Whether or not Disney’s animated films have the best animation and songs as compared to any other animated films is, of course, open to debate. But as far as this Disney fanboy is concerned, there is no question that Disney has the best female villains in cinema history.
Ever since the Evil Queen went after poor Snow White for being prettier than her way back in 1937, they’ve had some badass ladies that no one else can match. We’re talking epic, stylish villainy here, with characters like Maleficent, Cruella de Vil, the Queen of Hearts, Ursula the Sea Witch, and Mother Gothel. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to great Disney villainesses.
The new book Disney Villains: Delightfully Evil, just released from Disney Editions Deluxe, covers the genesis of the various Disney villains, and not just the ladies, but the men folk too (who, while cool, are simply not as cool as the ladies. Sorry boys). The book shows how these characters evolved from their earliest sketches into their final forms we see onscreen, and how the voice actors who played them helped to influence their entire personas.
It turns out each of the villains have very interesting backstories. Did you know that Ursula from The Little Mermaid was at one point designed to look like notorious drag queen/John Waters actor Divine? Or that Cruella de Vil was originally based on 1940s “bad girl” actress Tallulah Bankhead?
Now the folks over at the Cut have released some preview images from the new book, showing off some early designs of the Disney villainesses, including all the ones you know, and maybe a few you’ve probably forgotten about. You can see all these early sketches and concept art from Disney Villains: Delightfully Evil in our gallery below.
What do you think of these early renditions of these fabulously evil ladies? Let us know below in the comments.
Images: Walt Disney Company