What makes a great villain? Is it their cunning schemes and sabotage of their enemies? Their masterful manipulation of those around them to dangerous ends? Or is it their relentless pursuit of power and domination?
Whatever it may be, a truly great villain makes for some of the most unforgettable moments in any story. Some of the most iconic and unforgettable villains have emerged in animation in recent years. So, without further ado, here are the most iconic modern animated villains.
Tamatoa – Moana
Tamatoa from Moana is one of this list’s most colorful, visually stunning, and fun villains. He is introduced as a gigantic crab, covered in shiny trinkets, whose lair lies in the deep, dark abyss of the sea.
He collects everything valuable, including Moana’s friend, Maui’s magical hook. Tamatoa loves himself more than anyone else, and his vanity brings him to failure, which is a perfect lesson for children and adults alike.
Bellwether – Zootopia
A timid office worker with Machiavellian ambitions, Bellwether is a prime example of a master manipulator. How she schemes, fools, and frames other animals to climb up the ranks of power is a sight to behold, albeit terrifying. This vile character is a worthy addition to our list.
King Candy – Wreck-It Ralph
The fact that King Candy is a cute, candy-coated ruler of Sugar Rush with a sinister plot to keep his reign intact makes him a standout character in the animated movies. His villainy keeps us on our toes, and his cunning nature is palpable in every move he makes.
Mother Gothel – Tangled
Mother Gothel’s quest to stay youthful is achieved by exploiting Rapunzel’s magical powers. This makes her a villainous mother figure who manipulates her daughter into staying away from the world and never leaving her control. She has a unique brand of cruelty, and her songs make her character all the more memorable.
Bill Cipher – Gravity Falls
Bill Cipher from Gravity Falls is one of modern animated television’s most bizarre and enigmatic villains. He is a dream demon that can enter anyone’s subconscious and manipulate events that unfold in the physical world, making him an incredibly powerful foe.
He is driven by his desire to break the veil between his world and ours and plunge our reality into eternal chaos. His quirky personality makes him stand out from other villains, but his ability to bend the laws of reality makes him a terrifying threat.
Lady Dimitrescu – Resident Evil Village (2021)
Lady Dimitrescu is a recent addition to the long history of animated villains. She is the primary antagonist in Resident Evil Village, and her imposing and elegant figure immediately captures fans’ attention. Her height, movements, and voice have become a cultural phenomenon, inspiring fan art, cosplay, and memes.
Handsome Jack – ‘Borderlands 2’
Jack may be a video game character, but his persona is undoubtedly one of the most iconic modern animated villains. With his devilishly charming personality and his sadistic sense of humor, Jack has managed to capture the hearts of many fans worldwide.
He is the perfect example of a rogue corporate leader and has become one of the most memorable antagonists in gaming history.