When it comes to a character’s character in the Disney Universe, it’s usually pretty black & white. There are your good guys and there are your bad guys. Most bad guys aren’t awful, horrible monsters; they’re usually misunderstood, misguided, and have one fundamental flaw that makes them bad. Whether it’s vanity (Gaston), a need for complete power (Scar), or a neglectful parent (Anastasia & Drizella), if that fundamental flaw was somehow taken away, they may have had a change of heart. But then there are some fatally flawed Disney characters who are just plain evil. Characters that, even with years of psychotherapy and reconditioning, would never bring anything of value to society. Here are the most evil, Most Un-Redeemable Disney Characters.
Cruella de Vil – Okay, let’s start with the first obvious problem here: she smokes. In this day and age, with all that we know about how bad smoking is for you, how can she still do that? I’m kidding, of course (although her smoking is still not good for her). The woman wants to make fur coats out of dogs! For crying out loud, how on Earth did this lady make it as long as she has in life without being committed somewhere, sometime? Gaston had Belle’s father Maurice committed in a matter of moments in Beauty & The Beast, and he wasn’t even a psychiatrist. Someone HAD to see the warning signs along the way! Not to mention she’s also a dog thief, employs two obviously shady henchmen to do her dirty work for her, and drives her car like an absolute maniac. Unfortunately for Cruella, there is not one thing to point to and say “Well, if she did that differently, she may have been okay.” Nope. She’s out in left field with a hockey stick, and therefore completely un-redeemable.
Judge Claude Frollo – Talk about un-redeemable characters! Let’s run down the list of crimes on the bad guy from The Hunchback of Notre Dame‘s rap sheet. First, serving as a Court Judge in Paris, Frollo finds a group of gypsies (he HATES gypsies, apparently) and chases them down. When he catches up to one gypsy woman who he believes is hiding something she stole from Paris, he kicks her in the head and kills her. Yep, that’s right. Kicks her right in the head. Oh, but then it turns out that it wasn’t stolen goods she was hiding. No, it was her poor, malnourished and disfigured son. So what does the honorable judge decide to do with the now mother-less baby? His solution: to throw him in a well! Fortunately he is stopped by the Archdeacon of Notre Dame who tells Frollo that in order to atone for his sins, he needs to raise the baby as his own. Which he does. If by “as his own” the Archdeacon meant to lock the kid in isolation in the bell tower of a cathedral for decades without letting him out for fear that Frollo may be embarrassed by his “son’s” looks. And this is just the tip of the iceberg for the fair judge. I’m not going to spoil the rest of the movie for you if you haven’t seen it, but Frollo is about as un-redeemable as characters get, in my book.
Mother Gothel – At first, Rapunzel’s “adopted mom” doesn’t seem so bad. Sure, she’s a bit overprotective and tends to put her dear daughter down every chance she gets, but aren’t all mothers like that? No, of course they’re not. Mother Gothel is certifiably insane. Here’s the backstory. Hundreds of years before Rapunzel’s parents’ parents were even born, this creepy old lady found a glowing, magical flower out in the woods. So she did what every normal person would do when they found a magical flower: she petted it and sang to it (no, that’s not what a normal person would do?) The monstrous old lady was then amazingly transformed into her youthful, attractive self. So what did she do next? Did she share the flower with other people who were perhaps sick or dying of the untreatable diseases of her time? Nope. She kept the flower and its power all to herself. Then, hundreds of years later, when the pregnant queen of a nearby kingdom was sick and dying, some of her servants found that magical flower and brought it back to the royal castle. The flower was turned into a potion for the queen to drink. After she drank it, she was cured and passed the magical powers of the flower to her unborn daughter, Rapunzel. So now you’re saying, “Wait, there it is! That’s the moment. If someone hadn’t taken her flower from her, she wouldn’t have been as evil!” Well, not so fast! Because instead of just explaining that she knew the new princess had magical powers and asking to be hired as like a royal counselor or something, she kidnaps the newborn in the middle of the night, locks her up in a tower for years and years, and still keeps the magical powers all to herself. Mother Gothel is a true monster in every sense of the word. Utterly un-redeemable.
Simba – Now, before you tell me how crazy I am, hear me out please. I get it, Simba is a kid. He’s also a prince and the rightful heir to Pride Rock and the throne. So what does he do when the going get’s tough? He bails. I don’t get it. When Anna & Elsa’s parents were tragically killed in a boating accident, did they run and head for the hills? No. They stayed in Arendelle and kept the palace running (Elsa’s later breakdown non-withstanding!) When Bambi’s mother was shot by the hunter in the woods, did he pack it up and move to the city to get away from it all? Nope. Bambi took the responsibility and stayed in the woods, keeping it all together. How about Nemo when his mother (and all of his brothers and sisters) are eaten by a barracuda? Oh wait, and he was kidnapped by a scuba-diving dentist and almost condemned to death by a bag-shaking little girl. Nemo was a kid, too, and he went on to not only reunite with his father, but he also helped free a whole tank full of fish prisoners in the end. Simba ran off with his tail literally between his legs, found a couple of friends (that he should have immediately eaten, by the way), and hid out in a rainforest for years until his Uncle Scar was so old that Simba could easily come back and take over the kingdom from him. Oh, and he had to be shamed into coming back by his new girlfriend, even though deep inside he knew that his mother, his pride, and the rest of the Pridelands were in complete ruins at the hands of his power-hungry uncle. Simba is as un-redeemable as they come!
I think I laid out some pretty solid arguments here on who the most un-redeemable Disney characters are, but of course this list could go on and on. There are SO many over the top, un-redeemable characters in the Disney universe that I didn’t even mention like Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit (disguised toon erasing fellow toons), Pinocchio (unrepentant liar until it’s too late), and Shere Khan (homicidal maniac). If you have an un-redeemable Disney character that I missed, please share it with me. You can send me a Facebook message or write it on my wall HERE, tweet it to me HERE or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you so much for reading along with another silly Disney list, and I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please enjoy the rest of your stay here at Ear To There Travel!
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