Ugly Disney characters that left a lasting imprint on our lives, from Ursula, Madame Medusa, and Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty to Jafar from Aladdin.
Let’s face it, not every Disney character can be as pretty as Cinderella or as handsome as Prince Eric. Some of them are downright ugly. But do they deserve to be judged solely on their appearances? Not.
Take Ursula from The Little Mermaid, for example. She may have a giant purple body and tentacles for legs, but her shrewd intelligence and cunning nature make her a formidable villain.
And Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame may be physically disfigured, but his inner ugliness is the driving force behind his heinous actions.
Disney Characters That Are Ugly
Next time you call a Disney character ugly, remember that true beauty lies within. Besides, who are we to judge when human society has constantly failed to define and uphold consistent standards of beauty?
So embrace the ugly Disney characters, for they, too, have a vital role in the beloved stories we all know and love.
After all, where would Cinderella be without her Ugly Stepsisters or Sleeping Beauty without her Ugly Witch? Ugly never looked so good.
20Ursula – The Little Mermaid
We know she’s a sea witch from the moment she’s mentioned. The witch character is typically not associated with beauty; they are the opposite of Disney Princesses. Ursula appears to be a heavier-set witch with too much makeup when we first see her. Likewise, Prince Eric agrees.
Ursula may have been deemed “ugly” by society’s standards, but let’s be honest – she was a badass sea witch with incredible powers. Her larger-than-life personality and bold fashion choices make her a true icon.
19Madame Medusa – The Rescuers
Madame Medusa is the main antagonist in Disney’s 1977 film, The Rescuers. She is a greedy pawn shop owner who seeks to capture and exploit an orphaned mouse named Penny for her gain.
Madame Medusa disguises herself as a kind old lady to lure Penny into her clutches but ultimately fails thanks to the help of two brave mice, Bernard and Miss Bianca.
Ultimately, Madame Medusa is arrested for her crimes, and Penny can find a loving home. Madame Medusa’s greed and manipulation make her a truly despicable villain.
18Roz – Monsters Inc.
Roz is the supervisor at Monsters, Inc., where she oversees the scaring operation. Despite her no-nonsense demeanor, Roz has a soft spot for her assistant Sullivan and often provides helpful advice to Mike and Sulley. Roz also plays a significant role in uncovering Waternoose’s evil plan to use human children as an energy source.
In the end, Roz helps restore power to Monstropolis using laughter instead. Roz’s strong attention to detail and loyalty make her a valuable asset to the Monsters, Inc. team.
17Maleficent – Sleeping Beauty
Maleficent is a powerful and feared villain from the Disney classic Sleeping Beauty. She curses Princess Aurora to die on her 16th birthday after not being invited to her christening.
However, Maleficent’s actions are eventually revealed to be driven by betrayal and hurt from the theft of her wings.
In the 2014 live-action film, Maleficent becomes the protagonist as we see her struggle to balance her desire for revenge and ultimately choosing love and forgiveness. Despite her initial evil deeds, Maleficent remains a beloved Disney character who demonstrates the complexities of human nature and the healing power of love.
16Jafar – Aladdin
Jafar, the main antagonist in Disney’s Aladdin, is a power-hungry sorcerer who will stop at nothing to obtain ultimate control. In his quest for power, he manipulates and deceives those around him, including his trusted sidekick Iago.
Jafar ultimately meets his downfall when he foolishly wishes to become the most powerful being in the universe, only to be overpowered and defeated by Genie. Jafar’s greed and lust for power are a cautionary tale about the dangerous consequences of letting ambition consume oneself.
15Dr. Facilier – The Princess And The Frog
Dr. Facilier, also known as the Shadow Man, is a villain in Disney’s 2009 film The Princess and the Frog. He is a voodoo magician who deals with people in exchange for their souls.
Despite his charming demeanor, Dr. Facilier is power-hungry and manipulative, stopping at nothing to achieve his goals.
Ultimately, he meets his demise when his “friends on the other side” turn against him. Dr. Facilier is a cautionary tale about greed and the consequences of dealing with evil forces.
14Yzma – The Emperor’s New Groove
This list would not be complete without Yzma. Unlike Ursula and the Queen of Hearts, Yzma has almost no hair and is thin and frail.
In a romantic sense, no other character finds her attractive or desirable. A Disney movie with great villains and ugly characters, The Emperor’s New Groove is one of the different ones in the bunch.
Slim has very long, dark red hair in a mullet style, thick red eyebrows, a short red goatee on his chin, a long angular mustache, and large gray bags under his murky-green eyes.
It features an oversized brown coat, a sparkly orange shirt, red frills, a blue tie, both tan gloves and chaps, brown pants with a brown belt with a gold buckle, and a gray Stetson with a black band around the brim. Wesley usually buys cows from him if he steals them.
12Queen of Hearts- Alice in Wonderland
The Queen of Hearts is a dominant and violent character in Lewis Carroll’s novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. She is known for her infamous line, “Off with their heads!” and her constant desire to execute anyone who displeases her.
The Queen is also portrayed as jealous when she threatens to have Alice executed for playing croquet better than her. Despite her cruelty, the Queen does seem to have a softer side as she shows affection towards her husband, the King of Hearts. The Queen of Hearts represents authority figures’ unpredictable and oppressive nature.
It is also important to note that the Queen of Hearts has been interpreted by some scholars as an allegory for Queen Victoria due to their similar physical appearance and tendencies to be easily upset. However, Queen Victoria was not known for executing people, so this interpretation remains debatable.
11LeFou – The Beauty And The Beast
LeFou, a character in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” is best known for being the quirky sidekick to Gaston, who LeFou idolizes and continually supports throughout the film. However, LeFou also plays a significant role as one of the few openly gay characters in Disney history.
In the 2017 live-action adaptation, LeFou explores his sexuality and ultimately has a happy ending with another male character.
This representation was groundbreaking for Disney, sparking both praise and controversy from audiences. LeFou will forever be remembered as a comedic foil and an important LGBT+ character in modern media.
10The Evil Queen – Snow White
The Evil Queen is known for her pure jealousy and desire to be the fairest in the land. She will stop at nothing, even going as far as attempting to murder Snow White multiple times.
In Disney’s 1937 film adaptation, The Queen eventually meets her demise when she is forced to wear a pair of hot iron shoes and dance until she drops dead.
The moral of the story serves as a warning against vanity and arrogance. The character has become a popular figure in pop culture, inspiring numerous adaptations and retellings in television, literature, and theater.
The Evil Queen remains one of the most iconic villains in fairytale history.
9Phil – Hercules
Phil is a character from Disney’s 1997 animated film Hercules. He serves as Hercules’ trainer and mentor, helping him to control his strength and embrace his true identity as a hero.
Phil also played an essential role in the film’s climax, when he “borrowed” Pegasus to help defeat the villain, Hades. Phil’s catchphrase is “No pain, no gain,” and he often encourages Hercules to push himself harder in training.
Outside the film, Phil has become a famous character in various merchandise and spin-off media, such as Disney on Ice performances and Kingdom Hearts video games. Phil’s rugged yet caring personality resonates with fans, making him a beloved member of the Hercules cast.
8Horned King – Black Cauldron
The Horned King is a powerful sorcerer and the primary antagonist in Disney’s 1985 film The Black Cauldron. He is obsessed with obtaining the titular mystical cauldron, which has the power to create an invincible army of undead warriors.
The Horned King will stop at nothing to achieve his goal, even sacrificing his own henchmen in pursuit of ultimate power. However, he ultimately meets his defeat at the hands of the young hero Taran and his allies.
Despite his penchant for cruelty and manipulation, some fans have speculated that an unknown tragic past may have influenced the Horned King’s actions. He remains a fearsome and formidable foe in Disney’s villain pantheon.
7The Fates – Hercules
The Fates, also known as The Moirai in Greek mythology, were the trio of goddesses who controlled the thread of life from birth to death.
The three sisters were named Clotho, who spun the thread of life; Lachesis, who measured the length; and Atropos, who cut the cord at one’s destiny.
They were often depicted with their tools – a spindle or distaff for Clotho, a measuring rod for Lachesis, and shears for Atropos.
In The Disney film Hercules, The Fates appear as witches who control Zeus’ lightning bolts.
In this portrayal, they are still in charge of mortals’ destinies but now work under Zeus instead of being independent entities. The sisters bicker and argue with each other, but ultimately they are loyal to Zeus and support his decisions.
6Sarousch – Hunchback of Notre Dame 2
Sarousch is a powerful, wealthy gypsy magician and the main antagonist in Disney’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame II.”
When Sarousch sets his sights on stealing Notre Dame’s Bells, he uses his charm and illusions to steal valuable items from Parisians.
Despite Sarousch’s manipulations, Esmeralda and Phoebus’ courage ultimately thwarts his plan.
5Mother Gothel – Tangled
Mother Gothel is the antagonist in Disney’s Tangled, using her powers of manipulation and deception to keep Rapunzel locked away in a tower for her selfish desires.
But Mother Gothel’s actions are not just limited to Tangled. Before kidnapping baby Rapunzel, Mother Gothel had stolen the magical healing powers of a unique flower, keeping herself young and beautiful for years.
Mother Gothel may claim that she only wants to protect Rapunzel, but her true motivation is maintaining her own youth and beauty at all costs.
4Quasimodo – The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Quasimodo may have been portrayed as ugly in Disney’s animated film, but the character from Victor Hugo’s novel is described as having a “savage beauty.”
Quasimodo’s deformities were caused by his mother being tortured during childbirth, making him a victim of circumstance rather than genetics.
So next time you watch the cartoon, remember that Quasimodo is more than just a hunchback – he’s a symbol of resilience and inner strength. And let’s face it; those are much more attractive than physical appearance.
3Jumba – Lilo & Stitch
Jumba may not be the prettiest alien, but he sure is smart. With his genius-level intellect and invention skills, Jumba single-handedly created 625 experiments (aka monsters) before being apprehended by the Galactic Federation.
Despite his clumsy mistakes and goofy appearance, Jumba proves that true beauty lies within, as he eventually becomes a valued member of Lilo’s ohana.
So don’t judge this extraterrestrial by his cover – Jumba may be ugly on the outside, but he has a heart of gold. Plus, who can resist those adorable antennae?
2Cruella De Vil – 101 Dalmatians
There’s no denying it – Cruella De Vil is ugly, inside and out. Her obsession with fur coats made from 101 Dalmatians’ skins proves her twisted nature.
She may try to hide behind her fancy clothes and arrogant attitude, but deep down, she’s nothing more than a vile monster. And let’s not even get started on that creepy half-black, half-white hair. Yikes.
At least she taught us all an important lesson: never trust a woman with too much eyeliner. Stay away from Cruella and her ilk – they’re not worth the trouble.
1Scar – The Lion King
Mufasa’s less fortunate brother is Scar. If he believes he deserves the Kingdom and all its privileges, he will do whatever it takes to get them. Hyenas and pride lands are under Scar’s control. They ally with the bad guys so they can attack the lions.
The hyenas and Scar hatch a plan to eliminate Mufasa and take over the pride lands. Among the highest-earning movies at Walt Disney Pictures is The Lion King.