Warning: Spoilers for basically every Disney movie with an antagonist.
Villains That Lived
Arrested - When a villain breaks the law so many times, sometimes the law catches up to them. This was the case for Prince John from Robin Hood, Alameda Slim from Home on the Range, Professor Robert Callaghan from Big Hero 6, and Dawn Bellwether from Zootopia. This is often a just a humane fate for a villain, though it always comes with the possibility of the villain escaping and coming back for revenge.
Kinda Forgotten About - After Cinderella, is found to be the owner of the glass slipper, Duchess Tremaine, the horrible woman who locked Cinderella in her room, treated her step-daughter like a servant, and let her daughters obliterate the poor girls' mothers' dress is just ... well ... forgotten about. The scene cuts to Cinderella being happily married and we just forget about Duchess Tremaine. This is the definition of what not to do with a villain. The reader/viewer wants to know the fate of the villain, not just be expected to forget about it.
Villains That Died
Aged into Dust - As soon as Eugene cuts Rapunzel's hair, Mother Gothel rapidly ages. She topples off the tower and all that's left is a pile of dust. I believe Mother Gothel definitely got her just desserts here. She was so obsessed with staying young that she was willing to lock up a young girl for her entire life, it was only fitting for her to meet her demise by her fears coming true.
Claimed by Demons - In Princess and the Frog, when Princess Tiana breaks the charm granted by the voodoo spirits, Facilier is claimed by the demons and dragged into hell basically. I found this a bit too dark for a children's film personally. But this and the Horned King's death (below) are the only too I'd say that about in Disney Animation.
Falling from a Great Height - As the Beast climbs back to Belle after his grueling battle with Gaston, Gaston has climbed after him and plunges a dagger into his side. Then Gaston loses his balance and plummets into the craggy depths of the canyon around the castle. This is another ironic death, since Gaston died delivering the final blow to the Beast.
Falling from a Great Height then Crushed by Rock - In Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, the Evil Queen in witch form is trapped by the dwarves on a cliff, thus she tries to send a boulder tumbling on top of them. Lightning strikes the cliffside and she falls off the cliff, then the boulder falls after to (just to make sure she's totally dead). And if you weren't sure she was dead, those freaky vultures fly down toward her. Disney really wanted you to know that she was dead--for sure.
Falling into Fire - In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frollo is pursuing Esmeralda and Quasimodo on the balcony of the Notre Dame. He swipes his cape to blind Quasimodo, but Quasimodo falls dragging Frollo with him. Quasimodo holds onto the cape to keep him from falling then Esmeralda grabs on to Quasimodo. Frollo manages to swing to a nearby gargoyle and climb on top of it then when he's about to behind Esmeralda with a sword, the gargoyle beneath him gives out and he plunges into the fiery depths of burning Paris. Another ironic death here. Frollo was so afraid of hellfire and in the end he dies by fire.
Floating into Space - Jim from Treasure Planet was sneaking back onto the ship to retrieve the map, when Mr. Scroop finds him. While fighting, Ben turns off the boat's gravity field which sends Jim and Mr. Scroop floating up to the top mast. Jim grips the ship's flag to keep from floating into space, but Mr. Scroop decides to cut away at the flag's rope. Jim crawls to the mast and holds on then Mr. Scroop leaps at him. Jim dodges and Mr. Scroop gets caught into the flag which rips away from the mast sending him spinning into space never to be seen again. Here is yet another ironic death. Earlier in the film Mr. Scroop murdered Mr. Arrow by sawing away his lifeline and allowing him to plummet into a blackhole and now he meets a similar fate. Disney also apparently loves their ironic villain deaths.
Reduced to Nothing - Jack in the Nightmare Before Christmas is trapped on Oogie Boogie's spinning wheel of death. While Oogie is trying to escape on a propeller device, Jack snags one of the Oogie's threads. He pulls it and it snags in the propeller unraveling Oogie completely, reducing him to a pile of bugs, which burn up in hot metal below or are squished. This is definitely a creative death and it suited Oogie Boogie as well. He was reduced to what he real was just a dumb bug.
Shredded by Propeller - Speaking of propellers ... While Rourke and Milo were fighting over Kida in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Milo cuts Rourke with a piece of energized glass which turns Rourke into a freaky crystal monster then he gets sucked into a propeller shredded to pieces. Hidden Disney lesson: Be careful around propellers.
Sucked into a Cauldron - In the Black Cauldron, The Horned King is disconcerted, to put it lightly, that his army of the dead are all of a sudden ... dead. He goes to investigated and ends up getting sucked into the cauldron to his death. The Horned King had to be one of Disney's freakiest looking villains. I was glad not to have to look at him anymore.
Sword Thrown into Chest - During the epic battle between (the real) Maleficent and Prince Phillip in Sleeping Beauty, the Prince manages to throw the sword of truth into Maleficent's chest, killing her. The is one of the very few Disney deaths where blood is actually shown, but I would be a little ticked if a sword thrown up to the hilt into a dragon's chest didn't show just a little bit of blood.
Turned into Gold - In Aladdin and the King of Thieves, while Aladdin and Cassim are escaping with the Hand of Midas, they realize they can't take it, so Cassim throws it to Sa'Luk. Sa'Luk catches it in his bare hand and turns into gold. And we finish with yet another ironic death. Sa'Luk meets his demise by his own greed.
These stats honestly surprised me a bit. I expected falling to be Disney's most common villain death, but as I gathered more and more information, I realized just how creative Disney is with their villains' defeats.
Conclusion - One thing I respect about Disney Animation is they're not afraid to have their villains meet realistic and even gruesome fates, but they execute them in a way that is appropriate for children. I guess that's one reason why I keep watching Disney. I planned to start collecting data from each set of franchises and such that I analyze to see which deaths are overall the most common, so I'll start adding that to the posts from the next post on, but I need some help deciding which post I should do next. Please, vote in the poll below!
Which of these villains is your favorite? Which of these deaths or defeats is your favorite? Have you defeated your villains in your stories in similar ways to these?
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