Friday, July 6, 2012

Renaissance Parallels Pt. 3: Villains

It's time to talk about villains! There are actually a lot of similarities between them.

A good (and by good I mean bad) villain is a key component to a quality Disney movie. The Renaissance has some great ones, but also some ehhh ones (namely Governor Ratcliffe from Pocahontas. Man, does he annoy me).

  • No Shan-Yu (Mulan)! I suppose he could be considered a 'jealous of the king' villain, sort of. Not quite. He's definitely pretty different from all the others. One of the scariest, that's for sure.
  • There's only one appearance by the first Renaissance villain, Ursula, who, not insignificantly, is the only female villain of the series.
  • Most frequent appearance: Judge Frollo from Hunchback.  
  • I'm not actually sure if Hades is the brother of Zeus. I'm forgetting my Greek mythology at the moment. Anyone want to correct/confirm? 
  • My favorite parallel is the hilariously similar way that Frollo and Scar confront the main character (Quasimodo, Simba), atop a high place that's on fire (Notre Dame, Pride Rock) and confess the truth that they killed his parent. Villains always seem to want to confess the truth at the climax of the film as they think they are about to triumph. But it never turns out well because shortly after the confession, the hero has a resurgence of energy and defeats them, and they fall to their demise. 
  • I also love how villains can never seem to do anything by themselves. They always have their henchmen do the work, only to get frustrated when they inevitably screw it up. If you were a villain, why would you entrust the most important task (killing your arch nemesis) to your stupid sidekicks? This is highlighted in the satirical Emperor's New Groove, but it actually happens in both The Lion King and Hercules. Seriously. Scar and Hades were smart villains. That was their biggest mistake.
Did I miss any parallels between villains?

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