Once upon a time, there were only two mainstream animation studios, Pixar and Dreamworks. Sony Picture Animations was a far cry, a small player compared to these two giants. However, with the resounding success of Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse, Sony Picture Animations has proven that it has its own tricks.
They also happen to have some memorable villains for these movies, villains who deserve a lot more attention than they got. Sony Picture Animations has given its fans fantastic villains, whose intellect leads to projects that are both goofy and sinister.
It’s easy to assume that redneck Shaw was a silly conspiracy idiot. Only two of these words are true. He believes in conspiracies and he’s mad about them, but being a seasoned hunter doesn’t mean he’s a dork. He is a social Darwinist convinced that animals are becoming more and more intelligent.
The thing is, his paranoia is not unfounded. Animals act like humans and cause accidents. Sure, Shaw is still a violent psychopath, but he’s far from making stuff up. Shaw knows more about animals than most characters would care to admit, hunter or not.
Smurfs: The Lost Village
Yes, there’s no doubt that Gargamel is a clumsy fool when hunting Smurfs. Paradoxically, he is also a brilliant alchemist, capable of concocting magics that would probably serve him much better for something other than hunting Smurfs. Yet there is no denying the inventions he made.
Even in live-action incarnations, he manages to find success despite being such a weird maniac. When he gets down to it, the Smurfs often don’t even have a chance. Unfortunately, Gargamel’s greatest enemy has always been his bad luck and his arrogance.
King Leonard Mudbeard
The Angry Birds Movie
King Leonard Mudbeard is the original movie villain for the iconic Angry Birds. Strangely, the first Angry Birds movie wasn’t related to Sony Animations, but the sequel most certainly is. Here, King Leonard continues to show his inherent charisma and manipulative tendencies.
Although this time he uses it for the force of good. While in the first movie he was incredibly close to accomplishing his plan to steal the island’s eggs for food, he uses the same charisma in the second movie to rally the birds and pigs towards a common enemy.
“Pockets” is one of the most menacing and serious villains in the entire Sony Animations gallery, and for good reason. There is little to no humor with his character. He is a stoic, soft-spoken psychopath who is determined to seize power at any cost. Besides that, he is a gifted martial artist.
He only fights with his feet, which is both arrogant and incredibly impressive. It takes an intense amount of dedication and conscious struggle to practice martial arts this way. Unfortunately, his greed and arrogance become his downfall. He is too sure of his intelligence and skills, and it has cost him dearly.
The Pirates! Gang of Misfits
Queen Victoria is a shameless sleeper and an evil version of the historical figure herself, including all of her abilities and flaws. Despite her corrupt ways, consumption of endangered animals, and general candlelight sadism, there’s no denying that Queen Victoria is the sharpest noblewoman in the entire film.
Although the crown is hers by birthright, she is still a perfectly capable politician. She successfully manipulates Charles Darwin into giving her Polly and is generally a huge thorn in the side of the eponymous pirates. She’s also an amazing swordsman and appreciates technology, as seen with her hilarious steampunk dress.
Steven Claus is only a villain in the most nominal sense. Although he too is involved in the Christmas family business, he only understands one half of the picture. He’s a fantastic businessman, and the logistics of delivering gifts rely heavily on his wits.
In fact, it is a crucial part of the Christmas machine. Unfortunately, he doesn’t quite understand the family aspect and sees the business as a way to earn his father’s respect, not for the good of families around the world. In an incredibly rare feat, Steven decides to openly talk about it with his family by the end instead of becoming a full-fledged villain. A rare case of emotional intelligence for a children’s movie antagonist.
Abraham Van Helsing
Hotel Transylvania 3
Abraham Van Helsing is the iconic hunter himself, though far less benevolent. Since the monsters at Hotel Transylvania are far less “evil” (if you can even call them that), he presents himself as a delusional fanatic. Yet he is a delusional bigot with surprising intelligence, if not permanent efficiency.
Dracula treats Abraham as a pest more than a threat, but in this third entry, Abraham comes surprisingly close to putting his nemesis down for good. He also managed to keep himself alive with rudimentary steampunk technology, an impressive feat, if a bit hypocritical as he considers Frankenstein a monster despite this similarity.
Mitchells vs. Machines
PAL is a charming and modern version of HAL-9000. This time around PAL is an AI antagonist with a Toy Story level of backstory. After being brutally cast aside by her creator, PAL now hates all of humanity and hacks all of her creator’s systems so she can kick humanity off the planet.
PAL’s backstory may be sympathetic, but the disproportionate retribution it inflicts on the world is not. Yet, being a literal AI, she has all the knowledge in the world in her tiny frame. His only real flaw is, as usual with AI, arrogance and underestimation of humanity.
Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse
Fan-favorite Into The Spiderverse villain, Olivia Octavius is the gendered version of Spider-Man’s iconic nemesis. Much like her main universe counterpart, she is a brilliant scientist with all the accolades and intelligence that entails. In fact, she’s the person responsible for creating the Super-Collider that causes the dimensional rifts in the movie.
She’s also smart enough to realize that the alternate dimension Spider-Men and Spider-Women don’t have long in their universe. Their atomic composition is simply “out of phase” with their universe. Plus, she’s apparently old friends with Aunt May, who herself seems to be a bit of a tech savvy in this universe.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Chester V is Flint Lockwood’s childhood hero, the man responsible for giving Flint his curiosity and drive to pursue science. It’s no joke either, as Chester is quite the genius inventor he claims to be. Unfortunately, he’s also a manipulative narcissist who wants to exploit Flint’s naivety for his own benefit.
Either way, Chester V is the complete corporate heel package. He’s quite capable of his own brilliant inventions, but he’s just as quick to take credit for any good ideas made within his company. Like most of his kind, however, it was his arrogance that ultimately ended his empire. That, and the cheese spiders.