Cruella is now in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access (with additional cost). This is another live-action origin story of a classic Disney animated story. In this case the story is that of the villain Cruella from 101 Dalmatians. The story now takes place in the 70s and instead of being about 101 adorable puppies, it is about a girl looking for her identity.
Cruella is a surprisingly well-done re-imagining of a classic Disney villain. The story makes sense and actually adds to the original character as opposed to watering Cruella down. Instead, the story adds to her motivations and while very different from 101 Dalmatians, it still fits. The story doesn’t just focus on Cruella though, it also adds to the backstory of both Horace and Jasper as well. One could imagine the story moving forward to the original movie…albeit in a different timeline. The way the story was told made sense, had moments of humor, and also just some all-around fun moments that are completely enjoyable to watch. Yes, there were some moments that could have been sped up. However, all in all, this was an enjoyable story to watch and follow! There were also some really fun connections to the original 101 Dalmatians film.
For the most part, Cruella was a very enjoyable movie to watch. Overall the visuals and the audio fits wonderfully and adds to the story. There are a few moments in the film where the digital effects were mildly distracting. However, this was overcome by the excellent settings, costumes, acting, and some pretty cool cars! The soundtrack should also be commended. Both songs and score added to the movie and helped move the story forward. They were both time and story-appropriate. All in all, this was a fairly enjoyable movie to watch and listen to.
The characters in Cruella really were the highlight. Both Emma Stone as Cruella and Emma Thompson as the Baroness were completely enjoyable to watch. Both characters made sense and were delightfully wicked. They were completely believable and two of the highlights of the film. However, they were also surrounded by a wonderful collection of actors that made up the supporting cast. Horace and Jasper were wonderfully dimwitted but also had some added dimension and heart. Seeing earlier versions of Roger and Anita were wonderful little additions to the movie. The staff of the Baroness were also enjoyable to watch throughout the film as well. This was a movie where all of the characters really added to the movie in a variety of ways and made it really enjoyable to watch.
As mentioned before, the music heard in Cruella really was quite enjoyable. Most of the songs heard in the movie were songs or covers that would have been heard during the 1970s when the movie took place. The score, while not as prevalent, helped with the development of Cruella as a character. At times, the movie almost felt like a musical with how many songs were used. Once or twice, it borderlines on feeling like there was too much. However, overall the soundtrack really did add to the movie in a very enjoyable way.
The way the story of Cruella was approached was wonderfully creative. While this is definitely an origin story of a classic Disney villain that many people know very well. This added new dimensions to the story without taking away from what was done before. The movie had moments of heart and humor, but didn’t take away from the wonderful villain that Cruella is in the original film. It is delightfully despicable. Emma Stone and Emma Thompson are a fantastic duo that lead a wonderfully enjoyable cast of characters in this new story. This is a movie that exceeded expectations and definitely has re-watchability. It definitely gets a hat tip and an endorsement to go out and see it!