It took about 7 months in the making, but I'm finally ready to post my list of the 50 Greatest Animated Villains of All Time!
This is a list that has been seen far and few on the internets, mostly because of the challenge that lies within: There are so many greats, so many crappy ones, with several genres and companies to boot. You usually find "Best ___ Villains" like Disney, Looney Tunes, Comic Book Villains, 80s, 90s, etc.
There's also the problem of how many to include. It's notoriously difficult to limit the list to such a low number, like 10. One of my recent favorite websites ListUniverse.com recently attempted a Top 10 Cartoon Villains List, and failed miserably. Seriously, #1 was Shredder?! Sure, he's an awesome villain (spoiler, he made this list), but I wouldn't put him at #1 (spoiler 2: He's not #1)
I thought 50 was a good number. Enough spots for everyone, but not too many. Why the wait since I formally announced it in June?
Well, for one, compiling the list itself proved to be a nerve-wracking problem. First there was who would make the list, why they were worthy, and what order to put them in. There were certainly a few last-minute changes. Also, for a while my Trial copy of Word expired and was not able to get it back up and running until September. As for the gap between then & now…let's say school and life got in the way.
It's time I finally got this list started! I've decided to split the whole list into 5 parts, with 10 villains in each part. Each villain was chosen by my own personal criteria, such as iconicness, impact on the show/movie he/she represented, impact on pop culture, or just being all-round evil and badass. But I must admit a small bias. As a child of the 90s, there are many late 80s/Early 90s villains represented, but I think I've managed to get great villains from all eras.
#50: The Evil Monkey in Chris's Closet – Family Guy
Voiced by: Mike Henry.
We start the list off with the Evil Monkey from Family Guy. During the show's pre-revival days, The Evil Monkey was this random, mysterious character that freaked the hell out of Chris simply by pointing his finger at him, then running away.
In due time, especially in the post-revival episodes, we have seen more of the Evil Monkey, including an origin story on how he became evil. If the cutaway is true, the Evil Monkey was a normal, talking businessmonkey who had walked in on his wife having an affair (the fact that other monkey wore a diaper must have been equally as scarring), and he suddenly reverts to his now Evil, Finger-pointing state.
Some have said that the Evil Monkey has become less Evil due to finding religion, but I must admit that he might be more frightening with the image of him standing at your closet pointing "The Watchtower" at you.
#49: Richard Nixon's Head – Futurama
Voiced By: Billy West
While Futurama has had some great villains, I'd say that Richard Nixon's Head deserves his due as a great villain. First of all, it's Nixon, which should alone place him on a list like this one. He decides to run for President for a 3rd time in the Year 3000 when he buys Bender's pawned body, and actually manages to win by a single vote when he gains some kind of giant Mecha body.
Aided by his supposed Vice President, The Headless Body of Spiro T. Agnew, Nixon's various crimes include Winning a 3rd Term (and suspected of having more terms as he is still President as of "Bender's Big Score" set in 3007), planning to eradicate all of the World's Robots, declaring various pointless wars, allegedly breaking into the Watergate, creating awards such as the Polluting Medal of Pollution and the Dirty Double Cross, losing Earth to the Scammers due to falling from a dumb E-mail scam in "Bender's Big Score," and threatening to "go into people's houses at night and wrecking up the place."
#48: Gossamer – Looney Tunes
Voiced By: Mel Blanc
Creeping into Classic Villain territory, we come to Gossamer, the Red/Orange monster from Looney Tunes. Fortunately for you fine reader(s), he's not the only Looney Tunes villain making this list. He's one of the most popular of the truly minor LT characters, appearing in only 3 theatrical shorts, and he wasn't even named Gossamer until his 3rd cartoon.
Existing as a villainous monster in high-tops to scare Bugs Bunny and Duck Dodgers, I'd say he's pretty memorable due to the fact that he can be pretty creepy just by standing there. He's the perfect specimen to be seen chasing you in some abandoned haunted castle, and if he's not threatening to rip you apart with his unmanicured claws, he's killing you with an allergy attack with all of his hair.
I like his shoes. Apparently he & Marvin The Martian shop at the same store.
#47: The Woodland Critters – South Park
Voiced By: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, others
A fairly recent entry to the list, their original claim to fame was their lone appearance in the episode "Woodland Critter Christmas," which began as a nice Christmas Story, and, as we all know South Park, degenerates into something much grimmer and darker than we could've imagined. They may look cute and cuddly, but they're evil Satan Worshippers who have Blood Orgies and plot to give birth to the Anti-Christ.
They almost win...until it's revealed that it was all a story concocted by Cartman. What cemented "Greatest Villain" status was their appearance during the recent Imaginationland Trilogy. Not only do they become the de facto leaders of the Evil Imaginary Characters, they manage to freak out Jason Voorhees due to their very conception. They also successfully kill Strawberry Shortcake, poke out her eye, infect themselves with AIDs, and then pee in her eye socket.
#46: Mojo Jojo – Powerpuff Girls
Voiced By: Roger L. Jackson
At #46, we have Mojo Jojo, the arch-nemesis of the Powerpuff Girls.
Well all know that monkeys can be evil, as evidenced by #50, but this one here seems to be much more evil. For one thing, he's a green monkey with an enormous brain and a textbook Villain outfit due to being exposed to the same Chemical X that accidentally created the Powerpuff Girls.
Exploits include the usual bank robbing, attempting to destroy Townsville, the world, etc with various guns and giant Mecha Robots, accidentally creating the Powerpuff Girls, turning all of Townsville citizens into dogs (twice), living in an observatory on top of a volcano, and mutating every monkey in the local zoo and have them attack Townsville.
You can totally imagine this guy existing, and kicking some major ass. You know you'd love it if he lived with you, and he was constantly pissed off and wanted fights so that every day when you came home, you had to fight him. I think that's awesome in itself. I'm pretty sure the show did a few episodes centered around this subject.
#45: The Monarch – The Venture Bros.
Voiced By: Chris McCulloch
Next on the list is the archnemesis of the Venture Family, The Monarch. At face value, he seems to be a show's obligatory lame villain due to the fact that he's themed after the Monarch Butterfly (his origin story didn't even help his cause to begin with). But as the show progressed, he became this incredible badass of a villain.
He's been in jail, managed to break out, commands an army of butterfly-themed minions, and just looking & acting incredibly psycho. Plus, his girlfriend is the manly-sounding Dr. Girlfriend (now Dr. Wife I assume), as well the fact that it's never explained exactly why The Monarch hates Dr. Venture so much.
#44: Stewie Griffin – Family Guy
Voiced By: Seth MacFarlane
For this next entry is Stewie Griffin, the evil closeted baby from Family Guy. I'm well aware that he's seemed to have softened up in the past few seasons, but when he's evil…he's evil.
It's been said that he was evil from the start, plotting world domination while in the womb while simultaneously planting a bomb that will detonate on Lois's 50th Birthday (presumed to be menopause). An overly violent loan shark, celebrity murderer, President of The World, tying up a bully when playing "Roman Polanski's House," introducing Yoko to Lennon, inspiring OJ to kill, controlling Chris to buy weapons, plotting to eradicate broccoli, arson against his cheating ex-pretend wife, traveling in time to ruin his future, carjacking, running a pyramid scheme, talking like Rex Harrison, and being Darth Vader are among his many evilish deeds.
#43: The Mooninites – Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Voiced by: Matt Maiellaro (Ignignokt), Dave Willis (Err)
They're the Mooninites from Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Ignignokt & Err. While the ATHF has some awesome villains (the Plutonians, MC Pee Pants, Dr. Weird & Steve, The Cybernetic Ghost), I think these guys are their greatest villains. 2-D, pot smoking thieves, they harken back to the Atari days of gaming, with their main weapons being powerful, slow-moving lasers, as well as their threats to spank nerds with moon rocks. One of their greatest villainy feats were organizing most of the villains on the show (save for the Plutonians and a few one-shots) into one super-villain group to unsuccessfully destroy the Aqua Teen once and for all.
In the real world, they're mostly responsible for that bomb scare in Boston last year promoting the ATHF Movie. That pretty much gets them a nod, aside from their other "evil" deeds.
#42: Mr. Mxyzptlk - Superman
Voiced By: Gilbert Gottfried (DCAU Version)
Our first foray into comic book villainy is the trickster villain Mr. Mxyzptlk, hailing from the 5th Dimension. Depending on which medium or Age you've seen Superman in, there's a version of Mxy, mostly to serve as a real pain in the ass for the Man of Steel.
Even though he doesn't have "evil" intentions, he's an antagonist, messes with Superman's world for absolutely no other reason for the fact that he's bored with his own dimension and uses his other worldly powers to screw things up. Hell, he's capable of switching the DC-verse with the Marvel one, but those kinds of specials only come 17 times a year.
Pictured above (on the right) is my favorite incarnation from Superman: The Animated Series
#41: Soundwave – Transformers
Voiced By: Frank Welker
We end our first list with one of the more bad-assed retro villains out there, Soundwave from Transformers.
Back during the Classic G1 days, Soundwave was the 2nd-in-Command of the Decepticons, and showed it with his bulky build and his robotic voice. Just looking at him screamed awesomeness, even while looking through the Nostalgia-Colored Glasses that the people who were born from 1978-1988 wear. He was also the Master of Stealth…in 1980s standards.
Two reasons why this guy isn't ranked higher:
1) His alt mode is a tape deck. As in Cassettes, which also transform into smaller robots. While supporting-role humans of both 1984 and present day are dumb-as-rock filler characters, they would both distinguish a Tape Deck being out of the ordinary and wondering why it's just sitting there in the desert.
"eBay!" Says the dumb human while carrying it back to the Autobot's hideout.
The Transformers people have tried bringing Soundwave back for more recent series, but, since this is the iPod age, a music player wouldn't have worked (damn you, Michael Bay!). A few different robots with the Soundwave name appeared, but they just aren't the same awesome Decepticon we all remember.
2) Due to Megatron dying in the movie and being reformatted into Galvatron, along with a few new Minions, Soundwave was basically pushed into the background for newer toys, er, faces like Scourge and Cyclonus. I hear he currently releases Party Mix Tapes through Time-Life infomercials.
And that concludes Part 1 of (hopefully) a 5-Part series. In short…this was much harder than I thought it was going to be, no wonder why no one does this.