The Most Terrifying Cartoon Villains of the 80's and 90's

1980's, 1990's, He-man, heman, Retro, Skeletor -

The Most Terrifying Cartoon Villains of the 80's and 90's

Written by: Max Powers

The 80's and 90's were the peak of cartoon magic and the heyday of the cartoon villain. Here are the ones that gave us nightmares for years. 

80s and 90s Saturday morning cartoons still hold a special place in our hearts. What kid didn't love chowing down sugar-filled cereals called things like "Cocoa Explosion" while watching cartoon heroes fly through space and do magic?

Besides these happy memories of sugar highs and heroes, everyone remembers the cartoon villains. While the endearing and funny ones have a place in our hearts (looking at you, Team Rocket), the terrifying cartoon villains from our youth can haunt us to this day.

Skeletor from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Skeletor Cool Exit

Skeletor is basically a jacked skeleton. With a skull for a head and a bodybuilder's physique, Skeletor already looks intimidating.

If that wasn't enough, he's also likely one of the first times us kids were exposed to the concept of the Grim Reaper. Forcing kids to confront the terrifying reality of death is scary enough without making him look like a possessed Arnold Swazeneggar.

Between his looks, his dark magic staff, his harmful magic spells, and his unnervingly high, evil cackle, it's no wonder he scared us.

The Horned King from The Black Cauldron

The Horned King from The Black Cauldron

It might be surprising to a see a Disney villain on this list, as they're usually tame compared to other cartoons and animated movies.

The Horned King is the exception to that Disney rule. Like Skeletor, he appears as a Grim Reaper looking monster. He has red, glowing eyes, a deep Satanic voice, and the horns of Satan himself.

His long, sharp fingernails and his vampire teeth don't help him much, either. His command over the dead, an evil disposition, and a truly terrifying appearance seals his fate as one of the scariest villains of the era.

General Woundwort from Watership Down

General Woundwort from Watership Down

Watership Down, a book by Richard Adams, was made into an animated film in 1978. People thought that because this is an animated film it should be thought of as a "kid movie." That couldn't be more wrong.

We're including the movie's villain on this list of 80s and 90s villains, however, because that's when most people actually watched the film and all of its bloody, rabbit-fighting horror.

General Woundwort is a terrifying, huge rabbit that likes to attack, rip up, and kill any other rabbit who stands in his way. His mouth was full of foam, blood, and huge rabbit fangs that scarred children for life.

Anything from Courage the Cowardly Dog

Courage the Cowardly Dog

Premiering in the late 90s, Courage the Cowardly Dog has a reputation for scaring kids out of their minds.

We can't even name one particular villain from this show. Every episode revolves around a terrifying monster, alien, ghost, haunted house, possessed child, demon, or even a pack of evil, undead horsemen.

Wrapping Up: The Most Terrifying Cartoon Villains of the 80's and 90's

While most of this stuff might not be particularly scary now that we're adults, it was terrifying as kids. These guys had us shaking in front of the TV, wide-eyed and shoveling cereal into our mouths.

Think we missed an even scarier villain? Leave us a comment down below or contact us to let us know what villain still scares you late at night.

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