10 Disney Movies That Give Stepmoms a Bad Rap (PHOTOS)

Margeaux Baulch Klein | Jan 13, 2016 Movies
10 Disney Movies That Give Stepmoms a Bad Rap (PHOTOS)


The words "wicked" and "stepmother" go together as smoothly as peanut butter and jelly,  thanks, in large part, to Disney movies. Whenever a Disney flick is in need of a villain, it seems the heroine's stepmom (or, in more modern times, her dad's new girlfriend) is the obvious choice.

No wonder stepmothers have gotten such a bum rap. Click through for 10 times evil stepmothers make an appearance in Disney films.


Image via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

  • Lady Tremaine in 'Cinderella' (1950)


    Image via Walt Disney Pictures

    In the classic 1950 Cinderella, we see one of the first instances of an evil stepmom in a Disney movie. Lady Tremaine, as she is named in this film, mistreats her stepdaughter Cinderella by making her a servant in her own home. She later locks Cinderella in the attic in an attempt to hide her from the Prince and keep her away from true love.

  • Meredith in 'The Parent Trap' (1998)


    Image via Walt Disney Pictures

    A remake of the 1968 movie of the same name, The Parent Trap stars Lindsay Lohan as a set of twins, who try to get their parents back together. Complicating the happy reunion? Their dad's gold-digging fiancée, Meredith (played by Elizabeth Banks.) The girls set upon a plan to break up the scheming Meredith and their father, and she eventually gives him an ultimatum: her or his daughters. Being a Disney movie, he, of course, picks the twins.

  • Queen Narissa in 'Enchanted' (2007)


    Image via Walt Disney Pictures

    Afraid her place on the throne will be usurped once her stepston finds his true love, Queen Narissa (played by Susan Sarandon,) in the 2007 live-action film Enchanted, exiles Giselle (played by Amy Adams) from the animated fairy land world to present day New York City and later turns into an old hag and as well as a giant blue, kidnapping dragon.

  • Cinderella's Stepmother in 'Into the Woods' (2014)


    Image via Walt Disney Pictures

    While Cinderella's Stepmother is relegated to a supporting villain role in Into the Woods, actress Christine Baranski describes the character as more narcisstic and opportunistic than "evil" in this contemporary retelling of the story.

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  • Dame Olga in 'Ella Enchanted' (2004)


    Image via Walt Disney Pictures

    Starring Anne Hathaway as Ella and Joanna Lumley as her wicked stepmother Dame Olga, who tries to keep Ella from attending the ball that the Prince invited her to, Ella Enchanted tells the story of Ella, a girl who, by magic, is cursed to do anything she is commanded to do by others.

  • The Queen in 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' (1937)


    Image via Walt Disney Pictures

    Cinderella's stepmother isn't the only fairy tale-turned-Disney movie with a bad stepmother; Snow White's doesn't fare any better in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In the animated film, the Queen becomes jealous of her stepdaughter's beauty. Consequently, she orders a huntsman to kill Snow White, a plan that ultimately goes awry. 

  • Mother Gothel in 'Tangled' (2010)


    Image via Walt Disney Pictures

    In the 2010 animated Disney film Tangled, Mother Gothel is not a stepmother in the conventional sense, as she kidnaps Rapunzel as a baby and raises her on her own. Forcing her to stay isolated in a tower, Rapunzel eventually escapes, and Mother Gothel turns to dust in the end.

  • Frieda in 'Happily N'Ever After' (2007)


    Image via Walt Disney Pictures

    The 2007 film Happily N'Ever After features an evil stepmother Frieda (played by Sigourney Weaver) who not only tries to destroy her stepdaughter Ella's dreams but that of other fairy tale characters as well.

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  • Maleficent in 'Maleficent' (2014)


    Image via Walt Disney Pictures

    When she is spurned by her ex-love the King, Maleficent, the title character of the 2014 Disney film, places a curse on his daughter Princess Aurora, only to find that she comes to care for the girl. Eventually, Maleficent (played by Angelina Jolie) redeems herself by breaking the curse herself.

  • Stepmother in 'Cinderella' (2015)


    Image via Walt Disney Pictures

    In this 2015 cinematic retelling of Cinderella, Cate Blanchett takes on the challenge of playing Cinderella's nemesis, her evil stepmom Lady Tremaine, who forces her to be the family's servant and doesn't allow her to attend the prince's ball.


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