Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thursentary: My Top Five Disney Non-Deaths

Hey, guess what? Aimee invited me to guest post over at To the Barricade today! I'm talking about why parents might not take such an active role in YA. Be sure to stop by and check it out!

You’ll remember that last time we talked about satisfying Disney villain deaths. Because death is totally fun, in fictional stuff. Maybe not so much in real life. But in books, it’s symbolic and fulfilling and super good. But do your villains need to die for a satisfying ending? No way!

Some of my favorite villains end up living—and at least for me, I love coming up with consequences for the villains that are worse than death. Not all of these live up to that claim, but they’re still appropriate for the villains and their stories!

via Oh My Disney

5. Lord Ratcliffe

We don’t acknowledge the second movie, by the way. As it is, Ratcliffe spends the movie conquering Virginia so that he might one day be adored in court. Instead, he is returned with England to be tried and sentenced by the people he meant to impress. Way to go.

(Also, having done a project on John Smith previously, it seems as though in real life Ratcliffe and Smith didn’t have a problem with each other. We’re examining this as a work of art, not a historical document, okay?)

via photobucket

4. Lady Tremaine

Like Ratcliffe, Lady Tremaine had goals for a loftier position in society. Rather than achieving that through one of her own daughters, her disliked stepdaughter received the glory instead! Ultimately, she and her daughter remain common and separated from Cinderella (sort of—both of the sequels end up kind of contradictory) and so she is trapped exactly where she was at the beginning. I imagine this would be frustrating for a progressive kind of person.

via Tumblr

3. Yzma

Yzma decides to turn herself into a creature of terrifying proportions and known evilness—a kitty cat. After all her deals with turning Kuzco into something he isn’t and plans to take over the kingdom, Yzma is victim to her own wiles, and is forced to live as something that is neither a human nor capable of taking over the kingdom. She’s also forced to live at the mercy of Kronk and their squirrel troop, which is even harder because she is a cat.

via maybe someplace that got deleted?

2. Hades

Hades hates ghosts, more than anything. He thinks they’re dull and uncouth. He was as mean as he was ruthless, and that’s the gospel truth. When Hercules throws Hades into the Styx, Panic says, “If. If he gets out.” Hades is doomed to spend the rest of his time among the very people he hates, and he doesn’t even have the prospect of death to comfort him. He’s trapped! He always will be.

(It’s kind of a shame, because especially if you watched the TV series you’d know that Hades is even awesomer than the movies.)

via aladdingifs

1. Jafar

Sticking to the first movie alone, Jafar wants one thing: more power. Aladdin, the trickster, knows this, and he manages Jafar to wish for the one thing that will give him more power than he can imagine. Just according to plan, Jafar wishes to become a genie—and is trapped in his lamp and by the servitude required by the position! Jafar lives on, but because he’s trapped, he suffers his own doom, knowing he has the power, he’s just unable to use it.

Ultimately, sometimes it’s good for your villain to die, but other times it’s more satisfying to give them a fate worse than death. It’s ironic that to become the most powerful genie, Jafar enslaves himself, and plain humorous that Yzma is trapped as a cat for a little while.
via Disneyfied or Disney Tried?
I do want to mention that this is one of the reasons why I don’t like the ending of Frozen. Of course, I will always insist that the movie would have been perfect if Hans killed Anna and Elsa like a PROPER villain and become a better monarch than they ever could. But fine. Sure. He lives. And then his punishment is to shovel manure in his homeland?

I’m sorry, but no. One of the reasons that Hans’ beautiful villainy is kind of ruined is that he isn’t held accountable according to the magnitude of his crimes. Sure, nobody likes shoveling manure, but that’s a chore—it’s something some people have to do regardless of their behavior. A good death, or maybe a smart punishment where he does get his own land—a desert island with a bottle of rum and a pistol with a single bullet, maybe—would have been more appropriate. Maybe his lack of love, paralleling Elsa’s, could have caused the winter magic to turn upon him.

It would just be better. That’s all I’m saying.

What is one of your favorite Disney non-deaths? Why did you like it so much?


  1. I recognise Hades and Hans, and I have to say I agree with you. Especially on the Hans thing. His punishment should be way more severe, considering that he actually tried to murder TWO people. That man needs to be locked up! Or on an island with a one-bullet pistol, but no turtles and rope because then he would escape. :') i don't think Hans should've killed Elsa and Anna, though, but I didn't like the ending. Suddenly overcome by love? Able to defeat fear right away? There were quite a lot of flaws with Frozen, actually. Starting with her parents locking her up "for her own good". :)

    1. Exactly. Hans deserved more, and definitely no turtles, ropes, or secret rum companies. Just a real punishment. I keep saying Hans should have killed Anna and Elsa because he would have been a better king and I'm a cruel person, but yeah, probably the ending could have been much better. Thanks for your thoughts, Jo!

  2. I think the way an author or creator deals with a villain says a lot about the themes the story is trying to get across. I firmly believe that sometimes characters (especially villains) have to die in order to make a good story.

    1. Agreed. Themes always come through from the consequences, and sometimes death needs to be one of them.

  3. I'd have to say Jafar's was my favorite.

    And is that what happened to Hans? I didn't even remember what happened to him. But...I'm not okay with that.

    1. His was pretty snazzy. :D

      Hans was going to be sent back to the Southern Isles to be dealt with by his brothers (which is ridiculous because it's not like you'd execute your youngest brother or something), and then they made him shovel poop. The end. Not okay.

  4. This is an interesting concept... I never really gave it much thought before! :) I love seeing the how these villains end up with the opposite of what they want, work for, and feel that they deserve. XD

    1. The irony is blissful, is it not? These villains certainly have important ends, and that's why I like them.

      Thanks for stopping by, H.M.!

  5. Unfortunately, I am painfully uneducated about Disney. There are so many classics I haven't watched. I only watched Aladdin last month! So the only villains I know here are Hans (and I agree that that's a pretty bad ending), Jafar and Lord Ratcliffe. I totally agree that death isn't always the best punishment, partly because it's easier. This is one of the reasons I oppose the death penalty. Anway, I liked the ideas in this post.

    1. Aw, I'm sorry. Aladdin is great (the first one, anyway), Hans less so, and Ratcliffe also funny. I'm not always in opposition of a deathly consequence, but still. There's interesting bits to consider!

  6. Oh wow, this is very neat, Heather. I need to watch and rewatch a bunch of Disney movies, I should do a marathon, for sure, just to take in all the bits I've forgotten or not appreciated. Yzma is such a wonderful villain and I really enjoyed her part of the story, and Hercules' telling of the gods and Hades was so fun. I am so into that movie.
    I hadn't really considered the Hans dilemma. Certainly his punishment, or the level of it we saw, wasn't just for his actions, but at the same time it's a movie geared towards children and although some of the other disney movies have been merciless and can be really dark, or suggestively dark, doing anything too horiffic to him, even killing him off, it feels unlikely that it would have happened. He might be "bad", but maybe in the (?) sequel he'll come back and save the world and be king or something. Who knows?

    1. If you do, then you'd be quite the champ. It's fun to go back and enjoy these nostalgic things, I think. :) I love Yzma and Hades, I think they're all fun, but sufficiently evil to make you hate them and love them for both reasons. :)

      I understand. *sighs* Like, if I were a mom, I wouldn't want my kids to see some horribly graphic fate for Hans, but still... The severity wasn't enough for me. I know there is to be a sequel, but they'll certainly have to up the ante to make it good.

  7. I think Yzma's has gotta be my favorite. Though seriously, that whole movie is just amazing. :D


    1. I do love Yzma—like you said, the movie is one of my favorite Disney films. :)


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