Category: Body Types

Real-Life Villains

To demonstrate just how impossible the body structures and facial features are that are given to the Disney villains, I collected a series of images of how the Disneyland and Disneyworld amusement parks represent the villains when they have to create their features in real life. All of the protagonists of the Disney films were portrayed by unaltered people who are not obscured by masks, whereas only some of the Disney villains and villainesses had real faces.

Interestingly, there was also a gender divide that predicted whether or not a Disney villain had a real face or a mask. Almost all of the male villains, with the exception of Gaston and Dr. Facilier, had masks, whereas only one of the female villains (The Queen of Hearts, though Ursula probably would if she wandered the park) wore a prosthetic.

It was interesting to see that Disney’s female villainesses had more natural features than the males. This might imply that women have a more narrow set of acceptable facial features in both good and evil characters. Even though the villainesses are clearly older, their faces are still expected to have a young appearance, which is maintained mostly by heavy amounts of makeup in both the drawings and the Disneyland costumes.

The only female villainesse with a mask was the Queen of Hearts. It seems that Disney has an aversion to casting overweight actors and actresses and is more comfortable making masks that accurately represent just how caricatured their weight is in the films.

The males tended to have more exaggerated or extreme features, such as long faces or baggy skin that can only be captured using face masks. They also tended to have more stylized aspects including cartoony facial hair (Captain Hook), pointed teeth (Hades), or hawk-like eyes (Shan-Yu).

 Even the more natural-looking Disney male villains (such as Frollo, whose main facial attribute is only his older age) had facial masks. Similarly, when the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves is wandering the parks as an old peddler woman, she too becomes a prosthetic instead of a real older woman.

These real-life representations of Disney villains illustrate just how warped their body types and facial attributes truly are compared to real human beings. Their features are so exaggerated and out of the ordinary that real people cannot begin to capture them. In an interesting opposition to this, the use of primarily women for female villainesses is telling in that gender norms for women are more restrictive and still require certain physical attributes.


Most of the Disney villains do not represent an “average” or healthy body shape and size. Several of them are overweight or, the other extreme, skeletal.

The overweight villains and villainesses tend to have round body types and lack necks. Double chins are present in all of them, making them both clearly overweight and unattractive in comparison to the protagonists.

The thin villains are almost just as common and have a similar number of exaggerated features. In both Cruella DeVille and Yzma’s figures, both of them barely have breasts, once again downplaying their feminine aspects.

The first thin Disney villain, Dr. Facilier lack any musculature, making him appear less masculine.

Although it could be said that Disney is being more representative of the general population by showing both overweight and underweight characters, the problem is more that only villains are shown along this spectrum whereas the classic Disney protagonists are in perfect shape. Once again, Disney reinforces that what is outside of the average (in this case, body types) are evil.