Evil cartoon characters and their dastardly acts include The Evil Queen, Maleficent, Scar, Ursula, Azula, Plankton, and Mojo Jojo.
Cartoon villains have been an essential part of animated storytelling since the medium’s early days.
These evil characters provide conflict and drama to drive the story forward and offer a fascinating exploration of the darker aspects of human nature.
In this article, we will delve into some of the most iconic evil cartoon characters, examine why they are evil, and analyze their enduring popularity among audiences.
The Most Sinister Cartoon Characters Ever Created
Sinister cartoon characters have played pivotal roles in animated series and films, creating conflict, drama, and even terror.
20The Wicked Witch of the West (The Wizard of Oz)
One of the most memorable villains in the history of animation, the Wicked Witch of the West, is a character who has haunted children’s dreams since her first appearance in the 1939 classic film, The Wizard of Oz. Her evil nature stems from her thirst for power and revenge, which she pursues relentlessly, even if it means causing harm to innocent people.
Her popularity can be attributed to her iconic appearance and the memorable performance of Margaret Hamilton, which has left an indelible mark on pop culture.
19Vicky the Babysitter (The Fairly OddParents)
Vicky is a recurring antagonist in the Nickelodeon series The Fairly OddParents (2001-2017). As a cruel and sadistic babysitter, Vicky’s evil actions are driven by her love of power and her delight in tormenting the protagonist, Timmy Turner.
While Vicky is an evil character, her role in a light-hearted children’s series may prevent her from being considered one of the evilest cartoon characters.
18The Lich (Adventure Time)
The Lich is the antagonist in the Cartoon Network series Adventure Time (2010-2018). He is an ancient and powerful being whose sole purpose is to bring about the end of all life. The Lich’s evil nature is personified by his skeletal appearance and desire for destruction.
While he is undoubtedly one of the darkest characters in animation, the series’ quirky and fantastical nature may preclude him from being considered the most evil cartoon character.
17Hades From Hercules Is An Evil Cartoon Character
In Disney’s 1997 animated film Hercules, Hades is the sarcastic and cunning god of the underworld. His evil actions are driven by his desire to overthrow his brother Zeus and become the ruler of Mount Olympus.
Hades’ quick wit and humor, combined with his fiery blue hair and the outstanding voice work of James Woods, have made him a memorable and entertaining antagonist.
16Sideshow Bob Is An Evil Character From Th Simpsons
The Simpsons captivate audiences with their humor and satirical portrayal of American culture while also presenting a lineup of unforgettable villains.
Sideshow Bob, an iconic antagonist in the series, captures attention and exudes a sinister presence in Springfield with his intelligence, eloquence, and malevolent schemes.
As a former children’s television sidekick, Bob embraces his evil nature by seeking revenge against Bart Simpson, who revealed his criminal activities. Bob’s intelligence, eloquence, and theatrical flair make him an enthralling villain.
Although Sideshow Bob is undoubtedly a wicked character, determining whether he is the most evil cartoon character remains debatable, given his participation in a comedic series and the occasional glimpses of redemption.
15HIM (The Powerpuff Girls)
The Powerpuff Girls, Cartoon Network’s popular animated series, actively follows the adventures of three superhero sisters as they defend their city from various threats.
HIM, a mysterious and sinister villain in The Powerpuff Girls (1998-2005), embodies “pure evil” with his supernatural powers and creepy, androgynous appearance. He eagerly instigates chaos and despair by manipulating others to carry out his malevolent plans.
While HIM unquestionably exudes a sinister presence, he may not rank as the most evil character, as the series often balances his dark nature with lighter, more comedic moments.
14Bill Cipher (Gravity Falls)
In Disney Channel’s series Gravity Falls (2012-2016), Bill Cipher eagerly takes on the main antagonist role. His drive to create mayhem and ravage the world defines his evil nature.
Bill Cipher thrives on spreading chaos and wreaking destruction as a powerful interdimensional demon.
His manipulative character, enigmatic motives, and eye-catching triangular design render him a memorable and sinister villain.
Despite Bill Cipher’s status as a fearsome adversary, his playful attitude and sporadic comedic moments keep him from claiming the title of the most evil character in animation.
13Gru Is An Evil Characters From Despicable Me
The Despicable Me franchise, produced by Illumination Entertainment, presents a unique twist on the typical evil character by introducing Gru, a supervillain who transforms the series.
With his quirky personality, comical antics, and eventual redemption, Gru provides a fresh take on the concept of an evil animated character.
Gru, voiced by Steve Carell, is a supervillain who initially takes pride in his evil deeds and seeks to outdo other villains by executing grand heists. His competitive nature and desire for recognition drive him to concoct various schemes, including his most ambitious plan of stealing the moon.
Gru is accompanied by his loyal army of Minions, who assist him in his endeavors and add a touch of comedy to his villainous escapades.
12Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz (Phineas and Ferb)
Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz actively stumbles and charms as the lovable antagonist in Disney’s animated series Phineas and Ferb (2007-2015).
Motivated by a thirst for revenge against numerous perceived past injustices, Doofenshmirtz’s evil essence shines through his amusing endeavors to conquer the Tri-State Area with an array of inventive devices.
Engaging interactions with his nemesis, Perry the Platypus, and his eccentric personality render Dr. Doofenshmirtz an unforgettable and entertaining character among cartoon villains.
11Plankton (SpongeBob SquarePants)
Plankton is the primary antagonist in SpongeBob SquarePants’ long-running animated series (1999-present).
As the owner of the unsuccessful Chum Bucket restaurant, Plankton’s evil actions are driven by his desire to steal the secret Krabby Patty formula from his rival, Mr. Krabs, and succeed in the fast-food business.
Plankton’s scheming, treacherous behavior, and humorously small stature have made him a fan-favorite villain.
10Mojo Jojo (The Powerpuff Girls)
Mojo Jojo is the primary antagonist in the Cartoon Network series The Powerpuff Girls (1998-2005).
He is an intelligent, talking simian with an oversized brain whose evil nature is driven by his desire for world domination and revenge against his creator, Professor Utonium.
Mojo Jojo’s combination of intelligence, megalomania and distinctive manner of speech make him a unique and memorable villain in animation.
9Azula (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
Azula, a character in the animated television series “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” often earns the label of “bad” or “villainous” because of her actions and motivations throughout the show.
Nonetheless, it is crucial to differentiate between a morally bad character and a poorly written or developed one.
As a villain, Azula stands out as a complex and well-crafted character, boasting a deep backstory that enriches her overall depth. Daughter to Fire Lord Ozai and sister to Prince Zuko, who serves as the main antagonist for much of the series, she demonstrates remarkable fire bending prowess and excels in combat.
Her rare ability to generate and manipulate blue flames and her tactical genius and cunning render her a formidable adversary to the protagonists.
8Judge Claude Frollo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
The 1996 Disney adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel showcases Judge Claude Frollo as the primary antagonist.
Frollo’s villainous nature arises from his hypocrisy, hunger for power, and relentless pursuit of individuals he considers sinful or undesirable.
His obsession with the gypsy Esmeralda consumes him and ultimately triggers his downfall. The complexity and memorability of Frollo as a villain stem from his distorted moral compass and his hauntingly dark song, “Hellfire.”
Megatron, the ruthless and powerful leader of the Decepticons in the Transformers animated series and films, embodies villainy.
His ambitions to conquer the universe and vanquish the Autobots, led by his arch-nemesis Optimus Prime, fuel his evil actions.
The fearsome appearance of Megatron, combined with his cunning and unyielding quest for power, solidifies his status as a classic and enduring antagonist in the realm of animation.
6Aku (Samurai Jack)
Aku, the shape-shifting demon and primary antagonist of the Cartoon Network series Samurai Jack (2001-2004, 2017), embodies pure evil.
Aku’s wickedness stems from his hunger for power, chaos, and destruction.
His striking design, inspired by Japanese mythology and art and the deep, menacing voice provided by Mako Iwamatsu and later Greg Baldwin, have made Aku a truly memorable villain.
5The Joker (Batman: The Animated Series)
The Joker, undeniably one of culture’s most iconic and complex evil characters, exhibits his wickedness exceptionally well in Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995).
His chaotic and unpredictable personality, rooted in a tragic and enigmatic backstory, underlies the Joker’s evil nature.
The twisted sense of humor, unmistakable laugh, and affinity for theatrics make him a fan favorite, while Mark Hamill’s iconic voice acting further boosts his popularity.
4Scar (The Lion King)
In Disney’s The Lion King (1994), Scar, Mufasa’s treacherous brother and the main antagonist exemplifies the archetypal evil cartoon character fueled by jealousy and ambition.
Driven by his desire to seize his brother’s throne, Scar commits atrocious acts, including murder.
His cunning and manipulative nature, along with his memorable musical number “Be Prepared,” establish Scar as one of animation’s most popular and enduring villains.
3Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)
Maleficent is another iconic villain, the self-proclaimed “Mistress of All Evil” from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty (1959). After being excluded from Princess Aurora’s christening, betrayal and anger fuel her motivations.
Her dark, powerful presence and the ability to transform into a dragon contribute to her popularity within the Disney pantheon.
The 2014 live-action film Maleficent delved further into her story, adding depth to her character and examining her intricate motivations.
2The Evil Queen (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
Disney has been a significant source of evil cartoon characters, with one of the earliest and most influential being the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).
Her motivation for evil deeds is rooted in jealousy and vanity, as she desires to be the fairest.
This classic tale of envy and obsession has resonated with audiences for generations, making the Evil Queen a timeless character that symbolizes the destructive nature of vanity.
1Ursula (The Little Mermaid)
Ursula, the iconic evil female cartoon character, is the primary antagonist in Disney’s animated film “The Little Mermaid” (1989). As a manipulative and cunning sea witch, she employs her dark powers to control the underwater world and pursue her sinister objectives.
Her evil nature takes center stage as she plots to overthrow King Triton and seize control of Atlantica, the underwater kingdom. To achieve this, she cunningly persuades Ariel, the film’s protagonist, to make a dangerous deal in which she exchanges her voice for human legs.
Ursula’s deception and exploitation of Ariel’s vulnerability exemplify her relentless quest for power.
Ursula’s striking appearance, which fuses human and octopus elements, constitutes a defining aspect of her character.
Evil Purple Cartoon Characters
Several cartoon characters with a purple color scheme can be considered “evil” or antagonistic.
Here are a few examples:
- Thanos (Marvel Comics): Although primarily a comic book character, Thanos has appeared in various animated TV shows and movies. He is a powerful supervillain with a purple-skinned appearance and is known for his quest to collect the Infinity Stones to eliminate half of all life in the universe.
- Darkwing Duck – Negaduck (Disney): Negaduck is the evil doppelganger of Darkwing Duck from the Darkwing Duck animated TV series. He has purple clothing and is considered to be the main antagonist of the show.
- Frieza (Dragon Ball Z): Frieza is a powerful villain in the Dragon Ball Z anime and manga series. Although his skin color varies throughout his various forms, his final form has a purple hue. Frieza is responsible for the destruction of Planet Vegeta and countless other atrocities throughout the series.
- The Lich (Adventure Time): The Lich is a powerful and evil being in the animated series. He is a major antagonist and seeks to bring about the end of all life. While not entirely purple, his color scheme includes purple elements.
- Randall Boggs (Monsters, Inc.): Randall Boggs is a sneaky, purple, lizard-like monster who serves as the primary antagonist in Pixar’s Monsters, Inc. movie. He is a rival of the main characters, Sulley and Mike, and will do anything to become the top scarer at Monsters, Inc.
Disney Villain List
There are numerous Disney villains, and listing them all is challenging. However, here is a list of many notable villains from Disney’s animated films:
- The Evil Queen (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
- Stromboli (Pinocchio)
- The Coachman (Pinocchio)
- Monstro (Pinocchio)
- Chernabog (Fantasia)
- T-Rex (Fantasia)
- Man (Bambi)
- Captain Hook (Peter Pan)
- Lady Tremaine (Cinderella)
- Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland)
- Si and Am (Lady and the Tramp)
- Aunt Sarah (Lady and the Tramp)
- Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)
- Cruella de Vil (One Hundred and One Dalmatians)
- Jasper and Horace (One Hundred and One Dalmatians)
- Madam Mim (The Sword in the Stone)
- Kaa (The Jungle Book)
- King Louie (The Jungle Book)
- Shere Khan (The Jungle Book)
- Edgar Balthazar (The Aristocats)
- Prince John (Robin Hood)
- The Sheriff of Nottingham (Robin Hood)
- Sir Hiss (Robin Hood)
- Madame Medusa (The Rescuers)
- Percival C. McLeach (The Rescuers Down Under)
- Sykes (Oliver & Company)
- Ursula (The Little Mermaid)
- Flotsam and Jetsam (The Little Mermaid)
- Gaston (Beauty and the Beast)
- LeFou (Beauty and the Beast)
- Jafar (Aladdin)
- Iago (Aladdin)
- Scar (The Lion King)
- Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed (The Lion King)
- Governor Ratcliffe (Pocahontas)
- Claude Frollo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
- Hades (Hercules)
- Pain and Panic (Hercules)
- Shan Yu (Mulan)
- Clayton (Tarzan)
- Yzma (The Emperor’s New Groove)
- Kronk (The Emperor’s New Groove)
- Captain Gantu (Lilo & Stitch)
- Dr. Facilier (The Princess and the Frog)
- Mother Gothel (Tangled)
- King Candy/Turbo (Wreck-It Ralph)
- Prince Hans (Frozen)
- Duke of Weselton (Frozen)
- Bellwether (Zootopia)
- Tamatoa (Moana)
This list includes main and supporting villains from Disney animated movies but does not include live-action films, Pixar films, or TV series.
Remember that some characters may fall into a gray area and not be purely villainous, and the list may not cover every Disney villain in existence.