! Nobody listens.” – Hades

Hercules (1997)

hercules

Hercules

Release Date
June 20, 1997

Runtime
86

Not every great villain quote needs to be sinister. Hades is not only one of the most downright conniving and despicable Disney villains, but also one of the most hilarious. Full of sarcasm, sass, and meta humor, Hades’ appearance in Hercules secures his position among Disney’s funniest antagonists.

Breaking the Fourth Wall

Probably the funniest example of his fourth wall-breaking, though, was likely missed by the vast majority of the audience. In an era before it was the norm to feature a post-credits scene, his echoed voice can be heard bemoaning the lack of a happy ending for him, as the credits gradually come to an end.


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As it fades to black, he can be heard shouting “Hello… hellooo!” and pleading for acknowledgment, referencing not only his banishment in the film, but also the fact that there is probably no one left in the cinema to acknowledge him either.

6 “The power! The absolute power!” – Jafar

Aladdin (1992)

Aladdin

Aladdin (1992)

Release Date
November 25, 1992

Cast
Scott Weinger , Robin Williams , Linda Larkin , Jonathan Freeman , Frank Welker , Gilbert Gottfried

Jafar’s entire story is driven by an unquenchable thirst for power. Starting the movie as the Royal Vizier of Agrabah, Jafar concocts a nefarious plan to snatch control of the kingdom from the Sultan.


Jafar’s Thirst For Power Is his Downfall

Towards the end of the movie, when Jafar is in possession of the magic lamp, he, seemingly, has everything he wants at his fingertips. But for a man of his ilk, it’s never enough. It’s this immense need for power that allows Aladdin to trick him into wishing he was a genie (the most powerful being on Earth).

It’s as he becomes a genie, he can be heard maniacally screaming “The power! The absolute power!” Ultimately, though, it acts as his downfall as he’s sucked in a lamp where he becomes trapped.

5 “And he shall smite the wicked and plunge them into the fiery pit!” – Claude Frollo

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

the hunchback of notre dame


During a climatic showdown, Claude Frollo, the town’s powerful justice minister and film’s antagonist, shouts his final words. A biblical reference, this quote demonstrates his undying dedication to God and religion despite his continuous immoral behavior throughout.

A Deeply Troubled Man

Frollo is riddled with inner turmoil and is seen throughout struggling with self-acceptance and his relationship with God. Wrestling with impure thoughts, his inner anguish manifests itself in the form of intolerance and hatred of others.

4 “No matter how fast you run, no matter where you hide, I will catch you.” – Shere Kahn

The Jungle Book (1967)

As a lone human abandoned in the jungle, Mowgli faces an assortment of dangers, but none are greater than the threat of the jungle’s deadly tiger, Shere Kahn. Shere Kahn makes it perfectly clear that he can outmaneuver Mowgli in every way possible.


Mowgli is Forced to Face his Fears

With nowhere to run or hide, Mowgli is eventually forced to face his biggest fear and take on Shere Kahn head-on. Using his wits and a bit of added fire, he’s able to overcome his animal adversary.

3 “It’s not right for a woman to read. Soon she starts getting ideas and thinking.” – Gaston

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Beauty and the Beast 1991 Poster

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Release Date
November 22, 1991

Gaston is an insufferable sexist with an inflated ego. Shallow and vain, Gaston believes appearance trumps intelligence, especially when it comes to women. Subscribing to the notion that women should be ‘seen and not heard’, he worries that Belle’s interest in literature will give her ideas ‘above her station.’


Foreshadowing

Gaston’s views are representative of a dated and dangerous way of thinking. These early signs of sexism make it all the less surprising when the full extent of his intolerance is later exposed in the final act of the movie.

2 “I killed Mufasa!” – Scar

The Lion King (1992)

disneys-the-lion-king-1994-animation-movie-poster

While the audience, by this point, are fully aware of Scar’s iniquitous wrongdoings, Simba has yet to have truly comprehend the extent of his evilness. Thinking he is in a position of unstoppable power and guaranteed victory during a showdown with Simba, Scar uses the opportunity to admit to the murder of Simba’s father.

Scar’s Words Were His Undoing

Up until now, Simba was still under the impression he was responsible for his father’s death. It was Scar’s admission to Mufasa’s murder that gave Simba the drive he needed to sway the outcome of their duel in his favor.


1 “I’m a codfish!” – Captain Hook

Peter Pan (1953)

Peter Pan

Peter Pan

Release Date
February 5, 1953

Director
Clyde Geronimi , Wilfred Jackson , Hamilton Luske

Cast
Bobby Driscoll , Kathryn Beaumont , Hans Conried , Bill Thompson , Heather Angel , Paul Collins

Runtime
77

The most satisfying moment in almost any Disney movie is when the movie’s hero has the upper hand, with the villain at their mercy. In this case, Peter Pan has Captain Hook at the end of his sword, helplessly wrapped in a flag.

Peter Pan Demonstrates Compassion

As Captain Hooks begs for his life, Peter Pan shows mercy and lets him survive, but not before he has a bit of fun. In return for letting him live, Peter Pan insists Captain Hook humiliates himself by loudly exclaiming that he is nothing but a codfish. A small price to pay for one’s life I suppose.

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