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Disney Family Film Entertainment Review: Cruella – From Fashion Punk to Disney Villains

After watching her mother die, twelve-year-old Estella grows up in London with street boys Jasper and Horace. They secure their livelihood with small ripoffs. But when she is in her twenties, that is not enough for the young woman. She dreams of a real job, preferably at Libertys, the department store with the hottest fashion.

Ambition turns into vengeance

The wish becomes reality, but the dream is not (yet) fulfilled. Because before Estella is discovered purely by chance by the baroness, who stands for the most extraordinary couture creations, she is employed as a simple plaster. That is changing at a rapid pace. Because although the fashion nobleman is more than convinced of herself, she draws mainly from the creative pool of her employees. And then she knows what she has about the rather inconspicuous brunette.



Of course, it does not remain hidden that she is being exploited here and for a while sees this at least as the price she has to pay for a career in the fashion business. But then Estella learns that the baroness is directly to blame for her mother’s death. From now on she drives not only ambition but also revenge. Estella becomes Cruella, flashy, ruthless and unpredictable. She wants to meet the baroness where it hurts the most – in the public eye. And almost any means is suitable for this.

Prehistory to 101 Dalmatians

After Disney had transferred many of the animation classics into modern times as real films in recent years, the material is now being further processed – for a new audience and different viewing habits. Those who are halfway in the know know immediately that the young Cruella will be that bitter dressmaker who later wants to go to the fur of the cute Dalmatians. Glenn Klose gave the shrill fashion icon 25 and 20 years ago. Now Emma Stone is following in her footsteps.

From Rococo to Rock’n’Roll

Craig Gillespie staged the prehistory to the classic Disney material in an elaborate and weird way. Set in the 1970s, the swinging sixties were just over, life on the Thames pulsates with a new rhythm. Punk as an attitude to life is spreading and is also manifesting itself in fashion. The fund provided 270, some of them really unusual, costumes. Accordingly, colorful and varied between Rococo and Rock’n’Roll, the clothes and sound are down to business.

Soundtrack for generations

Around 30 songs from that time from the Beatles, to the Rolling Stones, Deep Purple to Black Sabbath heat up the action. And by the way, they capture a generation of spectators who might have had to do with the drawn Dalmatians and Cruelle De Vil the last time. In addition to the consistently entertaining anarcho-fun – you hardly notice the 134 minutes now – it is above all the fact that different age groups are addressed here that characterizes the production. Sure, the story is not brimming with surprising twists and turns, but it can score with many funny and interesting ideas. Last but not least, Emma Stone fits perfectly into the role of the ambitious fashionista.

Best result with the 4K UHD

Speaking of worth seeing. The best picture also completes the home cinema experience with “Cruella”. Therefore, if you can, you can use the 4K version. Colorful, richly detailed and significantly more contrast make the real film appear even more real. There is no nakedness in the special effects either, what is now CGI animated and what is real cannot really be differentiated. In the end, an almost perfect illusion and the best popcorn cinema for the whole family. It will be interesting to see how Disney continues to spin the thread. There is always potential.


Genre: entertainment; FSK: 6 years; Running time: 134 minutes; Distributor: Disney; Director: Craig Gillespie; Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry; USA 2021

Arjun Sethi
Passionate guitarist, gamer and writer. Lives for the perfect review, and scrapes texts until they are razor-sharp.


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