It’s been five years since Disney killed off a bad guy in one of their feature films. The last one was in “The Incredibles,” which you will find somewhere on this list. Since then, things have been pretty tame when it comes to dropping villains from high places, stabbing them in the gut, or any other number of ways they have met their fate since the 30s.
With the new Disney/Pixar movie “Up,” it looks like Disney animators are up to their old tricks again. (I’m not saying the villain in “Up” dies or anything – the last thing I would want to do is spoil the ending – but why the hell else would I be making this list?). Anyway, here is a list of the Top Ten Disney villian deaths in the last 70 years.
10. The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
Villain: Percival C. McLeach
Death by: Falling down a waterfall
We don’t have evidence of his death with a body or anything, but other than Harrison Ford in “The Fugitive,” I doubt anyone could survive a fall into water like that. This death makes the list at No. 10 and beats other villain deaths-by-falling like Gaston from “Beauty and the Beast” because stupid Gaston loses his grasp on the balcony and fall on his own.
9. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
Villain: Judge Claude Frollo
Death by: Falling off bell tower
Disney villains are known for falling off high places, but not all of them are known for spewing what seemed to be like Bible verse: “And he shall smite the wicked and plunge them into the fiery pit!” Before he falls, he stares evil right into its eyes. Pretty deep and frightening for a G-rated flick.
8. Mulan (1998)
Villian: Shan Yu
Death by: Fireworks
Probably the only death in a Disney animated film to be executed by a comic-relief character. Here, the little dragon Mushu launches a huge firework into the stomach of Shan Yu, which propels him into a tower filled with a stash of rockets thus blowing him up. Yikes, and I thought having a single Black Cat accidentally popping in your hand stung.
7. Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Death by: Stabbing or a fall off a cliff
With the help of the fairies, Prince Philip’s sword is sprinkled with magic dust. He is then able to pitch it into the torso of “the mistress of all evil” who has transformed into a black and purple dragon. We’re not sure if the deep sword wound would have done the trick alone, but nevertheless after bleeding for a few seconds, the cliff where she’s standing crumbles and Maleficent is cast into a fiery pit. A closer look shows that she has somehow evaporated.
6. The Incredibles (2004)
Death by: Airplane Engine
He was an annoying villain so he deserved what he got when Mr. Incredible knocked him into the engine of a plane thus cutting up the antagonist into bit-sized pieces. It’s kind of ironic that the character of Syndrome was actually designed by Pixar animators to have the facial features of director Brad Bird and then the character dies in this manner. Could we label this a bird strike?
5. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1939)
Villain: The Queen
Death by: Falling off a cliff
It sadistic to think what those rage-filled dwarves would have done to that nasty queen if they had gotten their hands on her. But before they can do anything she falls off a cliff when a lightning bolt hits near her. A large boulder also falls into the canyon. I’m guessing if the fall didn’t kill her, the big rock did. Nevertheless, the two hungry buzzards who swoop down right after prove the Queen’s demise.
4. The Little Mermaid (1989)
Death by: Stabbing or electrocution
We’re pretty sure the jagged prow of Prince Eric’s ship stabbing her through the stomach probably did the job, but just for effect, the power of King Triton’s trident looks like it shot a few volts of electricity through her (you can see her skeleton as she screams in pain!) before she sinks to the bottom of the ocean with her tentacles still wrapped around the vessel. Talk about a drama queen!
3. A Bug’s Life (1998)
Death by: Baby birds
I don’t know about you, but getting eaten alive would be a pretty horrible way to go. So, when grasshopper tyrant Hopper is fed by a mama bird to her three baby birds a the end of “A Bug’s Life,” the facial expressions on Flik and Princess Atta who are watching the whole thing say it all. Mmm, crunchy.
2. The Lion King (1994)
Death by: Hyenas
That psychotic hyena named Ed could’ve probably ripped Scar to shreds on his own, so I don’t even want to think about what the villainous lion looked like after the entire clan of spotted carnivorous mammals got their claws on him. It’s too bad we only get to see him get attacked through the shadows everyone casts.
1. Tarzan (1999)
Death by: Hanging
His life was probably over in a split second and he didn’t feel a thing, but when you hear the snap of the neck when Clayton is hung by jungle vines you know there are some sadistic freaks working at Disney. Keep it coming guys!