Fantasy films have created some of the most lovable characters and memorable superheroes of our times. But what about the villains? To be a hero, one must fight a super foe, an evil doer, a cunning super fiend. Fantasy films have brought to life some of the most horrible, terrifying and recognizable villains of all time. They are the core of the fantasy industry. Film makers spend a fortune to create the perfect memorable villain which their audiences love to hate.
One of the most memorable villains of all time is the Wicked Witch of the West in fantasy film “The Wizard of OZ”. Every child who has ever seen this film mimics the phrase “I’m melting, I’m melting” in their fantasy play. Witches have long been fantasy figures which strike fear and anguish in the heart of many a hero or heroine. What about “Maleficent” from Sleeping Beauty? Probably the most immortalized witch of all time, she has her own collection of memorabilia and a place of honor in Sleeping Beauties castle at the popular theme park Disney Land. Some of the more recent though unforgettable witches of the modern day fantasy film industry include the fairy godmother from “Shrek”, good fairy turned bad in this popular twist on fairy tale themes. The White Witch in the movie “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” has turned out to be one of the most hated and remembered Witches of fantasy films in recent years.
Many villains of fantasy films originate from common child hood fears to come to life on the big screen . The Boogie Man from “A Nightmare Before Christmas” , and Randall from “Monster’s Inc.” come to mind. Super Villains head up the next class of unforgettable characters in many a fantasy film. Superman battles the evil genius Lex Luther throughout his film career. Batman has a long list of foes including the charismatic though slightly twisted Joker and sexy yet cynical Cat woman. Spiderman takes on the egocentric Green Goblin. Dr. Evil from comedy/fantasy movie “Austin Powers” is unforgettable with his bungling twists on attempts to over throw the earth and his “Mini Me”. The list goes on and on.
More pure fantasy of the sword and sorcerer style, movies like “The Lord of the Rings” have spawned many a memorable vile creatures. Based on J.R. Tolken’s books, “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy has been enjoyed by many a fantasy enthusiast with its other worldly creatures and hideous villains such as Gollum the hobbit mutated into a vile creature by his greed and hatred and Sauron the evil sorcerer intent on dominating middle earth. The more recent fantasy film series “Harry Potter” has created the intriguing evil character of Lord Voldemort, echoing the essence of the fantasy villain with his evil spells and a name that is associated with deeds that are too horrible to even speak.
Other beloved villains of the less supernatural variety in fantasy film which have stuck with us for generations come from the archives of pioneers in fantasy film, Disney studios. What child hasn’t been left dumbstruck and awed by the evil “child catcher” from “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, or the stereotypical evil stepmother in “Cinderella” and “Snow White”? The infamous Captain Hook from the movie “Peter Pan” has been the arch enemy in many a child’s fantasy play. Cruella De Ville from “101 Dalmations” plays on the sympathies of all animal lovers as she seeks to turn the beloved puppy heroes into a fabulous fur coat. Though Villains may not be the most popular of characters, fantasy film fans will agree that the makings of a good fantasy movie are not complete without a great villain to really define the plot and leave the audience captivated.