Cruella (stylized as Cruella de Vil onscreen) is a 2021 American crime comedy film based on Dodie Smith’s 1956 novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians and Walt Disney’s 1961 animated picture adaption. Craig Gillespie directs the film, which is based on a narrative by Aline Brosh McKenna and with a screenplay by Dana Fox and Tony McNamara.Emma Stone plays the title character, with Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser, Emily Beecham, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, and Mark Strong rounding out the cast. The film is set in London during the punk rock era of the 1970s and follows Estella, an aspiring fashion designer, as she explores the route that will lead her to become Cruella de Vil, a notorious up-and-coming fashion designer.
The film’s development was confirmed by Walt Disney Pictures in 2013, with Andrew Gunn serving as producer. Stone was cast in the film in 2016 and acts as an executive producer alongside Glenn Close, who played Cruella in the previous live-action adaptations, 101 Dalmatians (1996) and 102 Dalmatians (1998). (2000). Principal photography took place in England between August and November of this year.
Cruella de Vil premiered on the red carpet in Los Angeles on May 18, 2021, the first big red carpet event since the COVID-19 epidemic began, and was released theatrically and simultaneously on Disney+ with Premier Access on May 28 in the United States. Gillespie’s direction, the performances (especially Stone, Thompson, and Hauser), costume design, and soundtrack won accolades from critics, but the film’s inconsistent storyline attracted criticism.
Estella is a gifted artist who was born with polio, which caused half of her black hair to turn white. From an early age, she exhibits a flair for fashion as well as a vicious streak, earning her the nickname “Cruella” from her mother Catherine. Catherine withdraws Estella from private school and intends to go to London due to her rebellious temperament. She stops at a party held by the affluent Baroness von Hellman on her way there to seek for financial assistance. Estella watches the Baroness’ fierce Dalmatians pushing her mother off a cliff to her death.Estella, now an orphan, travels to London on her own, where she meets two street urchins named Jasper and Horace, who adopt her as their sister. She begins to colour her hair red in order to blend in.
Estella is now ten years old and working as a thief and hustler alongside her adoptive brothers, improving her fashion abilities by creating complex disguises. Jasper and Horace find her a legitimate job as a cleaning woman at the Liberty department store for her birthday. When her boss refuses to promote her, Estella gets drunk and remakes one of the window displays, obtaining a coveted job with the Baroness, a renowned but authoritarian haute couture designer. Estella gains the Baroness’ trust, but she soon realizes that her boss is wearing a necklace that was once Catherine’s.Estella urges Jasper and Horace to reclaim the necklace when the Baroness believes it was taken by an employee.
Estella renames herself Cruella and dyes her hair back to its natural colors in order to steal the necklace from one of the Baroness’ celebrations. Estella understands that the Baroness used the same whistle to guide her Dalmatians to murder Catherine when she used a whistle to command her Dalmatians. Estella taunts the Baroness, seeking vengeance for her mother’s death, by upstaging her as Cruella in showy dresses at several of her events; this allows her to obtain notoriety for her own label through her childhood friend Anita, now a journalist.
Estella plans to put an end to the Baroness’s Spring Collection exhibition by wrecking it and creating her own in Regent’s Park. After determining that Estella and Cruella are the same person, the Baroness arrests Jasper and Horace and ties up Estella, leaving her to perish in a fire. Estella is rescued by John, the Baroness’ servant, who explains that the necklace is a key to a box containing Estella’s birth documents. She learns that the Baroness is her biological mother; unable to love because of her narcissistic character, she ordered John to kill Estella so she could concentrate on her profession.
Instead, John handed the infant to one of the Baroness’ maids, Catherine, who nurtured Estella in secret. Estella is enraged by Catherine’s deception, but she ultimately accepts the reality and declares that she will ruin the Baroness and that she will no longer be known as Estella; she will now be known as Cruella.
Cruella frees Jasper and Horace from prison and recruits them for her last plan. Cruella (dressed as Estella) reveals to the Baroness that she is her abandoned daughter during the Baroness’ charity dinner. The Baroness pretended to accept Cruella and asked to hug her before tossing her off a cliff, completely oblivious to the fact that her guests had been escorted outside and witnessed the incident. Cruella uses a parachute built into her clothing to escape the fall and discards her Estella disguise before coming to see the Baroness jailed.
She acquires Hellman Hall (shortening it to Hell Hall) after adopting the surname de Vil (inspired by her stolen Panther De Ville) and surreptitiously transferring the Baroness’ riches to herself by using Estella’s identity.Cruella gives Roger and Anita two Dalmatian puppies named Pongo and Perdita in a mid-credits sequence (children of one of the Baroness’ Dalmatians). Roger begins writing the song “Cruella de Vil” while working as a songwriter.
Estella von Hellman / Cruella de Vil (Emma Stone): An aspirant fashion designer and ambitious thief who will go on to become a notorious and dangerous criminal enamored with Dalmatian furs.
Tipper Seifert-Cleveland plays Estella, a young woman.
Estella’s boss, biological mother, and ultimate adversary is Emma Thompson as Baroness von Hellman, the head of a major London fashion firm and a renowned designer. Estella’s transition is aided greatly by her.
After Estella’s adoptive mother died, Joel Fry played Jasper Badun, a criminal who grew up with her. Fry didn’t look back at the character’s portrayal in the original animated film or the 1996 live-action adaptation when he was cast as Jasper, instead emulating his physical mannerisms.
Jasper (Ziggy Gardner) as a child
Horace Badun (Paul Walter Hauser) is a robber who grew up with Estella after her adoptive mother died and is Jasper’s brother. Hauser was inspired for the role by Bob Hoskins’ performance as Mr. Smee in Hook.
Horace MacDonald as a young man, played by Joseph MacDonald
Estella’s adopted mother, a destitute laundrywoman and former Hellman Hall maid, is played by Emily Beecham. After the Baroness abandoned her daughter to pursue a career, she became Estella’s guardian.
Anita “Tattletale” is played by Kirby Howell-Baptiste. Estella’s childhood friend who works as a gossip columnist, Darling.
Mark Strong as John: The Baroness’ valet and dedicated participant in her plots. Florisa Kamara as young Anita
Artie is played by John McCrea, who is a member of Cruella’s entourage and the owner of a vintage clothing store. He is the first openly gay original character in a live-action Disney film.
Roger is played by Kayvan Novak, a lawyer who works for the Baroness and later becomes a composer after being sacked.
Gerald is played by Jamie Demetriou, who works as a clerk at Liberty.
Jeffrey (Andrew Leung) is the Baroness’s personal assistant.
In Disney’s genesis story about the puppy-napper we think we know, there’s a lot of Cruella-splaining, much of it from her own mouth. Pre-Cruella is a talented, aspiring fashion designer named Estella who lives in a 1970s London full with punk flair and pop music as a young woman. Estella has a beguiling appeal, and the unscrupulous Cruella she transforms into has a languorous elegance, as she strives to take over the fashion world while avenging her mother’s death. Revenge has never looked so good.
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