For a long time, Disney has been the king of great animated villains. Disney has many iconic animated villains, including Maleficent, Scar, Jafar and Scar. As more animation studios emerge as potential contenders, from DreamWorks, Sony, and Illumination, new villains have been created.
There were many animated movies released in 2010, and many of them featured great villains. Some of them are complex characters we can sympathize with while others are pure evil. Here are the top 13 animated film villains of the 2010s.
Vector (Despicable Me)
While Gru (Steve Carell) could be referred to as a villain, considering he aspires to be the greatest one, he really isn’t a bad guy. He’s our protagonist and chooses goodness over evil. However, the same cannot be said about his rival, Vector (Jason Segel). Vector clearly tries to be evil as much as possible and doesn’t care who is in his way. Although he may not be the most intimidating foe in the world, his wealth and technological prowess make him a formidable threat to Gru.
His design is rather simple; however, Vector’s orange jumpsuit, large glasses, and bowl haircut seem to have struck a chord with people as his look has become somewhat iconic within pop culture. Vector’s witty sense of humor, such as the way he shouts out his name in triumph, may be another reason why he is so popular. The Despicable Me franchise has plenty of villains to choose from, but Vector is still Gru’s best rival.
Image via Disney
Hans (Santino Fontana) is essentially the perfect example of why you should be a bit hesitant about jumping into a committed relationship. In Frozen, Anna (Kristen Bell) becomes too trusting of this handsome jerk, blinded by her love and desire to get out of the house (or castle). He appears to be very nice until Anna needs him and he shows his true colors. Hans used her because he wanted to take control of Arendelle.
Hans is the youngest of thirteen children. He wants to escape his family, and to be a king. He is manipulative and murderous which leads to his plan falling apart. He gets Anna and Arendelle to fall madly in love with him using his charisma to convince them that he is an honorable man. It is not true. In addition to leaving Anna for dead, he also tries to kill Elsa (Idina Menzel) before Anna steps in and saves her. Although he may be handsome, you shouldn’t trust anyone with a pretty face.
Drago Bludvist (How to Train Your Dragon 2)
Image via DreamWorks
The first How to Train Your Dragon didn’t really have a villain, besides a giant boss dragon. The sequel features a terrifying foe who can harness the power and control dragons through the use of the alphas. By putting Toothless in a trance, he even manages to get Hiccup to turn against him. Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou) lost his family and village to a dragon attack when he was young. He decided to take revenge and built an army of dragons, whose incredible power he used to conquer the entire world. Luckily, the bond between Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Toothless is so strong that it is able to break the alpha’s control and turn the army against Bludvist.
Bludvist has a wonderful design. Bludvist is only human but has a huge, intimidating figure and a strong metal arm. Hounsou’s gruff and coarse voice adds to this character’s brutality. The How To Train Your Dragon films are charming, but they also feature terrifying foes.
Yokai (Big Hero 6)
Image via Disney
A superhero always needs a great villain, and Yokai is one for the protagonists of Big Hero 6. Yokai, a creepy antagonist, hides behind a black trenchcoat and a Japanese kabuki mask. Under the mask lies a tragic tale about a man driven to vengeance. Yokai is really Robert Callaghan (James Cromwell), a robotics professor at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology. Callaghan is obsessed with getting revenge on the people who caused his daughter’s death in an experiment that went wrong. Once Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) introduces his microbots to him, Callaghan fakes his death by blowing up the school and stealing the microbots, which he uses for nefarious purposes. Hiro’s younger brother was killed in the blast, which shows how reckless the professor has become.
Because Yokai is complex, he is a great villain. Although his motives are logical, Yokai’s methods of achieving them are not. His connection with Hiro gives the antagonist and hero an emotionally-investing dramatic connection. Although the twist is obvious since Callaghan never actually dies, Yokai is still a villain we can relate to, even if we disagree with his actions.
Shen (Kung Fu Panda 2)
Image via Paramount Pictures
Who knew that a peacock voiced by Gary Oldman could be so intimidating? Shen is the perfect foe for Po (Jack Black) in Kung Fu Panda 2. He is quick and agile, making him difficult for defense. On a mental level, his attachment to Po’s past gives Po an emotional challenge that he has to overcome as well. Oldman’s voice gives Shen a menacing tone while also being able to squeeze in some humor here and there. However, Shen’s desire to change his fate ultimately leads to it becoming true. His attempt to escape the prophecy of his defeat by destroying Po’s village is what leads to his destiny becoming inevitable. He is a devious, greedy peacock who leads to moral corruption. Po is able, however, to skadoosh his way into oblivion.
Joker (The Lego Batman Movie)
Image via Warner Bros.
While not the most menacing version of the classic Batman villain, The Lego Batman Movie‘s version of the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) is actually a very accurate representation of the relationship between Batman (Will Arnett) and the Joker. Joker hates to be ignored but loves to be hated. Batman’s indifference towards Joker causes him to snap. His desire to take over Gotham is partly due his chaotic nature but also his anger at Batman.
Joker then recruits Batman’s other villains along with other movie villains (owned Warner Bros.). The goal is to defeat Batman and wipe out Gotham. But, Batman eventually admits to the Joker that he needs him. The two of them work together to fix Gotham. This Joker is not as comic-book-accurate as Mark Hamill’s Joker, but this is an excellent interpretation of Batman and Joker’s need for one another.
Lord Business (The Lego Movie)
Image via Warner Bros.
Let’s move on to the other Lego villain on this list. Lord Business (Will Ferrell) is a creativity-hating businessman whose sole purpose is to turn the Lego world into an authoritarian world where no one is allowed to move or build anything new. Ferrell does an excellent job of portraying a devious and funny villain. But Lord Business is much more than a role as a bad guy. He is an imagined villain in the eyes of Finn (Jadon Sand), the human kid who is playing with these toys and represents Emmet (Chris Pratt) in the story. Lord Business is his father, who has the same desire to glue everything together and limit creativity. The Lego Movie brings a lot of imagination to this story and Lord Business becomes a more complex villain once his human version is revealed.
Raiden (Kubo and the Two Strings)
Image via Focus Features
Raiden (Ralph Fiennes), the moon king, doesn’t appear until the climax of the film, but his presence is felt throughout. Since he is the ruler of the night, it’s impossible to know where he is, which is why his daughters are always on the trail of our heroes. He is a violent, evil character who has no regard for his grandchildren or daughters. He not only tries to blind Kubo (Art Parkinson) but to kill his own daughter.
Fiennes always does a great job with villains and it’s no different here. Plus, Raiden’s Dragon-like appearance in the climax is truly haunting. It’s amazing that he’s created through stop-motion animation, and the animators should be commemorated for the brilliant work they do throughout Kubo and the Two Strings.
King Candy (Wreck-It Ralph)
King Candy (Alan Tudyk) in Wreck-It Ralph is a very quirky, silly villain who is hard to fully judge until the climax. King Candy was secretly Turbo and jumped to Sugar Rush in order to achieve greatness. However, Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) gets in his way, so he changes her into a glitch who is no longer allowed to race.
Tudyk does impressive voice work here as he sounds like the Mad Hatter (Ed Wynn) from Alice in Wonderland but is still able to create some menace. King Candy is made even more sinister by his merging with a CyBug, which makes him a giant monster. The twist of him being Turbo is surprising and amps up the stakes in the third act; he may seem innocent at first, but he’s more powerful than he seems.
Ernesto de la Cruz (Coco)
Image via Disney
Ernesto (Benjamin Bratt) from Coco is one of the most violent villains Pixar has created. Not only did he kill Hector (Gael García Bernal) in life, but he tried to kill Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) in death as well. Ernesto set out to be a successful man and lost all of his integrity. Ernesto has great musical talent, but all his songs are from another source. He stole all the credit.
Ernesto is charismatic and was able to convince the public that he was a talented musician. His version of “Remember Me” was basically an ode to his greatness, despite that not being the song’s intentions. Ernesto made it a song of vanity, and Hector wrote it for his daughter. His legacy is crushed by the end of this film, just like he was crushed by the weight of an iron bell.
Kingpin (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)
Image via Columbia Pictures
Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) is much more than just a crime lord in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Kingpin is racked with guilt over the loss of his family and is determined to get them back. However, through accessing the multiverse, he almost destroys everything, including this universe’s version of Peter Parker (Chris Pine), an accomplishment no other film Spider-Man villain has done. After discovering the truth about his evil acts, his family began to fear him. He only continues on that dark path.
The animators overexaggerated his physical attributes, making him look almost like a head on a black-blob. While it may look silly at times, it gives him a larger-than-life stature, giving Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) an incredibly difficult challenge. There are other great villains in this film like Prowler (Mahershala Ali) and Olivia Octavius (Kathryn Hahn), but Kingpin is the most intimidating and the most complex.
Mother Gothel (Tangled)
Image via Disney
In Tangled, Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy) is a witch who discovered Rapunzel’s (Mandy Moore) hair had a magical power that could keep her young. Gothel, obsessed with Rapunzel’s youth and beauty, kidnapped her and kept the tower for as long she could. Gothel manages to convince Rapunzel that everyone on the outside is evil and she only wants to keep her safe; however, Rapunzel’s curiosity gets the better of her and leads to her finally escaping. Because of her volatility, Gothel can be intimidating. One second, she’s a loving figure towards Rapunzel; the next, she becomes incredibly wicked and cruel. Murphy does a wonderful job portraying Gothel, a character that changes tones so often. Gothel may look beautiful and warm on the outside but inside she is cold, ruthless, and miserable. She has a great singing voice.
Lots-O’-Huggin’ Bear (Toy Story 3)
From the second we meet Lotso (Ned Beatty) in Toy Story 3, it seems like something’s off. Yes, he likes to give hugs, has a charming southern accent, and smells like strawberries, but he’s a little bit too nice. Turns out, he’s a total dictator who has full control over the toys at Sunnyside Daycare. If you comply with the rules, then he’s perfectly nice. If you rebel against him, he and his little henchman will lock you up.
Lotso is a great villain because it’s easy to see why he’d be so harsh. He was forgotten and replaced by his original owner and believed that toys are not meant to be loved; they are meant to be used and thrown away. Of course, this comes in conflict with Woody (Tom Hanks) and the gang who are loyal to Andy. Lotso even gets a chance to get back to his roots, but refuses the incinerator stopper. Now, Lotso is strapped in a truck and heading to unknown places.