Tag Archives: Best

The Zelda Awards

Today, we are here to honor some of the best of the best that The Legend of Zelda has offered to us. I don’t even need a prelude here; let’s just get right to it.

Warning: thar be spoilers below

 

Best Dungeons: Twilight Princess

320px-Arbiter's_Grounds

 

Many have sited the Stone Tower Temple from Majora’s Mask s as the best Zelda dungeon of all time, and while that may be compelling and challenging, Twilight Princess has the most consistently excellent dungeons, with great weapons to match.

My favorite is the Arbiter’s Grounds, with the Snowpeak Ruins as a close second. The Temple of Time has grown on me over time, and once I got over my initial confusion, City in the Sky and Lakebed Temple are pretty sound too. I think the only place I can’t stand going through is the Twilight Palace, and that’s only because of the goddamn Zant Hands and their unnerving chase music.

Zantshand

 

They are more obnoxious than fun, and I hate them more than I initially hated the Silent Realms and the guardian chases in Skyward Sword.

The Arbiter’s Grounds feels like something out of The Mummy or Indiana Jones, and it takes advantage of your newly acquired ability to switch between your wolf and human forms at will. It also borrows the Poe quest from Ocarina of Time’s Forest Temple, which is a pretty clever throwback; here, you track down the Poes using your sense of smell. The mini-boss has one of the coolest designs I’ve ever seen,

tumblr_mdnonoxDSV1rtt7p1o1_500

 

and the Spinner item is ridiculously fun, even when trial and error is required to cross a room. In my opinion, this is what the Shadow Temple from Ocarina of Time should have been: creepy and crypt-like, but not overly gruesome and severely clashing with the tone of its game. Not that the Shadow Temple is that bad, mind you; it just comes out of nowhere and kind of undermines the dark and sinister implications of Ganondorf’s plans thus far.

Trying to murder an entire race via starvation, and then, failing that, feeding them all to a dragon on their own mountain? Poisoning a race’s deity and freezing them under thick sheets of ice? A castle guard dying in a back alley after Ganondorf’s siege? That’s cool and all, but now check out this temple we made that’s a precursor to the Saw franchise!

hqdefault Zelda1 tumblr_inline_ms75gkn55c1qz4rgp

vwxmx zlCfzSS9ku4N03TERf

 

…the hell?

It’s like watching a Japanese horror film for an hour, and then at the 30 minute mark it gets hijacked by Eli Roth.

Ikana Canyon is much the same, but it was perfectly in alignment with the tone of Majora’s Mask, and it does have it subtleties, believe it or not. I think the most disturbing, semi-subtle thing about the Shadow Temple is that Hyrule would even have a place where the worst criminals in history were entombed, and that their murderous spirits haunt the place. I can buy the Gerudo doing that because they are a warrior-thief race of badass amazon women who probably rape men to continue their population and wow have I digressed here. But again, dark implications that get a lot of their creepiness sucked away by the “In-Your-Face” Temple.

templetime-1

 

In conclusion: if you want fun dungeons, play Twilight Princess. They’re grrrrrrrrreat!

 

Best Enemies: Wind Waker

3_Bokoblins

 

The common monsters, for the most part, are all variations of the same thing you get in every Zelda game. But while I like the design of the Twlight Princess incarnations, and love being able to beat on them as a human or tear them apart viscerally as a wolf, Wind Waker’s monsters are goofy and lovable in their own way; the moblins are in particular are somehow creepy and hilarious at the same time, all because of how they are animated.

Moblin_(The_Wind_Waker)

 

As an added bonus, many of them drop piñatas full of hearts, rupees, and other useful items, and the ones that don’t often guard treasure chests or other important areas. It’s fun being able to sail up to an enemy watchtower, bomb the beejezus out of their canons, and climb the ladder to engage them in a twirling, fluid swordfight.

Or just snipping them with your bow or boomerang.

These enemies are pretty creative, but most importantly, they are fun. The ReDeads are a unique and clever improvement on their Ocarina of Time predecessors.

tumblr_inline_nik78m8CCm1r9yi32

 

Best Sidequests: Majora’s Mask

See my top ten list here for more details.

Save a farm from alien ghosts. Stop bandits from attacking a milk wagon and smashing all its cargo. Put longing souls to rest. Do an awesome, physically impossible sound check.

Not only are the quests awesome, challenging, and even emotional, but the items you get from them are useful on their own or great for getting the Fierce Deity Mask.

 

Best Adventure (aka Most Fun Overworld and Gameplay): Wind Waker

maxresdefault

 

Sailing the seas discovering new islands, people, and treasure; that’s what this game is all about. It looks like a Saturday morning cartoon, but it has plenty of emotion and pathos too. In fact, the ending is probably the most depressing in all of 3D Zelda history.

This is the game I would recommend most to newcomers. The dungeons and monsters aren’t particularly hard, but the graphics and gameplay are engaging and awesome, and the sailing music really puts you in the mood for an adventure.

 

Best Bosses: Ocarina of Time

lZm4oMv

 

Twinrova, Volvagia, Phantom Ganon, and more. How can you not love these bosses?

Better bad guys may have come along, but I feel that Ocarina of Time has the most consistent fun, want-to-play-again bosses, and they set the sound foundations for many a boss battle to come. None of them are super hard, but they look cool, their lairs are cool, and I enjoy seeking them out on repeated playthroughs (or Ocarina of Time 3D’s bed of infinite rematch).

 

Best Character: Midna, Twilight Princess

36190303zeldatp020203161280-1454550288987_large

 

Midna is also the least annoying companion character, so I’m including that in this category as well.

She is the young princess of the Twilight Realm, the Australia to Twilight Princess’s Britain. Her people are the descendants of power-hungry magic users who were banished from Hyrule when they tried to take control of the Sacred Realm. With the help of Ganondorf and his Triforce of Power, a Twili man named Zant steals the Twilight Realm and curses Midna, forcing her to flee. With his new-found power, Zant moves on to conquer the world of light as well.

Zant_Battle_Ready

 

When we first see Midna, we don’t know who she is. She seems arrogant, happy with the state of things in the world of light; and flippant in her concern for most people’s safety. Seeing an opportunity, she frees Link from prison and helps him restore light and order in exchange for gathering 3 items called the Fused Shadows, which she believes will help her overthrow Zant.

Midna

 

She genuinely wants save her people, but initially, she makes herself look like a bitter rebel. Midna also mocks Zelda, no doubt thinking that she is a coward who is trying to save some semblance of face by remaining a powerless prisoner with her people.

But as Link acquires each Fused Shadow, Midna grows more and more attached to him, to the point that she tries to protect him when Zant thwarts her plans and steals the cursed items away. After that, she is mortally injured, only saved by the actions of Link and the willing sacrifice of Princess Zelda’s life force.

In an early cutscene, it is revealed that Zelda willingly surrendered Hyrule to spare her people from death. While we don’t see the exact condition of Midna’s confrontation with Zant (a waaaay later cutscene), she implies that she was weak and ashamed of her cursed form. Midna went into exile and hid, allowing her people to suffer and mutate at the hands of Zant, so a parallel is definitely drawn between the two princesses and their choices.

twilight

 

Deeply moved and with a new respect for Zelda, Midna becomes more humble and considerate. She still gets angry, cocky, and impatient, but it’s more understandable, and definitely more subdued than the beginning. She clearly cares about Link and the world of light much more than she did before; for example, she feels awful for what the shard of the Mirror of Twilight did to Yeta, and for the fact that Link had to hurt her to stop the possession. Zelda’s people lived in fear and hopelessness, but she acted for their sake with no regard for her own fate, and she did what she could to aid Link and Midna, knowing that they were her best hope for saving Hyrule.

Like Tatl and Fi, Midna gets a character arc, but hers is far stronger and more emotional than either of theirs. She’s also much less annoying to take with you; her advice can actually be helpful, and she can lift large, heavy objects; warp you and said objects; and later, she can change you into a wolf or human whenever you want (thanks to an accidental “gift” of some of Zant’s magic).

link_midna__default-news-image

 

She’s not only a great companion, but a great character in general, and she really makes Twilight Princess a more fun and compelling game than it already is.

 

Best Ultimate Villain: Motivation: Skull Kid, Majora’s Mask

                       Boss Fight: Ganondorf, Twilight Princess

Skull_Kid_(without_mask)

 

I’ve already discussed the Ganon boss fight on my Top 10 Zelda Bosses list, so you can find the breakdown there.

Fifty points to Ocarina of Time Ganondorf for the best played game of tennis that Zelda has seen these many years.

4fb304fb6e97ad62c5fff5db9fac49b2

 

Wind Waker Ganondorf had a little more humanity and insanity added to his character than the standard “Get Power/Take Over the World” mindset. Zant is a deranged, merciless heretic that is used and empowered by Ganondorf to plunge the Twilight World and the world of light into shadow and chaos. Ghirahim is the minion and sword of Demise, Skyward Sword’s ultimate villain; ambiguous like Fi, who is the Master Sword, but without any of her compassion and curiosity for human beings. Like Zant, he is deranged and unpredictable.

Ghirahim_Artwork

 

Despite often having the plot hijacked by Ganon/dorf, it’s clear to see that the Legend of Zelda franchise has some great villains that are especially fun and challenging to defeat.

20150214214025

 

But Skull Kid is, in my opinion, the most human and tragic of all of the villains. He’s a natural prankster, but he means well. When his friends, the four giants, appear to be leaving him, he tries everything he can think of to make them stay, including acting out like a spoiled child. His actions hurt and sadden the people of Termina, who summon their guardian giants back to save them from him.

Skull_Kid_and_the_Four_Giants

 

While Skull Kid is terribly upset, he befriends two fairy siblings named Tatl and Tael, who briefly distract him from his pain. They start playing and pulling pranks together, which results in Skull Kid finding and putting on Majora’s Mask, a dark, possessed magical item that then uses him to inflict even more pain on the people of Termina. Majora’s Mask convinces Skull Kid, in his bitter loneliness, that he should even go so far as destroying the world, and soon, it is unclear how much of Skull Kid is left in the body being manipulated by the mask. Like Zant and Ghirahim, Majora’s Mask itself is deranged, dark, and dangerously powerful.

Among his many terrible actions, Skull Kid uses the mask to seal away the guardians, making them unable to hear the calls of the very people they are there to protect. It is a cruel, but poetic revenge.

Majoras-Mask-Moon1

 

Eventually, Skull Kid is defeated by Link and the guardian giants, but the mask then casts him aside like a doll and challenges Link directly, drawing him up into the moon that Majora created and intended to crush down into the town.

But, if you will remember, I’m picking Skull Kid, not Majora’s Mask itself.

It’s a sad story, and even somewhat relatable to the player. Skull Kid misunderstands his friends’ duty and inadvertently drove them away when he needed them most. It is everyone’s fault and no one’s at the same time, leaving everyone feeling betrayed and/or hopelessly alone. Skull Kid’s new friends try to help, but they can’t heal his bitterness, and they are powerless to stop his possession and subsequent terrible behavior. They are somewhat responsible for the monster he becomes.

 

You don’t have to be a genocidal asshole to see the tragic and pitiable elements, but that doesn’t mean that you have to condone or forgive Skull Kid’s actions either. He does bad things for bad reasons, but even Tatl, in all her harsh directness, can’t find it in her heart to completely hate him.

In the end, you can only work to clean up the mess he made, and bridge an understanding between old, estranged friends.

 

Best Link: Majora’s Mask

Link_Artwork_1_(Majora's_Mask)

 

I’m basing this category not on personality, items, or hotness, but on which Link was best suited to his game. As far as I’m concerned, that would be Majora’s Mask.

While Wind Waker Link is adorable and bursting with cartoonish expressions, he was the outlier for a while as far as Zelda games were concerned. Link is the “link” – clever, right? – between the player and the game, so he has no real personality to speak of. I think that’s for the best, and it will be even better once the game designers finally figure out how to make players’ dialogue and choices actually mean something in the game experience.

Majora’s Mask Link is the epitome of a hollow shell, to the point that he can even summon one of himself with the use of his ocarina to solve certain puzzles. Because the clock is reset every 3 days and Link is constantly donning different masks to take on new identities, his actions are either forgotten or attributed to someone else entirely.

tumblr_mnh9hfWB3G1sps423o1_500

 

It really feels like he’s saving the world because he feels compelled to, not because anyone asked him to or it was preordained by some prophecy. Like the player, he is just some guy who now has the chance (read: is forced) to take on an adventure, and if you think about it, your choice to do any one thing in the game is ignoring and dooming other people throughout the world of Termina.

You wanted to spend 3 days working through a temple, or getting a side item? Well congratulations, you monster: the little girl at the ranch was abducted by aliens and is now a tormented, confused shell of her former self.

romani romani

 

Despite its often colorful exterior, Majora’s Mask is grim, bleak, and unrelenting. It’s not just in the subtext; it is text. There’s a reason that it’s one of the more polarizing 3D Zelda games ever.

Cartoony Link was the closest we came to Link being an actual character (although Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword Links at least had jobs), but as far as player avatars go, Majora’s Mask Link made the most sense and fit the most with his given plot. His is a sad, sad, horribly tragic story, and it translates to his sad, sad, horribly tragic reincarnation into the Hero’s Shade in Twilight Princess. There, he got some character retroactively handed to him as a lonely, regretful soul, unable to pass on what he has learned and thereby rest peacefully in the afterlife.  

Majora’s Mask Link can be a Zora, Goron, Giant, Fierce Diety, or Deku, on top of his other masks and items. There is also that.

 

Best Overall Story: Skyward Sword

The-Legend-of-Zelda-Skyward-Sword-30

 

It’s the one (for now) that started it all. This is why we have Links, Zeldas, and Ganondorf’s appearing across time and space.

Link and Zelda don’t have the most personality here, but they do get a believable friendship and almost romance going on, having been childhood friends. I like that while Link is gifted at the Knight’s Academy, Zelda makes it clear that her father spoils him, treating him almost like a son. Despite Groose being the way he is, you can understand why other kids might be bitter towards Link for all the favoritism he seems to get.

Zelda is snatched from your grasp by an unknown force, and Link leaves his sky island to dive down below the clouds, where no human, except one, has been in…centuries? I think I’ll go with that. He explores an uncharted land to save Zelda, discovering that she is the human reincarnation of the Goddess Hylia, who faithfully protected the Triforce and her people, but also wished to experience humanity.

link-vs-demise1

 

Meanwhile, a long-banished demon is resurfacing, and he sends his minions to thwart Link and hunt Zelda down so that he can use her to fully revive.

The idea that Link and Zelda are both reborn, doomed to face Ganondorf forever but also bound by their eternal friendship, is tragic, powerful, and romantic. And in the game context, Link, not unlike Hercules, is given many tasks to prove himself worthy of protecting Zelda and being the hero that Hyrule needs and deserves.

 

Most Satisfying Endings: Skyward Sword

tumblr_inline_o08uz2iizT1syf2yq_500

 

The villain is defeated, the people of the isolated town of Skyloft can now experience and repopulate the lower world; and Link and Zelda remain together in Hyrule as friends, their bond now stronger than ever. The saddest things involved in the conclusion of events are Impa remaining with the Master Sword and Fi retreating into the sword and going into a long slumber, but the latter is at least hopeful in that all games following, you can think of Fi being bonded to Link and helping to protect him and the land through the ages.

Fi can be very annoying as a companion character,

2088956-fi

 

but she had her good moments, and it is genuinely sad to see her go, after she has come to understand humans so much better. It is sadder than Navi leaving, but also less of a relief (although to be honest, Navi never annoyed me nearly as much as she seemed to annoy other players).

Impa is a decent character as well, but her departure is sadder for Zelda’s benefit than the player’s. Old Impa was nice, wise, and helpful to you, but young Impa liked to give you crap for not coming to Zelda’s aid fast enough, which is fine I guess, but if I had no way to avoid being late to the party, it’s not really my fault then, is it Impa? Especially when I was only partially informed of the situation and was going above and beyond what an average person would do in a situation like that.

tumblr_lwzv3yxlVl1r3gd2t

 

Just saying.

mqdefault

 

But yes. The ending is a bit sadder than in Ocarina of Time, but it has more weight and emotion attached to it, so it wins.  

 

Best Item: Any game with the Double Clawshots

3248149_orig

 

My God, is this item awesome! The original hookshot was a great idea, but this? Turning Link into Spiderman? Genius!

Bravo, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword (as those are the only two games at the time of writing that employ them)! On the one hand, the former game lets you hang down on a chain if you need to and grab far away items, but on the other hand, the latter game lets you use the clawshots from hang vines, and uses the Beetle to fill that second function just fine.

clawshot

 

Either way, great idea, great items, and unlike the much beloved Spinner, they actually have tons of use outside of the temple you find them in.

 

Best Use of Rupees: Skyward Sword

20140520-160632

 

Way to make your in0game money finally mean something, Nintendo.

In Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, money was ridiculously easy to get your hands on, and in Twilight Princess, you definitely had to save for some occasions, but it was more annoying than fun. Especially when having to pay for something pulls the break on the story, like fixing the Sky Cannon.

And though I love the campy store, getting Malo Mart at the Castle Town is pretty much like doing homework. And what did I ultimately get for my efforts? I paid 3600 something rupees to get a cool suit of armor that sucks even more rupees out of me in order to function. Wheeeeeeee!

Zelda-skyward-sword-upgrade-600x300

 

In Skyward Sword, there is only one real “shop,” but it allows you to upgrade your items, shields, and potions. Sure, you need bugs and loot as well, but rupees as an absolute must if you want better, cooler toys to play with. While they are easier to find than a lot of monster drops, there is some actual planning involved in their acquisition. I make it sound as though it’s mostly salad dressing, but this is the first game to really implement shield deterioration and increased potion potency.

Even your non-wooden shields can take damage and be destroyed now. And, as you might guess, the number of hearts a Red Potion can recover can now be increased.

That may be the closest any video game will come to actually teaching your kids the value of money, but only in the eccentric, spend-a-holic sense.

 

And finally, we come to some Honorable Mentions, which I have reserved for Zelda herself. She is the legend, after all.

Ocarina of Time gave us a great, positive gender-ambiguous Zelda incarnation. I have always believed that Zelda and/or possibly Impa altered the princess magically, so that she was physically a man. Zelda was aware of her true identity, but she was so committed to the disguise that she didn’t just tape her chest flat and pad out her ninja spandex. No, she became a man.

33145946464ea68695f990d806b7c8c7

 

That has opened up so much room for debate over the years, but sadly, more recent games have tried to sidestep controversy by make Sheik indisputably female. I think that is a shame and even an insult, both to a character and the LGBTQ fanbase in general.

American game localizers have a bad habit of censoring and striping down positive gay and “coded gay” characters, while overemphasizing depraved, ambiguous villains, all in the name of parents, many of whom rarely give a crap about what their kids play. Japan has a bad habit of stereotyping people who are not Japanese, sometimes even demonizing characters who do not fit their ideal. In this case, I believe Japan made a good, interesting character, and then folded to pressure from America and other interest groups who didn’t want to offend the “right” people or raise difficult questions.

Nevertheless, I appreciate and admire the original Sheik. If you want an even more interesting take on his/her story, I suggest the Ocarina of Time manga. It’s not canon, of course, but it adds another layer of intrigue to the Sheik/Zelda distinction.

 

Wind Waker Zelda is probably the best character of all the Zelda’s.

 

Skyward Sword paints the young girl as a fairly typical anime-esque love interest and childhood friend to Link, but adds some depth when she remembers being the reincarnated goddess Hylia in human form. That’s pretty cool, but we only get the insight of Zelda distantly remembering her past life under a human filter. I’d personally be interested to know more about her mentality and exploits as a goddess, especially because the bigger goddesses Nayru, Din, and Farore never get any character whatsoever. Would they be like the Old Testament Christian God? The Greek Gods? New Testament God? Where did they come from, why did they want to create the world in the first place, and how are standings and power established?

Skyward Sword raises a lot of questions, but its Zelda is still an interesting and compelling character.

 

Tetra_and_Pirates

Wind Waker Zelda begins as Tetra, the leader of a crew of pirates. She reminds me of a fully realized Tatl or Princess Ruto; sassy and definitely aware of her standing , but warm, caring, and even fun. Even before being made aware of her great destiny, she feels obligated to help Link save his sister, compassionate for the people of Outset Island when a destructive storm threatens to destroy them, and even comes to Link’s rescue after she could have just sailed away to a great reward.

Tetra is great because she represents a moral grey area. She’s a thief that loves her life, but she’s also bound by her own code of honor, which is shown to not always align with her crew’s priorities. I have to dock some points, however, for how bland and ineffectual she becomes after donning the official Zelda dress.

You could say that she’s overwhelmed by the new sense of responsibility and purpose she feels, but that doesn’t change the fact that it feels like a downgrade to an awesome character.

Tetra is the kind of girl who should have been able to save her own damn self.

 

*Pictures and video belong to Nintendo and Shigeru Miyamoto.

Marge’s Outstanding Disney Achievement Awards

 

So, what’s the best and worst of Disney, you ask?

…You didn’t? Oh…

…Well, here you go anyway!

 

Overall Film Quality:

 

Worst of the Worst Award – Chicken Little

Chickenlittlesoundtrack

 

Disney’s first solo venture into the world of CG is, shockingly, their worst. Only Home on the Range comes close to the sheer miasma of badness that this stinker emits.

The plot is confused (do we focus on the aliens or the baseball?), the characters are one-note and/or unlikable (I would happily fry Buck Cluck up, KFC style); and the animation is somewhere between “meh” and hideous.

Take my advice. Just don’t. Also, put this down for Worst Humor Award and Worst Father Award too.

 

Most Artful AwardFantasia

 

It’s like going to an orchestra concert and letting your mind wander and create stories to the music that you hear. It is a series of stories and scenes illustrated creatively, accompanying famous classical pieces. I’d give it praise for introducing kids to this kind of music by itself, but it also went and gave us the predecessor to surround sound.

Case closed.

 

Most Beautiful Award (2-D)The Little Mermaid

This movie started the Disney Renaissance; it reminded everyone of the artistic potential of 2-D animation. It looks absolutely amazing.

 

Most Beautiful Award (3-D) Frozen

No contest.

 

Best Story AwardBeauty and the Beast

Can you feel the love tonight!
Can you feel the love tonight!

Not only did Disney successfully adapt this fairytale, they improved it.

A better reason for the Beast to get pissy with Belle’s father (the catalyst to the plot), a better reason for the Beast to be protective of his rose(s) (his last hope for humanity that is wilting more everyday), better stakes (loss of humanity, loss of life at least three times), a damn good villain (who probably gave Hans from Frozen some pointers), and it took some time (which the clever writers never specify) for an actual romance/friendship to develop.

 

Best Humor AwardPeter Pan

Say what you want about the Genie or Kronk or anyone else. Complain about the racist indians. Okay. Are we good now?

Because this movie has the BEST slapstick ever. Any scene with Hook, Smee, and/or the crocodile kills me every time. Peter’s not that bad either; we get some funny fight scenes out of him.

Peter-pan-disneyscreencaps.com-5207

 

Worst Music Award  – Home on the Range

 

I hate this movie. Also…Alan Menken…why?

 

Best Musicals AwardThe Little Mermaid

This was another tough one, but I think that this film has the (consistently) best songs in any Disney movie. They are all solid, memorable hits, except for maybe the “Daughters of Triton” song from the beginning.

Plus, “Part of Your World” was the “Let It Go” of the 90’s.

 

Best Score Award – The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Here is just a sample:

 

It is epic, awesome, and fitting (latin choruses in a movie starring a gorgeous Catholic church).

 

Best Straightforward Adaptation AwardSnow White and the Seven Dwarves

snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs

 

Probably the most faithful. Fitting, as it was Disney’s first venture into feature-length films.

 

Most “Child-Friendly” Elements Award Pinocchio

For those who think Hunchback of Notre Dame is Disney’s darkest film…

I have seen this movie maybe 3 times in my life…That’s more than enough for me. It’s actually really unpleasant.

First, consider this:

 

Second, these:

6a00d8341cc8d453ef01156f5f937b970b-800wi

Stromboli

Walt-Disney-Screencaps-Monstro-walt-disney-characters-31895025-2560-1905

 

Enjoy seeing these in your nightmares, kiddies!

 

Most Creative Animation Award – Alice in Wonderland

Alice-in-wonderland-93

 

In contrast to the vastly inferior live-action version, animated Alice’s world is very dark and minimalist at times. It feels as though anything could appear out of the shadows next, and over the course of the story, anything does. It’s a clever choice, and boy does it bring out the colors of everyone and everything else.

Take a note, overstuffed CGI fail-fest: less is more.

 

Character-Based:

 

Worst Villain Award – Edgar, The Artistocats

EdgarBalthazar

 

Least competent, least noteworthy, and least entertaining to watch. He has his moments, but for the most part, I just don’t care. The only thing more idiotic than him attempting to kill some cats because they are inheriting a fortune is that the lady is willing the fortune to her cats in the first place. Also, why would Edgar think he was going to get that money in the first place, and why would the lady even consider him? Does she not have any family? Friends? Charitable organizations that she supports?

 

Most Awesome Villain Award – Maleficent, Sleeping Beauty

disney-maleficent-sleeping-beauty

 

Kick-ass voice actress, amazing design, elegance, class, insanity, intimidation, power. And need we forget, self-proclaimed “Mistress of All Evil”?

As far as the “I do it because I’m evil” villains go, she is the boss.

sleepbeaut-11

 

Worst Villain Song Award – “Mother Knows Best”, Tangled

 

Except for the sinister “don’t ever ask to go outside again” line, this song is all goof and no bite. Lady Tremaine was a better controlling mother, and she didn’t even get a song.

 

Best Villain Song Award – “Poor Unfortunate Souls”, The Little Mermaid

A crazy faustian waltz filled with lies and seduction, and it ends on one hell of an awesome crescendo. It has all of “Gaston”‘s sentiment (“I’m totally not a villain. I actually a really awesome person”), mixed with undertones of “Hellfire”‘s creepy sexual overtones.

It’s only real issue is probably the lengthy dialogue throughout, but even then, it’s a great, sinister listen.

 

Best Villain Motivation Award – Judge Claude Frollo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

God told him to do it. No, really.

Frollo is scary because there are people out there like him. He’s greedy, but repressed. When he has power, he abuses it for his own ends, but claims that it’s all for the greater good. How can that not be awesome?

Frollo's_Evil_Smile

 

Two more unrelated things of note: “Hellfire,” and Tony Jay. That is all.

 

Scariest Villain Award – The Queen, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Snowwhite-disneyscreencaps.com-8944

 

Look at it. LOOK AT IT.

Every time this woman stares into the camera, I dare you not to shiver. It’s like she knows you’re there, and once she’s offed Snow White, she’s coming for you.

Also, the “Thirsty?” scene is f%#*ed up.

The Queen pre-hagdom is pretty creepy too; her virtually frozen face, the way her eyes randomly widen and narrow while she speaks, her voice (Lucille La Verne took out her false teeth to do the Hag voice), her magic mirror slave. She’s one of the weaker villains character and motivation-wise, but her fear factor is not to be denied.

As she prepares her disguise potion, the hag’s cackle and scream of fright are particularly chilling.

 

As an honorable mention though, I’d like to point out that this guy exists:

giphy

 

Disney: The most wholesome factory of night terrors since 1923. Probably fitting, since it was also founded in October.

 

Most Entertaining Villain – Rattigan, The Great Mouse Detective

matome_20140619035017_53a25df94b9f3

 

He’s voiced by Vincent Price; it’s a match made in Hell.

So what if you can tell he’s the villain from 3 miles off? He’s so gleefully evil. He prances, for Hell’s sake.

Just watch him and try not to get into his performance.

Also, watch the climax to see him become truly terrifying.

 

Best Villain Laugh Award – The Headless Horseman, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

This one was a three-way tie between Maleficent, Ursula, and good ole’ headless, but we’re not going for most iconic laugh here. As awesome as the first two are, they can’t match the simultaneous levels of crap-your-pants fright, maniacal glee, and even hilarity that comes from this guy.

 

Best Villain Lair – Bald Mountain, Fantasia

Hmmm, what’s an awesome lair for a villain? Inside a dead elephant, or sea monster? A fortress on top of a mountain?

How about the mountain itself, where Hell’s minions come out and party with you?

 

Hell yes.

 

Best Villain Sidekick – Kronk, The Emperor’s New Groove

Kronk-disneyscreencaps.com-1576

 

I love LeFou, don’t get me wrong, but Kronk is funnier and plays off his villain, Yzma, much more comedically. That is what elevates him from potentially annoying to lovable and hilarious; he’s coupled with a jaded, smart sourpuss.

Yzmakitten1

 

Haha. Puns.

 

Scariest Non-Villain Award – The Beast, Beauty and the Beast

 

Finally A Non-Evil Queen Award – Elsa, Frozen

772e69ffb95ed60e96301e98ee423906

 

Because responsibility is not your enemy, little girls. You can rock a gorgeous dress AND rule a kingdom, without having to marry and let your man do it for you.

 

Worst Princess Award – Snow White, from where do you think?

1171071_1358713989500_full

 

Snow White ties with Aurora and Pocahontas for “Least Personality,” but Aurora isn’t ear-bleedingly obnoxious to listen to, and Pocahontas does more stuff plot-wise and is outdoorsy. This chick looks like she belongs on “Toddlers and Tiaras;” she wears way too much makeup and makes weird faces half of the time, but she acts like she’s five years old. I think she was coasting off of the popularity of Betty Boop.

It’s frustrating how much nothing she does, how stupidly naive she is.

 

Best Princess Award – Elsa, Frozen

Yes, her again. It counts because she was a princess til about the 1/4th point of the movie.

Don’t get me wrong. Belle will always have a special place in my heart, as will Mulan and Merida. Anna is pretty cool too (see what I did there?). But here’s the thing: Elsa has powers. Not just queen powers, but legit ICE MAGIC powers.

 

Worst Leading Man Award – Hercules, from guess where?

disney_hercules_pic33

 

I’ve got nothing really against the guy. He’s nice enough, but he’s kind of boring. Also, his motivations are kind of selfish.

 

If you’re wondering why Philip or the two other “Prince Charmings” didn’t end up here, it’s because there was nothing to work off of there. They do nothing (aside from Philip, who is awesome despite his blandness), and have no character traits to speak of.

 

Best Leading Man Award – Kristoff, Frozen

Kristoff_Sven

 

Frozen has a bit of an unfair advantage; it’s the most recent animated film, and probably the most conscious of previous Disney “flaws”. But still, it must be counted.

Kristen may not have an epic fight with a dragon or a giant octopus-woman under his belt, but he’s got a lot of personality. Probably the most of all the Disney guys, aside from the Beast. He’s the closest to a guy you might actually know, but he’s never boring or standard. He’s Kristoff, the pungent reindeer king!

 

Worst Good Guy Sidekick Award – Buck, Home on the Range

Clipbuck42

He’s obnoxious, plain and simple. He kung-fu kicks everywhere and thinks he’s too cool for school. He is a waste of thought and screen time.

 

Best Good Guy Sidekick Award – Olaf, Frozen

frozen-olaf-353-300x0

 

I’m sorry to keep doing this to you.

Olaf could have been horribly annoying as far as sidekicks go, but he’s actually really cute and likable. Because he was a product of Anna and Elsa’s early (happy) childhood, it makes sense for him to be silly, upbeat, and naive. He also gets some really genuinely funny lines.

 

Jerk Protagonist Award – Mr. Toad, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

giphy-facebook_s

 

I was tempted to go with Aladdin because he’s a compulsive liar and essentially a con man. But hey, it’s for love, so at least it’s a…good cause?

I also thought about Ichabod from the same above-mentioned movie, because he wants to marry Katrina to get her family farm and money, and he actually FANTASIZES ABOUT HER FATHER DYING. But again, the other two main characters, Brom Bones and Katrina, are just as jerky as he is, so it’s a more level playing field.

So how about a guy who destroys public property without thought, who is extremely prone to bad habits and fads?

Mr. Toad even goes to jail at one point, albeit for a crime he didn’t commit. At one point, he considers turning his life around and taking his friends more seriously (and less for granted). Does he?

Nope-timon

 

No lessons learned. No growth or change. What an asshole.

 

Sympathetic Villain Award – Elsa, Frozen

This one is cheating just a bit, but she’s mistaken for the villain by most of the rest of the cast and does inadvertently cause the dangerous predicament that the kingdom falls into.

Elsa is sort of like Frollo (repressed), but a nice person. She means well and doesn’t want to hurt anyone. She gets an awesome moment of freedom and happiness, only to realize that she still has responsibilities, and must fix the hurt that she’s caused, even though she has no idea how.

 

Backhanded Best Mother Award – “the queen”, Sleeping Beauty

Queen-Leah

 

Do you know what is worse than offing mothers? Not even giving them f&#%ing names.

And really, there is no excuse for this. You named the father Stephan; why wouldn’t you toss out anything for the queen? She actually gave birth to Aurora! Doesn’t that count for anything?

Yes, in Disney Princess Enchanted Tales, they name her Leah. That doesn’t count. None of the direct-to-video stuff counts in the grand scheme of things.

 

Best Father Award – Maurice, Beauty and the Beast

1319229_1387662544748_full

 

He’s quirky, supportive, and adorably bumbling. Plus, he deserves an award for all of the crap he endures throughout the course of the movie.

Also, just because you needed to see this:

 

Best Castle Award – Sleeping Beauty

141 Tumblr_mjirs4GSC71r1ogfco7_1280

 

I just love the look and feel of it. So much detail, like a tapestry…

 

Marge’s Favorite Character Award – Cheshire Cat, Alice in Wonderland

Cheshire-cat-4

 

I love his voice actor (Sterling Holloway, who also did Winnie the Pooh btw), his madness, his design, his color scheme. What is not to like about a cat with seemingly god-like powers who may or may not be out to get you?

That’s the awesome punch of Alice in Wonderland‘s characters: you never know if they’re going to snap on you at some point. Are they harmless, or…?

The intrigue there is part of his appeal.

 

And I think that is quite enough for today. Needless to say, Disney has done some good work. Let’s hope we and our families get more quality entertainment in the future.

 

*All pictures, video clips, and other media belong to Disney. None of the images or sounds belong to me.