5 Disney Villains That Were Misunderstood (& 5 That Were Pure Evil)

Though some of their actions are terrible, the villains are some of the most interesting characters in the world of Disney. Our favorite heroes and heroines would be nowhere without these classic antagonists to battle against. As Disney fans, we’re grateful for characters like Maleficent and Captain Hook, even though they’re so widely hated in their own universes.

RELATED: 10 Plot Holes In The Lion King Everyone Forgets

Looking back as adults at the behavior of the most prominent Disney villains, it’s clear that not all of them really are as malicious as they’re made out to be. While some villains are just pure evil, others are slightly misunderstood. Read on to find out which Disney villains we empathize with, and which ones really are just bad eggs.

10 Misunderstood: Captain Hook

The villain of the 1953 classic Peter Pan, Captain Hook is portrayed as a child-hating pirate harboring an obsession with finding and killing Peter Pan, the story’s hero. Captain Hook certainly does have a vendetta against Peter, even going so far as to kidnap Tiger Lily to interrogate her about where his secret hideout is located.

However, when the context behind Hook’s vendetta is considered, it becomes easier to empathize with him. Before the story takes place, Peter cuts off Hook’s hand and throws it to a crocodile. Who wouldn’t be mad about that?

9 Pure Evil: Shan Yu

Shan Yu serves as the central villain of Mulan, though his mission isn’t to cause any harm to Mulan personally. Instead, he’s interested in forcing all of her people into subjugation by invading the country with his Hunnic army. When we’re shown the devastation that the Huns leave one of the mountain villages in, it’s pretty clear that Shan Yu is heartless.

While there was no real historical figure called Shan Yu, some have speculated that he is based on the real fifth-century warrior Attila the Hun, who led the Huns on a conquest across Europe.

8 Misunderstood: Edgar Balthazar

Edgar Belthazar doesn’t do anything as terrible as slaying a village or even trying to kill a child. Rather, his crime in The Aristocats is kidnapping his boss’s family of cats and abandoning them in the countryside so they can’t inherit her fortune. He also tries to ship them off to Timbuktu when they find their way back to Paris.

RELATED: 10 Disney Hero/Villain Crossovers That We’d Love To See

It is far from okay to kidnap and abandon cats, but Edgar’s frustration is understandable. He’s a faithful servant to a lonely widower and after all his hard work she chooses to leave her fortune to the cats instead.

7 Pure Evil: Cruella De Vil

In the grand scheme of things, Cruella De Vil doesn’t cause as much death and destruction as some of the other Disney villains. That said, most viewers would presumably agree that she is still pure evil. Anybody who can look at innocent puppies and think only of turning them into clothing has to be pure evil.

At the end of One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Cruella gets what’s coming to her when she’s stranded with her henchmen and left in tears.

6 Misunderstood: Monstro The Whale

There are a few villains in the 1940 film Pinocchio, and along with Stromboli, Honest John, and the Coachman, Monstro the whale is thought of as an antagonist. By swallowing Gepetto’s ship, he nearly dooms the kindly old man to death. Still, Monstro is a whale. What else is he supposed to do but eat smaller creatures that he finds in the ocean?

Monstro doesn’t aim to make Gepetto and Pinocchio miserable. He’s not on some mission to be an infamous villain. He’s just going about his day. Everybody has to eat!

5 Pure Evil: The Evil Queen

She was the first real Disney villain but, even after more than 80 years, the Evil Queen is still one of the most fearsome. The scene in which she turns into the old hag has been scaring children for generations, if not because of her cackling laugh than the way she shows up at Snow White’s window and convinces her to take the poisoned apple.

RELATED: 10 Plot Holes And Mistakes In Popular Disney Cartoons And Movies

The Queen is completely motivated by vanity and it makes her pitiless. She doesn’t care about Snow White or anybody else in her kingdom and would kill anybody to be seen as attractive.

4 Misunderstood: Maleficent

Maleficent is often thought of as one of the most interesting Disney villains, and sometimes, as the evilest of the whole bunch. It does take a lot of malice to plan to kill an infant, wrap a kingdom in thorns, falsely imprison a prince, and turn into a dragon out of rage. But none of that would have happened if Maleficent had just been included in the festivities.

On the one hand, nobody should have to invite someone they don’t like to their gatherings. On the other, it doesn’t feel good to be excluded. We can understand the seed (but not the extent) of Maleficent’s anger.

3 Pure Evil: Jafar

While some Disney villains are funny and loveable despite their evil actions, Jafar really has no redeeming qualities. He manipulates the Sultan, believes that other lives besides his own are worthless, and creates quite a ruckus when he finally becomes an all-powerful sorcerer.

One of Jafar’s most unsettling actions was coming onto Princess Jasmine. Again, in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t as devastating as the way he takes over the Sultan’s kingdom, but it’s something that is deeply uncomfortable.

2 Misunderstood: The Hyenas

Working for Scar, the Hyenas as the secondary antagonists in The Lion King. They help Scar to reign with terror, bully the lions, and take whatever food is available in the Pride Lands, leaving the lions to starve. While all of that is terrible, the hyenas ultimately act like this because they’re starving.

Anybody who’s ever known hunger can empathize with this. When people are starving, they’ll do anything to get by. Scar is the real villain in The Lion King and creates monsters out of the other characters.

1 Pure Evil: Ursula

Some Disney fans have expressed sympathy for Ursula, the Sea Witch of The Little Mermaid story. She is excluded from Triton’s kingdom and seems to lead a lonely, deprived life. Ultimately, her actions are just too evil.

Ursula manipulates Ariel and sabotages the deal that she set up in the first place because she can’t stand losing. She’s dishonest, controlling, sneaky, and above all, heartless and malicious.

NEXT: 10 Disney And Pixar Villains That Deserve The Maleficent Movie Treatment

2020-02-13 01:02:46

Vanessa Elle

Galactus is Marvel’s Most Misunderstood (Pretty Chill) Villain

Fantastic Four antagonist Galactus may be feared throughout the Marvel Universe as a universal threat to all planets… but he’s also a pretty chill guy if people meet him on the right day. Setting aside the bad reputation Marvel’s heroes spread through their own stories, and it’s worth remembering Galactus isn’t really a villain, but a cosmic force of nature who only consumes planets in order to survive.

Marvel has even established the fact that every alien race sees Galactus differently, according to how they comprehend the Devourer of Worlds. That means if a given people aren’t so scared of the purple giant, they might see him in a new light. With that in mind, here are just a few of the occasions when Galactus was actually a completely relatable character.

Doreen Green (aka Squirrel Girl) has a reputation for being able to defeat any villain, from Doctor Doom to Thanos. But even she gets nervous when she learns Galactus is coming to eat the Earth (again) in The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4. Fortunately, Doreen’s peppy attitude makes her perceive Galactus as a laid-back giant who talks to squirrels and explains he needs to devour Earth because “a dude’s gotta eat.” When Doreen deduces Galactus only threatens Earth because he wants its heroes to find him a planetary substitute (making his regular attacks the cosmic version of “ordering in”), she leads Galactus to an uninhabited planet covered with nuts. The two pig out so much they end up in a food coma on the moon. “No regrets,” Galactus assures Doreen.

Related: MCU Theory: Thanos Was a Herald of Galactus

In this one-page story from What If –? Vol. 2 #3, fans get to see an alternate universe where Galactus, not Peter Parker, was Uncle Ben and Aunt May’s nephew. After showing his “universe-eating trick” on TV, Galactus returns home to learn his Uncle Ben has been shot by a burglar. Enraged, Galactus reduces the burglar to protoplasmic slime and uses the Power Cosmic to transform Uncle Ben into the Silver Surfer ( “I feel like I’ve eaten a whole box of bran!” proclaims Ben) Aunt May then feeds her hungry nephew “Galley” a stack of wheat cakes, proving her cooking can satisfy any appetite.

The Parkers continue having a positive effect on Galactus in Marvel Team-Up #137, where Galactus transforms Aunt May into his new herald, Golden Oldie. Instead of leading him to a populated planet, Golden Oldie takes Galactus to an alien baker who makes him planet-sized snack cakes. Although this was later revealed to be a dream, it’s possible a version of these events happened in an alternate universe somewhere.

In Marvel Adventures Avengers #26, Galactus falls victim to this universe’s version of the allegedly universe-destroying Ultimate Nullifier device. In the story, the Avengers try to stop Galactus from consuming an inhabited planet. Spider-Man finds the Ultimate Nullifier and turns it on – only to discover that it nullifies all power advantages, putting Galactus on equal footing with the Avengers. This forces Galactus to battle the Avengers in more mundane challenges, including chess, poker, and (as suggested by Captain America), baseball. While Galactus proves an intimidating batter and attempts to hit the ball all the way to the Arcturus star, pitcher Hank Pym ruins the game by creating a “Zeno’s Paradoxer” toss that prevents the ball from reaching Galactus. Fortunately, when the teams break for lunch, Galactus discovers he likes eating spicy uninhabited worlds and chooses to spare the aliens’ planet.

Most alien species flee or scream in terror when Galactus approaches. But for the Poppupians of the planet Popup, the coming of Galactus is a blessing. The shape-changing Poppupians had grown bored with living and evolved into a group mind, enabling their most adventurous member, the Impossible Man, to house their entire consciousness in his body. Opting for a more minimalist existence, the Poppupians requested that Galactus eat them, which he eagerly did. Unfortunately, Popup also gave Galactus indigestion.

RELATED: 20 Strange Facts About Galactus’s Body

Galactus may claim he’s unconcerned with lesser beings like humans, but in Fantastic Four #257, he reveals he carries a lot of guilt over his planetary diet. When he decides to stop eating inhabited worlds, he begins starving and has suicidal thoughts – prompting a visit from Marvel’s embodiment of oblivion, Mistress Death. Although Galactus asks Death to kill him, Mistress Death gives him a pep talk, telling Galactus his regular diet is part of the natural universal order. Reassured, Galactus ends his hunger strike and goes on to eat the Skrull Throne-World.     

Why does Galactus secretly care so much about humanoid life? Because he was once a human-like alien himself! According to his origin, Galactus was originally a man named Galan who lived on a planet called Ta in the universe that preceded the current one. When Galan learned his universe was dying, he built a ship to help him survive the destruction, and later evolved into Galactus. He regressed back into Galan in Fantastic Four #522 when his cosmic essence was separated from his mortal self. Coming to admire humanity, Galan chose to exile himself to a different dimension so he would not threaten Earth if he became Galactus again.

Galan would become Galactus once more – but in a later storyline from Ultimates Vol. 2, he evolves again into the Lifebringer, a cosmic entity that goes around infusing dead planets with life energies instead of destroying them. Although he would eventually revert to the Devourer of Worlds, this period of Galactus’ existence shows him at his most benevolent.

Still, even Galactus’ Lifebringer phase couldn’t compare with the time when Thanos, in an alternate Infinity Gauntlet story told in What If –? #34, banished Galactus to Earth and transformed him into an identical duplicate of Elvis Presley. Stripped of his memories and powers, Galactus becomes a rock star (although his appetite for fried chicken and peanut butter and banana sandwiches threatens to make him gain as much weight as the original Elvis). When Adam Warlock returns to transform Galactus back into the Devourer of Worlds, Galactus turns him down, preferring to remain the King of Rock and Roll.

With Galactus slated to possibly become one of the major antagonists of MCU’s Phase 4, in ideally a better form than the cosmic cloud he appears as in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, it’s highly unlikely audiences will see his easygoing side on the big screen. Still, considering this cosmic entity’s main interests involve chilling and snacking, if you can get past his tendency to obliterate civilizations, Galactus would be a pretty fun guy to hang out with.

Next: Predicting Every Marvel What If…? Scenario

2019-10-05 08:10:19

Michael Jung

Venom Erases Spider-Man To Avoid Marvel Mistakes

Venom may owe his origins to Spider-Man in the comic books, but in the movie version, Marvel’s hold on Disney means no Spidey at all. But while some fans worried that removing Spider-Man from Venom’s origin would be a problem, it actually makes for a way better story – and honestly, one much closer to Venom’s current origin, too.

By now even casual fans will be familiar with the classic origin story for Venom, if not from the comics, then the fact that Spider-Man 3 adapted it almost to the letter. Spider-Man brings an alien suit back from space, which eventually shows an ‘evil’ mind of its own. Spider-Man rejects the symbiote until it finds the same level of hatred for Spidey in Eddie Brock. Man meets suit, and together they become Venom to launch their revenge on Spider-Man in a tale many claim the Venom movie SHOULD have told.

The problem with that version of a Venom origin movie? It’s faithful to the original version of the comic books, sure. But it’s a story that makes Spider-Man the real star of the show, plus… that’s not what really happened, according to modern Marvel Comics.

  • This Page: Spider-Man Makes Venom Worse, Not Better
  • Page 2: Venom Avoids Marvel’s Mistake By Removing Spider-Man

Venom Should Be Eddie’s Story, Not Spider-Man’s

It’s easy to see why there would be an outcry over the need to remove Spider-Man from Venom’s origin movie. After all, the moviegoers who would know Venom’s origin best are Spider-Man fans, and who would wish to see Spider-Man in the movie more? (Not to mention removing Spider-Man means no iconic Venom logo.)

RELATED: Why Venom’s Director Saved [SPOILER] For The Sequel

But what fans want isn’t always what’s best, and in the case of Venom, the existing origin has one major problem: in the comics, it’s told as one of Spider-Man‘s most formative stories, with Eddie Brock a victim of Peter, the symbiote, and professional failure. While a victim’s story could be interesting, and has been used as a jumping-off point for other superhero origins… those heroes aren’t Venom. Besides the fact that the Venom movie is trying to have some fun with Eddie and the symbiote’s fusion, it’s built on the idea that Eddie is a good man, ruined by evil forces – not a bitter, angry, jealous man fueled by hate of Spider-Man as he was in the comic.

One of those descriptions fits a movie hero… the other fits a villain unlikely to star in a fun, subversive, and oddball body horror adventure. The result is a better version of a Venom movie. “But,” we’re sure some die-hard Spider-Man fans will cry, “you’re making Venom a different character!” And by twisting his origin to make Eddie and the symbiote a misunderstood antihero, the makers of Venom have done just that… but Marvel Comics did it first.

Marvel Has Changed Venom’s Origin Already

Revisiting the comic book history of Eddie Brock and his time as Venom means traversing more than one major retcon, or retroactive changing of his origin story. Fictionally, it’s an expansion and deepening of Eddie’s story. But practically, like most other retcons, it’s about ‘fixing’ past writing or plot that hinders the character’s next step forward. And for Eddie Brock, the idea of him being a byproduct of Spider-Man has been minimized, downplayed, or altogether changed since he first set out to play a hero in Venom: Lethal Protector, upon which the movie is based.

People who walk out of Venom excited to read that comic book inspiration are in for a rude awakening, however, since Spider-Man is without question the WORST part of it. Because Peter Parker is misinformed about who Venom is, what motivates him, and who he has become as more than just the hero’s villain. Arguably, every bit as misinformed as the people claiming the Venom movie ‘got it wrong’ by removing Spider-Man altogether.

As we see it, the makers of the Venom movie just learned from the missteps and corrections Marvel Comics has made so they wouldn’t make them in the movie, too. The first step? Taking Spider-Man out of the equation to create the Venom modern comic readers know and love.

Page 2 of 2: How Venom Avoids Marvel’s Own Mistakes

Venom Avoids Marvel’s Own Comic Mistakes

In Venom’s first solo comic outing, Spider-Man is an antagonist for completely flawed reasons. Despite Eddie being every bit the normal, evil-hating human he is in the comics, Spider-Man actively fights him, believing he’s still as evil as Marvel made him in his origin story. In his defense, Spider-Man was just late to the party, unaware that Marvel editorial, and a long line of writers and artists were already beginning to make Eddie and Venom not evil, just… misunderstood.

RELATED: Venom’s Post-Credits Scene Tease Explained

The changes came one by one: the Venom symbiote wasn’t hateful, but a traumatized member of an alien symbiote race, Eddie Brock’s rough exterior becomes a result of a cold, distant, single father, and just weeks ago, the origin was changed once more by showing that Spider-Man was evil, not the symbiote when they first merged. It’s flawed thinking to assume a movie should recreate each one of those steps, rather than looking at who Venom is today, and aiming for that from thee outset.

Still, one feels for director Ruben Fleischer for having to make that call, since he has admitted that removing Spider-Man from Venom was a challenge (that’s the origin everyone knows). But the finished film shows it was the right path to take for one simple reason: the Venom of the movie is basically the one Marvel took decades to arrive at. Not just Eddie the relatable hero, but the symbiote’s personality, voice, sense of humor, and even love for its host.

The Movie Venom is The True Comic Venom

In fact, the moments of humor and love from the symbiote may turn off older fans of the origin hero, while hitting the bullseye for the modern incarnations. After all, Eddie and the symbiote had a baby not too long ago in the comics, and it’s not hard to see a Venom movie sequel embracing that strange, borderline ludicrous plot. Leave the theater and go pick up the newest issue of Venom, and the version may not be perfect copies, but more importantly, the strengths of one are alive in the other.

And, perhaps most importantly, the existence of Spider-Man is a footnote, or back-up character at best. By now even Peter Parker understands that his time with the symbiote was a fluke, or coincidence, compared to the character Eddie and Venom became.

In Marvel’s Universe, there may not be a greater romance than Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote –  and when audiences line up for a great love story, you don’t bother starting with the flings, one-night stands, or bad dates that came before.

MORE: Venom Secretly Revealed Carnage’s Backstory

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2018-10-09 03:10:52 – Andrew Dyce

Captain Marvel’s Ben Mendelsohn Thinks Skrulls Are “Misunderstood”

Ben Mendelsohn believes Skrulls are just misunderstood aliens in Captain Marvel. Marvel Studios’ first film in 2019 is a major one for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Brie Larson will be the first female to lead an MCU film as Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel. It’ll also be the first MCU film set in the 1990s, a currently unexplored era in the franchise. However, the movie is also the first to feature Skrulls in the MCU as well, and directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck have brought their Mississippi Grind star Ben Mendelsohn onboard to lead the shapeshifting race.

The Skrulls will be a major part of Captain Marvel, as the film heavily revolves around the Kree-Skrull war. As Talos, Mendelsohn will be at the forefront of the dispute, but also helping lead a hopeful invasion of Earth. The war, and the Skrull’s larger plans for world domination will put them on the opposite side of Captain Marvel, but Mendelsohn asserts that the invading alien race is just misunderstood.

Related: Captain Marvel Image Provides First Look at MCU Skrulls

EW spoke to Mendelsohn as part of their Captain Marvel cover story, which included the first look at Larson suited up, and he quickly came to the defense of the “bad guys” in the movie. From his perspective, it’s the Kree that are causing all the problems, and the Skrulls’ intentions are just not being interpreted properly.

We gotta deal with the Kree. The Kree are punks. And the Skrulls, I mean, we’re just misunderstood. At the end of the day, the Skrull is really misunderstood.

Mendelsohn is clearly playing into his role for the entirety of the interview, so it isn’t likely that audiences will walk out of Captain Marvel agreeing that the Skrulls’ plans and motives were just misunderstood. He lets Talos show through a bit too much, as he’s talking about how great the Skrulls are, but asserting how it’s actually the Kree who are the bad guys. It likely won’t be so black and white/good and evil in the movie though. The Skrulls do want to take over a planet (a traditional goal for villains), but the Kree have plenty of less-than-upstanding members as well. Fans already know Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) and Korath the Pursuer (Djimon Hounsou) will turn bad, and we’re already theorizing Jude Law could do the same.

Whether the Skrulls are simply misunderstood or not, it’s fun to see Mendelsohn completely buy in to that mindset. Captain Marvel likely won’t be the last time the Skrulls appear, as Marvel may be laying the foundation for the Secret Invasion storyline to take shape in Phase 4 and beyond. If that arc is explored, then the Skrulls, and maybe even Mendelsohn, could return in future movies. Mendelsohn’s hoping to join the pantheon of memorable Marvel villains too, so whether he sees himself and the Skrulls as bad guys or not, fans can only hope they deliver as such in Captain Marvel.

MORE: Two 2019 Marvel Movies Will Feature Very Different Skrulls

Source: EW

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2018-09-07 03:09:07 – Cooper Hood