When you think of the meanest, cruelest, most downright despicable villains of all time, Will Ferrell is probably not at the top of your list. He's hoping he can change your mind with "Megamind," his new supervillain-centric animated film gracing the big screen this weekend -- but even then, you may just find that Ferrell's latest character is less of the evil genius variety and more of a comedic powerhouse.
That's not to say that the animated world isn't without its fair share of villainy, of course. Feel-good though they may be, the vast majority of family-oriented animated flicks are populated by nefarious nemeses intended to off-balance the comedy with a healthy heaping of terror.
After the jump, check out our selection of five of the greatest animated villains of all time!
Cruella de Vil
There's nothing amusing about kidnapping dogs to skin their fur and turn them into fluffed-up and fashion-forward coats. Combine those dog-hunting tendencies with an icy personality, an overall misanthropic demeanor and that name, and there are four huge reasons the "101 Dalmatians" villainess snags a place on our list of the cruelest villains in animated history.
After Sid in the first "Toy Story," we were positive that Woody and Buzz would never again grapple with anyone quite so fiendish. Not so: Lotso, the menacing bear that's pink with envy in "Toy Story 3," takes the cake. Even after our toy heroes saved his life, Lotso still couldn't get past his evil ways -- but thankfully, Lotso got served a healthy helping of justice with his final resting place.
Simba just couldn't wait to be king in "The Lion King," but his desires had nothing on those shared by his evil uncle Scar. The bad lion of the pride went so far as to murder his own brother for the crown, damning his people to years of ruin in the process. With Jeremy Irons' voice and facial expressions at his disposal, Scar really is one of the great animated bad guys of all time.
But Scar isn't the only ferocious animated beast out there; he has to make room for Tai Lung, the "Kung Fu Panda" bad guy that broke out of prison and nearly killed Master Shifu and the Furious Five. Thankfully, Po was able to defeat him with the Wuxi Finger Hold, but he created a whole lot of havoc before his final fall.
A transforming robot the size of a planet that goes around eating other smaller planets -- how does it get any better than that? Unicron was the menacing antagonist of "Transformers: The Movie," the 1986 animated feature film adaptation of the classic cartoon series, and ranks as an all-time personal favorite villain. After all, how many transforming robot planet-eating planets that just so happen to be voiced by Orson Welles do you know?!
Tell us some of your favorite animated bad guys in the comments and on Twitter!