Angelina Jolie turns ‘Sleeping Beauty’s’ Maleficent into a super gay-icon in the latest movie from the Disney stable, so we thought it might be time to list the ten campest Disney villains ever created. Let us know what you think, or if you have any more nominations!
1. Ursula from ‘The Little Mermaid’ (1989)
The drawings for this big, badass underwater bitch were based on legendary drag queen, Divine and the character was originally to be voiced by Bea Arthur, who declined because she was too busy playing Dorothy in The Golden Girls. Seriously, how camp is that?
2. Cruella De Vil from ‘101 Dalmatians’ (1961)
With her fur coat, her cigarette holder, and her fur coats and handbags, the original Cruella was a cross between Auntie Mame and Skeletor, and became an instant gay icon the moment she was released on the world. Glenn Close played her in two live-action versions, with just a tad too much hysteria to bring it off, and there’s no word who’s going to play her in the next Disney villain live action flick, Cruella. Might we suggest Sarah Jessica Parker?
3. Jafar from ‘Aladdin’ (1992)
A close cousin of Hades from Hercules, Scar from The Lion King and Captain Hook from Peter Pan, Jafar is the campest male villain of them all, with his shoulder-pads, black-eyeliner and so much heightened animosity for the male hero, it has to be gay. There’s lots to be said about why almost all of Disney’s male villains are swishy to a fault, but that’s for another day.
4. Gaston from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (1991)
Although Gaston is hardly the effeminate likes of Jafar or Scar (every last bit of him is covered in hair, after all), despite his Disney villain designs on Belle, his song gives away plenty about his real orientation. “Ask any Tom, Dick or Stanley, and they’ll tell you whose team they prefer to be on,” sings his sidekick, LeFou of the Gaston-loving men in the village and then Gaston boasts that he uses “antlers in all of his decorating”. Gay much?
5. The Evil Queen from ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ (1937)
She’s one hell of a naaasty, vain beyatcha, but without this Disney villain, Snow White would be nothing, and it’s absolutely no surprise that her original animator, Art Babbitt, based her on legendary Hollywood actress and gay icon, Joan Crawford. No wonder, filmmaker John Waters says that as a child he rooted for the Queen to win.
6. Maleficient from ‘Sleeping Beauty’ (1959/2014)
Almost a sister-act to Snow White’s Evil Queen, the animated Maleficent such a nasty piece of work, it’s hard to find her camp heart, but Angelina Jolie’s take on Sleeping Beauty’s nemesis manages to find plenty of wicked humour beneath that shrill façade. A new Disney gay icon is born!
7. Madame Medusa from ‘The Rescuers’ (1977)
A hark-back to Cruella De Vil, Madame Medusa with her green eyes and shock of red hair, is loosely based on Lucille Ball, and in turn certain Miss Hannigan in the musical Annie would be based on her. Voiced by Geraldine Page, she might seem a harmless and bumbling Disney villain, but she’s evil to her deliciously camp core.
8. Mother Gothel from ‘Tangled’ (2010)
Passive aggressive is an understatement when it comes to Mother Gothel, who makes an art out of convincing Rapunzel that she’s keeping her locked up for her own good. Her big-Broadway comic performance singing, ‘Mother Knows Best’, puts her right up there with the best gay-loved Disney villains of all time.
9. The Queen of Hearts from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ (1951)
Alice calls her a “fat, pompous, bad tempered, old tyrant”, and really The Queen of Hearts is a Disney villain psycho killer, but if you look a little closer, she’s The Little Mermaid’s Ursula in the making, that is Disney’s first animated drag queen. Off with her head!
10. Hans from ‘Frozen’ (2013
A rare Disney villain who doesn’t reveal his true colours until the last act, Hans is ostensibly heterosexual to the core, but just watch the way he throws himself into singing ‘Love is an Open Door’, and you’ll catch a whiff of what’s going on between the lines. That’s our story, and we’re sticking to it.
© 2014 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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