Characteristics Of Antagonists In Disney Movies

1240 words - 5 pages

Movies have entertained crowds since the Lumière brothers first introduced their early version of “cinématographe” to the public in Paris, France at the Grand Café on the Boulevard de Capuchines in1895 (Walter). It was the Lumières’ early developments in cinematography that led to modern day feature films. While the technology and special effects may have changed through the years, the one constant in film remains the theme of protagonist versus antagonist; or good versus evil. Ever since Disney released its first animated picture, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, Disney has made an art of perfecting the antagonist role in animated movies. Through the years Disney has ...view middle of the document...

Jealousy is an obsession with what others have, whether tangible or intangible. Some people become so overpowered by feelings of jealousy that it can lead to abusive and destructive behavior. To demonstrate the evils of jealousy, Disney introduces us to Lady Tremaine in Cinderella and the Wicked Queen in Snow White. In Cinderella, Lady Tremaine is the antagonist to Cinderella’s protagonist role. She is the evil widowed step-mother, who out of jealously of Cinderella’s beauty and personality condemns Cinderella to a life of servitude by forcing her to serve as a maid and laundress within her own home. Lady Tremaine is so obsessed with keeping Cinderella in the shadows that when the Grand Duke requests that Cinderella try on the infamous glass slipper, she trips him causing the glass slipper to shatter. In Snow White, again Disney presents us with an evil step-mother jealous of her step-daughter’s beauty. However, Disney takes it one step further in Snow White as the Wicked Queen, Cinderella’s step-mother, instructs one of her huntsman to lead Snow White into the woods, kill her, and remove her heart so that the Queen may remain ‘the fairest one of all’. When the Queen’s plan with the huntsman fails, she disguises herself as an old peddler woman and entices Snow White to take a bite of a poisonous apple. In both movies, Disney demonstrates the extreme measures to which jealous villains are driven.
Power is the ability to influence and control people. Power is a unique motivation in that it can be used for both good and evil. However, Disney villains primarily seek power through nefarious means, to which Disney introduces us to Scar in The Lion King and Jafar in Aladdin. Scar, a lion, is the younger brother of Mufasa, the King of the Pride Lands. Scar longs to be king but recognizes he will never be king as long as Mufasa and Mufasa’s son, Simba, are alive. Driven by a thirst for power, Scar causes a stampede which ultimately leads to Mufasa’s demise. Knowing Simba is the rightful heir to the throne, Scar convinces young Simba that Simba is the one responsible for his father’s death. Simba’s guilt ultimately causes him to flee the Pride Lands leaving Mufasa as next in line to the throne. As the movie progresses, we learn Scar has brought disparity to the Pride Lands. When Simba, as an adult, returns to claim his rightful position as king, he fights with Scar and during the scuffle Scar falls into the hyena pit to be eaten by the same hyenas who had previously supported his run for King. In Aladdin, Jafar plays the ‘Grand Vizier’...

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