Following a dream. It doesn't always fall into place with a happy ending. Oftentimes it’s a lot of struggle to get to one's goal. Lots of blood sweat and tears. You might even have to be a little evil.
That leads us to Cruella. A prequel based on the infamous Disney villain. Taking place in the 1970s, it tells the story of a young fashion designer who follows a path to become the notorious Cruella DeVil.
Warning: There are some tiny spoilers ahead.
So darlings, what did I like about this film?
It acts as a hybrid/ prequel to the 1996 film and the original cartoon and book. Putting the characters in the 60s like the original film but using the fashion backdrop of the 90s live action. A very nice touch, combining both worlds that are very beloved.
The dark yet fun tone. From the first few minutes you can already tell this is going to be a little different from your usual “Disney live action”. And it works. The film has a very dark nature. I got a Tim Burton vibe from it. Every scene is entertaining. It really doesn’t give you a minute to catch your breath. Very stylized and in your face. That’s how these live action adaptations should be.
Not following the usual tropes. We all know that this is a huge cash grab for Disney. But they are doing something different here and it shows. It’s not just Cruella’s origin story. I’d say they give almost equal time to Jasper, Horace and Anita. As well as the new characters. I also appreciate the movie not giving her a love interest or making her act crazy for no good reason. Very well done.
Emma Stone as Cruella. She is fantastic. This is the kind of role that is heaven for an actor. Because you get to do everything. Emma sells the role well. Especially when she is in full Cruella mode. Everyone has been like young Cruella. Wanting to make their dreams come true. And doing whatever they have to get there, and to prove a point. She’s funny, snarky, smart and a badass! I was also impressed with her voice over in the film. Almost as if she was talking to you as a friend.
Emma Thompson as The Baroness is fabulous and wins the movie. Her camp is turned up to 11. She sells every scene she is in. Even if it’s just to stand in the background. Delicious is the perfect way to describe her. She’s hilarious, sassy, threatening and way over the top. All in a good way. Her outfit changes included turbans, adding more to the fabulously. You can tell Emma is having a ball. Doing everything but chewing up the scenery.
Artie. The inclusion of an openly gay character is beyond important. Especially in a film like this. Kudos to Disney for not only including this character but not having him be a joke or a big stereotype.
The soundtrack. Music supervisor Susan Jacobs did her homework. It showed how much this time influenced culture, fashion and music for years to come. It was a really nice touch.
The costumes! It’s not the typical, cliche, textbook 60s/70s garb. Well thought out and designed. A fashion lovers dream.
Stay after for the mid credits scene. It’s worth it for any Disney fan.
Annoyingly there are some dislikes. It was almost perfect.
The Clark Kent/Superman plot. This wasn’t needed. It’s been done. With this type of storyline you kind of know what’s going to happen. A small change could have fixed this.
Some of the script is a little silly. Such as the origin of Cruella’s famous hair and the ending. But this could be considered part of the campy nature.
This is a small thing, but the cgi dogs. That wasn't necessary. For me it just looks like laziness. A little distracting even. Especially when there’s only about 5 dogs total in the film.
So what’s my opinion of Cruella? I really enjoyed the film. It’s clever, campy, and fun. Lots of creative and well thought out moments are in here. And it’s commendable. It's also very well designed! It’s something different, Disney style. If you're a fan of the original animated film. The 1996 live action or the original children’s novel I’d give it a watch. It’s fabulous, darling.
“Cruella” is available for streaming on Disney+