Breaking Down the ‘Cruella’ Trailer

Liron Brunner, Staff Writer

The film 101 Dalmatians is one of the iconic Disney classics, with a truly iconic antagonist, Cruella De Vil. There have been sequels, live-action remakes, and Cruella was even featured in the Disney Channel Movie trilogy Descendants.

Now, she has a movie of her own, but the plot looks a little different from what Disney fans are used to. It is Cruella’s origin story, showing how she became who she was in 101 Dalmations, and what led to her crazed state.

The new movie trailer is for a live action movie called Cruella that looks much darker than what many people would expect.

The film is directed by Craig Gillespie, who also directed the award-winning I, Tonya. The style of the movie is said to be very similar to 2020’s Joker, which gave audience’s a look into the villain’s backstory.

Played by the iconic Emma Stone, de Vil is much more modern and youthful in this film. She is bold and doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her. She says in the trailer that she likes to “make a statement” which she certainly does when she lights a white cloak on fire to reveal her iconic red color combination, along with her black and white hair.

The film takes place in 1970’s London. Cruella, who was originally an oprhan, sees the world differently because she was gifted with talent and ambition. Her real name is Estella and she loves fashion.

Another major actor in the film is Emma Thompson, who plays the head of a luxury department store who will likely be one of de Vil’s main enemies. Based off the trailer, one can infer that she has some success with fashion, because she is on a stage enjoying herself, with people cheering for her. 

Though she is depicted as slightly crazy in the movie 101 Dalmatians, this trailer gives even more reason to think so—with her saying people worried she was a psycho. She has her two iconic henchmen with her just as in the original movie, and once again she is the leader of the group.

There is even a moment which hints to her not-so-great relationship with Dalmatians when several of them growl at her when she walks by. Other than that, however, there is no other mention of her relationship with the dogs.

This will be the first live action film Disney is producing solely on a villain, besides Maleficent, which featured Sleeping Beauty. In this case, it looks like it will not feature the main protagonists. It is especially a risk doing a live action villain film during a global pandemic, but Disney is also hopeful that releases like Black Widow on May 7th will diversify their releases. It will set the bar on how well a live action Disney movie will do during the pandemic, especially with many people not wanting to go to movie theaters.