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The unicorn meets several villainous characters on her journey, and none of them are typical fairy tale Big Bads. A major theme of the film is disillusionment, and one of the saddest things about the world the unicorn inhabits is that most people see her as nothing more than a white horse. Magic has disappeared so completely that when she is captured by Mommy Fortuna, the witch puts a fake horn on her, assuming people won’t believe she’s a true unicorn. Mommy Fortuna has a circus made up of her illusions, with the unicorn and the harpy Celaeno being the only two truly magical creatures she has captured. The woman knows that harpy will be the death of her, but she’s accepted it and basically welcomes it in one of the movie’s most chilling moments.
King Haggard is a surprisingly complex villain as well. Sure, he’s just as monstrous as any wicked witch or bitter queen, but it’s not power he seeks, at least not in any traditional sense: it’s happiness. He’s sought it in magicians or court jesters, and even fatherhood, but still, joy continues to elude him. It’s only watching the unicorns, driven into the sea by the Red Bull, that brings him a modicum of pleasure. His kingdom has fallen into disrepair and he appears to have no subjects to speak of, caring only about gathering the world’s unicorns. Even the Red Bull, a terrifying creature surrounded by flame who serves only to drive the unicorns for Haggard, is trapped as well, seemingly only emerging from his passageway to find them.