19 most dramatic and over-the-top Disney villains

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Yzma — The Emperor’s New Groove

Yzma is an icon, and despite being an official Disney villain, she still deserves more respect.

Yes, her empathy for people poorer than her leaves a lot to be desired, and she is what one might call conniving, but she remains the best thing about The Emperor’s New Groove, if only for her epic, sprawling plan to take over Emperor Kuzco’s throne (the delivery alone deserves an Oscar).

What do you expect for a character voiced by the inimitable Eartha Kitt? Kitt was an icon in her own right. It is largely thanks to her that Yzma exists in the way she does, with her animated, larger-than-life gestures being taken from the recording studio, where Dale L. Baer would visit her for inspiration.

Yzma has so much style that it stands to reason that there would be too much iconicness for one film. A song, “Snuff Out The Light,” was (in our opinion, wrongfully) deleted from the movie, but thankfully exists on YouTube for our wistful viewing pleasure. Perhaps Yzma’s dramatics are rubbing off on us, but really, its deletion from the movie is as if Mercutio had been cut out of Romeo and Juliet.

Yzma’s talents go underappreciated in their time. In many ways, one could suggest she’s a victim of ageism and misogyny, since Kuzco unceremoniously fires her after appraising her appearance, and though we cannot condone her attempts to poison him thereafter, we do sympathize, if suggest she should have gone to an employment tribunal instead.

Pull the lever, Kronk.