6 Best Diabolically Creepy Villains in Kid's Movies

Sure, we all love the hero.  We root for him or her.  We want them to succeed… but there’s still something to be said about a deliciously evil, super creepy villain to propel the plot.  And the worse they are, the better!

Of course, you’re not out to scare your children, but a really good baddie makes for an awesome storyline.  So check out these kid-friendly flicks and introduce your kiddo to some fabulous villains.


1997, G

If you’re tired of Disney Princesses, this is the film for you. Anastasia is a story based on the famous lost Russian princess, and a rather chilling history.  Luckily, not all the horrific details are explicit and the movie (without the history lesson) plays like most princess films – except that the villains will actually get you shuddering.

Anya is an orphan girl who is picked up by two conmen in Russia. They convince her to take on the mantel of the missing princess, Anastasia, so that they can collect the reward from her grandmother. Little do they know that she actually is Anastasia and a reanimated Rasputin is still out to get her.

Just like a Disney film, there’s singing and romance. Your little princess will love it and you will love the how spunky Anya is.  And the wicked Rasputin will have you both thoroughly engaged.

Best Villain Moment: The final clash with Rasputin at the end of the film. Also really anything involving the evil wizard. Who wouldn’t appreciate a zombie thrown into a princess film?

James and the Giant Peach

1996, PG

Adapted from the well-loved children’s book, this is the story of a boy, named James, who travels with his insect friends in a giant peach to New York City, escaping his cruel aunts, after his parents are tragically killed by a rhinoceros.

This stop motion film is fairly dark the whole way through, but it has a solid message about what family means. Also, that peaches are delicious and that you should always be on the lookout for a wild rhinoceros.

If you haven’t read the story, you might be thinking that those giant insects might be a fearsome lot.  But the real source of abomination is James’ two loathsome aunts.

Best Villain Moment: Really, any scene with the aunts.  Sure there are shark attacks, the raging rhino, and lots of challenges throughout the film.  But the two creepy aunts really take the cake. The women look like they walked straight out of a nightmare.  Talk about shivers down your spine!

The Black Cauldron

1985, PG

A lesser known Disney film, The Black Cauldron follows a boy named Taran as he works to become a knight. He starts the movie off as a pig herder. He hates his job. But it turns out that the pig he’s been keeping is actually a magic one and he must face the Horned King to get her back when she’s stolen. While attempting to retrieve his pig, he learns that the king is going to use a magical artifact to create an army of the undead.

You read that right.

Despite the dark storyline here, this film which is based on a book series, actually has many redeeming qualities. The Princess isn’t just a damsel in distress and the hero, without giving anything away, is actually the least respected member of the group. It’s not your typical children’s fantasy film, proving that a fantasy film doesn’t have to be cliché.

Best Villain Moment: The first time you see the Horned King and his future army. This film pulls no punches and the image may stay with you for some time.

The Dark Crystal

1982, PG

Jim Henson is usually associated with The Muppets and Sesame Street, both of which are great! Outside of that he was a prolific movie maker and his puppets appeared in many films. One of which was the fantasy The Dark Crystal.

This movie follows two Gilflings – the last of their kind – as they run to escape the evil clutches of the Skeksis, and fulfill the prophecy to save the world as a whole. The entire movie takes place in a strange and oddly beautiful world, which will both enchant and frighten your children.

Best Villain Moment: Everything to do with the Skeksis. These bird-like creatures with grating screeching voices just maybe prompt your child to ask for the night-light. They are, after all, pure evil.


1989, PG-13

The Tim Burton Batman film is a swift departure from previous versions of the franchise. The film stripped away all the cartoony antics and replaced it with dark and gritty realism. Even so, it’s still a great superhero film that shows what it’s like to be real person fighting crime.

This is rated PG-13, which is a little higher than most of the films on our list. But for the kid that loves superheroes, this is a must-see.

Best Villain Moment: When the Joker releases his laughing gas on a crowd from really twisted parade balloons. The day is quickly saved but for a moment things are pretty hairy. Plus those balloons…  shudder.


2009, PG

The book by Neil Gaiman is worth a read, but the film is no slouch. Coraline is a spunky girl that moves into a new home far away from her friends. She finds her new home boring and filled with really weird adults. She discovers a key that takes her to another world, but things aren’t as wonderful as they seem.

Themes of bravery, friendship, and being true to yourself are strong in this film that’s also laced with magic and ghosts.  The ghosts aren’t the scary part though. It’s the Other Mother.

Best Villain Moment: Anytime the diabolic mother presents her victims with that horrific gift box containing buttons.

Who are some of your best-loved villains in children’s films?

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Tags : films   fright flicks   

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