This month over at Alternate Ending, I tackle something that’s been bothering me for a while: Disney’s inability to produce any memorable villains in the past ten or so years, which led me to talking about bigger frustrations I have with the way things are going over at Disney/Pixar. Excerpt below, or you can go ahead and read the whole thing Here.
What’s your favorite Disney villain? When answering this question, most people will be able to rattle off a number of possibilities within seconds. Maleficent, Jafar, Captain Hook, Scar, Ursula, Cruella De Vil. There are so many options you’ll have a hard time narrowing your list to just one. The responses are totally different, however, when we tweak the question just a bit: What’s you favorite Disney villain of the past ten years? Suddenly the pool dries up and you’re left with Tangled‘s Mother Gothel (a superb villain in her own right) as the only reasonable option. These days, most Disney movies are saddled with utterly forgettable adversaries, and that’s if they feature a villain at all. Can you even remember the name of the main villain in Zootopia, Big Hero 6, or The Princess and the Frog? Villains have disappeared from Disney movies, and that’s a problem. Not because villains are essential to good cinema (although who doesn’t love a great villain?), but because the studio’s new approach to villainous characters points toward bigger problems in the way they make movies.