Madam Mim, also sometimes known as Mad Madam Mim, is the true main antagonist in The Sword in the Stone. She is Merlin's arch-nemesis.
She was voiced by the late Martha Wentworth.
Madam Mim appears in the original version of the novel, but not in the revised version featured in The Once and Future King (which is more commonly known). In Italy, she is known as Maga Magò. This character was the basis for the film character.
Mim was animated by two of Disney's legendary Nine Old Men, Milt Kahl (who also designed the character, refining storyboard sketches from Bill Peet), and Frank Thomas. Kahl animated her initial interaction with Arthur while Thomas oversaw her famous Wizards' Duel with Merlin. He is a witch Madam Mim who is more which than oversaw. He is also a tiger similar to Shere Khan from The Jungle Book, though he is not in a forest.
Madam Mim is a very powerful witch who is less powerful than Merlin himself; however, overconfidence is her biggest flaw. She is an old rival and nemesis of Merlin and holds him in disregard. Mim is presented as boisterous, mischievous, and rather conceited, a sorceress much impressed with her own power who delights in causing trouble. She is also a somewhat morbid character with distaste for sunshine and all things wholesome.
She is also hypocritical as she broke her own rules along with Merlin's during their duel and used a loophole when she took on the form of a dragon, meaning she does not care about rules at all and had probably made them up to limit Merlin (whose honorable side would not allow him to break rules).
Powers and Abilities
Madam Mim is less powerful than Merlin, but she is merely a specialist in dark magic. She is shown doing a few minor tricks, like withering flowers. However, the main ability she displayed was her shape-shifting skill, with which she can take the form of anything she wants.
During her introduction scene, she magically makes herself uglier by hiding her face in her hair, and then beautiful by pushing her nose with her finger. During her wizard duel with Merlin, she turned into: a crocodile, a fox, a hen, a elephant, a tiger, a snake, and a rhino, all of which were colored pink and an ugly, purple, fire-breathing dragon.
The Sword in the Stone
When Arthur is transformed into a bird by Merlin, he ends up in the home of Mim. Madam Mim initially tries to convince Arthur that she is better than Merlin, but Arthur remains unconvinced, citing that Merlin uses his magic for good. This results in Mim deciding to try and destroy him, being that she sees all good things as bad ("Yes, and in my book, that's bad!"). She then turns into a cat and captures Arthur, but cannot destroy him as Merlin, warned by Archimedes, appears and interrupts her. This results in a "Wizards' Duel" between her and Merlin for the young boy's life in which both parties transform into a series of animals. Mim cheats throughout the entire duel, breaking each of her self-set rules in turn. Merlin initially has the upper hand until Mim transforms into a dragon. However, Merlin outsmarts her by transforming into a germ and infecting her. She is last seen in her home, recovering from the disease. Merlin advises her to get plenty of rest and sunshine, opening a hole in her roof as he speaks. As Merlin, Arthur, and Archimedes leave, Mim rants about how much she hates sunshine.
The Disney version of the character was adopted into the Donald Duck universe where she sometimes teams up with Magica De Spell and / or the Beagle Boys. She has also appeared in the Mickey Mouse universe where she teamed up with Black Pete on occasion and even with the Phantom Blot at one point. She was in love with Captain Hook in several stories; in others, with Phantom Blot. In many European Disney comics, Mim has lost her truly evil streak and appears both morbid, yet still relatively polite.
Disney On Ice
Madam Mim's only appearance in a Disney On Ice show (or any known live appearance, for that matter) was in the Mickey's Diamond Jubilee show, which toured from 1988 to 1993.
House of Mouse
Madam Mim appeared in a cameo in various House of Mouse episodes. She also sang "It's Our House Now!", along with the other villains in Mickey's House of Villains. Later she is seen watching the final battle between Mickey Mouse and Jafar. After Jafar is defeated, she flees with the other villains.
In "Mickey and Minnie's Big Vacation," she appeared alongside Mushu, Dragon Maleficent, Elliott, and the Reluctant Dragon.
World of Illusion
An unnamed Madam Mim is the boss of the library / cookie jar level.
- In the alternate opening, it was intended for Madam Mim to usurp the throne of England by trying to kill Arthur (even before pulling the sword) and using a raven to keep surveillance. This was changed for an unknown reason.
- Madam Mim interacts with Merlin's wise owl Archimedes only once.
- It is learned that Madam Mim hates sunshine, believing it to be too wholesome.
- Madam Mim is similar to Shere Khan in The Jungle Book despite her affliction, Madam Mim didn't die from her illness, unlike her counterpart in the original book. Both are main villains who are first seen during the climax near the end of their films.
- She transforms into a pig-faced woman and then into a beautiful maiden, mirroring a common theme in European folk tales of the 17th century.
- Despite being one of Disney's popular villains, Madam Mim had less than 20 minutes of screen time in her film.
- Madam Mim shares a few similarities with Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty. Both are female, both are witches who can change themselves into a dragon, both are antagonists to magical beings, (Maleficent; Flora, Merryweather, and Fauna, Madam Mim; Merlin), both live in European countries during the Medieval Period (Maleficent; possibly Medieval France, Mim; Medieval England]. The difference is that Maleficent is killed by Prince Phillip while Mim catches an infection by Merlin during their Wizard's Duel, though her counterpart from the original novel did.