Let me be the first to admit to crying at the end of Disney movies. Once the credits roll, I’m already salting and buttering the remnants of my popcorn with tears and snot. Why do the bad guys always have to lose? Seems like the writers give them the most inspiring tales of perseverance and the greatest attributes, then its some fateful explosion or off some cliff. Damn you, PG rating! Here are six Disney villains who should have been heroes.
Photo credit: starrynight_012, Flickr
6 Cruella De Ville
When PETA volunteers want to get pumped up before their outings, they watch 101 Dalmations. Cruella De Ville is the animated representation of everything animal rights people hate. She’s addicted to furs and willing to sacrifice however many puppies, 101 in this case, to get the spotted coat of her dreams. I never found animal cruelty especially heroic but take this into consideration; she’s bitch-slapping thugs, rocking an electrified skunk hairdo, and driving like Speed Racer on speed, at the age of sixty-freaking-five. You’ve got to give it up to her for that performance, and by “it”, I mean a dog or two.
Aladdin’s Jafar is guilty of treason, assault & battery and attempting murder, but who’s really counting when the “good guy”, Aladdin, is going around lying about his identity and stealing food from the marketplace (c’mon son, get a job!). The only thing Jafar is really guilty of is being a dreamer, like John Lennon singing Imagine. So he teaches himself the art of hypnosis and through research and careful planning, unlocks Agrabah’s greatest treasure, the genie’s lamp. That’s two lifetime achievements. In the end, ambition gets the best of him when he goes from bubbly sultan’s bald advisor to becoming the most anabolically ripped, planet juggling genie. Win or lose?
4 Captain Hook
Yes, Peter Pan’s Captain Hook was a grumpy one, but last time I checked, getting your hand cut off and fed to a crocodile can seriously f-ck up your day. Some might even lose hope, quit their jobs and apply for the handicap parking space tag. Not the captain of the Jolly Roger brig. Just slap a hook on it and let’s keep it moving gang! The other reason to side with the Hook is the benevolence he shows, offering The Lost Boys a chance to become part of his crew and more importantly, a chance to grow up. Meanwhile, Peter Pan wants to keep them young forever so they could play all day, climb trees and have sleepovers. There’s a word for people like that. Pedophiles.
A lot of boys had mixed feelings about that first Toy Story movie. While many of them, like Andy, cherished their Ninja Turtles and Captain Planets; that didn’t mean we weren’t into blowing things up and performing surgery on them like Sid. No matter how many times he threw back his head to let out that evil cackling, we couldn’t help but identify with the sick bastard.
Beauty and The Beast’s Gaston was a man’s man. Within a three minute time frame, he manages to snap a leather belt with sheer neck muscle, devour a dozen eggs after juggling them, distribute beer from a barrel with a few shots from his rifle, and end a game of chess (he was obviously losing) by slapping the board off the table. So what if he was a bit sexist, you’ll have to forgive that especially when he willingly put his life on the line going toe to toe with a monster for Belle. Also, I’m not going to hold it against him for not taking part in a cute snowball fight. At the end of the day, if you want to celebrate human and beast relations, be my guest (no Lumiere).
1 Tony Perkis
Heavyweights is one of those childhood movies that became an instant classic to anybody who got a chance to see it. It’s about a fat camp taken over by Tony Perkis, an overzealous fitness entrepreneur (played by Ben Stiller). Never mind his alternative motive to create the most epic weight loss infomercial, Uncle Tony does whatever it takes to get these boys in shape. From the beginning of the day, he would get involved waking campers up over a PA system (“Today is Evaluation Day. The key word being value. Do you have any? Not yet you don’t.”), demonstrate how to break blocks of ice with abs and a sledgehammer, then take the boys on an endless hike and show them how to safely jump from a cliff to a branch. When confronted by parents and other counselors about his extreme methods, he throws glass bottles on the floor and walks over them barefoot to show his commitment. If that’s not a hero, I don’t want to be saved.
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