Cartoon villains have evolved into more compelling, multifaceted characters as cartoons have become more popular and adaptable. The most engaging villains in modern cartoons all have interesting backstories. They’ve occasionally been successful in defeating the hero.
The fascinating elements of any media work, whether television, a book, or a movie, are the villains of the narrative. Since the beginning of the stories, there has always been evil to counteract every virtue, and with time, the antagonists have become intriguing figures to analyze.
Why is the bad guy doing this? Why do they want to bring about the protagonist of the story’s misery, and why will they destroy someone’s life primarily to fulfill their needs? This post will list the 50 greatest cartoon villains of all time, including those who made an impression on us recently.
1. Man (Bambi)
You are not mistaken. That’s right; the cruelest villain is Man – humans. Regarding Disney bosses, the Man character in Bambi is consistently ranked at the top of the table. The 1942 cartoon classic tells the story of Bambi’s growth from birth to becoming king of the forest. At the same time, the film also mentions the feud between Bambi and Man when he killed Bambi’s mother – one of the film’s memorable scenes.
2. Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)
Sleeping Beauty is an excellent piece of art, and the film’s villain is even more impressive. Her assistant, the black crow, is no less terrifying when wholeheartedly supporting the witch Maleficent, helping her to demonstrate her authority before everyone. However, the moment she turned into a dragon, Maleficent’s image of an intelligent witch was destroyed instantly.
3. Scar (The Lion King)
What makes Scar so tremendous and weird is the voice acting of actor Jeremy Irons. The actor successfully portrayed Scar with a severely wounded soul, a humorous younger brother who never had ambitions to succeed the throne of Pride Rock. However, when Jeremy Irons left his voice role, actor Jim Cummings replaced him and created a significant limp in the voice, making Scar the lion lose his initial impression.
4. Gaston (Beauty and the Beast)
An opposite version of Prince Charming, Hunter Gaston is one of Disney’s most handsome and charming villains. He had an entire song to his name with a haughty melodious melody that spoke to the admiration of the crowd around him, showing Gaston’s snobbish ideals and arrogant personality. Along with Richard White’s impressive deep voice, Gaston has become a memorable villain on screen.
5. Jafar (Aladdin)
Although the movie Aladdin was disappointing in portraying Middle Eastern culture, the wizard Jafar, thanks to the voice of actor Jonathan Freeman, successfully entered this chart. Jafar’s cruel actions include kidnapping princess Jasmine to serve his plans, dressing extremely aristocratic, and not calling Aladdin Prince Abubu. The success of the character Jafar can’t be helped without the charming voice of Jonathan Freeman, who has 30 years of experience playing the role.
6. The Coachman (Pinocchio)
The Coachman is just a supporting character, but his fear is not inferior to other big sisters and brothers. He succeeds in running away at the end of the movie, which is why he is so terrible in the eyes of the audience. He lured spoiled children into his hands and turned them into stupid donkeys, and sold them to the people at the salt mines. The saying “They will never return in human form!” of The Coachman has haunted generations of audiences.
7. Ursula (The Little Mermaid)
You should know a bitter truth: Ursula (voiced by Pat Carroll) is the movie’s most failed character. She is a rebellious sister of King Triton, often using her witchcraft to rule the oceans. Ariel, the girl who desired to step into the human world, was too simple a prey for Ursula. Therefore, despite playing the main villain in the film, the witch Ursula has too little acting land.
8. Captain Hook (Peter Pan)
The well-dressed pirate with a rough, grumpy disposition has a penchant for bullying stray boys. Peter Pan isn’t Disney’s scariest character, but Captain Hook is one of the most attractive antagonists. His image makes viewers remember a captain on a chaotic ship forever. There are many versions of Captain Hook created after that, but the version by actor Hans Conried is perhaps the most unforgettable version in the audience’s mind.
9. The Evil Queen (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
Although The Evil Queen is not the evilest character, she is the one who sets the pattern for the villains. One of the emblems of the Disney empire is the scene in which the Queen disguises herself as an older woman to lure Snow White into eating poisoned apples before killing her. The death that comes from falling off the cliff and into the abyss is the ideal model for the villains later.
10. Shere Khan (The Jungle Book)
Although the 2016 version of The Jungle Book was not as good as expected, actor Idris Elba turned the tiger Shere Khan into a ten thousand times scarier character than the animated version. In the 1967 version, Shere Khan was quite “muddy”, “crazy,” and just scary enough for the animals to protect the boy Mowgli from the tiger’s claws. Along with the sweet voice of George Sanders, the tiger seems to have become much more lovable than the script.
11. Lady Tremaine (Cinderella)
Lady Tremaine is a character who does not possess supernatural powers or magic, but her malice scares many people. When the fairy mother helped Cinderella, the Tremaine family remained unmoved by the divine magic. That is also the detail that makes Lady Tremaine the scariest villain ever. With the voice of actress Eleanor Audley, this stepmother character seems to have become more ruthless and powerful.
12. Claude Frollo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
Voiced by actor Tony Jay, Claude Frollo is one of the most famous villains whose ruthless personality is reflected in the scenes between him and the hunchback Quasimodo. His cruelty does not stop there; it is also reflected in how he treats the dancer Esmeralda. Although more than 20 years have passed, The Hunchback of Notre Dame still maintains its legendary status with the familiar Hellfire soundtrack.
13. Dr. Facilier (The Princess and The Frog)
Although Critics did not appreciate the Princess and the Frog, the mysterious villain Dr. Facilier the film received many positive reviews. Dr. Facilier embraces the ambition to dominate the kingdom of New Orleans, and to carry out his plot, Facilier needs to lure the flower-digging prince into a trap to profit. The most impressive point of this character is probably when Dr. Facilier shows a ghostly, mysterious, but equally, dangerous feature when singing the song Friends on the Other Side.
14. Hades (Hercules)
What’s scarier than the lord of hell? In Greek mythology, Hades is a fearsome god of the underworld, but Hades of the House of Rats is a bit silly. Voiced by actor James Woods, “Greek Pluto” has become the evil version of the Genie (Aladdin). Disney’s Hades likes to talk like a “rap,” using modern jargon and an energetic vibe. Along with the humor of James Wood, Hades is Disney’s most impressive villain.
15. Yzma (The Emperor’s New Groove)
Although The Emperor’s New Groove isn’t technically appreciated, the film’s evil Queen Yzma (by Eartha Kitt) has become an animation icon. The image of Queen Yzma is entirely in the style of director Miyazaki, from the way she depicts wrinkles to the way she builds her humorous and egotistical personality. Along with her partner Kronk, Queen Yzma has become an indelible mark of the Disney family.
16. Ratigan (The Great Mouse Detective)
We can’t ignore the efforts of star Vincent Price when it comes to villain legends. In the movie The Great Mouse Detective, the actor transforms into an evil rat Ratigan, always carrying with him his dream of becoming a noble mouse. Choreographed by talented producers along with the success of the unique voice of actor Vincent Price, the film has become one of the legends of Disney’s “Renaissance”.
17. Mother Gothel (Tangled)
An older woman who mistreats a young girl is a common motif in Disney movies, such as the story of Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty. And standing out among the cannibals is the poisonous thorn flower Mother Gothel of Tangled. The highlight of Mother Gothel is that in addition to her cruelty, there is compassion for the little girl she kidnapped to possess her magical hair. We can see the protection and caring Mother Gothel gives Rapunzel.
18. Cruella De Vil (101 Dalmatians)
Speaking of the great ladies, we can’t help but mention the lady Cruella De Vil. Perhaps the fight between Cruella, the dalmatian Pongo, Perdita, and the cubs is the most exciting point of the film. The moment Lady Cruella nearly died and damaged her luxury car while chasing dalmatians proved to the audience the extreme cruelty of this character.
19. Madame Medusa (The Rescuers)
Madame Medusa is a rather horror character in the Disney animated world. Madam Medusa deserves to be at the top of the rankings of all the bosses and big sisters here. However, the image of her character is more complex and cruel than other familiar villains. Thanks to Geraldine Page’s lively voice and unique drawings (artist Milt Kahl designed Mrs. Medusa based on the image of his wife), a classic Madame Medusa was created.
20. Prince John (Robin Hood)
Public opinion seems to love this 1973 work, but to be honest, the film’s graphics are still too rudimentary, the motif is old, and the characters are familiar. But when we talk about the character of Prince John, it is a success for Disney to let actor Peter Ustinov voice this guy. While the other characters of Robin Hood all have the typical wet and reformed look of the Disney house, Prince John brings a different feeling, thanks to Peter Ustinov’s credit.
21. Stromboli (Pinocchio)
Big, loud, and cruel are the characteristics when it comes to Stromboli. He is a cruel showman who ruthlessly burns puppets when they are too old to perform. His only passion is money and money. Therefore, upon realizing Pinocchio’s potential, he kidnaps and forces Pinocchio to work for him.
22. Shan-Yu (Mulan)
Shan-Yu is a brutal Hun general determined to invade China. He and his army crossed the Great Wall to invade the land to prove their power to the Emperor of China. Shan-Yu doesn’t flinch when she kills a living being. Sometimes, for fun, he killed people without fear.
23. Governor Ratcliffe (Pocahontas)
This is a greedy and money-hungry governor. Governor Ratcliffe distrusted the Indians and let his followers attack them because he believed that these Indians were hiding the gold he coveted. He declared war even when he discovered that these Native Americans did not have this gold.
24. Aku (Samurai Jack)
Aku, a demon created from The Black Mass of Evil, is introduced as Samurai Jack and his family’s archenemy in this entry, which departs from the Disney villains. The rivalry between Aku and Jack, who are continuously battling, is likely the best part of the cartoon Samurai Jack. In the cartoon, Aku provides comic relief and is adored by viewers. As the show’s deuteragonist, or secondary character, Aku is frequently given much attention.
25. Queen Of Hearts (Alice In Wonderland)
In Alice In Wonderland, the Queen Of Hearts is the head of the royal family and has the power to punish her subordinates with barbaric forms such as beheading. With mood swings and childish outbursts, the Queen Of Hearts’ strength surpasses that of the King Of Hearts, making her the most dangerous tyrant in Wonderland.
26. Chernabog/ The Firebird (Fantasia (1940)/ Fantasia 2000 (2000))
The most potent Disney villain of all time belongs to Chernabog. Chernabog is a dangerous demon described as Satan. He is the embodiment of evil and uses evil to maintain power. In Fantasia 2000, Chernabog was replaced by The Firebird. He rose from the pit of hell surrounded by hot lava and sharp eyes. Both Chernabog and The Firebird possess unparalleled strength.
27. Mr. Burns (The Simpsons)
Mr. Burns is a threat and a villain who makes life unpleasant for everyone around him. He is also ancient, and the program typically makes fun of this by bringing up kingdoms and lost civilizations that were around when he was born. Burns is a billionaire who will stop at nothing to become the wealthiest man in the world. He is a horrible example of what it means to be a rich man in Corporate America. Every villain list from the past two decades should feature Burns because he is a classic Simpsons character.
28. Bill Cipher (Gravity Falls)
We depart from the classic Disney cartoon villains and turn to more contemporary ones, Bill Cipher from Gravity Falls. Bill Cipher is a Dream Demon with nebulous goals who appears to have a grudge against the Pines clan, especially his former nemesis Stanford Pines. Bill Cipher is wearing the Illuminati crest, representing the villain’s plans to rule the world with his cunning and all-encompassing knowledge.
29. Catra (She-Ra: Princess of Power)
The best aspect of the She-Ra: Princess of Power series is the rivalry between Catra and Adora, whose dynamic is astounding. Catra experiences significant trauma, which causes her to act out and oppose the Rebellion. Her actions nearly result in her death, but Adora intervenes to save her and lead her toward atonement. Catra is one of the most impressive recent redeeming villains, and she merits a spot on our list.
30. Fire Lord Ozai (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
Among the best-animated shows and cartoons of the modern period is unquestionably Avatar: The Last Airbender. It provided us with fantastic lore, world-building, and memorable characters. Fire Lord Ozai, the father of Zuko and Azula and a former ally of the Avatar Roku, evolved into a vile monster. The title of Fire Lord wasn’t enough for him; he desired to become the Phoenix King, wield the abilities of Sozin’s Comet, and set fire to the entire Earth Kingdom.
31. Deathstroke (Teen Titans)
A well-known DC Comics character and a fierce foe of Batman and Green Arrow is Deathstroke. In the Teen Titans animated series, he also had critical encounters with Dick Grayson, commonly known as Robin. Even the temporary collaboration with Robin to accomplish the villain’s ultimate purpose did not alter Slade Wilson’s views toward the Teen Titans and everything they stand for.
32. Rasputin (Anastasia)
The Grand Duchess Anastasia’s mythology served as the inspiration for this cartoon. Anastasia is exiled, and her family is killed by the Russian revolution, which is started by a wicked man who sees himself as a prophet and magician and betrays the Romanovs. Rasputin is a cunning narcissist who wants to rule the Russian Empire. Rasputin’s animated rendition is highly fascinating and was based on actual events in Russian history.
33. The Monarch (The Venture Bros)
The Monarch is the villain we frequently root for owing to how pitifully stupid he is, and he has a deep-seated, obsessive loathing for Thaddeus Venture. Despite being a wuss who doesn’t know much about butterflies, he managed to amass a band of loyal henchmen and a blazing hot but somewhat gravelly-voiced partner in Doctor Mrs. The Monarch.
34. Skeletor (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe)
Skeletor possessed an evil chuckle, various mysterious magical abilities, and several irrational plans to rule Eternia. It may seem silly to have a physical skeleton as the primary opponent, but there’s no disputing his appeal as a cartoon antagonist. More than Baron Dark, he’ll always be our favorite wicked skeleton! Hordak was a fantastic adversary in his own right, but our man Skeletor still has the upper hand!
35. Gargamel (Smurfs)
Smurfs was well-liked and gave us several beautiful characters, such as Gargamel, the antagonist from the Smurfs’ tale. He is an evil man that wants to torture and exterminate the Smurfs. His detestable personality results from his rough and negligent upbringing, but he has certain emotions, especially for his devoted companion, a cat by the name of Azrael.
36. Sheldon J. Plankton (SpongeBob SquarePants)
This tiny organism may be smaller than anything else in the ocean, but you won’t find a more potent source of wrath, madness, or laughter anywhere else. Owner of the Chum Bucket, Sheldon J. Plankton‘s one ambition in life is to deprive Mr. Krabs of his secret recipe for the Krabby Patty so that he may use it to make the Chum Bucket a roaring success and leave the Krusty Krab in the dust. Sadly, his ideas consistently fail, frequently fueling his irrational and violent behavior.
37. Shredder (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
There is no shortage of strange foes for these superheroes in a half-shell, but the Shredder, the head of the Foot Clan, is by far the deadliest. This razor-bladed death machine was just as competent in martial arts as the turtles, and he even managed to defeat them in combat a few times in his most ridiculous guise. Shredder more than lived up to his reputation as the turtles’ deadliest adversary with his legion of Foot ninjas and superior technology.
38. Magneto (X-Men)
Numerous Marvel characters have been animated, including Magneto, a well-known antihero, and villain in the comics. Magneto was shown as both Charles Xavier’s buddy and adversary in the well-known animation from the 1990s. According to him, mutants are the next step in the evolution of humanity and are destined to rule the planet.
39. Megatron (Transformers)
One of the most recognizable cartoon villains of all time is Megatron, the leader of the Decepticons and the primary adversary of the animated series Transformers. He is regarded as the strongest Decepticon and the archenemy of Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots. Megatron is a great character and a bad guy.
40. The Joker (Batman: The Animated Series)
Although the Clown Prince of Crime may not have appeared on television for the first time, many still hold that this is the only way the legendary Batman villain – Joker, will ever be depicted. This clown is a homicidal psychopath who is never seen without his signature smile and laugh and whose sole purpose in life is to wreak havoc and misery in Gotham City.
41. Amon (Legend of Korra)
Amon, the primary antagonist of Book One in the animated series The Legend of Korra, is one of the best villains in contemporary cartoon history. His status and support in the anti-bender revolutionary faction known as the Equalists were made possible by his charismatic and enigmatic but frightening personality. By outlawing bending everywhere, they hoped to bring equality to the world.
42. Azula (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
Azula is a seriously damaged, mad character whose mental instability pushes her further into wickedness. Azula has replaced her father, Ozai, and is seen as manipulative and power-obsessed, which contrasts sharply with her brother Zuko who adopted their mother Ursa’s personality. Although she continues to be a fan favorite, everyone can agree that she can never be saved because she is utterly evil.
43. The Lich (Adventure Time)
The Lich is renowned for being one of Finn and Jake’s most formidable opponents in Adventure Time, yet he may not be the series’ ultimate antagonist. Beyond his horrifying visage, Lich’s power leaves a frightening impression on spectators. This personification of evil doesn’t even need to use physical force to cause havoc; there have been many occasions when his mind tricks were more than enough to defeat the good folks.
44. Silco (Arcane)
Netflix recently gave us the League of Legends-themed television series Arcane. The protagonist of Arcane, Jinx, has a Zaunite drug lord Silco as his adoptive father. Silco is also an industrialist. He is a man who wants the Zaun to break away from the liberal Piltover and is ruthless, authoritarian, and downright vicious. But as the show progresses, we see his gentler side, love, and allegiance for Jinx, who she would risk everything to keep safe.
45. Lex Luthor (Superman)
The Superman mythos places a great deal of emphasis on Lex Luthor, who is perhaps the character’s most infamous foe. Nearly all of the Superman adaptations featured Luthor, and his cartoon appearances had similar effects on comic book plots. Despite being a regular person, Lex Luthor remains the most threatening DC antagonist to this point, and for a good reason.
46. Lotor (Voltron: Legendary Defender)
Lotor decided to influence others to obtain power and support for his schemes to misuse Quintessential energy. He believed himself to be a hero, paying individuals what he believed they were due, oblivious to how his actions benefited him. Lotor kept everyone guessing until the end, creating a sophisticated layer of drama to keep the audience watching.
47. Dr. Doom (Fantastic Four Series)
Dr. Doom, sometimes known as Victor Von Doom, is a common adversary of the Fantastic Four and various other Avengers. During their time together at school, Dr. Doom and Reed Richards grew to hate each other, and Dr. Doom always attributed his burned and deformed face to Reed. Dr. Doom rose from the ashes of his low point to take control of his native nation and establish his terrible empire.
48. Harley Quinn (Batman: The Animated Series)
Harley Quinn, the actual name Dr. Harleen Quinzel, plays the role of the Joker’s sidekick. She began her character development as the Joker’s psychologist but fell in love with him. She has Arleen Sorkin as her voice. In addition to some very profound and emotional ones, Harley introduces some amusingly humorous elements to her character. Fans might identify with her as a villain. Harley is adored simply because she is so unapologetically authentic.
49. Mad Hatter (Alice in Wonderland)
Before being connected with a significant Batman villain, the name was only associated with the Mad Hatter from the 1951 animated film “Alice in Wonderland.” The pure lunacy he adds to Alice’s stay in Wonderland and his infamous tea parties celebrating “unbirthdays” is very entertaining.
50. Emperor Belos (Owl House)
Emperor Belos believed that since the people supported him and saw him as a just leader, no one would disagree with him. This makes the heroes’ trip to The Owl House much more difficult. Even as the series comes to a close, it is still unclear why Emperor Belos shows his citizens so much that it is full of falsehoods and deceit. Belos is so well-liked and with good reason is what makes him a compelling antagonist.