Cruella Was Made for Fans

Cruella movie review
Emma Stone as Cruella in Disney’s live-action CRUELLA. Photo by Laurie Sparham. © 2021 Disney Enterprises Inc. All Rights Reserved

After a long list of bad re-releases and questionable live-action films. Is it possible that Disney finally got it right with Cruella? While the trailers give you just a taste of what you’ll be in for when you see this film in theaters (or on Disney+ with premiere access), it doesn’t give you a real look at just how deep this story goes and how fun of a ride you’re about to go on.

Cruella De Vil is the bad guy that fans love. She was probably more scary to most kids when they watched 101 Dalmatians than Maleficent and even Ursula. But this Disney villain is more than what the cartoon story lead us to believe. And in much like Maleficent did for the character, Cruella actually gives us a genuine back story to the bad guy that makes you sympathize with her and make you wonder what else was left out of the story.

Tipper Seifert-Cleveland as young Estella in Disney’s live action CRUELLA. Photo by Laurie Sparham. © 2021 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

From her childhood to her rough life on the streets after a tragic event, Cruella shows you just where this villain got her skills. But it also brings in the back story and the connection with Jasper and Horace as well. Characters that fans no doubt will remember as her team of thieves that were on the mission to kidnap the dogs. But seemed to the bumbling fools that just messed things up. Instead, we find out their back stories as well and how they met as kids and formed their own family.

While the story focuses mostly on Cruella and what appears to be her psychotic break, which will ultimately bring her to the version we all grew up with. The movie also focuses on the tragic back story, the dreams and aspirations she had as well as what drives her to do what she does. It is filled with references to the original 101 Dalmatians movies and the characters that will appear later in the story like Angela Darling and Roger. And it gives us a reason she seems to have a love/hate relationship with the dogs in the first place.

What the trailer eludes to is a origins story that is a little bit of Devil Wears Prada and a little bit Harley Quinn. And while that might be a quick and easy way to describe the movie it doesn’t really tell what to expect. The movie takes you through Cruella’s tragic back story but is actually filled with a lot of heart felt movements of levity as well. And while the Baroness truly does have Miranda Priestley vibes, her viscous nature is more than just being an overbearing boss. And her lack of attention to detail is shocking when she can’t recognized Estella/Cruella because she has a face mask just covering her eyes. It seemed to be a little Clark Kent/Superman silly and may be one of only gripes about the film.

Emma Stone as Cruella in Disney’s live-action CRUELLA. Photo by Laurie Sparham. © 2021 Disney Enterprises Inc. All Rights Reserved.

But even with the little issues throughout, Cruella offers fans a delightful good time that they may not expect going in. You will go from tears to laughter and every stage in between. And since the movie is set in the 60’s, it has a soundtrack that is made of some of the best songs of the era and flows perfectly with the show.

Attention to small nods to the original film, the music, the outfits and the delicious bits of payback make Cruella not only a fun movie to watch but the backstory this villain deserves. While we’re not usually fans of the remakes of the animated classics that do nothing more than rehash the same story over and over again, Cruella is ready to break that pattern. It comes packed with an original story and one that fans of the movies will love. It is a tad on the darker side, but being the back story of the villain we expect just that. We only hope this leads to more of our favorite bad guys getting their stories told and more original adaptations being done.

Cruella hits theaters on May 28th and will be available for premiere access on Disney+. We are looking forward to checking out Cruella again and can’t wait to see if one of our favorite baddies gets more of her story told.

Overall Rating:

Five Star Review

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About Cruella:

Academy Award® winner Emma Stone (“La La Land”) stars in Disney’s “Cruella,” an all-new live-action feature film about the rebellious early days of one of cinemas most notorious – and notoriously fashionable – villains, the legendary Cruella de Vil. “Cruella,” which is set in 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution, follows a young grifter named Estella, a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs. She befriends a pair of young thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief, and together they are able to build a life for themselves on the London streets. One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman, a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute, played by two-time Oscar® winner Emma Thompson (“Howards End,” “Sense & Sensibility”). But their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable and revenge-bent Cruella.

Cruella will release simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access for a onetime additional fee on Friday, May 28.


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