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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Tuesday Top 10: Most Horrifying Cartoon Characters

One of the things that appeals to me about doing a weekly Top 10 is the ability to think outside the box and go for topics that might not be strictly tied to horror movies, but more to horror in general. Case in point: this week's Tuesday Top 10, in which I am taking a look at the most frightening animated characters it's ever been my perverse pleasure to witness.

When considering candidates, I ruled out movies/shows intended only for grown-ups; it would've been too easy to collect a bunch of baddies from Heavy Metal, The Maxx, Wizards, etc. No, I thought it would be much more of a challenge to focus on characters that have actually scared the bejeezus out of little kids--in some cases, little B-Sol himself. Oh, the benefits of a horror-drenched childhood!

10. Cruella De Vil
101 Dalmations (1961)
She resembles a harpy, has vicious streaks of white through her hair, and her all-consuming goal in life is to slaughter a gigantic litter of puppies and use their skin to make a coat for herself. If that isn't the stuff of nightmares, then I don't know what is.

9. Gollum
The Hobbit (1977)
My fifth grade teacher thought it would be cool to show us this Rankin-Bass TV chestnut in class. Imagine my ten-year-old mind reeling at the sight of this bizarre, freakish thing. Still, this movie did kick off a lifelong Tolkien obsession. "Where there's a whip...there's a way!"

8. Maleficent
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
One of Disney's more underrated evil queens, I first came across her Satanic majesty at a double-feature of Sleeping Beauty and The Black Hole way back in Nineteen-Hundred and Eighty. I maintain this is one of the Mouse House's most boy-friendly features, and this shape-shifting bitch is one of the main reasons why.

7. Skeletor
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983-85)
Kind of a no-brainer. He's a roided-out blue dude with a skull for a head. Even though he's voiced by the same guy who did the voice of that lovable Falcor in The Neverending Story, he still freaked the snot out of me every weekday afternoon after school...

6. The Apple Bonkers
Yellow Submarine (1968)
OK, I chalk this up mainly to being a really little kid, but good lord did these guys creep me the eff out. Towering, mindless drones dropping giant apples on people's heads and turning them to stone. "Smash them! Crash them! O-BLUE-TIRATE THEM!!" Shivers...

5. The Witch
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
She was pretty hot in a secret-BDSM-fantasy kinda way in her evil queen form, but once she transforms herself into that gnarled-up, bug-eyed old crone... permanent childhood trauma. Never realized how many nightmarish villains Disney cooked up...

4. Mumm-Ra
Thundercats (1985-87)
I know, I spent way too much time on weekday afternoons watching action cartoons instead of doing my homework. But how could I pass up a show in which the main villain was a jacked-up, maniacal mummy? Although I never remember hearing him say this. Would've ruled, though.

3. Gen. Woundwort
Watership Down (1978)
OK, do you see that picture over there? Do I need to say anything else? This flick was on constant rotation on HBO when my fam first got it in the early '80s, and this grizzled hideous old rabbit, kept me glued to the couch in terror. Or maybe that was just my mom's plastic couch coverings...?

2. Gargamel
Smurfs (1981-90)
A hideous wizard who tried relentlessly to track down a cute village of friendly, fun-loving little blue fairies. So he could cook and eat them. Maybe not as many kids deconstructed their cartoons as much as I did...

1. Other Mother
Coraline (2009)
My big regret is that I'll never know what it's like to experience the sublimely frightening Coraline as a child. But at least I got to vicariously experience it through my own progeny. And for my money, there has never been a more thoroughly soul-chilling creation to ever appear in an animated film than this grasping, malevolent, twisted perversion of motherhood. It just taps into the psyche on so many levels. Or at least my psyche. Paging Dr. Freud...

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great List! Gotta Love Beatles in Yellow Submarine YEAH!

RayRay said...

My first response in seeing this was "There better be Blue Meanies," and I have to say the apple bonkers is good enough.

I watched some of Yellow Submarine on Youtube recently, and it is still disturbing to me.

And Gollum is of course required, but the Ringwraiths from the original animated Lord of the Rings were pretty scary, as well.

Excellent list.

B-Sol said...

Yeah, I came close to making it Blue Meanies, but those Apple guys were even worse for me...

And I went with Gollum because The Hobbit is more of a kids movie than Bakshi's Lord of the Rings.

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

Chief Rabbit still scares the crap out of me. Love Gargamel!

The Macabre World said...

agreed!
i loved Sleeping Beauty when I was younger for the scenes with the creepy witch!

Geoff J said...

Chief Rabbit is known as General Woundwort. A proper villain.

Stampede from Bravestar had some cool evil vibes going on too.

Mark H Wilkinson said...

The rabbit pictured is General Woundwort, chief of the fascistic Efrafa warren and main villain of Watership Down, voiced by Harry Andrews.

Ralph Richardson voiced a different character, credited simply as "Chief Rabbit", who was in charge of Hazel's original warren; he has less screen time than Woundwort, appearing only in the early part of the movie.

There, I'm done now.

B-Sol said...

Ah yes...my mistake...And fixed!

Ms Harker said...

I love that Skeletor and Gargamel made the list! I used to torment my little sister with those guys. Coraline doesn't show here until June-July I think, but I'm very excited! Great list sir.

www.musingcontinuum.wordpress.com

B-Sol said...

Why thank you, Mizz. And make sure to catch Coraline, you won't regret it!

BJ-C said...

The gargamel robot chicken shows what happens when he catches them. It's so freaking weird. I also dissected him, I was like...WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO EAT THEM!? Like, did he randomly find this little creature that sings LA LA LA LA LA LA and go how cute. IMMUNA EAT CHOO?! I don't know. Awkward...

The Dark said...

Good list! The lovely Other Mother definitely belongs on the top. She is so much awesome. *sigh*

You missed the simultaneously menacing and annoying Siamese cats from Lady & The Tramp. This pair is my hero and is WAAAAY more frightening than Skeletor.

B-Sol said...

I would always wonder what kind of sustenance Gargamel hoped to gain from eating those puny things... I mean, what was the allure? The same used to go for Tom & Jerry and Sylvester & Tweety. I mean, give it up, go get a hamburger...

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

Smrufs live in shrooms, so maybe when eaten, Gargamel would start to trip?

Planet of Terror said...

Maleficent and The Witch used to scare the piss out me when I was a wee lad. I always thought that Skeletor was kind of a pansy because He-Man would always whip his ass and he'd run away. No matter how menacing he looked on his throne. Good stuff B-Sol!

the jaded viewer said...

No Mumm-mutt???

Missy Y. (formerly A Case of You) said...

I've been leisurely flipping through the Tuesday Top 10s, and this one grabbed me. Dude, dude, where is Mommy Fortuna from The Last Unicorn? That bitch still scares the shit out of me.

B-Sol said...

Hmmmm. Perhaps it's time to revisit this idea one year later, with a volume two...

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