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Literature / Disney Villains: The Top Secret Files

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Disney Villains: The Top Secret Files is a 2005 Disney licensed book about the various villains in Disney Animated Canon. It's a comedic handbook about the pasts of various characters, though it's not considered canon to the films.

The villains featured are Cruella De Vil, Lady Tremaine, Captain Hook, Madame Medusa, the Evil Queen, Maleficent, Yzma, Gaston, Ursula, and Jafar.

This book provides examples of:

  • Ambiguously Related: It's implied that Ursula is Triton's sister. She was close to Triton growing up and has dreams of ruling the throne, but it's never explicitly stated that they're siblings.
  • Formerly Fit: Ursula is shown to have once been as skinny as Ariel, and special mention is made of how much thinner she used to be while depicting her gorging herself at a banquet.
  • Freudian Excuse: Discussed a few times.
    • Both Captain Hook and Jafar’s entries make mention of them having been bullied as children. Jafar in particular is depicted as having learned magic to get back at his bully while Hook’s diary depicts him as having once been a kind boy who was picked on by older sailor boys on his first oceanic outing.
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    • Maleficent went to a party once as a child and was never invited again after she set fire to the cake candles. It’s unclear if she had any malicious intentions here or not.
    • Downplayed with Cruella, whose fascination with furs and fashion is implied to come from her family (her mother being a fashion designer, her uncle being a big game hunter), but it’s not really used to make her more sympathetic.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Maleficent is depicted with upright pigtails as a child.
  • Great White Hunter: Cruella’s uncle, Coup De Vil, was one of these (possibly also an Evil Poacher, though this is never confirmed) and apparently routinely brought Cruella on hunting trips, which might be why she’s so… well, Cruella to Animals.
  • No Name Given: Snow White's step-mother isn't given a name.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Captain Hook, Jafar and Maleficent have this implied about them, having once been normal kids who became evil for one reason or another. Subverted with Cruella, Gaston and Yzma, who are also shown as children, but do not come off as quite so innocent.
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  • Villain Episode: The book is Disney Villain-centric.
  • Would Hurt a Child: It's implied that Ursula was banned from visiting the castle because she tried to poison Ariel as a baby.