Ah, Disney. Great examples of good triumphing over evil... or maybe not?
Peter Pan is just a maturity-stunted immortal in the body of a child who kidnaps children and seduces a whole lineage of young girls. Not a great protagonist. Now remember that Lil Petey pulled a Darth-Vader-level of evil by dismembering Hook's hand and is the reason that Hook will forever be chased by an alligator. Hook is completely justified to be revengeful towards the manchild. Sure Hook is surly, but he's also a sea captain who has to earn the respect of his crew. He gets along with Smee, which shows he's capable of friendship. Hook could have easily been the protagonist.
Ursula mentions that she used to live in Triton's palace and was banished. We don't know the details of what happened, but Triton is a human-hating bigot with a bad temper (destroying his daughter's beloved treasures because she has a crush?) so he can't completely be trusted as a fair leader.
Ursula has Ariel sign a contract. If she was pure evil, she would have just put a curse on her, but NOPE, she wants to play fair. She is open with the conditions of the contract and gives Ariel the option to not sign.
The only really damning move is when Ursula oversteps her boundaries by hypnotizing Eric to fall in love with her. But she's not EVILbad, just conniving business bad.
And then yeah, and okay she does turn into an angry seamonster who destroys shit but that's because her two BFF eels were just killed! Any good friend with magical powers would seek revenge in the same way!
Overall: Not ethical in business but otherwise OKAY!
Gaston is a grade-A misogynistic, narcissistic dickbag. But what man in France in mid-1700s wasn't terrible to women? He was the best of the schmucks, and the other townspeople realized it.
Let's look at his errors:
- He had Belle's father locked up, BUT so did the Beast.
- He wants to own Belle, BUT so did the Beast and not even in the socially traditional wife way.
- Starts a mob against the kidnapper who kidnapped Belle, BUT the Beast was the one who kidnapped her so who's the bad guy here?!
- He tried to kill the Beast, BUT the Beast also tried to kill him until Belle convinced him otherwise (and Beast is STILL responsible for his death anyway).
Unlike the Beast, Gaston has never been violent towards Belle and broke shit because she pissed him off.
Yeah, he sucked, but he sucked a little less than the Beast. He's only the antagonist because our leading lady wasn't into him. Surely he didn't deserve death.
Overall: A man of his bad times and not as bad as the Beast
Poor sweet Edgar. The most innocent of all Disney villains.
This loyal butler politely put up with his mistress's mistreatment. He lives in a tiny, dingy room of her giant mansion while her cats are pampered. He has treated them well for years, despite not even liking cats. Sick with wealth and power, Madame Bonfamille tells her lawyer-lover (seems unethical) to leave her fortune to her cats and upon their death, Edgar. That is actually insane: she could have just left it to her butler with a clause to make sure he cares for them. When Edgar overhears (which she should have known he could, since he has a speakingtube to her room) he is understandably upset this woman values her cats' lives (including kittens who she couldn't have known for more than a few months!) over his, despite being her only real human friend.
Edgar is certainly not the brightest, but his lack of intelligence doesn't make him bad. Edgar doesn't even try to kill the cats ... he just relocates the spoiled cats so they don't stand in the way of his comfortable retirement. His only flaw was not waiting until Madame Bonfamille died to get rid of the cats.
Overall: The most redeemable character in this movie