Happy Halloween, everyone! For the last month, we’ve been profiling a different Animated Villain every single day. Today is the last day and we hope you’ve enjoyed reading our Villain Vignettes as much as we’ve enjoyed writing them. To culminate our villainous month, we offer you an article about one of the truly great Disney Villains of all time: Rasputin.
So what makes Rasputin one of the great Disney Villains? First of all, he has evil magical powers and evil magical minions that try to murder Anastasia for him. And a powerful villain is an important asset in a movie because they immediately raise the stakes. If the heroes never feel safe or the threat they’re facing is tough, the movie will always be better. Rasputin can be too much of a comic-relief character at some points, diminishing the threat he presents, but ultimately, he’s a powerful Russian sorcerer who swore to kill every single member of Anastasia’s family. And that’s not okay. Especially not in a Disney movie!
Another fact that elevates Rasputin above his peers at the Brotherhood of Disney Villains is that he makes you laugh. And although that can be a negative thing as mentioned, it’s difficult to forget Rasputin and his constantly falling body parts. He’s decomposing and it really shows. Maybe it takes away from his fear factor but it does make him a memorable Disney villain, it’s difficult to forget his figure and problems keeping it together.
So Rasputin makes a very interesting villain. Many of the profiled ones are scary villains that are fun to hate. Others are just plain scary and unlikeable. Rasputin represents a kind of villain that is more funny than scary and yet he manages to present a threat to Anastasia several times, thus fulfilling his villain duties. But most importantly, he’s really memorable and anyone who’s seen Anastasia will no doubt have a clear image of the brown cloak and the long beard. Rasputin may be flawed but he’s impossible to forget. And that’s ultimately what makes him a great Disney villain.
Pablo Ruiz is a Colombian filmmaker. Movies like Toy Story, The Lion King and Aladdin made him fall in love with the art form and now he hopes to dedicate his life to telling stories, hopefully for Pixar (if they go back to doing original films).
Some of his ambitions are making a movie as emotionally impacting as Toy Story 3, meeting JK Rowling, and petting a million dogs. Follow him on Twitter (@PabloRV7).