A while ago, I blogged a small article about the Five Disney Villains I Feel Sorry For. Lately, I’ve been wanting to do another article that focuses on the opposite – where the villains do their nasty deeds, and barely get reprimanded for it. No humiliating defeats, no karmic retribution, no falling off buildings, no time spent in prison – sometimes Disney just likes to end their movie without tying up the biggest loose end and here’s my picks for the five that get the most on my nerves.
5. Stromboli (Pinnochio)
His Crimes: Prone to violent fits of rage, Stromboli has been known to lose his temper over trivial problems in his marionette show – and has gone as far as to attack his performers on-stage. When Pinnochio helps him put on one of his most successful shows, Stromboli decides to lock the living puppet in a cage and force him to perform under the threat of turning Pinnochio into firewood.
His Come-Uppance: Jiminy Cricket and the Blue Fairy help Pinnochio escape Stromboli’s puppet show of the damned. Pinnochio later returns wearing blue face paint and inspires the other puppets to revolt against their master. Stromboli is curb-stomped to death on his own stage.
No, wait – that didn’t happen: My mistake. Pinnochio just escapes. Stromboli still has his puppet show and his incurable rage. He was also apparently very successful before Pinnochio even came along, so all he’d have to do is chalk the boy puppet up to a “one night only” thing. After venting his frustration for a few days, Stromboli probably bought himself something very nice with all that money he made from the first show and continued his comfortable life as a traveling puppet gypsy guy.
4. Si & Am (Lady and the Tramp)
Their Crime: They destroy the entire house, fake injuries, and blame it on the dog. Lady gets put into a muzzle and some stuff at the zoo happens. I can’t remember since I haven’t seen the movie in forever. But I do recall she almost gets eaten by a crocodile because of it.
Their Come-Uppance: After spending several years in prison, Lady escapes, comes into a small fortune, and spends several more years creating a new identity for herself so she can exact her revenge. She then finds both cats and strangles them in their sleep with her own muzzle.
No. Wait: They high-five each other with their tails, the scene fades, and that’s the last we ever see of them.
3. Lady Tremaine (Cinderella)
Her Crime: Guilty of holding her step-daughter Cinderella captive for many years, forcing her to act as a scullery maid in her own home and encouraging her step-daughters to treat her like dirt. This in turn causes Cinderella to grow up and hallucinate about talking mice and pumpkin-mobiles. And when the Prince comes looking for Cinderella, what does Lady Tremaine do? Lock Cinderella in her room, of course. She hates the little girl’s guts, but refuses to let her leave. That’s all kinds of twisted.
Her Come-Uppance: Cinderella’s mice break her out of her room, and Cinderella gets to go be a princess. Yay! That’ll show you, Lady Tremaine!
Or does it?: Oh, wait. No. Never mind. All in all, this is just an inconvenience on Tremaine’s part as she no longer has free room service. After several years of slavery, she doesn’t even get so much as a slap on the wrists for the abuse she’s inflicted on the poor girl. In fact, it took two straight-to-video sequels before anyone even put her in her place by turning her into a scullery maid. But because that happened in a parallel reality after a bizarre time-travel caper, it doesn’t count.
Alternate Come-Uppance: If I recall, birds pecked her eyes out in the original story. Why did Disney leave that part out?
2. Cruella De Vil (101 Dalmations)
Her Crime: Arranged the kidnapping of 99 Dalmation puppies with intent to murder and skin them for a new fur coat. I have no idea what she intended to do with the 99 puppy corpses, and we probably don’t want to know.
Her Come-Uppance: The puppies escape and, during a high-speed chase, her car goes off a hill and crashes, costing her tons of money. She then goes to jail for theft and is promptly eaten by guard dogs while attempting her escape.
That didn’t happen!: You’re right. She’s still alive, and not arrested. She just crashed her car (for being a “crazy woman driver” as the trucker puts it) and the puppies got away. And being incredibly wealthy, she probably just bought a new car the next day. But what about the puppies? Surely she didn’t follow them, or find out that they returned to Roger and Anita, right? Well, imagine this – you just pulled off the theft of 99 puppies, lost them all in a humiliating fashion, destroyed your car, are severely pissed off, and then you found out that Anita’s husband just wrote a song about you and it’s getting tons of radio-play. The first thing you’ll want to do is blow off steam by marching down to Anita’s and giving Roger a piece of your mind, only to find… all 99 puppies that you just lost. So what’s to keep Cruella from having them kidnapped again in an insane revenge plot? Or suing Roger for his song and taking his Dalmation Plantation for herself so she can mass-produce doggy coats? No matter what, nothing after the end credits bodes well for the dogs.
1. Edgar Bergen – Fun and Fancy Free
His Crime: Here’s an oddball of a villain that most people don’t even consider. In the second half of the anthology film “Fun and Fancy Free,” Jiminy Cricket decides to attend a party after finding an invitation in the house he’s hanging out in. From there, the film becomes live-action, and we’re introduced to Edgar Bergen dressed in a stupid hat as he entertains his guests by telling them the story of “Mickey and the Beanstalk.” Innocent so far, right? Well, here’s the thing: his guests include two puppets and a little girl. And the puppets have been drinking heavily. So let’s re-paint this picture: Jiminy Cricket found an invitation in a little girl’s room to come to Edgar’s party, where the little girl is being entertained by three full-grown and very drunken men, two of which are hiding under the couch controlling those creepy puppets. Maybe the puppets were invited too? Nope. Their names are on the invitation as hosts. All three men threw this drinking party for the sole purpose of luring in this little nine year-old girl. This is arguably one of the most disturbing things ever put into a Disney movie.
Their Come-Uppance: Jiminy Cricket recognizes the situation and runs home to tell the little girl’s parents who immediately call the police. All three men are hauled away in paddy-wagons and the girl is returned to her family.
Really?: No. Jiminy starts drinking too and joins the party. Fortunately, the giant from the beanstalk story makes an appearance in the real world and startles Edgar so much that he faints.
So what’s the Problem?: Most people recover from fainting in minutes, and it doesn’t change the fact that when Jiminy leaves the party, the little girl is still at the mercy of the two puppeteers under the couch. On the whole, “Fun and Fancy Free” is a fun movie in itself if you ignore the horrifying truth that this poor girl isn’t going home tonight. This is what happens when half the Disney animators get drafted into war.
January 15 2011 07:32 pm | Movies