Pixar Villains: Dumb To Brilliant
In order to be a villain, you need to know what you’re doing... Scheming, cheating and manipulating are just a few things that require sharper wit. However, some of Pixar’s foes are rather lacking in the brains department. While some are near impossible to match wits with. I’m Kyle with WickedBinge, and these are Pixar Villains: Dumb to Brilliant. Now before we start, a couple of rules.
Firstly, only one villain per movie, so no secondary antagonists. Secondly, they must be true villains, so foes like Gabby Abby, who end up redeeming themselves won’t be here. We’ll be starting with the dumbest and working our way up the IQ chart....
First up here, it's the Practically Brainless fiends, or rather fiend. We just have one here today. This spot is reserved for those who have a less than average intelligence, to put it nicely. Our only entry in this category is the cursed Mor'du. To be fair, Mor’du is already at a huge disadvantage.
He is cursed to be a mindless killing bear, meaning most of any intelligence he had would be greatly hindered. Once a prince of the kingdom, his mind and intelligence would only be locked away due to how the curse turned him into a bear. In this form, all he can think about is killing others, acting on pure animalistic urges. That isn’t to say that his human form isn’t any smarter. While he certainly wasn’t dumb, he was focused heavily on power and strength, willingly betraying his brothers and accepting his curse of turning into a bear to destroy the army. Put it simply, he forsake his humanity willingly in order to win a war.
Definitely not the smartest move here to put it lightly. Next up is the Grade School Students. These villains are capable of improving their craft and vile schemes, but have a way to go from the top. But in their defense, they’re only children.
Our first of two students, we have the niece of the dentist, Darla. Visiting Dr Sherman every so often, she often ends up getting a gift of a fish every time. However, there are just two big problems. Firstly, these fish are alive and have their own feelings. And secondly, and more importantly, she has no idea how to properly raise a fish.
She constantly keeps shaking the bag, causing any fish inside her bag to die. That being said, this case of not knowing is just because she is just learning and so young. With a kind uncle like Sherman, we’re at least positive that she will at least mature with age. Our second kid here, being the bit more intelligent, is the toy tormentor, Sid. Unlike Darla, Sid is more crafty with how he torments the sentient toys.
He’s capable of tearing off toys limbs and heads, reattaching them to other toys, and is able to use explosives. That said, keep in mind that this is just a kid blowing up toys in his backyard. He’s pretty much a foil to Andy. While Andy loves playing with his toys because just playing around with them is fun for him, he keeps his toys intact still.
Sid is pretty much just a kid who is playing with toys. However, we actually get to see Sid again in Toy Story 3, where he is a garbage collector, picking up trash. It’s safe to say that he at the very least got up on his feet, even after his experience with toys. However, we really can’t rank him any higher due to him just being a kid with a wild imagination. Next up our list is the Average Folk. These guys are, as the name implies, pretty average in terms of intelligence.
Not too smart, but not too dumb. Normies. First of our three Cars villains, we have Jackson Storm storming his way here. His role in the third movie mostly served as just being a cocky rival towards Lightning and Cruz on the race track.
He spends his time taunting and trash talking them, be it on the track, or off it. He does use his brain to try and slam Cruz into a wall to get her out of the race, but he was already well ahead and would have won, so that just seems petty at best, and a dumb move at worst. Aside from that, he really isn’t that noteworthy in terms of being smart. Sure, you need to have all the knowledge of how to drive a car, and how to properly race.
However, not only is he a race car, he is one built in with much new fancy and technological features than the average race car, and is capable of using them as essentially a handicap to keep himself up to date. For these reasons, we have to rank him the least intelligent of these Cars villains. Up next is the original villain from Cars, Chick Hicks. Like Jackson, he is Lightning’s rival, smack talking him whenever he gets the chance to. When tying with him and the King, Chick attempted to quite literally knock him out, heavily damaging him.
This move was less than popular with the crowd, as he was booed off stage. So, what makes him smarter than Jackson Storm? Well, simple; he was able to make a comeback. Not on the race course, but rather as a talk show host. Somehow, despite literally everyone hating and not tolerating him, he is able to pull this off. Granted he has a whole crew working for him, but seeing how much his own crew loathes him, the fact he isn’t in the scrap heap yet means he must have some brains under the hood. Next up is Al, owner of Al’s Toy Barn.
Now, being able to run a store is already an impressive feat. There are many things you need to take into account; from hiring staff, recruiting people to keep the store up to date, paying all the bills, and so on. He is even seen doing advertising gigs for his store. Say what you want about Al, but not knowing how to run a store isn’t one of his cons.
One negative of his however is his willingness to steal from Andy’s mom, stealing Woody to complete his collection. However, considering just how much of a collectible item Woody is, Al seemed to at least be thinking of the bigger picture, and also seeing dollar signs, so while morally questionable, it makes perfect economic sense. He’s probably the same kind of jerk who would buy a lot of new gaming consoles just to sell them at three times the price. You guys know who you are... Now we’re really getting into the College Bound evildoers.
These are the villains who are just a stone throw away from the top. They are either professionals in a certain field, savvy business men, or quite literally, college students. Our first villain in the college bound category is, fittingly enough, college student Johnny Worthington III.
Going to Monster’s University to become a top scarer, Johnny is the captain of Oozma Kappa’s rival team, Roar Omega Roar, and as such, is the enemy to Mike and Sully. While he certainly does look like a typical jock villain, he is a bit more crafty. His prank on OK with covering them in glitter is very over the top, but going the extra mile to sell the pictures for charity was such a jerk move, but also a brilliant move.
I mean, you don’t want to put down a charity organization, right? He also seems to genuinely understand that Mike isn’t as scary as other monsters, although many others seem to realize that fact as well. Overall, definitely not a bad showing for a college student. On that note, we’re also going to rank Randall next.
Simply put, Randall is both ruthless and capable. Although he is short tempered and his hubris is his competitive nature, Randall is incredible sneaky and manipulative. He is willing to kidnap and torture children, which is terrifying enough to start, but we would definitely classify him as a somewhat witty villain as well.
On stage now is the late Ernesto de la Cruz. Once a friend to Hector, he ends up betraying him by poisoning his partner to steal his music. He manages to become a big name, performing for crowds and giving the performance of his life, at least till a bell crushed his head. He was smart in the land of the living, but in the land of the living, he starts to slip a bit. After Miguel comes to him to try and get his blessing, the truth about what happened to Hector starts to come unraveled. What was the starting point in this reveal? He ended up portraying the way Hector died by having a poisoned drink in his own movie.
While this is not only an absolute heartless movie, it was also quite the brainless move, as it allows Miguel and Hector to piece two and two together basically. He also didn’t rip up Hector’s photo when he had the chance to, giving Miguel the chance to save him when he returns to the land of the living. He is certainly egotistical and prideful, thinking he has everything under control, even as he ends up blabbing about his plan long enough for the cameras to roll on him and reveal his deeds to the whole crowd. Overall, he became a bit of a brainless bonehead in the afterlife, but hey; makes sense. He is a skeleton after all. Chef Skinner is next on the menu, and he isn’t bringing steamed hams.
As the head chef of Gusteau's, he is not only in charge of making sure that the food is good, but also is running the business on the side. Working with others to create a line of frozen food based off the restaurant, he plans on basically selling out Gusteau’s name to make money. Morally questionable? Yes. Genius business sense? Also yes.
The restaurant has been slowly losing money even since Gusteau’s death, so funds have to come in some way. However, what keeps him lower is his hatred for Linguine. With each attempt he gets at trying to expose him for the fool he is, Skinner only embarrasses himself as Linguine is either helped out by Remy, or accidentally reveals that he is Gusteau's son. His brain is just as impressive as the restaurant when he was running it. 3 stars out of 5.
Next up out there, its explorer Charles F. Muntz. Once a famous explorer managed to find the bones of an extinct bird, he was called a fraud and a faker for these bones. Determined to prove himself, he travels to South America just to track down this lost bird and prove his worth as an explorer. He certainly has a history to uphold, managing to be a famous explorer and show off his skills.
He managed to explore many dangerous places, fought off various deadly animals, and even played gin rummy with Theodore Rosevelt. He even managed to create an army of talking dogs by giving them collars that he created, allowing them to speak. However, spending so much time out and alone in the wilderness is not what one would, good for your mental health. Muntz starts to get more and more deranged and desperate to kill the bird of his dreams, and to get his honor back.
This decreased sanity has caused him to view everyone as a challenger who wants to take the bird from him. He was smart once, but age was not kind to his brain. There is one bird we would give him, but the Youtube censors won’t allow it.
Alright, we said one villain per movie, but we also wanted to include Stinky Pete. Stinky Pete is worth noting as a pretty intelligent character because he is incredibly manipulative and conniving. Typically when a villain doesn’t reveal himself to be a villain for most of the movie, you can assume that they are bright enough to strategize. Stinky Pete saw the museum as his goal, and anything he did to get there would be an example of “The Ends Justifying the Means”.
And although he is far from the most physically intimidating figure, he wasn’t lacking in the brains department. Our final Toy Story villain, we have Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear making a scene here. Originally just another toy belonging to Daisy, a kid that lost him, he tracked his way all the way back to his house only to find that he was replaced by another Lotso toy. Convincing the other two toys he was with to leave with him and not to stay with Daisy, he ended up finding himself in front of Sunnyside Daycare. He managed to rise to power alongside the other toys there, and got himself a loyal group of followers, willing to obey his every word.
Of course, this doesn’t save him from being betrayed by his own workers when they get tired of his bossy nature, like Ken and Baby jumping ship. He was also smart enough to pull one of the most vile things here; ditching Woody and his friends to an incinerator just to save himself. We give him major points for promptly taking power over everyone at Sunnyside. Essentially becoming a dictator. Overall, he is definitely a bad and cunning teddy, even if he smells like strawberries.
In the same way Lotso is smart, so is our final member of this tier, Hopper. Being the leader of a gang of vicious grasshoppers, he is capable of essentially ruling the ant colony with an iron fist. He is able to scare the ants into finding up food to give to his tribe.
Hopper is well aware of just what the ants are capable of, and is capable of keeping them in line, able to also run his own grasshopper team to keep the ants in line. When asked why he is spending so much time keeping the ants in line, he gives a pretty solid answer. They outnumber the grasshoppers a hundred to one, and if one ant starts to rise up, others may take up their arms to fight them off. He even manages to kill the grasshoppers who hid behind his brother Molt just to send him the message that questioned his logic. Overall, Hopper is one very cunning bug. Ending this section, we have Henry J. Waternoose III.
Sure, Al’s Toy Barn is an impressive store, but that’s just a single store, in comparison to Monster’s Inc. The latest in his family to run the business, Waternoose is in charge of Monster’s Inc. This build is practically a power plant, using the screams of kids to power their own world. Waternoose is in charge of so many different monsters and doors, and of course, monitoring the power shortage plaguing the city.He’s the mentor of Sully, teaching him how to be
the best scarer in the company. It’s been hinted at that he is basically at the end of his rope; as he is going along with Randall’s plans mostly just out of desperation for power for his city. Sure, laughter ended up proving to be a much more powerful form of energy for the city, but Waternoose clearly isn’t thinking straight here, or at least straight enough to think about using other forms of energy. Truthfully, he’s a businessman who is just at the end of his rope, leading him to create his plan of kidnapping kids just to save the company and Monstropolis. He is smart, sure, but he is also extremely desperate, leading him to this spot on the list.
Finally, we have The Geniuses. These villains are capable of running large-scale operations. They’re dangerous because they know how to outsmart anyone. Truly Machivellian when it comes to Power. From one business villain to another, we have Terry. Terry is just as smart as you think they should be for someone who practically lives to count all the dead souls, and is able to see when a soul escaped.
Finding that Joe managed to somehow escape his fate, Terry goes through severe lengths just to track them down. Managing to go through the files of literally every single person that has ever lived, they managed to find Joe’s file in the gigantic sea of humans. Terry is just as dedicated as they are intelligent, managing to retrace Joe’s steps and bring him back to The Great Beyond.
Marlin needed a couple days and help from so many other fishes to find Nemo. Terry? Nope; it’s all done in just a couple hours. However, with these incredible skills, Terry is still capable of being tricked by the other Jerrys, allowing them to sneak Joe back to Earth. Terry is also incredibly prideful, letting the Jerrys praising him convince them to give them some extra time with Joe and 22, giving Joe enough time to go back to Earth. Even here, Terry still doesn’t get the reward they deserve.
Oh well; maybe next list. Just sitting outside the top 3 range, we have the villain of the Incredibles sequel, Evelyn Deavor. With her father dying as he was trying to call superheroes instead of hiding, she vowed to ensure that superheroes never come back into the limelight. With her hypno goggles she made herself, she is capable of tricking the public into believing that there is a villain called the screenslaver who is just some pizza delivery guy. However, she would be this very villain, using the delivery boy as a distraction to help discredit the superheroes by having them hypnotized into committing the crime of holding all the world government leaders hostage on a cruise ship. She wants people to stop relying on superheroes and rely on themselves, which is a fair enough and smart goal.
There is just one big problem here. Superheroes are already illegal. Evelyn is basically making superheroes again just to make them illegal again. It’s counterproductive, to put it nicely. She already won, after all. This definitely knocked her down out of the bronze range.
With our bronze brain here, we have to, with much reluctance, give it to Cars 2’s villain, Miles Axlerod. Now, the movie has a very noticeable stain on Pixar’s legacy, but we have to be fair, and the lemon kingpin definitely is a smart cookie. His plan to have all the cars rely on his brand of gasoline is a multi stage plot filled with him spreading public fear about Alinol oil so his own oil will be seen as the better choice.
What’s even more baffling is that he is also the inventor of said fuel; meaning he is sabotaging himself just to increase the fuel. Unlike with Evelyn, it can be argued that he is just trying to jack his oil prices up so high he wouldn’t need alternative fuel anymore. He also seemed to be more capable of hiding his true intentions towards others, letting him play both sides of the field without raising suspicious eyes towards him. As insane and convoluted his plan is, it does seem to hold some water, or I guess fuel in this case. Makes as much sense as the movie does at least.
For our runner up to the smartest foe, we have Syndrome. Once the ultimate fanboy to Mr Incredible, he would become his ultimate foe. Becoming a self made engineer like Evelyn, he would go above and beyond her powers, creating super powerful robots capable of killing super heroes. Getting himself a fancy island, he was able to tinker with his plan and robots till he came to a nearly foolproof plan. By killing enough superheroes, he would create a need for a superhero in case a threat came along, like a powerful robot that he created for example.
However, with a remote, he was capable of showing off and commanding the robot to let him win, and with him selling his gadgets to the public after he grows old and has his fill, everyone will be able to become superheroes as he pockets the rewards. There is one problem keeping him out of the top spot; he ends up becoming too much of a villain, and by that, we mean he does all the standard villain things other villains do that let heroes beat him. He monologues about his plan, simply trap the Parr family instead of killing them, when he has been shown to be very much willing to kill other superheroes easily with his robots, and of course, his showboating leads to the robot destroying his remote that was being used to control it. So close, yet not super enough. At the very top of this peak, we have the smartest Pixar villain, AUTO. Now, to be fair, he kind of has an unfair advantage, being an actual intelligent AI, but he still does have the brains to back himself up.
He’s tasked with helping the pilot steer the Axiom as well as keep humanity safe. With his last orders from his creators being that AUTO should never return to Earth, as to them, it’s basically uninhabitable at this point. While yes, Earth has been shown to be capable of being repaired, with the Axiom, humanity will be able to survive without worrying about the Earth being polluted. And honestly, a plant found by a cleaning robot hidden inside a shoe isn’t the most convincing piece of evidence in the universe. For as controlling and dominant AUTO can be, he certainly isn’t wrong in his assumption that Earth is beyond saving. It’s just that it is more a matter of that the people on the ship want to live, not just survive.
He’s also been shown to be able to practically run the spaceship by himself for over 700 years, keeping the last of humanity very much alive, and probably would have been able to continue had it not been for Wall-E. As the most competent villain here, alongside the most successful, we give AUTO the gold medal for smart villainy. Or we will, once someone turns him back on. With that, our class is concluded! Who do you think the smartest Pixar villains are? Let us know in the comments below! Remember to hit that notification bell and binge our other Pixar videos. But most importantly, stay wicked!