When everyone thinks of Disney movies, they probably think of fun, happy stories with lots of music and singing and everyone getting along happily ever after, when the reality of course is much different. True, there are songs. True, there are happy endings, but certainly not for everyone. And sometimes when characters end badly, they end REALLY badly. It's truly shocking how horrible Disney villain deaths can be, especially when you consider that these movies are made for children. But then the original fairytales on which they are based were pretty brutal to both wicked and virtuous alike, so I guess it's good that the spirit of the source material is kept alive. I'm sure we all remember how the ugly stepsisters cut off their heels and toes, and then had their eyes pecked out by birds in the original version of Cinderella. And I'm sure we all remember how the Wicked Queen was forced to dance at Snow White's wedding in red hot iron shoes in the original version of that tale. And I'm sure we definitely all remember the fate of Rapunzel, after letting down her hair and a lot more for her prince - he's blinded by the witch and she wanders the desert for years with her twin babies, until she's finally reunited with Prince Charming, and then her tears magically restore his sight. Still, pretty brutal consequences, wouldn't you say? But fairytales are stories that are intended to teach lessons in morality at a young age, and the Disney versions of these stories certainly carry on that tradition. Bottom line: no matter how cool they look, or how much they sing, or as understandable as their actions may be, you'd better not be a bad guy, or this could happen to you.
The Mistress of Evil goes out in style, you gotta admit. Transforming into a fire-breathing dragon is probably no mean feat, and really shows the lengths she's willing to go to get revenge for this whole not-being-invited-to-the-christening slight. Or maybe she's just a woman of her word, and when she says Aurora will die on her sixteenth birthday, she means it. Gotta admire that dedication. Anyway, Prince Philip is given a magic sword by the three good fairies, which he uses to fight Maleficent for a while, but it's clear he's outmatched in terms of power. So one of the fairies then enchants the sword, so that when Philip throw it at Maleficent, it hits her straight in the heart. Cheating? Some would say so. I guess the moral of the story is, if you're a good guy, you gotta have some kinda magic on your side which will allow you to overcome all the obstacles in your path with minimum effort on your part. Good life lesson there, Disney.
9) Oogie Boogie Man
This one is really nasty, but you can't expect anything less from Tim Burton. Oogie has a loose string on his skin (yeah, I guess we'll call it his skin) which Jack loosens, and then gets caught in this fan contraption, and rips his skin off, revealing that he's made of bugs underneath. Don't ask how that works. It's just horrifying to watch though, as his body of bugs gradually disintegrates, dropping into the boiling pit where he was going to drop Santa Claus and Sally. Don't gamble, kids, or you'll get your skin ripped off. Got it. Also, don't mess with the Pumpkin King. He will mess you up.
Scar's death is utterly horrible, but I guess so was Mufasa's, so they're even now. This is also a great lesson in not trusting your minions too much (or at least not talking about them behind their backs when they can probably hear you). I know he's a murderer and all, but you can't help but feel bad for the guy when Scar seems to realize what's going to happen to him. And does anyone really deserve to be eaten alive by hungry hyenas? I'll let you decide. (The answer is yes.)
Hades is another really nasty death, because it's not even a death. The guy can't die - he's a god, and gods are immortal, which was the whole basis for this story. So Hades is pulled down into this whirlpool of death by all these spirits he's abused, and you can just imagine what kinda torture they've got in mind for him for all eternity. Really just brutal. Although I'm hoping Hades somehow managed to charm his way outta that situation, and is even now plotting his revenge on Hercules for knocking him in there. A girl can dream.
Ursula's is probably the all around nastiest death in Disney history. I know the lady did some pretty evil stuff, but did she really deserve this? Does anyone? So Prince Eric, the good guy, decides that in order to stop Ursula, he's going to impale her on the prow of the ship she made rise from the bottom of the sea. Ok, fair enough, it's ironic anyway. So he plunges the bow of the ship through her stomach, and just as she's dealing with the shock of that, a bolt of lightning strikes the end of the bow that's come out her other side, and electrocutes her. That's right - impaled, and electrocuted. I don't know what kind of brutal mind thought of that, but it wouldn't be out of place in one of the "Saw" movies. And we, the child viewers, get to see her skeleton as she's writhing around being electrocuted. The fact that she then drags down the ship with her giant tentacles was too much for my young mind, and I can't watch this scene today without a twinge of horror.
*Fun fact - at the Disney Store, they do a thing called an Imagination Explosion, where all the lights go out, and all the villains appear on the screen. A voice announces that the Disney villains have taken over the Disney Store, and the kids have to ring these magic bells so Tinkerbell will come and save us all. After awhile the villains are defeated, and you get to watch all their lovely death scenes, including this one. Way to go, Tink! So glad your wondrous magic and Pixie Dust can bring about such great deeds as a giant octopus being impaled and electrocuted! Who says Disney is happy?
I love this death, actually. It's so cool. But again, really, really brutal. When you weigh up Clayton's crimes vs. his fate, it just doesn't seem that fair. Clayton never kills anyone. He shoots and kills a Silverback gorilla, but it was attacking him, so that seems justifiable at least. He causes a mutiny on a ship so that it can be delayed a few days while he rounds up some gorillas to take back to England. But even the good-hearted Jane begs that the captain delays the return journey, so she can see the gorillas. The captain comes off as a bit of an annoying bureaucrat anyway, so who's to say the mutiny wasn't well deserved? Maybe Clayton shouldn't be taking gorillas away from their home, but it would certainly prevent other baby gorillas being killed by leopards in the wild. Just think about it. Anyway, Clayton is trying to kill Tarzan (attempted murder is wrong, I agree, but not deserving of this), so Tarzan traps him in some vines to delay him. Clayton, in a fit of testosterone, begins ripping the vines apart with his teeth and hacking them away with his machete...except the one around his neck. As all the other vines give way, Clayton plummets screaming to his death with one vine still wrapped around his neck. You see the vine go taunt. And then Tarzan drops to the ground, there's a flash of lightning, and we see the shadow of Clayton hanging from the tree. Awesome points, Disney. So many awesome points.
4) The Horned King
The Horned King is one evil guy, so I guess it's only fair that his death be pretty evil. But it's still horrifying to watch this skeletal thing clutching the rim of the Black Cauldron as it literally begins to rip his flesh from his bones. You're not really sure if the Horned King is really alive at all, or just some kind of skeleton monster, but it's not until you see the flesh peel off that you realize how much of it there is. Eventually there's just a writhing skeleton left, which is then is sucked into the cauldron. The moral of this story is don't try to resurrect an army of Un-dead warriors and take over the world - it doesn't end well.
3) Dr. Facilier
It's hard to watch a smooth operator lose his cool, and that's exactly what happens at the end of "The Princess and the Frog." On the one hand, Facilier killed Ray, so he deserves some kind of horrible death. On the other, it's difficult to see the charming voodoo man turn into a gibbering, pleading wreck as he realizes his time is up, and watch as he gets pulled down to voodoo hell. Which is obviously much worse than regular hell - there are probably voodoo dolls there that stick pins into you! *shudder* Anyway, the death is a great reprise of "Friends on the Other Side," both visually and musically, and a truly horrific lesson about messing with forbidden powers greater than yourself. Faust, eat your heart out.
I love everything about this movie, especially its ending. Up to the end, Ratigan has been very smooth, in an utterly evil way, of course - whether he's detailing his multiple death trap for Basil, reading out his brutal laws as the new king, kidnapping children, or singing about how great he is, he's nothing but suave and charming while doing it. And then he crashes into Big Ben, Basil saves Olivia, and traps Ratigan's cape in the cogs of the clock. And Ratigan decides he's sick of being charming. He gets angry. Really, really angry. He bursts out of his suit, snarling and racing after Basil on all fours. He catches him on the clock face of Big Ben, and proceeds to beat the crap out of him, eventually knocking him off into the fog below. His triumph assured, Ratigan howls, "I've won!" and enjoys his momentary victory, before the clock strikes the hour, and he plunges to his death into the fog...but not without taking Basil down with him. Basil manages to save himself, of course, but you've got to admire that determination to take his nemesis down at all costs. No shame in your defeat, sir. You did everything you could, and you did it looking fabulous.
The best death in Disney villain history, in terms of general awesomeness, has to be Frollo's. Frollo is an evil man, no doubt about it. He murdered Quasimodo's mother, killed hundreds of gypsies, mentally abused Quasimodo from an early age, burned Paris to the ground hunting for the girl he wants, and tried to burn that girl at the stake for not wanting to be with him. Just one of those things would be evil, so all of them together make him a very bad guy. But he knows how to die in style. He tries to sneak up on the distraught Quasimodo, who's mourning Esmeralda's supposed death, and stab him in the back. Quasimodo overpowers him, gives him some speech about how the world isn't dark and cruel (clearly he learned nothing from his humiliation during the Feast of Fools, but whatever), and then, when he realizes Esmeralda is alive, grabs her and runs. Frollo chases after them along the parapets of Notre Dame, lashing at them with a sword. Quasimodo throws Esmeralda to safety, and then faces Frollo, who confesses to him that he killed his mother. Quasimodo is taken aback by this, and Frollo uses his confusion to throw him cape over him and pull him off the edge of the cathedral, but Quasimodo takes Frollo down with him. Quasimodo refuses to drop him, and Frollo swings onto a gargoyle while Esmeralda rushes to pull Quasimodo back up. Frollo, laughing triumphantly, stands up on the gargoyle, raising his sword above them and exclaiming, "And He shall smite the wicked and plunge them into the fiery pit!" God hears his name, and makes the gargoyle Frollo is standing on start to snap. Frollo falls, latching onto it, and it comes alive, roaring at him. Frollo cries out in terror as the gargoyle breaks off, plunging him down into the fiery pit of molten lead, and into an even fierier pit after that. There's no doubt in anyone's mind where he's going. With the haunting refrains of "Hellfire" playing as Frollo falls, his death wins for pure epicness. Seriously, kids, it doesn't pay to be a bad guy.