The Golden Age of Disney animation ran from 1937 to 1942. It is the timeframe when Disney started making feature-length animated films instead of just animated shorts. Five films make up Disney’s Golden Age and all of them have some type of villain who is integral to the story. But not all villains are created equally. Let’s compare the five villains of Disney’s Golden Age.


The Ringmaster is a stereotypical showman and businessman. He is looking for the best options for his circus to bring entertainment to his paying customers. He is the one who keeps pushing Dumbo into things that are not suited to an elephant. He is the villain of the story, but it’s a story that doesn’t have much of a villain. He isn’t being vindictive to the protagonist; he’s just trying to figure out what’s best for his customers.


“Fantasia” is different from the other four films of the Golden Age. Instead of a feature length narrative, it features several animated shorts set to classical music. Most of these shorts don’t have a villain. But the final two segments called “Night on Bald Mountain” and “Ave Maria,” feature Chernabog as a representation of the devil himself. He is trying to take over until he is soundly defeated. It’s fine, but given the stylistic difference, it put him low on this list.


This fox sends Pinocchio down the wrong path time and time again. He sends Pinocchio to be an actor where Pinocchio ends up locked in a cage. He sends Pinocchio to Pleasure Island where Pinocchio where the boys turn into donkeys, and Pinocchio nearly turns into one. It’s a wild ride, and Honest John is the source of everything wrong for Pinocchio.


In “Bambi,” the villain is more ominous because “Man has entered the forest.” We never see the hunters, but we see the negative effects they have on the woodland creatures. It was divisive at the time to paint hunters as villains, and still is today, but from the animals’ point of views, it makes sense.


The first villain introduced in the Golden Age is the best. Upon learning that Snow White is considered fairer her than her, she orders Snow White’s murder and wants the girl’s heart in a box. That’s messed up. Then, when she learns that Snow White is still alive, this woman tries to poison her. The Evil Queen lives up to her name.

Those are my rankings. Which villain do you think is the most evil?

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Jeremy Brown

Jeremy has been a big Disney fan since he was a kid growing up during the Disney Renaissance. One day he hopes to go to every Disney Park in the world.

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