Showing posts with label Cartoons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cartoons. Show all posts

Friday, March 16, 2012

Guest Post: Typical 90s Saturdays

Happy Friday, 90s fans! I must apologize for the lack of recent posts--as usual, I have a slew of readily available but totally honest excuses: we moved to a new city, I started a new job, I had a lot of wedding thank you notes to finish. You've probably heard them all before...

Anywho, have no fear--new posts should be on the way. Speaking of which, we are taking submissions for guest entries! With the demands of a new job, my recent writing availability has been few and far between. Here's where you come in: if you have an idea for a Children of the 90s post, feel free to pitch it. Not in the typical baseball sense, of course--that might smash my laptop screen. I'm thinking more of a dynamic e-mail conversation that characterizes what we consider an exciting interaction here in the 21st century.

Who knows--your post might just end up on our front page. We welcome submissions and pitches at childrenofthe90s(at)gmail(dot)com. Bring 'em on!

And now, without further ado: in honor of the impending weekend, the following post from guest writer Natalie celebrates a typical Saturday in the life of a 90s child:

The 90s: The Typical Child's Saturday

Think back to the day you turned 12 years old. What did you see around you? The television is on and undoubtedly turned to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air or maybe Rocko's Modern Life on Nickelodeon. Daniel Tosh wasn't even on the air yet, instead we had good old America's Funniest Home Videos to watch for hours on end.

It didn't just end with TV back in the 90s. Everything was different, everything was awesome. You could wake up to find great cartoons on first thing on a Saturday morning, have your favorite bowl of Fruity Pebbles and hop on your Super Nintendo or Sega for a morning of fun.

Maybe afterward you would gather your Beanie Babies (which at the time we all thought would one day be worth millions, but still aren't worth a thing) together with your price book and dream with the neighbor kid how rich you would be when you turned 16 and these things paid out.

After business was conducted for the day, it was time for lunch. Back then, we got our favorite toys at McDonalds. Guys got the action figures and girls go the dolls. Most importantly, they all had small and dangerous parts. We all survived one way or another. If we were lucky, Good Burger was on just as we returned from lunch. Could it get any better?


As the day started to roll away, it was time for a snack. Whether it was a Fruit by the Foot, a Fruit Roll-Up, or Gushers, every kid always had a favorite fruit snack. Everybody also knew that one kid at school whose family wouldn't buy the "cool" snacks, so we were always happy to throw him a couple Gushers or split off a piece of the Fruit Roll-Up. Once in a while, somebody would show up with a fancy GoGurt at school. But, hey- let's not get school involved on our ultimate Saturday afternoon.

One thing that no 90s kid will ever forget about Saturday's is Pokémon. Whether trading the cards and pretending to actually know how to play the game, watching it on TV or firing up the good old black and white Game Boy,Pokémon was a part of our everyday lives. The cards could almost be used as a currency, traded away for whatever you may want to make your afternoon perfect.


If you were lucky growing up, you almost always you had a friend sleep over or you were staying somewhere else other than your house on a Saturday night. With shows like Ahh! Real Monsters, The Wild Thornberry's, Hey! Arnold and Doug on SNICK, how could you possibly go wrong?

Not to mention all thetalking babies (think Rugrats) and animals we all had a thing for. If you were lucky, it was already nine o'clock and your young self was getting tired. Your friends would turn the TV volume all the way down and it was on. Whether Jet Force Gemini, Donkey Kong64 or any other game, it didn't matter. After an hour or so of intense gaming you'd find yourself drifting off... Then only to awake, 15 years later and to realize it was all a dream.

Don't you wish you could go back?


Natalie Wilkins has been a professional writer and researcher for the last five years. Throughout this time she has worked for many weird and wonderful companies including an organic Tempurpedic mattress retailer and an elephant orphanage. The wide range of opportunities available is exactly why she loves her job.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Guest Blog: 90s Cartoon Network Classics

Standing in for your regular blogger, I am Nick, otherwise known as Blogging Nickster. You can catch my blog, The Unofficial Cedar Point Blog, which is a blog all about the world-class amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio! You can also follow me on Twitter and like my blog’s Facebook page!

As a kid in the latter half of the 1990’s, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon ruled my weeknights. Johnny Bravo, the Angry Beavers, Rugrats, and Dexter’s Laboratory ruled the land of cartoons, before the world of Spongebob-reruns and cheap knock-offs of the classics. Although both networks were amazing at the time, Children of the 90’s has sort of neglected Cartoon Network shows. To solve this, as a guest blogger, I will be peering into the fascinating cartoons that used to roam Cartoon Network in the mid-to late 1990’s.

Dexter’s Laboratory

The theme song was scary; the main character was a tiny carrot-top; and the protagonist was extremely annoying. What other cartoon could that be besides Dexter’s Laboratory? In a nutshell, the show was about an extremely short kid with a giant laboratory somehow shoved into his family’s standard two-story house.

Dexter’s parents were so stereotypical that it almost made me sick: a businessman dad and a stay at home mom, complete with an everyday outfit of an apron and yellow rubber gloves. However, Dexter’s sister, Dee Dee, was quite… um… different. Dee Dee had really long legs, with these giant combat boot-like feet that would make a funny stomp noise as she stumbled about. To this day, I still don’t know how that girl could even pick her feet up!

Mandark was this annoying enemy of Dexter that also created his own secret laboratory, too. (I’m sorry, but there really only needs to be one mad scientist per town…) But anyway, Mandark inherited the worst laugh in history. It was this high-pitched, pinched “Mwuhahaha, mwuhahaha, mwuhahaha, mwuahahaha!” (See video below to remember the annoyance!)

In between each episode, these little segments would pop up called “Justice League” and “Dial M for Monkey.” Both of the segments annoyed me. I didn’t really care about this stupid monkey that had superpowers; I thought it was a dumb idea. The Justice League bit was just as bad. I just wanted to get back to watching Dexter!

Cow and Chicken

By far, the most bizarre (Hey, that rhymed!) cartoon on the network was Cow and Chicken. Amazingly, two humans managed to produce a cow and chicken as children, creatively named Cow and Chicken.

We never really got to see the upper halves of Cow and Chicken’s parents, but there was obviously something genetically wrong with one of them. They both must have some recessive traits that were lining up somewhere, or their upper halves were extremely screwed up...

The Powerpuff Girls

Growing up, my older cousin’s favorite show was The Powerpuff Girls, and I never wanted to watch it because the show was centered on three girls. And, as we all know, girls have the dreaded cooties, and these three girls were especially toxic because they were created with “sugar and spice and everything nice.”

But, once the cooties phase ended, I caught an episode or two of the Powerpuff Girls, and was automatically scared of Mojo Jojo. He just… looked so… evil! I had a nightmare after I watched my first episode of the Powerpuff Girls involving Mojo Jojo pushing me into this mysterious fire-filled pit. I hated tly monkey-looking thing. And I never understood that hat/helmet thing he wore.

Just now, during a little research, I found out that Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup were kindergartens! They could really kick butt for kindergarteners, now that I think about it!

Courage the Cowardly Dog

Ah, the pink little puppy: one of my favorite Cartoon Network shows. Sure, it could really scare me out of my mind sometimes, but nowhere near Mojo Jojo, somehow.

So pretty much, in every episode, some sort of weird monster or creature attacked Courage and his elderly owners, Eustace and Muriel. My personal favorite of the creepers that showed up was Katz the Cat, a homicidal red cat that cooked up several schemes to kill or manipulate Muriel and Eustace, such as a spa that turned Muriel into a washing machine and Eustace into a wrecking ball. Freaky Fred, Muriel’s nephew with an obsession with shaving heads, was another notable and scary villain. Let’s just he was very “naaaaaaaawtieee,” as he would say.

Johnny Bravo

Johnny Bravo… I’m not even sure how to describe this cartoon. There was a big blonde guy that really wasn’t all that bright, and he still lived with his “Mommmaaaah,” as he said in an Elvis Presley-like tone. That’s about all you need to know. It was a primarily simple idea...

2 Stupid Dogs

Believe it or not, the theme song was probably the most complex part of the show...

The short-lived 2 Stupid Dogs was amazing show about… two stupid dogs. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the most creative name. Although we never knew their names, the dogs were a dachshund and a type of shepherd dog. The bigger shepherd dog had a low-pitched, unenergetic voice (which was actually Brad Garrett voicing him!) that was the complete opposite of his dachshund counterpart.

About the only episode I remember watching was when the dogs had to swim across this ridiculously large ocean, and somehow ended up at the San Andres fault line. I’m not really sure what happened after they reached the fault line, because my dad took the remote! (Didn’t you hate when your parents did that!?)

Technically, the show is a way toned-down version of fellow 1990’s cartoon “The Ren and Stimpy Show.”

Mike, Lu, and Og

The adventures of Mike, Lu, and Og always confused me. How did they get on that cool island? Why is only Mike wearing “normal” clothes? Why was Lu such a brat? And what is a wombat?
Well, I found out that Lu and Og were cousins, and inhabitants on the island, but Mike landed on the island after being asked to be an exchange student. In the issue with Lu’s problem with being a brat, she’s the governor of the island’s daughter, so naturally she believes that she is the princess of the island. She even had a turtle named Lancelot, and she tortured that poor thing. And according to Wikipedia, Lancelot is actually a girl! Whoa! Finally, a wombat is some sort of weird squirrel-looking animal. There’s everything you need to know about Mike, Lu, and Og!

Overall, Cartoon Network was great back in the day. But nowadays, they hardly even show cartoons anymore! I mean, with a name like CARTOON Network, you’d think that they’d show CARTOONS! But, just like Nickelodeon, it will go down in the books as a “used-to-be cool and original” television network.

I miss the 90’s. (insert sad face here)

Monday, April 25, 2011

All I Ever Really Needed to Know about Classical Music I Learned from TV and Movies

While heading out on a driving trip this weekend, my fiance and I thought it might be nice for a change of pace to listen to some classical music. In this misguided and clearly halfhearted attempt to feel more superficially cultured, I was surprised to find how many of the songs to which I could hum along with ease. When had I found the time to learn so many of these treasured pieces of classic music?

After reveling briefly in what I assumed must be my well-trained classical ear, I took a quick break from patting myself on the back to consider where exactly I had previously heard these tracks. Summer concerts in the park? Excursions to the community symphony? With all the reality TV watching and daytime napping that goes on at our place, these seemed to me like highly unlikely scenarios.

Suddenly, it occurred to me--childhood movies and TV! Of course. By mindlessly engaging in unspeakable amounts of passive entertainment as a child, I had accidentally gleaned a lifetime’s worth of classical music knowledge. Well, a lifetime for someone who knows nothing about classical music. But, I digress. I knew there must be others like me: others whose sole knowledge of classical music and opera stems from hours spent during our formative years parked in front of a glowing television screen.

This list is by no means comprehensive, nor is it completely exclusive to kids who grew up in the 90s. However, it is just pretty thorough for everything I could think of in a single sitting. As always, feel free to add your own favorites or bash my glaring omissions in the comments section.

Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King--Inspector Gadget Theme Song

Film nerds (and, let’s face it, regular nerds, too) may also recognize this music from its presence in last year’s acclaimed movie The Social Network. “In the Hall of the Mountain King” served as the basis for the music playing during crew rowing montage. While others left the film pondering the larger implications of social networking in our increasingly technological world, I was far more concerned with why the team was rowing frantically to the theme song from Inspector Gadget.

Lizst’s Hungarian Rhapsody Number 2--Donald and Daffy Duck in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Now that I think about it, “Hungarian Rhapsody Number 2” has a more musical ring to it than “that dueling piano song played by popular cartoon ducks in a combo live-action/cartoon feature film.” I doubt that was Lizst’s runner-up title, yet it’s all I’ve ever known this piece to be.

Mouret’s Rondeau--Intro to Sesame Street’s Monsterpiece Theater

Some might argue it is also the theme to PBS’s Masterpiece Theater, but these regular installments of the Sesame Street versions are probably more memorable to those of who were children when it aired. Sesame Street does a lot of parodies that I can only assume are more for the benefit of parents forced to watch along. Just in case the children have a sliver of a chance of catching a reference, though, the parodies are always very literal--like in this case, creating an intro that looks almost exactly like the real Masterpiece Theater.

Largo al Factotum from Barber of Seville--Mrs. Doubtfire

The opening scene of Mrs. Doubtfire captures Robin Williams’ voice talents and general craziness in a focused way: by allowing him to fittingly channel his cartoonishness into an actual cartoon. Williams provides the semi ad-libbed voice-over for the animated footage, beginning with the well-known “Largo al Factotum” (many of us think of it as the Figaro song) from Barber of Seville. His operatics leave something to be desired, but he makes up for it with enthusiasm.

Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever--”Be Kind to your Web-Footed Friends” as seen here in Wee Sing in Sillyville

Most of us are familiar with Stars and Stripes Forever on its own, but the second version it has the added bonus of hosting alternate, nonsensical kid-friendly lyrics. Those of you who were fans of the Wee Sing series may recognize the above clip from Purple Sillyville resident Pasha’s home.

If you have no idea what this means, I suggest you watch Wee Sing in Sillyville immediately. I would love to say you won’t regret it, but that’s not a lie I’m willing to put in writing. Let me say instead you might regret it, but if you can sit through the above clip, you could probably manage to sit through the full 58 vaguely racially-conscious minutes.

Tchaicovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies--Original Tetris Music Number 1

This one is more popular on a mainstream level, so it’s safer to venture some readers may also recognize “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies” from a family Christmas outing to see the Nutcracker ballet or at least a viewing or two of Disney’s 1940 hit Fantasia. However, if for some reason you managed to not encounter it in one of those areas, you probably know it as Music 1 from the NES version of Tetris.

Verdi’s Anvil Chorus--Tiny Toon Adventures

If the title alone doesn’t ring any bells, try watching the video to jog your latent Tiny Toon memories. The second I saw an anvil make hilarious yet undoubtedly painful contact with a cartoon child audience member, it all came back to me.

And for our cross-generational readers, you may also enjoy:

Barber of Seville--The Bunny of Seville

Ponchielli’s Dance of the Hours--Fantasia’s Dancing Animals (Or, for the less cultured and summer camp joke-prone, Alan Sherman’s “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah”)

Cross generational runners-up: Rossini’s William Tell Overture (Lone Ranger Theme), Dukas’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Disney’s original Fantasia), and Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries (Looney Tunes’ “What’s Opera, Doc?”)

Friday, June 18, 2010

90s Disney Ballads

If you’re in the market for some new potentially embarrassing musical material to get you through a mind-numbingly dull road trip or your daily shower singing session, look no further than the 90s’ collection of powerful Disney ballads. These songs are just begging to be sung by warblingly off-key amateurs; sure, Disney ballads are impressive in their original form performed by respected industry favorites, but they’re that much more fun when butchered by passionate novices.At least that’s how I see it. My former roommates who had to endure those strained high notes emanating from our shared bathroom’s shower--well, they may not feel quite the same way. Sorry, guys.

So next time you’re looking to belt one out, consider partaking in one of these delightfully cheesy Disney power ballads from the 90s. It certainly won’t earn you any street credibility at the local karaoke bar, but it will leave you with a satisfying blend of nostalgia and sore vocal chords. If you’re ready to make that sort of sacrifice in the name of musical animated classics, here are Children of the 90s’ recommendations for either most inspiring or most painful--depending on your level of vocal expertise. Oh, and wherever available I stuck in some videos with lyrics to facilitate your sing-alongs. You’re welcome.

Whole New World (Aladdin)

What would Aladdin and Jasmine’s magic carpet ride be without this catchy duet? It really makes the moment. I do sort of like that the Wikipedia entry on the song includes its translated titles in the foreign dubbed versions. For example, the mainland China version is called, “Meet by Chance.” In France it’s “This Blue Dream.” It doesn’t have quite the same ring to my American ears. “This Bluuuuuuue Dreeeeeeeam....” Hmm. Not working for me.

Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid)

I will admit, when I look at that stuff, I do find it to be awfully neat. In fact, the collection seems to be just about complete. It just screams, “Think that Ariel is a girl who has everything!” But then I must fight my instincts and realize that the human artifacts in Ariel’s undersea cave can never equal the glory of having human legs. She may rock the shell bra, but that’s not enough to get her out there walking on one of those--what do you call it? Streeeeets.

Beauty and the Beast (Beauty and the Beast)

There’s something uniquely charming about a ballad crooned by a kindly matronly teapot. It’s just that much better when you find out that teapot is actually Angela Lansbury of Murder, She Wrote; she’s got serious cross-generational appeal. Grandparents, rejoice!

Reflection (Mulan)

You know you’re looking at a serious Disney ballad when the single version is performed by Christina Aguilera--she can really belt it out. “Reflection” has just the right balance of heartfelt emotion and grrrrl power. It’s like watching the Spice Girls rescue a puppy. Kind of. Okay, not really. You come up with a good comparison, then. Really, give it your best shot. Tough, huh?

You’ll Be In My Heart (Tarzan)

Just in case you ever wondered what it would sound like if the mastermind behind “Sussudio” recorded a heartwarming Disney ballad, here’s your opportunity to find out. Phil Collins’ “You’ll Be in My Heart” charted well on the Billboard Top 100, rising to the 21st spot--not bad for a Disney song.

Colors of the Wind (Pocahontas)

Speaking of decently-charting Disney songs, Vanessa Williams’ end-credits version of this Pocahontas ballad peaked at #4 on the US charts. It’s undeniably cheesy, but at least it has an underlying message. Well, it does if you ignore the fact that Disney completely ignored all actual historical and/or cultural elements of the real Pocahontas story in their retelling. It’s a message, sure, but probably not a historically accurate one. Oh well--at least it’s catchy.

Can You Feel the Love Tonight? (The Lion King)

Well? Can you? The falling-in-love-with-an-old-platonic-friend-in-a-matter-of-minutes montage certainly helps move things along at a steady pace. With the aid of these handy visual, you will indeed feel the love. Tonight.

Runner Up: Circle of Life. Only you can memorize the words in the intro, though. Otherwise, it’s just not worth it.

Go The Distance (Hercules)

I’m not ashamed to tell you I kind of like the Michael Bolton version that plays out the credits. Well, not that ashamed. Perhaps I should be more ashamed to admit I have the Spanish version--performed by Ricky Martin, no less--on my iPod.

God Help the Outcasts (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

I felt compelled to include a song from all of the Disney musical animated films of the decade, but truthfully this one doesn’t pack quite the same punch as some of the others. Sorry, Esmeralda--you’re just not doing it for me here. There’s cheesy and then there’s over-the-top milking for emotional responses. Add in the Bette Midler version and it’s just too much to bear.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Children of the 90s is at a Work Conference...In the Meantime, Please Enjoy this Classic Post: Doug

Children of the 90s is at a work conference this week with tragically limited internet and computer access. Take my word for it, it's totally tragic. I didn't want to leave my loyal readers in a bind, so I am pleased to present you from a classic Children of the 90s' post from way back when I was getting a whopping 14 hits a day.

I trust few enough of you have trudged through the extensive backlogs that this is almost like new. Almost. I should be back in full force by next week. Until then, enjoy the reruns! Hey, it's summertime. I've got to save the good stuff for sweep
s. Thanks for your understanding--see you next week!

That's right, we're talking Nickelodeon original-Nicktoon era, not the shoddy subpar imitation churned out by ABC/Disney after 1996. To embarrass themselves further, Disney awkwardly renamed the series Brand Spanking New! Doug, despite the fact that the show had already been airing on Nickelodeon 5 years. Their new title reeked of desperation, a sort of "look at us! We got that show you liked! Now watch us make it terrible."

Exhibit A, the more wisely re-renamed Disney's Doug:

Note the presence of unmatchable Disney inoffensive blandness, replacing the original lovability of the a-cappella theme song. Whistling? Really? And everyone standing there waving cheerily? A travesty indeed.

And before we move on, let us briefly discuss the mutual ridiculosity of fanatical fan Wikipedia updaters and absurdly miniscule visual changes made by the Disney animators to classify the show as "brand-spanking new!":

Character changes on Disney's Doug:

  • Doug's sleeves were longer and had a pair of black and white shoes instead of red and white.
  • Skeeter's shirt was altered from a yellow lightning bolt to a yellow "O".
  • Roger's leather jacket was sleeveless along with his hair combed down instead of his straight up hairdo on "Nick's".
  • Patti's hair was cut. Her shirt stayed the same, except she is wearing blue jeans instead of her blue skirt.

You have to think to yourself, was there some sort of copyright sensitivity from the original series to the knockoff Disney version? What would possibly motivate them to sit around the boardroom, poring over storyboards, and heatedly debating the merits of cartoon haircuts and leather sleeves?

But anyway.

The real Doug was Nickelodeon's Doug, running from 1991-1995. The original series wasn't about long, complicated plotlines; each show was divided into two 11 minute "episodes" conducive to our limited childhood attention spans. It took all of our favorite cartoon cliches (lovable awkward protagonist, cute pet sidekick, quirky best friend, wacky family and neighbors, love interest, school bully) and made them into a virtual rainbow of bizarre multiculturalism. Sure, Doug was white, but his mother is inexplicably purple. And let's not even get started on how his best friend's name is "Skeeter". Clearly this was of an era before that term was imbued with inappropriate rap-song innuendo. We can only hope.

The originally show was both vividly and ridiculously imaginative in a way that was deeply resonant with our not-yet cynical preadolescence. Case in point, Doug's self-imagined alter-ego "Quail Man":

Yes! Amazing. An amazing way to add flashier nonsensical, nonsequitor plots. But we ate it up nonetheless, for its sincerity and resonance. My personal favorite foray into Doug's imagination was his fantasy music video of his "band":

I'm torn on which part is my favorite; the initial exclamation-in-unison accompanied by star-producing high-fives, or maybe the Doug-as-Michael-Jackson-with-ethnic-backup-dancers sequence. Either way, it was pure, unadulterated genius. To this day people acutally do live-action covers of this song on YouTube, if that speaks at all to its posterity.

In short, Doug did not insult our intelligence as children. There were all sorts of clever minor aspects of the show we can now appreciate as (theoretical) grown-ups. The "Beets" as a facsimile of the Beatles, his beatnik sister Judy's "Moody's school for the gifted," or Porkchop's igloo in the backyard.

So, to Disney: we will not accept your cheap, shark-jumping imitation. Giving Patti Mayonaise a butch haircut and naming Doug's new baby sister "Cleopatra" (really?) will never win us over. The original quirkiness of the show was what made it so endearing and enduring. It's what separated the authentic Doug from the later inferior imitation.

After all, how many of you can recall the lyrics from the Nickelodeon-era Beets' hit songs "I Need More Allowance" and "Killer Tofu"? Or Doug's fear of exposing his distaste for liver and onions to Patti? Or that Doug was horribly embarrassed of his middle name, Yancey?

On the other hand, how many of you can recall...well, anything from the Disney version?

I rest my case.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Fate of Disney Villains

It may seem counter-intuitive for an animation studio touting alleged moral messages and lessons learned, but Disney's animated films are pretty heavy on semi-violent karmic death. The lesson is far from nuanced; if you're a bad guy, you will undoubtedly fall to your painful but ultimately deserved death in a waterfall or from a jagged cliff. It's just the way it is. It may be a tough lesson for children--act out and you'll inevitably take a timely plunge off of a precariously unstable branch or railingless skyscraper--but it's an important one nonetheless. After all, without a terrifying threat of impending doom, what's to keep kids from acting out and going the ominous villain route? It's an airtight defense.

For the sake of simplicity and non-visible-from-a-distance blood splatters, a fall is by far the simplest means of eliminating a bad guy in the last ten minutes of a Disney animated film. The pain and suffering is implied without being explicit, though usually not administered in a particularly sadistic manner. In short, the punishment fits the crime while keeping in mind that a point-blank bullet to the face could probably be traumatizing to small children. This rule, of course, does not apply to the good guys, in which gun-induced trauma is not only acceptable but actually encouraged and played for tears. See Mom, Bambi's for more information and, probably, some uncontrollable sobbing.

In the cases of a semi-historical plot, it can be tougher to administer that climactic fall. While Disney movies are often pretty heavy on creative license in their adaptation of an existing story, there are existing premises in which a villain's fall to the death doesn't quite fit. Writers and animators may be forced to deliver a less crushing blow, such as Pocahontas' Ratcliffe's forced return to England to face high treason charges. It may not have the satisfying resonance of a villain's defeated wail growing progressively quieter as he crashes into the middle distance, but for some stories we may just have to settle.


Crime against mermanity: Takes advantage of innocent young mermaid in revealing shell bra; barters voice for human legs.

To be fair:
She does offer a loophole to Ariel in the form of True Love's Kiss. What kind of softy villain offers an escape clause? Maybe she's not so bad after all.

Then again:
If Ariel fails, she'll be Ursula's slave forever. Plus she has to hang out with those freaky eels. Yikes.

Means of death:
Animated heartthrob and all around good-haired hero Eric runs over her with a ship.

It's a little more malicious than the standard "Oh, oops, she fell off a cliff" out, but it's satisfying nonetheless.


Crimes against humanity: General deception, hypnotizes sultan, attempts to enslave whole of Arabian royalty.

Also: Owns irritating parrot. This may be the worst offense.

Means of death: Tricked by own greed and overconfidence into eternal imprisonment in the genie's lamp.

Verdict: Not quite a death, but a life sentence comes in as a near second in the Disney animated tropes for villain elimination.


Crimes against African wildlife population: Lies, betrayal, ruthless pursuit of throne, general disregard for Circle of Life.

Means of death: Falls on jagged cliffs. Okay, fine, that's not his death, it's a fakeout. Technically, falls on jagged cliffs and survives.

Add insult to injury: ...only to be eaten by his former allies the hyenas.

Totally brutal, and just a tiny bit sadistic. They couldn't have just killed him with the fall? No, no, he needed to doubly learn his lesson...and then be eaten alive by wild beasts. It's warranted.

Percival McLeach

Crimes against endangered species of the Australian Outback: Poaches rare eagles, cruelty and entrapment of animals, terrorizing of adorable mice.

Means of death: Narrowly escapes death by crocodiles; celebrates by falling into waterfall.

Verdict: Classic Disney villain demise. Clean, quick, and a little mean.


Crimes against French provincial townspeople and/or potentially dangerous but ultimately kindhearted monsters: Incredible hubris, undue beast hunting, smelly socks.

Means of death:
After the Beast makes a legitimate attempt to spare Gaston's undeserving life, Gaston goes and stabs the big guy in the back. Literally.

And then:
...trips and epically falls into the night.

Totally justified. That's what you get for bringing a lynch mob to the castle of a mysteriously furry recluse. He really should have known better.

Shan Yu

Crimes against East Asian warrior culture:
Leads the bloodthirsty Huns into China.

Means of death: Gets totally distracted by firework strapped to comic relief dragon; explodes.

Not quite the fall we may have been hoping for, though we can assume he did eventually plummet to his redundant death after exploding. Whatever, we'll take consolation wherever we can find it.


Crimes against persecuted Native American population:
Greed for gold, exploits land, unreasonably distrust of natives.

Means of death:
None. Trapped by settlers and shipped off to England to be tried for high treason.

Verdict: Lame. John Smith gets shot and Ratcliffe gets off with some treason charges? Granted, Smith lives and Ratcliffe's charges are for high treason, but really. How's a five-year old supposed to understand the karmic value in that outcome? "Oh, it's cool. He was sent back to his native country to be tried in a court of law for crimes against the state." They would have done better falling off a cliff and/or into a waterfall. It's a far more resonant visual.


Crimes against Notre Dame hunchback community:
Acts totally unjustly while serving as Minister of Justice. Go figure.

Means of death: Loses hold on stone gargoyle, plummets to death from atop Notre Dame cathedral.

As far as Disney villains go, Frollo is one of the downright slimiest. Here's a case where a more specifically violent visual may have been welcome.


Crimes against mythological Greek figures:
Though justifiably bitter about role as lord of the deceased in the underworld, Hades' quest to overthrow brother Zeus by knocking off Hercules is still pretty villainous.

Means of death:
Punched out by super strong Hercules, plummets into River Styx.

Also: Eaten by dead people's spirits.

Verdict: Awesome comeuppance with a real lesson: if you're gonna mess with Hercules, you're going to be smothered by the lingering souls of the dead. That's just the way it goes.


Crimes against tree-swinging contingency of jungle-dwelling humanity: Gorilla hunter and guilty of all-around bad guy-ness.

Means of death: Falls out of tree, strangled by vine, hanged.

A little graphic, but overall pretty fair. You don't go after gorillas n' friends. They'll get you.

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