A Ranking of Disney Villains, Based on How Stupid Their Plans Are

Voting Rules
Vote up the Disney villain plans that were doomed from the start.

The nefarious plots of Disney villains stand as the unquestioned model of evil for young viewers. As a child, challenging the validity of the bad guy's plans is far beyond the scope of engaged viewing. A sea witch who wants to rule the ocean or a fashion-obsessed woman who craves a dog-skin jacket presents an imminent threat to the safety of Disney's leading protagonists. That alone is enough to classify Disney villains as crazed monsters capable of upsetting the delicate balance of good and evil. 

However, if the evil plans of some of Disney's greatest animated villains are examined closely, the total absurdity of their schemes shine through. Not only are their plans riddled with plot holes, but some of their strategies are just plain stupid. While they may have opportunities to tip the scales in favor of evil, most schemes are hardly the work of criminal masterminds.  

From sinister queens to power-hungry lions, plenty of Disney villains leave a lot to be desired in their plots. Taking over the world might be on their agenda, but creating well thought-out plans certainly isn't.

Photo: Walt Disney Animation Studios

  • Gaston is totally self-absorbed and arrogant, but he's one of the few Disney villains who don't crave power. In fact, all Gaston wants is to marry Belle. When she turns him down, his bruised ego never recovers. To prove himself as the ultimate specimen of masculinity to both Belle and the townspeople, he decides to slay the Beast after realizing that Belle prefers the "monster" over him. 

    Gaston's plan has a few pitfalls, starting with his basic intentions. He only wants to marry Belle because she's beautiful. Nevermind that he doesn't know anything about her interests or care about her thoughts. He simply knows that she's pretty, leading to a very stalker-like obsession in which he follows her around and tries to talk her into marrying him. He has plenty of lovestruck potential love interests, but he's convinced that he needs the prettiest woman in town because he is the most handsome man. That's his first mistake. 

    Much like Gaston's marriage proposal, his plan to slay the Beast is impulsive and ill-informed. The Beast is more animal than man, with plenty of strength and aggression of his own. Gaston heads into the castle blindly, with little knowledge of his opponent. He relies on his own arrogance and inflated sense of confidence, leading him to taunt the Beast and relish his supposed victory. His pride is ultimately his downfall, as his delay in terminating the Beast gives Belle an opportunity to return. When Beast sees Belle, it's all the encouragement he needs to fight back, ultimately leading to Gaston's fall from the castle.

    694 votes
  • When it comes to Disney villains' evil plans, Cruella de Vil's senseless scheme stands apart from the rest. To put it simply, she wants to kidnap puppies and use their fur to create a dog-skin jacket. It's really quite dark. But beyond her irrational need for violence, the entirety of Cruella's plan is a little absurd. 

    First of all, why does Cruella need 99 puppies to make her jacket? How large is this jacket going to be? Ninety-nine puppies means a lot of fur. In fact, it would likely be a surplus of fur, creating a heavy, overly bulky jacket that's not fashionable, or even cute in the slightest. 

    Second, why can't Cruella simply purchase a faux-fur jacket? Creating a custom jacket out of puppy skin requires a deeply gruesome and barbaric process. Not to mention, it's also much more work to design and produce your own jacket, rather than purchasing a pre-made jacket from the store. By heading out for a day of shopping, Cruella easily avoids the legal and ethical problems that accompany snatching puppies for a jacket. A little retail therapy might do this villain some good. 

    But finally, Cruella falls victim to her own obsessions and terrible choice in henchmen, like so many Disney villains. Her single-mindedness in her task and the inablity to carry out her own plans eventually leads to the ultimate failure of her master plan. 

    All in all, Cruella's plan is illogical, impractical, and needlessly brutal.

    599 votes
  • When discussing the evil plans of Disney villains, the Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs deserves special recognition for extreme pettiness. The Queen wants to bring an end to Snow White simply because a mirror said Snow White was prettier. 

    While the Queen's reasoning behind terminating Snow White is ridiculous, her plan is just as flawed. She instructs a huntsman to carry out the deed, despite the fact that Snow White enchants everyone who meets her. Given her charming nature, the huntsman is unable to off Snow White. It's a classic case of "if you want something done right, do it yourself," but the Queen can't even carry out her own task. 

    When she realizes that the huntsman has failed her, the Queen disguises herself as a beggar woman and persuades Snow White to eat a poisoned apple. However, the apple only puts Snow White into a deep sleep. Why didn't she enchant the apple with a spell that was immediately lethal, instead of a sleeping spell? Furthermore, the spell even has a cure: love's first kiss.

    For a Queen who is so desperate to rid the world of someone prettier than her, she manages to fail spectacularly. A note for evil villains everywhere: Don't create a loophole when you're trying to end someone's life.

    466 votes
  • Lady Tremaine is the OG wicked stepmother. In fact, as the primary villain in Cinderella, she defined the category of evil replacement parents. While her cruelty and general lack of emotion toward her stepdaughter establish her as a villain to fear, her actual plan leaves a lot to be desired.

    Lady Tremaine is jealous of Cinderella's charm and beauty. Afraid that Cinderella will outshine her own daughters, Lady Tremaine forces her stepdaughter to serve the family, keeping her locked away in terrible conditions and refusing to allow her to leave the house.

    Lady Tremaine's cruelty culminates at the end of the movie. When the Grand Duke arrives at Cinderella's house to find the Prince's mystery ballroom guest, Lady Tremaine puts two and two together and realizes that Cinderella was the beauty from the ball. To keep her from being discovered by the Grand Duke, Lady Tremaine locks Cinderella in her room. When her stepdaughter escapes, Lady Tremaine remains vehemently committed to her plan to ruin Cinderella’s life, even going so far as to trip the Grand Duke, causing the glass slipper to break. 

    Obviously, Lady Tremaine is guided by jealousy. She doesn't want her stepdaughter to become a princess, especially over her own two daughters. But what was the overall goal here? Did Lady Tremaine expect the Grand Duke to settle for one of her daughters simply because he couldn't find the correct maiden? The man searched the entire kingdom to find the Prince's love - there's no way he was deviating from his plan for two obnoxious, overly eager girls.

    In addition, did Lady Tremaine plan to keep Cinderella locked away forever? Technically, she's an adult. If she wanted to marry the Prince, she could simply go to the castle with her own slipper and prove herself to be the girl from the ball. Plus, having Cinderella out of the house would rid the family of another mouth to feed. It may be difficult to swallow that her stepdaughter became a princess, but considering how much Lady Tremaine hates Cinderella, it would have made more sense to simply send her away.

    Prince or no, keeping Cinderella trapped in the house doesn't serve much purpose beyond having a built-in maid.  

    449 votes
  • In comparison to the evil plans of other Disney villains, Captain Hook's scheme actually makes a lot of sense. In truth, Peter Pan might be more of a miscreant than the fallible Captain Hook. Hook's quarrel with Pan stems from a fraught history between the two characters, culminating in Pan cutting off Hook's hand. Hook wants revenge on Pan for the loss of his limb, which by Disney standards, seems pretty fair. 

    Hook's approach to confronting Pan has some merit. He captures Princess Tiger Lily, hoping that she'll disclose the location of Pan's hideout. He also smartly recognizes Tinker Bell's jealousy of Wendy and uses her envious emotions to trick her into giving away the location of Pan's hideout. He also successfully captures the Lost Boys and the Darling children, but fails to end Pan due to Tinker Bell's intervention. 

    As twisted as it may sound, Hook's problem is that he isn't ruthless enough. His plans involve a sense of cold-blooded aggression to breed success, but Hook never moves fast enough to reach the more brutal elements of his schemes. He captures Tiger Lily, but fails to interrogate her effectively before she's saved by Pan. He tricks Tinker Bell, but doesn't dispose of her properly, ultimately leaving her free to save Pan from a disastrous demise. As much as Hook talks a big game, he tends to dawdle when it comes to carrying out his plans. Like many villains, he leaves just enough time for his hostages to be saved, ruining his ability to actually accomplish his goals. 

    Perhaps Hook doesn't have the stomach to dispose of his enemies in an effective way. If he embraced a more ruthless nature, he might be a successful villain. In his current state, however, he's quite the laughable crook.

    325 votes
  • Jafar's goal is nothing new in the realm of Disney villains' evil plans. Jafar wants power, pure and simple. Does he use his head and the application of logical thinking to attain it? After all, he made it quite far in his local government thanks to his smarts. But alas, he becomes overly obsessed with a lamp trapped in the magical Cave of Wonders. 

    Jafar's entire evil plan rests on obtaining the Genie and using his three wishes to establish himself as sultan to gain the ultimate power he's always craved. However, Jafar has the ability to hypnotize people, conveniently accompanied by direct access to the Sultan each and every day thanks to his position as grand vizier of the Sultan. In fact, he hypnotizes the Sultan when it suits his needs - so why doesn't he bewitch the ruler into passing over his power? Instead, Jafar wastes valuable time searching for a "diamond in the rough" in order to obtain the Genie's lamp. 

    Jafar continues to fall victim to his own poor plans by passing the duty of getting the lamp to another person. By this action, Jafar transfers control of his entire future to untrustworthy criminals and one particular "street rat." The idea of Aladdin using the lamp for his own purposes should have been a concern to Jafar. Put simply, Jafar opens up the door to his own demise.

    Aladdin would have never known about the lamp if it weren't for Jafar. And Jafar could have continued to hypnotize the Sultan for years with no one the wiser, obtaining power for himself. Furthermore, if he had kept his plan a secret, outside sources would have never been tempted to use the lamp for their own purposes.

    Of course, Jafar is likely caught up on the idea of a genie that grants his wishes, just as anyone would be. Unfortunately, his obsession and poor planning skills are the sources of his ultimate failure.

    414 votes