I decided to actually update my blog and since there is a new Disney film being released this month a Disney-related list felt appropriate.
(Note: I’m still trying to figure out if I want to see “Frozen,” but I’ll probably end up seeing it.)
So now, a list of what in my opinion are the five best songs done by Disney villains.
5). “Gaston”——”Beauty and the Beast”
It’s a list song, which a lot of people don’t enjoy, but it’s so incredibly catchy. It also conveys to the viewers of the film how everyone in the village but Belle adores Gaston. When LeFou tries to pep Gaston up, everyone in the tavern joins in. Plus it’s just a delightful song to listen to.
4). “World’s Greatest Criminal Mind”——”The Great Mouse Detective”
“World’s Greatest Criminal Mind” is essentially an exposition song so we learn why Ratigan is someone Basil is obsessively trying to catch. This is the greatest criminal in the mouse world. He’s drowned orphans and widows! He was the mastermind behind the Big Ben caper! He’s the most evil person in London and this song does an excellent job telling us why without feeling like a slog.
3). “Be Prepared”——”The Lion King”
Here Scar lays out his plans for overthrowing Mufasa and who doesn’t love a musical number where a villain lays out his or her plans? He also berates his Hyena followers/henchmen for being dim, which gives a hint as to what type of a ruler he’ll be since he realizes he needs the Hyenas, even though he starts the song off with “I never thought Hyenas essential.” The music and chorus accompanying the song give a spine tingling quality to the song, which makes it simultaneously invigorating and scary. Plus, Jeremy Irons sells every word of this song.
2). “Poor Unfortunate Souls”——”The Little Mermaid”
In some ways, Ursula is a charming con-woman. She knows the way to get what she wants is to get Ariel in her clutches. She charms the mermaid by letting her know “I do magic, but it’s to help other merpeople get what they want.” It makes her seem like someone to trust, but then it goes on and gains intensity as she continues to tell Ariel she doesn’t need her voice to get Prince Eric, which only continues to help Ursula get to her goal. She’s sly, she’s charming, she’s devious; She’s the perfect villain.
1). “Hellfire”——”The Hunchback of Notre Dame”
Claude Frollo is a horrible, possibly sociopathic human being. He fails to see his own actions as being wrong, except for when the Archdeacon of Notre Dame points it out to him. He goes to great lengths to get what he wants, never seeing his actions as being potentially damaging or harmful. This song captures how evil he is, in case you missed that he kills a mother and almost kills a baby within the first five minutes of the movie.
Here he’s praying to the Virgin Mary and he begins by singing “Beata Maria, you know I am a righteous man/Of my virtue I am justly proud,” because he views himself as the most righteous person in the film. He then continues extolling his virtue before asking why it is he has lustful feelings for Esmeralda if he’s so pure. The feelings and thoughts he’s having of her are consuming him and it troubles him because he knows it’s sinful.
Then we get into him saying it’s not his fault he’s lusting after Esmeralda because she’s a gypsy, therefore it must be witchcraft or the devil. As he’s singing that, the choir is singing “Mea culpa! Mea culpa! Mea maxima culpa!” which is Latin for, “My sin! My sin! My grievous sin!” It’s as if the choir is saying what is really in Frollo’s head because he doesn’t want to admit this sin is his fault, but he knows it is.
Then Frollo takes the idea of “If I can’t have you, no one can,” to a new level by finishing off the song by going “If I can’t have you, then I’m going to burn you at the stake and have you be consumed by the fires of hell!” The song shows how tortured he is by these thoughts as he quickly progresses from, “I’m so pure, how is it I can feel lust?” to “I will get to have sex with her, or I’m going to kill her!” It shows just how twisted and evil Frollo is while being a terrifyingly brilliant song.
It’s also a magnificently animated song, as I’ve brought up on my Tumblr.