I'm not a Disney guy, but I'm convinced Maleficent is the most frightening villain in all of Disneydom (and maybe all of movies). Sleeping Beauty was a movie I grew up with, and I watched it again last year and was struck by how scary the whole spinning wheel sequence is. When Maleficent's green eyes flick open in that dark fireplace...jeepers. I watched this as a kid?
I Googled her. It brought up Disney's archives, which has this to say about Maleficent's decades-spanning quest to spread her wrath: "Beyond a matter of honor, this has become a matter of ego. Her pride, her evil, will not be denied." Insightful for a Disney synopsis, right? Just wait.
Here's what the site has to say about Ursula from The Little Mermaid: "She has the gross unsubtlety of Ratigan from 'The Great Mouse Detective' but substantially more brio."
Substantially more brio? I'm loving this site. More: "Bejewelled and lip-pouting like an overweight, over-rich, over-pampered, over-the-top society hostess gone mad, she is all flair, flamboyance and theatricality mixed with a touch of con-artistry. Except when her wrath -- the only genuine emotion she seems capable of expressing -- bursts through, her every movement is a deceitful artifice, as if she's performing for an audience." Read the rest here.
I would love to meet the clever, smartass intern who was assigned to make these up. But suffice to say: Disney doesn't make villains like these women anymore. Can you imagine a G-rated movie character employing the word "hell" these days?