Don't be put off by my title: there is nothing sinister here chaps!! Indeed, with my general 'bloggings' I shall attempt to delight and astound you out of the mundaneness of a middle class suburban life, into the magical world of the Sophster!! Mystical...

Thursday, 27 July 2017

My top 8 Disney Villain songs. Ranked.

It's about time I devoted a post purely to Disney. Let's skip all the cutesy stuff though and head straight over to the dark side. 'Be prepared' for some serious, sinister, sassy singing, dastardly dance moves and reprehensible rhymes as we begin...

The Disney Villain song countdown!


Whilst villains should be applauded for their unconventional dress sense, sarcastic and scathing humour and downright evilness, one of their main strengths is their unparalleled musical numbers. That said, let's kick off with our first golden nugget:

8. Mine, Mine Mine 

Film: Pocohontas
Evil Villain singer: Governor Ratcliffe 
Best line: "With all you've got in ya boys / Dig up Virginia boys!"

From the camp assistant with his 'Hey Nonny Nonny' backing vocals, to the 'Diggity Digg' refrain of the pick axers (not be confused with 'No Diggity') to the mid-song harpsichord breakdown, this number showcases Governor Ratcliffe's extravagance and greed in glorious Renaissance splendour. He's evil and he loves shiny things (we're about 50% the same, then). It's even rounded off with a dramatic duet between John Smith ('This beauty untold') and Ratcliffe ('it all can be SOLD!'), making it all the more theatrical! This tune is built for the stage.

7. Hellfire

Film: Hunchback of Notre Dame 
Evil Villain singer: Judge Frollo 
Best line: "She will be mine or SHE. WILL. BUUURRRRRNNN!"

Did someone just turn the heat up over here? Jeez, I'm breaking out in a sweat! This is probably the most evil Disney villain song ever written. 100% dark, no comic respite, naked flames, sin, adultery, ominous, faceless monks chanting about death. Shadows everywhere. Frollo has serious issues and it's powerful to watch (even more powerful than the wind in his face during the climactic moments)! All I can say is, get the hell out of there Esmerelda...

6. Friends on the Other Side 

Film: The Princess and the Frog
Evil Villain singer: The Shadow Man
Best line: "Sit down at my table, put your mind at ease / If you relax it will enable me to do anything I please"

We're taking things to a much jazzier place now with the Shadow Man and his all singing voodoo mask chorus. The bandiest legged of all the villains, Shadow Man is the master of optical illusions, tricks and killer dance moves (those splits though)! Together with his evil Peter Pan shadow, awesome neon skull face paint and jaunty top hat, he's a style icon as well as a terrible human being. It's dark, it's trippy, it's seedy and it uses an electric organ: yes, this song screams DO NOT TRUST THIS MAN!

5. Prince Ali (Reprise)

Film: Aladdin
Evil Villain Singer: Jafar
Best line: "Prince Ali turns out to be merely Alaaadin" (it's all in the delivery) 

As far as reprises go, this is up there with the best. Just when you think Jafar won't get a chance to stretch his vocal chords, he saunters in with this absolute banger. Gleeful, bitter and positively serpentine, he takes Aladdin DOWN in this short, sweet number. He even SLAPS him at one point. Ouch. Also, this is the first in our countdown to end with a classic evil cackle (don't worry, it won't be the last).

4. Mother Knows Best

Film: Tangled
Evil Villain singer: Mother Gothel
Best line: "Gullible, naive, positively grubby, Ditzy and a bit, well, hmm, vague / Plus, I believe gettin' kinda chubby, I'm just saying 'cause I love you"

This number is perfection. The cutesy, buoyant tone mixed with scathing passive aggressive lyrics makes this one of the sharpest and cleverest Disney songs ever. Donna Murphy's attention to detail in the voice acting is superb (you don't have to watch the scene to revel in its sickly, infuriating deliciousness). Mother Gothel is scenery chewing, evil stepmother goals and she LOVES it.

3. Gaston

Film: Beauty and the Beast
Evil Villain Singer: Gaston
Best Line: "Now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a BARRGE!"  

To be honest, every tune in Beauty and the Beast is an absolute classic, and 'Gaston' is no different. At this point in the film, we haven't quite seen the full extent of Gaston's devilish personality (that's to be revealed in the 'Gaston reprise', also very noteworthy), so the cheery waltz is a perfect accompaniment to his ridiculous arrogance. It's kind of like an even more hammy 'Oompa Pa' with better lyrics. One thing is for sure: we'll never run out of examples of how amazing Gaston is (particularly when it comes to expectorating)!

2. Poor Unfortunate Souls 

Film: The Little Mermaid
Evil Villain Singer: Ursula
Best line: "Don't underestimate the importance of... BODY LANGUAGE!"

Sass personified (or should I say seawitchified). Ursula's cabaret style performance, complete with full stage make-up and wobbling bosom will be burned onto our retinas for ever more. She signalled in the beginning of the new, comically dark Disney villain that was later followed by icons like Scar and Hades: dark, twisted but really fun to watch. 'Poor Unfortunate Souls' cements Ursula as the boss of the sea. I mean, she's really an entrepreneur in soul stealing.

1. Be Prepared 

Film: The Lion King
Evil Villain Singer: Scar
Best line: "I know that your powers of retention are as wet as a warthog's backside"

I think this song is in my head about 30% of the time. The catchy rhythm and sultry lyrics are the perfect blend for a killer villain song, and leave you with chills that not even Mufasa could create (and we're talking "Mufasa Mufasa MUFASA!"). Scar skulks and struts his way through his evil jam like a true diva, taking down hyenas as he goes. His evil marching army, smoke canons and elevating rock formation give him centre stage in this magnificent number. And, to top it all off, we get the rare EVIL CACKLE to boot!

That's my top eight - are there any you think I've missed? (Disclaimer: I limited the list to songs sung BY villains, so Cruella De Vil doesn't count. I didn't forget it. Just for the record). Also, which of these do you think is the best cackle? (Don't be getting nightmares, now):

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