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Classic Villains of Animated Christmas Specials: Ranked

by | Dec 6, 2017

Snow Monster

How do these yuletide bad guys hold up under actual scrutiny? Are they really bad or just Christmas-special bad? Who is the naughtiest on the naughty list? We took a look at the villains from 5 classic animated Christmas specials to see how they stack up. Spoiler Alert: These cartoons are WAY darker than you remember. You have been warned.

Since we’re maximizing on holiday spirit, we’ll be judging these villains by their naughtiness on a five-lump-of-coal scale.


So, this means bad news.

Five lumps means the worst of the worst and one means they’re really not so bad after all. Alright, let’s go!

The Abominable Snow Monster

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)


The Abominable Snow Monster of the North is characterized as mean, nasty, and “hating everything to do with Christmas.” But who ever actually asked the snow monster about his holiday feelings? How do we know about his supposed hatred of Christmas? Did he trample of a few Christmas trees one time? Or some toys? Maybe he’s just a giant snow monster with big feet? Snow monsters trample things sometimes, you guys.

To be fair, he DOES try to eat a bunch of the reindeer at one point, but what else is an apex predator to do? As the story goes, the snow monster is eventually “reformed”, but what that actually means is that Yukon Cornelius PULLS ALL HIS TEETH OUT. Yipes.


The real monster.

One it’s revealed that he can be a gentle giant, the snow monster’s story is meant to show that he was unjustly judged on outward appearance—kind of like every other character in this darker-than-we-remembered classic. Rudolph’s parents even shun him until he covers his shiny nose. Think that’s bad? SANTA shuns him too. So the real villain? Unrealistic beauty standards. And maybe that elf who wants to be a dentist. (Just kidding.)

How many lumps?

While fearsome at first, I would argue that Bumble is really a victim here. Poor guy gets his teeth pulled out!

The Grinch

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)


Obviously a big pattern with all of these villains is them coming around and becoming good in the end—but let’s not forget to look at who was the biggest jerk along the way. The Grinch is 100% up there.

Look at Cindy Loo. Look at that face! How can you steal from that face? Not only does the Grinch not like Christmas, he also wants to make sure NO ONE ELSE enjoys Christmas. He even steals their feast. You do NOT mess with someone’s feast. It’s just not done.

Also, hanging Christmas lights can be pretty frustrating, and he undoes all that hard work at every house in the whole neighborhood. Perhaps the most villainous act of all.

How many lumps?

The Grinch has an adorable dog named Max, which shows that he’s really been a big softy all along. He just didn’t know it.

Ebeneezer Scrooge McDuck

Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)


As the original utterer of “Bah Humbug” it’s hard to beat Ebeneezer Scrooge as a Christmas villain. But what about Ebeneezer Scrooge McDuck? Don’t worry. He wears the name well.

First he only gives Bob Cratchit (aka Mickey Mouse) a half a day off on Christmas, then he super sarcastically turns down Donald’s dinner invitation. If you don’t like Christmas that’s fine, but who doesn’t like dinner?

This classic-in-its-own-right interpretation of A Christmas Carol is pretty true to the original story, so you get the idea. Scrooge, of course, comes around just in time for Christmas morning.

How many lumps?

Ebeneezer Scrooge is pretty much where Christmas villains began! Webbed feet don’t make him any less of and old grump.

Hinkle the Magician

Frosty the Snowman (1969)


You guys, Professor Hinkle is the literal worst before Frosty even comes to town. He’s a bad magician and he’s mean to his rabbit, Hocus Pocus, who is totally justified in just wanting to hop the hell away from him at all times. Also…professor? Professor of what? It’s unclear and therefore all the more disturbing.

Also, dude throws his hat away, it brings a snowman to life, and then he tries to steal it back because he thinks it will improve his act—which, by the way, nothing will.

Probably the most deplorable moment is when he shows up in the middle of the forest to extinguish a fire that’s keeping a freezing little girl alive. Also, apparently he has dragon breath because he blows out a campfire in one breath. Why not take that talent on the road, Hinkle? It’s better than any of your magic tricks.

How many lumps?

For being the WORST in all respects.

Honorable Mention: The Sun

While Hinkle is almost too absent-minded to be an effective villain, Frosty’s real and relentless archenemy is the sun. You can’t run from the sun.


How many lumps?

The sun is pretty relentless, but apparently you can just hop a train to the North Pole!


A Charlie Brown Christmas (1969)


How do you get to 5/5 lumps of coal? Bullying. That’s how. Charlie Brown is feeling down during the holiday season, so Lucy suggests he direct the Christmas play to get in the spirit and build his confidence. What follows is a barrage of insults and criticisms thrown Charlie’s way about how he “can’t do anything right” and how all of this so-called friends just “knew he’d mess it up.”

Charlie finds some peace when he walks out on his jerk friends’ play with the little Christmas tree he found. That’s when he’s able to feel the true meaning of Christmas—the ultimate goal in all of these classic specials.

Alright, alright, I guess his friends redeem themselves a little bit by decorating his tree and singing for him. Also Snoopy and Linus are cool to Charlie so they get a pass. Next time, friends of Charlie Brown, take a cue from Linus and be a better listener when your friend is feeling blue.

How many lumps?

We have a no tolerance outlook on bullying! That even goes for Peanuts characters.

Did we miss any? What are your favorite Christmas special bad guys? The animated ones are our favorites, of course!

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