The Evil Queen made her first appearance in Walt Disney’s first feature-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This makes her unique, as she is the founder of Disney’s popular and ever-growing line of Disney villains. The Queen is considered one of the most evil of the villain lineup with her evil intentions, selfish motivations, and uncontainable jealousy. Because the Queen has massive appeal and popularity, she is often seen greeting guests at Disney Parks, especially now during Halloween Time, and Disney Stores around the world continue to feed her vanity by plastering her face all over merchandise and other goodies. Grab an apple and take a bite if you dare as you join us for our next Villain Vignette: The Evil Queen.
This villain is one of the most adored out of all the Disney villains. She is arguably one of the most villainous because of her motives throughout Snow White. The Queen is driven only by her hatred and jealousy of Snow White and her beauty. It’s easy to tell that she was wicked and cruel even before she found out of Snow’s status as “fairest of them all,” but this was the final straw that drove the nail into the coffin (or knife into the heart, more fittingly). Everything is downhill from the first time she talks to her magic mirror, asking who is the fairest one of all. When the Queen finds out it’s not herself, she spirals into insanity driven by ferocity. This insanity goes so far that she orders a huntsman to cut out Snow White’s heart and place it in a box, to be returned to her. The huntsman is reluctant, and eventually is not able to carry out his task. He returns a pig heart to the Queen, but of course she finds out, and goes even further to attempt to eliminate Snow.
Following the huntsman’s failure, she uses a spell to turn herself into an old hag. Then, she dips an apple into a brew of “sleeping death,” which will cause Snow White to fall into a sleep state unless woken by “love’s first kiss.” The hag delivers the apple to Snow White, telling her that the apple will grant wishes. Of course, Snow falls victim to the hag’s lies, and she falls into a deep sleep.
The Evil Queen doesn’t have her own villain song with a flashy animated sequence, but she does have one of the most disturbing demises. She meets her end as the dwarfs chase her into the forest and up a hill. As she reaches the cliffside, she attempts to move a large boulder, hoping to crush the dwarfs below. The Queen–or an old hag at this point–ends up with a plan that backfires on her, as lightning strikes the cliff and she falls to her death, the boulder following to ensure her end, and vultures coming after to pick the remains. It is definitely one of the most brutal and memorable of the Disney villain deaths.
So, what makes the Evil Queen one of the most adored villains? Why is she all over villain merchandise, video games, theme parks and other media? It likely has to do with the Queen’s lavish, regality that extends to her outward appearance, as well as her mannerisms of movement and speech. The Evil Queen is to the villains as Elsa is to the princesses–fans of the villain franchise are attracted not just to her royal presence, but also her pure evil nature. She has no logical reason for wanting to kill Snow White, but she puts all her effort into trying to do so. Forget about movie backstories that try to justify the villain’s actions; true evil needs no explanation.