Disney Villains: A Ranking From Most to Least Evil

For decades, Disney has been producing villains of all shapes and sizes. With each movie, Disney has introduced fans to a different kind of villain, some more evil than others. And while Disney’s villains are evil any way you stack them, one outranks the rest in terms of most evil. Here is a ranking of Disney villains from most to least evil.

Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent from the 1959 film 'Sleeping Beauty'
Princess Aurora and Maleficent | LMPC via Getty Images

Thanos snapping his fingers makes him the most evil villain

Thanos might look like all muscle, but his desire to exterminate half of the world’s population is what makes him one of the scariest villains of all time. For his crimes against humanity and global genocide in Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos is first in our ranking of most evil villains.

‘Mulan’: Shan Yu 

Like Thanos, Shan Yu is responsible for thousands of deaths in Mulan. As if that weren’t enough, Shan Yu’s goal was to overtake the country of China in the animated film. Shan Yu’s arrogance, megalomaniacal ways, and willingness to kill his enemies in cold blood make him our second most evil Disney villain.

The Evil Queen from ‘Snow White’ 

As the first fully animated feature-length film from Walt Disney, Snow White‘s Evil Queen is the first Disney villain. As such, she’s ranking number three on our list of most evil. We’re talking about someone who was going to kill a young girl with a poisoned apple, OK? No further evidence is needed. 

‘Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent 

Thanks to her powerful magic, Maleficent is considered one of the most dangerous Disney villains. But technically, she only wanted to put Aurora to sleep for a long period, hence her position in our ranking. She did turn herself into a fire-breathing dragon, though. So for that, we’re ranking Maleficent in fourth place. 

Cruella de Vil from ‘101 Dalmatians’ 

Cruella’s high fashion sense makes her one of Disney’s most stylish villains. But as someone willing to take the life of a Dalmatian puppy to obtain its fur, she ranks number five on our list of most evil Disney villains. 

RELATED: ‘Cruella’: Why Does Emma Stone’s Cruella de Vil Hate Dogs?

In the 2021 release Cruella, Disney confirmed her motivations are different than the villain we’re used to. But if Cruella de Vil isn’t in search of the finest puppy skins, is she rescuing them instead? Stream Cruella on Disney+ beginning May 28.

‘The Lion King’: Scar

Killing your brother says a lot about a villain, and that’s exactly what Scar does in Disney’s The Lion King. Modeled after the Shakespearean play Hamlet, The Lion King demonstrates what happens when a family member corrupts your self-worth. 

In addition to killing his family, Scar convinces his nephew Mufasa’s death was his fault and that he doesn’t deserve to live in Pride Rock anymore. For this reason, Scar is number six in our ranking of most evil Disney villains. 

Hades from ‘Hercules’

A trickster of the highest order, Hades smooth-talks his victims into doing what he wants. Hades’ oily charm and penchant for violence make him one of the most sinister Disney villains, ranking seventh on our list. 

‘Beauty and the Beast’s Gaston

Since he acts purely to stroke his ego rather than strictly out of malice, Gaston from Beauty and the Beast earns a place closer to the end of our list. He’s probably the vainest villain of them all — second only to the Evil Queen. But no one persecute harmless crackpots like Gaston. 

Disney villains with honorable mentions

Technically, Sid from Toy Story was a villain. But in reality, he was just a bad kid who needed a hug from a parent. Similarly, Claude Frollo ends up being a fraud who tears apart the community he is meant to serve.

And if you think about it, villains like Ursula from The Little Mermaid and Jafar from Aladdin were both just cunning. Convincing a young woman to give up the ability to speak and tricking a poor young man into doing your bidding is pretty ruthless, but they weren’t killing characters off.

Ultimately, these Disney villains aim to get what they want without killing — unlike the villains at the top of our list. And for that, we’re giving them an honorable mention in our list of the most evil Disney villains.