As you may have noticed, Beauty and the Beast — a live-action Disney remake of the 1991 animated Disney remake of the 1946 French adaptation of the 1757 fairy tale La Belle et la Bête — hit theaters recently, and it made all the money.
And my favorite part of this most recent telling was, undoubtedly, the villainous Gaston. It is my firm belief that Luke Evans should win an Academy Award — nay, a Nobel Peace Prize — for his performance in this film. His confidence, his dedication, his sheer mustache twirling villainy.
Also just look at him.
I mean, come on.
After all, it’s no secret that the bad guys have more fun. So I thought I’d highlight that by ranking my 13 favorite villain songs. And while I once did a list of the 13 Best Disney Songs, for this list I expanded beyond just Disney movies to include a wider array of musical villainy.
13. You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch – How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
An iconic song from the classic short describing the titular villain using vividly nauseating similes sung by Tony the Tiger himself, Thurl Ravenscroft. I don’t know if I’m supposed to be grossed out or singing along?
12. Snuff Out The Light (Yzma’s Song) – The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
OK, so it was cut out of the actual movie and is only available on the soundtrack but this is my list and I like the song, so there.
11. Dentist – Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
I only saw this movie once back in middle school, but I never forgot Steve Martin’s gleefully sadistic performance of this jaunty tune about dental hygiene.
10. Kidnap the Sandy Claws – The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
I also like the main villain Oogie Boogie’s song, but I always preferred this song, one that took lyrics about children kidnapping and horribly disfiguring a children’s icon and making it sound like a playground ditty.
9. Magic Dance – Labyrinth (1986)
David Bowie’s villainous Jareth the Goblin King has a handful of great songs like “As The World Falls Down” and “Within You” that are maybe heavier emotionally, but nothing tops sex god David Bowie having a blast surrounded by his goblin minions.
“You remind me of the babe …”
8. Cruella De Vil – 101 Dalmatians (1961)
Cruella De Vil was one of the nastiest things to me as a kid and this song somehow captures that feeling with a snappy, even playful tone.
7. My Friends – Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Sleet Street (2007)
I suppose I could have picked almost any song from this movie considering most of the characters are villains in some respect, but I went with Todd’s almost sensual ballad serenading the tools with which he will carry out his vengeance.
6. The Mob Song – Beauty and the Beast (1991)
There’s my Gaston. The song “Gaston” is probably the more obvious choice as it’s the one actually named after the villain, but “The Mob song” is more sinister and mischievous and it’s the moment where Gaston goes full villain.
5. Poor, Unfortunate Souls – The Little Mermaid (1989)
One of the more fun villain songs, diva octopus Ursula tries to justify her evil deeds and coerce Ariel into an ill-advised deal with this waltz-like tune.
4. In The Dark of the Night – Anastasia (1997)
Is it rock ‘n’ roll? Is it classical? Who knows when it comes to this wicked song outlining Rasputin’s return from beyond the grave as well as his plans to destroy Anastasia once and for all?
3. Sweet Transvestite – The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
I bet you’re waiting for a description of the song. I can tell. I see you shiver with antici … pation.
2. Be Prepared – The Lion King (1994)
It’s Jeremy Irons singing about murdering a lion as hyenas march like the Third Reich. What else do you want?
1. Hellfire – The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
I know I also included this in my Top 13 Disney Songs but this is a villain song and it is the best so I couldn’t leave it off. This is the song of a religious judge struggling between his lust and his holy self-righteousness, his desire for a criminal and his legal standing as the man who condemned her, all while refusing to take responsibility or blame for any of it.
It’s haunting and troubling and incredibly layered.
Well those are my picks for the best songs of the most dastardly of foes. Let me know how I did or if I left anything off.
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