Merlin? HOO-HOO! Merlin, the world's most powerful bungler! Why boy, I've got more magic in one little finger! Now don't tell me you've never heard of the marvelous Madame Mim! (Archimedes: Madam Mim? Good heavens, good heavens!) (Archimedes flies away)
~ Madam Mim
(Merlin: You should get some rest, and lots and lots of sunshine.) (Merlin pokes holes in the roof) I hate sunshine. I hate horrible, wholesome sunshine! I hate it, I hate it! I HATE IT!
~ Madam Mim ranting about how much she hates sunshine before Merlin, Arthur and Archimedes leave her cottage
Madam Mim (sometimes also named Mad Madam Mim) is the main antagonist in Disney's 18th full-length animated feature film, The Sword in the Stone, which was based on the novel of the same name by T. H. White.
She was voiced by the late Martha Wentworth, which was also her last role before her retirement and death.
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's total screen time does not exceed twenty minutes in the film.
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 of Merlin, and holds him in disregard. Mim is presented as impolite, mischievous, and rather conceited, a sorceress 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 extremely sanctimonious, hypocritical, and treacherous, 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 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)
Powers and Abilities
Madam Mim claims to be more powerful than Merlin, but she is merely a specialist in dark magic. She is shown doing a few minor tricks, like withering flowers. The main ability she displayed however was her shapeshifting skill with which she can take the form of anything she wants. During her wizard duel with Merlin, she occasionally turned into a crocodile, a fox, a hen, an elephant, a tiger, a snake, and a rhinoceros (all of which were colored pink, and an ugly purple 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 result in Mim deciding to try and kill him, 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 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, 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.
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.
Despite her affliction, Madam Mim didn't die from her illness, unlike her counterpart in the original book.
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.
Much like Shere Khan inThe Jungle Book, Madam Mim only appeared during the second half of the film.
She is sometimes considered to be the film's tertiary antagonist, due to the fact Sir Kay had bigger roles.