♪With only a touch, I have the power Zim zabberim zim, to wither a flower I find delight in the gruesome and grim 'Cause I'm the magnificent, marvelous, Mad Madam Mim♪
~ Madam Mim
Did I say no purple dragons? DID I?!?!
~ Mim after transforming into a dragon, justifying it since it is against the rules of a Wizard duel.
Madam Mim (sometimes also named Mad Madam Mim) is the main antagonist of Disney's 18th full-length animated feature film The Sword in the Stone, which was based on the novel of the same name by the late T. H. White. She is Merlin's rival.
She was voiced by the late Martha Wentworth, which was also her last credited role before her retirement and death on March 8, 1974.
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.
Madam Mim is a witch who is less powerful than Merlin himself; however, overconfidence is her biggest flaw. She is an old rival of Merlin, and holds him in disregard. Mim is presented as an impolite, mischievous and rather conceited sorceress who is much impressed with her own power who delights in causing trouble. She is also a somewhat objectionable and morbid character with distaste for sunshine and everything wholesome.
She is also shown to be an extremely sanctimonious and treacherous hypocrite, 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 that she doesn't care about rules at all, and had probably just made them up to limit Merlin (whose honorable side would not allow him to break rules).
Despite her being cunning, she can be cowardly as shown during the duel, when Merlin turns into an mice, she shrieks in fear although this could also be due to the fact she turned into an elephant and she believes in the myth that elephants should be afraid of mice. Nevertheless, Mim continued the duel anyway by turning into other animals and finally a fire-breathing dragon, showing an amount of bravery.
Powers and Abilities
Magic/Witchcraft: While Madam Mim claims to surpass Merlin in power, she is actually no more than a pretentious, garden-variety hex. She is initially shown withering flowers and performing other minor tricks such as conjuring a broom.
Spell Casting: Madam Mim has the ability to change and control events through the use of incantations and recitations.
Potion Brewing: Madam Mim has the ability to brew and concoct paranormal potions that have supernatural effects as a Witch.
Plant Manipulation: Madam Mim has the ability to control and manipulate plant-life. An example of this ability is when she withered flowers in her cottage.
Conjuration: Madam Mim has the ability to create inanimate matter such as her broomstick.
Transfiguration: The main ability she displays, however, is her shape-shifting skill. She is capable of transfiguring her face into that of a warty pig, as well as her full body into a slender and attractive woman. Her "Wizards' Duel" with Merlin further highlights her penchant for shape-shifting. On this occasion, she turns into a cat, a crocodile, a fox, a chicken, an elephant, a tiger, a snake and a rhino (all of which had purple hair, were colored pink and occasionally had purple stripes). She ends her little performance with the transformation into a menacing, grotesque purple dragon. Even in a state of immense sickness, she was able to transfigure herself back into a human.
Size Manipulation: She can also change her size, from as tall as a giant to the size of a mouse. She can also fly on a broomstick as she was shown to be able to fly on a broomstick when she shrunk herself.
Flight: Madam Mim has the ability to fly on a broomstick while standing up, showing she has good coordination.
Invisibility: Madam Mim has the ability to disappear and/or turn invisible, in order to sneak up on an enemy from behind.
Peak Human Durability: Madam Mim has the ability to withstand a large rock crushing her. She also survived constricting a lethal disease from Merlin's transfiguration into a germ.
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 kill him after he tells her Merlin sees some good in Arthur, being that she sees all good things as bad. She 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, Archimedes, and Arthur leave, Mim rants about how much she hates sunshine.
The Disney version of the character was adopted 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, she 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.
Madam Mim appeared as the main antagonist in the 2016 novel Return To The Isle Of The Lost by Melissa de la Cruz. She had discovered and went through a tunnel leading from The Isle to Auaradon. During her visit to Auradon Mim terrorised Camelot in her dragon form. She is discovered inside the tunnel itself and battles Mal, Evie, Jay, Carlos, Ben and Merlin. After being defeated Merlin sends her back to the Isle. She also has a granddaughter named Maddy.
She is ranked #25 in the Top 30 Disney Villains.
Mim mirrors a common theme from European folklore whilst attempting to impress Arthur: after bewitching her features to look porcine, she morphs into a siren with long purple hair.
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.
It is learned that Madam Mim hates sunshine, believing it to be too wholesome.
She is sometimes considered to be the film's supporting antagonist, due to the fact that Sir Kay had bigger roles than her.
Although Madam Mim is the main antagonist, she has only around 8 minutes of screen-time.