Dracula is a famous literary (as-well as partly historic) character who has made several appearances in a variety of Disney properties.
Dracula is the title character of Bram Stoker's novel, a vampire who feeds on the blood of living human beings. He is inferred to have been Vlad Țepeș, a vovoide of Wallachia and the character claims he is descended from Attila the Hun. The fictional Dracula lives in a castle in Transylvania where he harnesses dark magic and lives with his three vampiric brides.
In the novel, he travels to London and tries to take a woman named Mina Harker as his new bride. He is however chased out of London by the vampire hunting Prof. Abraham van Helsing and eventually killed by having his throat cut by Helsing's party.
In the 20th century, a variety of film adaptations of the Count would become major influences in portrayals of the character in pop-culture. Notably being the 1931 Dracula by Tod Browning where he was played by Bela Lugosi, and the 1958 film by Terence Fisher where he was played by Christopher Lee.
During World War II, Dracula and Captain America teamed up against Red Skull and HYDRA when the organization invaded Transylvania. Despite the alliance however, Dracula held a hatred against anyone that threatened his kingdom and desired the Super Soldier serum within Captain America's blood to destroy anyone who got in his way. He changes Black Widow into a half-vampire and sends her to lure Captain America's team, the Avengers in present day. The Avengers were able to change her back after Hulk's blood was tasted by Dracula, which proved fatal for the vampire king due to gamma energy's similarity to sunlight. Denied his chance of vengeance against humanity, Dracula joins Red Skull's Cabal for revenge against the Avengers. Though affiliated with the group, Dracula relished any chance to taste Captain America's blood in each subsequent confrontation with the Avengers, even when this cost his cohorts victory. Dracula and the rest of the Cabal would ultimately desert Red Skull when Iron Man revealed Red Skull's Tesseract device that sent the Cabal members to different worlds would have used the portal destroy the Cabal, and joins the Avengers in fighting the Cosmic-powered Red Skull. When Red Skull is knocked down, Dracula planned to convert Red Skull into his servant only to be stopped by Captain America. After Red Skull and the Tesseract disappear into a portal, Dracula and the other Cabal members escape.
Dracula faces Spider-Man along with his personal enemies Blade and the Howling Commandos for the item called Tekhamentep's Ankh so that he could become immune to vampire weaknesses. When Spider-Man's team proved stronger than he thought, Dracula hypnotized them into his servants and attack Spider-Man. When they arrive on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier to take Tekamentep's Ankh, Spider-Man tries to fight Dracula when he tries to grab the Ankh but fails and Dracula makes off with Tekamentep's Ankh. Using the Monster Truck, Spider-Man, Blade, and the Howling Commandos head to Transylvania to confront Dracula. While the Howling Commandos fight to keep Dracula from activating the Ankh, Spider-Man frees his team from the mind control. Spider-Man manages to snatch the Ankh out of Dracula's hands as the sun rises, forcing Dracula to retreat.
A depiction of Count Dracula was made by animator Marc Davis for the Haunted Mansion. Originally this was planned to have been a changing portrait which would have shown the Count transforming into a giant bat. This portrait would eventually be incorporated into Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion, as one of the staring portraits collectively referred to as the Sinister Eleven.
In a refurbishment of the attraction, this space was repurposed and the portrait of Dracula was moved to the ride's load area and had its special-effects removed. The original version of the portrait did however remain in the Tokyo Disneyland incarnation of the Haunted Mansion.
The Ghost Gallery
In the 1990s, cast-members of the Haunted Mansion in Walt Disney World created a backstory for the attraction as a means of answering guest questions. All of this backstory was recorded on paper and while unofficial, has since influenced both the original Haunted Mansion's official and semi-official features as-well as adaptations based on the Haunted Mansion.
In this story, the ride's vampire was turned from being Count Dracula to being a New Orleans mortal named Nicholas Crown. Crown was a man who had an extra-marital affair with Master Gracey's illegitimate daughter Little Leota and the two of them plotted to kill off her husband Jamie Padgett for his plantation. The two went about this by Nicholas posing as a vampire and biting Padgett to convince him that he too was a vampire. Following this, the lovers sealed Jamie in a coffin which he hid in to avoid the sun and starved him to death for his inheritance.
In the Tales from the Haunted Mansion book series, Dracula was once again re-imagined as a new character called Count Lupescu. Here was a man cursed with vampirism for over 500 years who was encouraged by his descendants to retire to the Haunted Mansion as a means of being out of harms way. He is made a composite character with the Hellhound found in the graveyard scene in the ride, being a shapeshifter.
In the Italian Disney comics adaptation of Dracula, Dracula is played by an undisguised Phantom Blot, with a costume design based on Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula film. To censor the story's violence and blood, Dracula's hypnotic corruptive influence gives his victims a supernatural addiction to beets that transform them into a vegetable form, allowing their lifeforce and bodies to be consumed by the vampire. Dracula's need to sleep within his native soil is also applied to this "undead plant creature" concept.
- In the original novel and many of its adaptations, the name DeVille was used as an alias by Dracula when in London. This is a name clearly similar if not shared with the villain Cruella De Vil.