The villains in animated shows and movies run the gamut, from sublime to ridiculous, laughable to evil, scary to funny to creepy, and everything in between. But we love them all! We love to laugh at Plankton from “SpongeBob,” and shudder at the Baby from “Toy Story 3.” Well, I love them anyway. Here are my picks for the 9 best (or worst, I suppose) cartoon villains.
1. Heinz Doofenshmirtz from “Phineas & Ferb”
He may be the brother of the mayor of Danville, and he may have been raised by ocelots, but Heinz Doofenshmirtz is pure evil. Well, he tries to be anyway, but somehow, by the end of each episode, his semi-evil plot’s been foiled by Perry the Platypus. He’s hilarious, snarky, and, sadly, just not evil.
2. Cruella DeVille from “101 Dalmatians”
She’s mean, scary-looking, and has a penchant for puppies. Well, their spotted fur, anyway — she wants to turn an entire litter of puppies into a fur coat, and even way back when this cartoon was first released, that was considered cruel.
3. Plankton from “SpongeBob Squarepants”
This teensy villain wants one thing in life — to steal the Krabby Patty formula and ruin his nemesis, Mr. Krabs (who happens to be SpongeBob’s boss). He can’t. No matter which evil plan he tries, he simply can’t get the formula. Even when he hires an assassin, played by Alec Baldwin. But he IS cute. And tiny.
4. Ursula the Sea Witch from “the Little Mermaid”
Ursula, the octopus Sea Witch villain from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” is everything a bad guy (or girl) ought to be — heartless, ugly, and vituperative. Her sidekicks, Flotsam and Jetsam, are really the only things she loves, aside from vengeance. She’s overly dramatic and so much fun to watch!
5. Lord Farquaad from “Shrek”
Ah, another pint-sized bad guy with far less evil and control than he would like. Lord Farquaad wants desperately to be a Prince, and to use that power to rid his kingdom of all fairy tale creatures. He tries to gain a crown by marrying the fiery, independent Fiona… but of course, like all nefarious plots, this one fails… in a very hilarious way.
6. Gladys and the Exterminator from “over the Hedge”
This movie has a trio of bad guys: a high-strung OCD yuppie named Gladys, a nerdy but empowered exterminator, and a big, mean grizzly bear. All three are out to destroy the “good guys,” a motley crew of small animals that find themselves suddenly out of food to forage… But by the end, the good guys have food, and he bad guys… well, you’ll see.
7. Maleificent from “Sleeping Beauty”
She’s pure wicked, and even turns into a gigantic fire-breathing dragon at the end. How could anyone hate Aurora enough to do the things she does? She’s not funny, like a lot of the other animated villains. She’s smart, sexy, and oh-so-evil. Scary!
8. Lotso Bear from “Toy Story 3”
This is another genuinely scary bad guy, creepy and cruel and just plain wicked. (In fact, his cohort, the Baby, is even creepier.) He truly holds a grudge like no other plush toy, and in the end, gets what he deserves… but for most of the movie, he’s scary-bad.
9. Archdeacon Claude Frollo from “the Hunchback of Notre Dame”
I don’t care what anyone says. This version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” is NOT a children’s movie. The bad guy, Frollo, is downright creepy, especially in the scenes with the gypsy Esmerelda, and in the scene with the dancing fire. He belongs in an episode of “Law & Order: SVU,” doesn’t he?
Of all of these bad guys, I love to hate Maleficent, and I love to laugh at Doofenshmirtz! Which of these cartoon villains do you like best, and why? Are they funny, scary, creepy… or something else? Or is there another animated bad guy you like (or hate!) more?