Beware – this post will spoil Big Hero 6.
You know what makes a villain interesting to me?
Someone you can relate to and even share a level of empathy towards them.
These are people who are, indeed, villainous and yet you can’t help but see their side of things.
Let’s reference Big Hero 6 now — we have the villain of Robert Callaghan, who is the masked Yokai.
He is ruthless — causing the death of our protagonist’s brother (and his own prodigy, no less) — and he will stop at nothing to achieve his own goals.
However, we also have one that has suffered a monumental loss in the form of his daughter’s death. He is a man who has lost everything. This causes him to lash out at those he deems responsible.
And that’s where the empathy comes from – you can see where his motivations come from. He is not evil for the sake of being evil.
You’ll have to give Disney their due with this – almost all of their villains have a strong motivation behind their actions.
For me, personally, there’s just something so powerful about being able to side with who you are supposed to be rooting against.