We all love our cartoons from the 80s but what would these cartoons be without villains? How can you have goodies without any baddies? Here is my own personal rundown of the meanest, scariest, terribliest villains from the cartoons that we’ve loved over the years. I’m sure I won’t have the same list as anyone else, so I’d love to hear your suggestions and/or lists of your own in the comments below!
Shredder was probably meant to be more scary, but this Uncle Phil-voiced baddie always seemed a little bit too small and puny for me. I like his name, his voice and even his outfit but I just felt there was always something missing, or that under that mask he would just look like an ordinary bloke.
One thing I know about Doc Terror from Centurions was that he was very well named. The guy looked terrifying. Some horrible cyborg experiment gone wrong. Terror should be his middle name. Making it his surname probably just highlights how awful he was.
You don’t see much of Dr Claw. You see his claw, his pussy (oh, come on now) and his vehicles for his amazing getaways. He always had a plan for everything and he must have assumed he would always fail because his getaways were incredible sometimes. And he never quite ‘got Gadget next time’ so that’s why he appears low down on this list. What a classic recognisable voice by Frank Welker though.
I always found Cobra Commander very mysterious. And I liked that. The fact that he had two looks was all the more intriguing. The cloth mask (which just seemed really weird) and the shiny face dome which was pretty cool. To be in charge of the whole of Cobra just proved what a great leader he was.
Megatron is pretty cool. Great name, great voice (by the only voice actor who appears twice on this list, the legend that is Frank Welker) and he’s the leader of the goddamn Decepticons. But there are a few areas that let him down. His weird helmet thing, the fact that he transforms into a tiny gun and normally has to be used by someone else, and the fact that he puts up with Starscream’s relentless abuse. Could do better.
Hordak has to make it on the list and I’m sure some people would like him higher. I just didn’t watch much She-Ra myself but I know that Hordak is pretty cool, he’s down with the technology mixed with a bit of magic and probably much cleverer and sneakier than Skeletor. He’s got control of Etheria after all so he must be doing something right. He loses points for his snorting though. There’s just no need for that.
Zoltar from Battle of the Planets was one creepy dude. What was that mask all about? It was like some weird canine cult. I didn’t want to know what he got up to in his spare time. And the fact that he obeyed a strange bird-like apparition just made it all the weirder. His sheer creepiness catapults him to no.4 in my list.
We’re entering the area of genuinely frightening baddies now. Venger was certainly this. The voice (by Peter ‘Optimus Prime’ Cullen himself), the face, the pale skin, the one horn, the massive body and long cloak thing. He scared me in the same way Death from the video game Gauntlet scared me. You just didn’t want him to be around at all.
I still remember when I first saw Mumm-Ra. I thought his decaying mummy form was pretty badass as it was, but then out of the blue he starts reciting his ‘ancient spirits of evil’ line and he transforms into the monstrosity that is Mumm-Ra the ever living. He’s the stuff of nightmares. Awesome. I have no idea how a teenage cat kept getting one up on him.
The No.1 spot has to go to Skeletor. There was never any question. The guy’s a freakin’ blue skeleton for goodness sake. A blue skeleton (who still works out) with a yellow face and has better put-downs than Simon Cowell. His narcissistic psychosis is second to none and for his use of ‘nincompoop’ alone he is no. 1 on this list.
Cardinal Richelieu from Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds
Ming from Defenders of the Earth
Baron Greenback from Danger Mouse
Miles Mayhem from M.A.S.K.