Cruella De Vil is a villain that has one simple motivation: she wants to retrieve a spotted fur coat and she is willing to kill a lot of dogs for it. She’s made many appearances, first in the 1961 animation, then in The Descendants and Once Upon a Time. In all of these productions, her story is consistent and to the point. She is a villian who loves luxurious fur.
Director Craig Gillepspie wanted to find a different perspective and give the villain’s backstory. He shows the child side of Cruella and portrays her as not so cruel in the beginning. This is similar to Disney’s live-action Maleficent. In these live action movies, Disney wants to show the good side of the villain and how they became so evil.
The origin story starts off by introducing Estella (Emma Stone), an aspiring fashion designer working a fashion job in London. Her employer, the Baroness (Emma Thompson) is another antagonist that has tried to take down Estella from the very beginning. Once Estella finds out, she becomes the villain we all know and slightly love, Cruella De Vil.
Estella steps into her dark side and calls herself Cruella, referring to a patient her mother once treated. The movie includes revenge, fraud, theft, and deceit as Cruella tries to take over the Baroness’s fashion industry with her punkish clothing.
The movie is filled with many fashion heists and scandals. Cruella tries to create her own competing fashion line that incorporates a bit of devilish elegance which makes the designer showdown both captivating and creative.
Cruella’s origin story is portrayed as more of a sob story than a movie filled with trouble and vengeance. What makes a villain story so compelling is showing how bad a villain gets and what they do exactly that makes them so evil. In Disney’s live action Cruella, not a lot of the cruel side is shown but mostly narrates the events that got her there. Although it shows less wickedness and revenge, having a movie that shows a different perspective makes events in the film more unanticipated.