Many great Disney villains win the hearts of audiences with catchy songs or a devilish joke, but in Chernabog’s case, all he can count on is sheer physical dominance. As the menacing villain from the 1940 musical anthology ‘Fantasia’, Chernabog appears in the dizzying ‘Night on Bald Mountain’ sequence and doesn’t say a word, although his actions are very memorable thanks to the great design and beautiful musical accompaniment by Modest Mussorgsky masterpiece.
His power is immense. With a mere wave of his hand, he can summon the spirits of the dead to do his bidding. His size is just as impressive, and in terms of sheer size, he’s undoubtedly the biggest villain. Not even Monstro the Whale can compete with Chernabog, which is literally as big as a mountain. Chernabog was animated by Bill Tytla, a titan from Disney’s early films, and Tytla makes Chernabog memorable by striking the perfect balance of looking like he’s carved into a mountain and therefore largely immobile, yet giving the illusion that he’s every moment could erupt to destroy him the world.
It’s surprising (and a bit disappointing) that such a menacing monstrosity can be defeated so easily by something as flimsy as a church bell, but maybe that speaks more to my desire to see Chernabog wreak havoc! Despite making an appearance so small in the longest-running Disney animated film that it might as well be a cameo, incredible design coupled with incredible power has allowed Chernabog to remain one of Disney’s greatest villains.