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Monday, October 12, 2015

Disney Princess Villains: Songs Countdown 

There aren't many Disney Princess villain songs overall but I came up with at least 9 that were good enough to use for the sake of this countdown. I rated each of the songs against how villainous the lyrics were, how villainous the music sounds, how villainous the scene that accompanies the song in the film is and how villainous is the goal of the villain (or just the villain itself) singing the song? I ranked each song in the 4 categories and then ranked them overall by accumulative "evil" points. The countdown begins:

9. Mine, Mine, Mine by Governor Ratcliffe in Pocahontas - Lyrics: 8; Music: 9; Scene: 9; Goal: 7.
It's hard for this song to come off very villainy when John Smith starts singing about discovering a new wondrous world right in the middle. The music doesn't come off villainous at all and the lyrics and goal are self-centered and deluded but not predominantly villainous. The most villainous part of this song, to me. is the cutting down of the trees as the song is playing.

8. Prince Ali Reprise by Jafar in Aladdin - Lyrics: 9; Music: 8; Scene: 8; Goal: 6.
Thanks Jafar, Ali is Aladdin and that doesn't end the world. Jafar's intentions far exceeded his success in his villainous goals. He thought telling Jasmine the truth would ruin their love but it was really a trivial thing while he's trying to take over and rule the entire kingdom of Agrabah. The music and scene weren't very scary but they didn't come off kind of neutral like "Mine, Mine, Mine".

7. Friends on the Other Side by Dr. Facilier in Princess and the Frog - Lyrics: 7; Music: 5; Scene: 7; Goal: 9
Definitely one of the creepiest scenes in a DP film as well as creepy sounding music but then it kind of loses steam. The lyrics aren't to frightening to me because I don't believe in voodoo. The music is more jazzy than scary and the scene isn't that scary until the ending. The ending comes off more like Facilier drugged Naveen as it looks very psychedelic. Additionally, Facilier pays his own price in the end which makes him less frightening for me as he is clearly not at the top of his villain line/film.

6. Mother Knows Best by Mother Gothel in Tangled - Lyrics: 3; Music: 7; Scene: 5; Goal: 8.
The lyrics here are pretty frightening thanks to the delivery of Mother Gothel and the (forced) ignorance of Rapunzel. Mother Gothel has done everything to shelter Rapunzel in a way that she will believe every word, in addition to making her believe that she is her mother. Basically Mother Gothel thinks of all of the horrible things in the world and names them off in a way that makes them seem more common and unavoidable then they actually are. One of the most frightening things overall is that everything she names off is true with the exceptions of "the plague" (mostly gone and extremely rare) and "men with pointy teeth" (what?). The music is very catchy and not too scary. The scene is disturbing the way Mother Gothel messes with Rapunzel's psyche and tries to frighten her. (i.e. Mother Gothel hugging Rapunzel then turning into a mannequin without a head; Mother Gothel slapping Rapunzel in the back of the head with a mop; etc.) The goal of Mother Gothel here is definitely immoral but not completely villainous as it only hurts three people (she and her parents) by keeping Rapunzel trapped for Mother Gothel's own selfish gain. (I would rate it worse if she were trying to kill Rapunzel or hurt other people as well.)

5. Poor Unfortunate Souls by Ursula in The Little Mermaid: Lyrics: 5; Music: 6; Scene: 6; Goal: 2.
I don't find the lyrics to be frightening so much as clever. I do think the lyrics give a great description of what it is that Ursula does, play off of people who are "miserable, lonely and depressed" and then tricks them into making a deal so that she can force them to live in pain and agony the rest of their lives. The lyrics also show her manipulation tactics, distorting the truth to her advantage, as well as her cruelness. She makes some sense and argues quite the case, making an offer that Ariel and others can't refuse. The music is dark but not the creepiest of the villains. The music is very memorable but also too catchy and broadway-esque to be frightening. The scene is dark and creepy but also slightly comedic, it isn't until Ursula takes Ariel's voice away after the song that the scene fully reaches it's creepy/frightening height. As a villain I find her to be far worse than Dr. Facilier because she is more of a she-devil than a sea witch. While Dr. Facilier works for his "friends on the other side", Ursula works for herself which means she does this solely for her own pleasure. She tricks Ariel into "making a deal with the devil" and then proactively does everything she can to keep Ariel from fulfilling her end so that she can transform her to live in agony and misery like her other captives.

TIE 3. Friends on the Other Side Reprise by Dr. Facilier & Friends on the Other Side in Princess and the Frog: Lyrics: 4; Music: 4; Scene: 3; Goal: 5
Definitely creepier than the original in every way. The lyrics are more frightening with Dr. Facilier's clear and adamant protests that he is "not ready at all". His pleading makes the scene and song far more scary. The music here is much more dark, haunting and eerie unlike the original jazzier version. The scene is the most frightening in the entire film (to me) showing the dark spirits (worse villain) closing in on the (lesser) villain. The creepy zombie dolls, shadows, graveyard, masks and flying colors make for a very disturbing setting and scene; Especially with Facilier's tombstone at the ending of the scene (engraved horrified face is a really nice touch). The goal of this villain isn't more frightening than Facilier's goal but I find this villain to be far more frightening than Facilier as he clearly has more powers.

TIE 3. The Mob Song by Gaston in Beauty and the Beast: Lyrics: 6; Music: 3; Scene: 4; Goal: 3.
The lyrics are definitely frightening to the townspeople with lines like "The Beast will make off with your children... He'll come after them in the night... Set to sacrifice our children to his monstrous appetite." I can see why the townspeople would be frightened by him as well as Belle frightened for the Beast's safety but the lyrics are more like a "scary story" than anything else. The music is one of the darkest songs in DP history, definitely. I have always remembered this song as a child because it was so dark and scary and always stood out to me. The score is perfectly dark, eerie, haunting and matches the story that Gaston is giving about the beast. The scene is frightening if you care about Belle and her love, which I absolutely do. Additionally, it was frightening to see this man lead his whole town to march for a kill. Very reminiscent of Frankenstein and this reality of people frightening what they don't know and often opting for murder is very scary and villainous. The goal of Gaston is very despicable, he is killing for jealousy of his own shortcomings. He is not good enough for Belle and he hates that Belle would choose someone else over him, despite the fact that Belle made it clear she would never choose Gaston. This is also very frightening because Gaston won't even gain anything here but killing Belle's love as getting rid of him won't ensure him anything but hate from Belle (not her love or hand in marriage).

2. Mother Knows Best Reprise by Mother Gothel in Tangled: Lyrics: 2; Music: 2; Scene: 2; Goal: 4.
The lyrics to this reprise are even worse than the original when Mother Gothel crushes Rapunzel's hope of love with Eugene so harshly. Rapunzel: I think he likes me. Mother Gothel: Likes you? Please, Rapunzel, that's demented..... Why would he like you? Come on now, really. Look at you? You think that he's impressed?..... If he's lying don't come crying, mother knows best!" Even if she was 100% right and Eugene didn't love Rapunzel and was just using her, this would still be too harsh a way to deliver such news. She wasn't just trying to warn Rapunzel of some potentially bad suitor, she was trying to make Rapunzel feel as though she wasn't worthy of love or affection from any guy and furthermore that she was foolish to believe such a thing. It is just awful to be degraded this way, especially coming from one's mother (or believed to be mother). The music is a classical dark and eerie piece with no notes of joy. The scene is completely disturbing especially considering the lyrics of the song and goal of Mother Gothel. The scene is almost completely black and blue, very dark and fitting of it's dark song. Mother Gothel's aging from her lack of magical healing also serves to make the scene even creepier than with the original song. Mother Gothel's goal in the Reprise is far worse than her original song because now she's not just trapping a little girl but proactively trying to break Rapunzel's heart and destroy her innocence, hope and chance at love on top of manipulating her to go back to being trapped.

1. Savages Part 1 & 2 by European settlers & Native Americans in Pocahontas:Lyrics: 1; Music: 1; Scene: 1; Goal: 1.
So because I like to watch the special features on DVDs, I watched Pocahontas with the audio commentary. The neat thing though, was that they talked about how Governor Ratcliffe was kind of the villain, but in reality "hate and prejudice" was the real villain. That's from the commentary on the Blu Ray disc. That being said, it only made perfect sense that this song is the most villainous in every which way. The lyrics are atrocious from both sides "They're not like you and me, which means they must be evil. We must sound the drums of war.... They're different from us, which means they can't be trusted. We must sound the drums of war...." Talk like that is incredibly frightening. The music is certainly dark and has the feel of urge and anger. Amazingly done score that does have the feel of war, fright, anger and anxiety. The scene is very scary and powerful, showing both sides jumping to war and dehumanizing the enemy. This scene is only showing the preparation for war and not a war itself but it is just as frightening as a scene of war. The lightning bolt at the end of Savages part 1 as the two clouds of each group collides is an excellent artistic touch. The goal of each side is despicable since both are thinking in terms of genocide and it was very accurate to label the concept/way of thinking going on as the real evil villain. Even worse, this hate war birthed from love since it was Pocahontas and Smith's love/kiss that started the killing. By far, this is the most villainous and frightening song of all DP films.

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