Dynamic villains in animation are an on-screen delight. Animated antagonists who are not cartoonishly evil are rare. There is rarely nuance, just plain bad or good. It is easy to excuse wrongful actions done in a make-believe world. With charisma, even a murderous lion that exiled his nephew can have a dedicated fanbase.
The era of pretty boy villains is certainly interesting to watch. A memorable personality in a cartoon has viewers defending questionable choices. However, the suspension of disbelief makes unethical actions not so cut-and-dry. Some villains successfully lie to get what they want, while others look adorable and harmless.
10/10 Hades Knows How To Tone It Down
When referring to cartoon villains, the god of the Underworld is not the first choice for level-headedness. He is sometimes erratic, and his fiery hair changes color depending on his mood. However, Hades charming the Fates in Hercules is key to him almost succeeding in toppling Mount Olympus.
If Hades had not engaged in flattery, he would not have had a glimpse into the future. Also, though Hades is an unscrupulous fellow, he keeps the deals he makes. Hercules gets his strength back when Meg is harmed. Behind his used car salesman pitches, there is some integrity.
9/10 Dean Hardscrabble Is Diplomatic
An accomplished scarer turned academic; Dean Abigail Hardscrabble is more bark than bite. Though she is an antagonist at Monsters University, she is not a traditional villain. She is very diplomatic and uses facts to make a convincing case. Hardscrabble observes that Sully is a talent without a work ethic, while Mike is the opposite.
Being in a position of power elevates Abigail Hardscrabble’s charisma, and she is bound to hold an audience. Regardless, she is an understanding principal who gives the duo multiple chances. Hardscrabble tries to help and eventually only resorts to expulsion because of external pressure.
8/10 HIM Plays Mind Games With the Powerpuff Girls
His Infernal Majesty, aka HIM, is one of the most memorable villains in the Powerpuff Girls Franchise. HIM is flamboyant and makes efforts to appear non-threatening. For instance, he can have civil conversations without getting violent.
Unlike his villain counterparts (Mojo Jojo, for example), he is more prone to psychological warfare than physical confrontation. HIM made the whole of Townsville, including Professor X, Hate the Powerpuff Girls overnight. Though he is clearly very powerful, he shows a lot of restraint in favor of playing mind games. HIM’s falsetto adds to this charade and enhances his harmless aura.
7/10 Mr. Fischoeder Is Disturbingly A Good Sport
The landlord in the Bob’s Burgers universe, Calvin Fischoeder, plays a very sinister role. He is witty, a decent performer, and mostly personable. However, Mr. Fischoeder’s moral compass is non-existent. Due to his wealth and framing as an eccentric billionairehe makes numerous outlandish comments casually.
Fischoeder leans into being an out-of-touch wealthy person to get away with certain things. Though this is a bit meta for a cartoon, he is not an unlikable person. Calvin Fischoeder organizes a balloon game to get his tenants to compete for a rent reduction. Despite this creation of a dystopia, his charm is enough for even fans to forgive him a little.
6/10 Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear Gets Too Many Chances
Tea antagonist of Toy Story 3 is unexpected. Lotso looks trustworthy, so it is easy to find him endearing. His appearance as a cuddly pink teddy bear leans into the traditional cartoonish pure evil versus good. He also has a very soothing voice and is quite protective of the toys he likes.
Apart from being a self-styled leader of the daycare, Lotso walks with a cane due to an accident. Apart from helping his mobility, he uses it to appear harmless and oblivious to the tyranny he fosters. Being a master of deception, Lotso is able to convince Woody and the crew that he has had a change of heart. This mistake almost gets them killed and shows the depths of Lotso’s powerful appeal. Viewers start to wonder what else he has done in the past.
5/10 The Fairy Godmother Literally Makes Dreams Come True
Anyone who grants wishes is bound to create some goodwill. The Fairy Godmother in Shrek appears to be very pleasant. She is a successful businesswoman and is seen as a role model. The people on the red carpet at the Far Far Away Royal Ball loved her.
The Fairy Godmother is not purely evil. She forms connections and does relatable things. Even while threatening King Harold, The Fairy Godmother asks if he wants anything from the fast food restaurant. Also, she is a doting mother and coddles Charming.
4/10 A Whole City Is Sheltered From the Truth Under Long Feng
Many characters in ATLA are long-term planners, and Feng is no exception. Long Feng is an underrated villain in Avatar. Wielding a certain amount of political power always requires a suggestive aura. He is a master manipulator with the ability to carry out mass delusion amid a century-long war.
Apart from successfully controlling the city of Ba Sing Se for many years, he is in charge of the Da Li. The Earth King is totally dependent on his advice. Feng is both an accomplished Earthbender and hypnotist. His subtle activation code for sleeper agents, “the Earth King has invited you to Lake Laogai,” is remarkable.
3/10 Kuvira Has Loyal Supporters
The story of Kuvira is fascinating, even for a plot in The Legend of Korra. A female antagonist who is functionally stronger than the Avatar is a great watch, though her actions in trying to unite the Earth Kingdom are inexcusable. Wu is unqualified to lead. However, Kuvira has the support of many people in the Kingdom due to her hands-on work.
Fans also sympathize because of her backstory. Her parents were negligent, and Baatar’s family never entirely accepted her. Kuvira was tired of cleaning up other people’s masses. Her surrender showed she cared more about the people than her ego.
2/10 Solid Points Are Made By Gabby Gabby
The primary antagonist of Toy Story 4Gabby Gabby, is quite complex, even for the Toy Story movies. Apart from her unassuming look, she has a tragic backstory. For fifty years, all she has desired is a child’s love. Gabby Gabby is able to talk Woody into giving up his voice box.
The vintage doll makes a compelling case because Woody has lived a great life full of love. At the same time, she has experienced no bonds or genuine relationships. Gabby Gabby is an ally by the end of Toy Story 4. Nevertheless, it is still chilling how she convinced Woody to engage in the toy equivalent of surgery.
1/10 Ernesto de la Cruz Is Worshiped In The Afterlife
It is unheard of for someone’s charm to go beyond the grave. Yet Ernesto de la Cruz in coconut succeeds in this feat. Viewed as an accomplished musician, he was celebrated on Earth and in the afterlife. Ernesto was so two-faced that even Hector did not know his supposed best friend had poisoned him. His lies transcended death as his reputation was still important to him. He even allowed Miguel to believe they were related.
Though he was disgraced in the end, Ernesto’s charisma ensured he lived a charmed life. Some people will never forget him as a legend. Some may have died the Final Death earlier or simply never heard the news. Others may just not believe Miguel’s family. Unfortunately, his lavish life cannot be unlived. Ernesto de La Cruz’s easygoing personality will continue to have generational repercussions.