Disney’s Cruella is a fun movie. But you can’t take is as a true prequal to 101 Dalmatians. Its more like 101 Dalmatians meets the Devil Wears Prada. You need to forget everything you knew about Cruella di Vil and take this movie as a stand alone that could have many sequels. After all, Cruella does have “a lot of other ideas.”
Its Emma vs Emma as Emma Stone plays Cruella to a “T” and Emma Thompson is cast as her nemesis, the Baroness. Set mostly in 1970 London the movie plays well with two adorable dogs and of course those other canines the dalmatians. The critters steal the show helping Cruella outwit the evil Baroness, particularly when one eyed Chihuahua “Wink” masquerades as a rat to wreak havoc on one of the Baroness’ events.
Brits Paul Michael Hauser and Joel Frey join Cruella as two grifters as kids who mature into full fledged thieves, and they are good at it. British character actor and comedian John McCrea is wonderful as a cross dressing, flamingly gay designer/shop keeper who befriends Cruella and saves the day.
From my point of view, Emma Stone does a great job humanizing Cruella. She adds just enough evil to remind us just who she has become, but still shows humanity that would never come from Disney’s original villain.
This film earns its PG rating with a murder early on, but stays true to its Disney roots with heart warming animals, some hilarious secondary characters, and world class effects. You will love the music.
Take the kids, take grandma, sneak in the dog, but go see Cruella. It’s a wonderful way to get back to the movies. Oh, and stay through the credits. You’ll be glad you did.