Top 10 Disney Showdowns

Script written by Clayton Martino These climactic battles made great Disney films even better! Join WatchMojo.comsuggest down our picks for the Top 10 Disney Showdowns. For this list, we're looking at the best moments in Disney films where the hero faces off with the villain. Special thanks to our user mac121mr0 for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Clayton Martino

Top 10 Disney Showdowns


These climactic battles made great Disney films even better! Join WatchMojo.comsuggest down our picks for the Top 10 Disney Showdowns.

For this list, we’re looking at the best moments in Disney films where the hero faces off with the villain. We are excluding Pixar films, however, because they deserve their own list. And, as you may have guessed, since these are the showdowns mostly function as the climaxes of their respective movies, a SPOILER ALERT is in order.

#10: Basil vs. Professor Ratigan
“The Great Mouse Detective” (1986)

One of the more underrated films in the Disney pantheon, this Sherlock Holmes-inspired flick has one of the most creative showdowns, as Basil takes on Ratigan inside the iconic Big Ben clocktower. Complicating matters is the presence of little Olivia, who is nearly crushed by the clock’s gears before Basil is able to save her. Ratigan gives Basil a pretty good beating, but when the clock bell strikes 10:00, it appears both fall to their deaths. Miraculously, Basil is able to save himself by flying a piece of wreckage from Ratigan’s dirigible.

#9: Merlin vs. Madam Mim
“The Sword in the Stone” (1963)

Who doesn’t love a wizards’ duel? This showdown pits Merlin’s expertise and knowledge against Madam Mim’s dark magic. It’s all set in motion when Mim changes herself into a cat and attempts to eat Arthur, who has been changed into a sparrow. Merlin arrives just in time to save his life, whereupon Mim challenges Merlin to a wizards’ duel. The wily witch attempts to defeat the old mage by cheating and using black magic. But in the world of Disney, good always triumphs over evil and, after a long and inventive battle, Merlin eventually outwits Mim by turning into a germ and infecting her with a chickenpox-like disease.

#8: Tarzan vs. Clayton
“Tarzan” (1999)

This showdown results in one of the nastiest deaths ever seen in a Disney film. After blasting Kerchak with his shotgun, Clayton attempts to shoot Tarzan, who flees into the trees. Clayton follows him, and the two engage in a vicious fight. Tarzan has Clayton where he wants him, but – making the typical Disney good guy mistake – he spares the villain’s life, after which point Clayton naturally tries to do him in. Tarzan then gets the upper hand by immobilizing his nemesis with vines. Clayton begins wildly hacking away at them, but does not cut the one around his neck – and gets what he deserves.

#7: Fa Mulan vs. Shan Yu
“Mulan” (1998)

At first, this seems like less of a showdown and more of a beatdown, as Shan Yu chases Mulan throughout the palace, nearly decapitating her with his sword. They eventually end up on the roof, where Mulan uses her fan to steal Shan Yu’s sword. After a beautiful leg swipe, Mulan pins him down with the sword. Then, acting on Mulan’s orders, Mushu blasts a bag of fireworks at him, sending him flying across the sky to his own demise.

#6: Prince Eric vs. Ursula
“The Little Mermaid” (1989)

This is your classic Disney showdown – the villain takes the form of a giant monster while the prince shows up at the last second to rescue the princess. Things look bleak for Ariel and Eric when Ursula transforms into a giant and creates a massive whirlpool with her newly-acquired trident. Unfortunately for her, this causes several sunken ships to come to the surface, one of which is boarded by Eric. The prince then steers the ship into Ursula, impaling her and ending the nightmare once and for all.

#5: Quasimodo vs. Judge Claude Frollo
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1996)

It’s hard enough taking on a sword-wielding religious madman on your own; it’s even harder when you have to prevent the girl you love from falling into a pit of fire at the same time. Quasimodo is able to save Esmeralda but there’s still the evil Judge Claude Frollo to contend with. This showdown is notable in that it doesn’t have a classic fistfight or duel; instead, there’s a lot of verbal fighting as Frollo unleashes vicious insults, including one about the death of Quasimodo’s mother. Fortunately for the Hunchback and for the audience, the fiendish Frollo finally falls to a well-deserved fiery death.

#4: Aladdin vs. Jafar
“Aladdin” (1992)

Aladdin is truly up against the odds in this showdown – his best friend, an all-powerful genie, is enslaved by his enemy, who turns into a giant snake. As if that wasn’t enough, the girl he loves is trapped in an hour glass with sand threatening to suffocate her. Aladdin shows some skill with a sword and is able to fight Jafar off, but winning against this villain takes quick thinking more than brawn – and our street rat hero is all about thinking on his feet. By appealing to Jafar’s giant ego, Aladdin triumphs and saves the day.

#3: Prince Phillip vs. Maleficent
“Sleeping Beauty” (1959)

Arguably one of the most famous scenes in the entire Disney canon, this showdown is everything you want from a fairy tale – a knight in shining armor taking on a dragon to save a princess. And, while the fight ultimately comes down to Phillip versus Maleficent, the three fairies are also heroes. They equip the prince with the magical Sword of Truth and Shield of Virtue, which help him hold his own against the witch, even in her terrifying dragon form. But eventually Phillip is cornered, so the fairies expertly enchant his sword. Its aim is true and it pierces Maleficent’s heart, causing her to fall to her death, and breaking her spell in the process.

#2: Beast vs. Gaston
“Beauty and the Beast” (1991)

There are no dragons, genies or magic spells in this showdown. This fight comes down to brute strength versus brute strength, as Gaston and Beast settle their differences high atop the castle roof. While Gaston is strong, something he never lets us forget, he is no match for Beast’s monstrous power. Beast refuses to kill Gaston, however, and is literally stabbed in the back for his mercy. Of course, like all good Disney villains, Gaston ends up paying for his treachery. Beast’s life is spared as Belle professes her love for him, breaking his curse and finally changing him back into his human form.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Flynn Rider vs. Mother Gothel
“Tangled” (2010)
- Peter Pan vs. Captain Hook
“Peter Pan” (1953)
- Mowgli vs. Shere Khan
“The Jungle Book” (1967)
- Hercules vs. Hades
“Hercules” (1997)

#1: Simba vs. Scar
“The Lion King” (1994)

The minute Scar killed Mufusa; you knew this moment was coming. Simba finally gets a chance to confront his father’s killer, but mercifully gives Scar a chance to save himself by telling him to run far away from Pride Rock. Naturally, Scar refuses, and the two engage in an epic fight and fiery fight. Both sides land solid blows, but it is Simba who gets the upper hand when he flips a lunging Scar over the side of the cliff, resulting in his death at the hands of the his own hyena henchmen. The irony is delicious.

Do you agree with our list? What is your favorite Disney showdown? For more excellent Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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