Cruella (2021) The Good, The Bad & The Emma’s

There are a lot of hot takes out there about the new Cruella which is basically an AU story for that matter. Some valid (it didn’t need to be Cruella) and some not so much. Did people really want to see her kill dogs?

This was almost a rant about movies and people’s responses but instead I’m going to keep it simple like her hair. Black and white. Good and bad. And all opinions of course welcome.

But also Spoilers

So this Cruella (Emma Stone) is also Estella an orphan who grows up on the street with Horace and Jasper and their adorable dogs. Yes this Cruella actually has dogs and I was a little worried about them all things considered. Anyway she’s desperate to become a fashion designer and finally gets her big chance working for the Baroness (Emma Thompson) but the past turns into a vicious ever escalating game of showmanship.

The good:

The Emma’s are awesome and so much fun.

An (unlike some people) they know exactly what type of movie they are in. Cruella doesn’t exactly take itself as seriously as some reviewers.

The fashion is great. Jenny Beavan certainly deserves an Oscar nom at least for this. Loved the soundtrack. Loved the supporting cast as well. Even the three little children at the beginning of the film were adorable I’d watch a film with them just growing up grifters.

The movie never feels too long either.

On the bad side the excellent supporting cast is so good that you have to feel like they were badly underused. Joel Fry’s Jasper especially and there were weird bits with Mark Strong’s character that makes me wonder if stuff was cut but I’ll get into that in the spoilers.

Also some of the CGI was really spotty. Apparently dogs are hard to CGI. Actually I’ve noticed spotty CGI in a lot of projects this year. Maybe they didn’t have time to with the COVID restrictions going on? Or maybe I’m just getting better at catching it because usually it has to be a real mess for me to pick up on it.

Recommend: Yes.









So the dogs.

People seem to be split on this so Disney went with an odd choice and she’s actually, ah… kind of good to them?

If you’ve seen it on the Internet yes the dogs kill her mother (sort of) but this isn’t revenge against the dogs like a lot of people are saying in fact she blames herself for causing the events that seemingly led to it and then we learn with her the Baroness actually ordered the dogs to do it.

And then it’s all about revenge.

She kidnaps them and then in her one upping party with the Baroness convinces her (and the media) that she did make her coat out of them. And I actually thought that was a nice twist on the story.

I mean God knows the media has never run with a story and they always see through a marketing ploy right? Plus we always question everything we read. Sarcasm intended.

Anyway I did like that was how the story really took hold.

Also the Baroness being Estella’s birth mother was a double down on the mommy issues even for Disney. I mean good kind mom dies tragically in bad CGI accident is typical but then to find out the Evil Witch actually is your birth mother? Harsh.

Although it did make me wonder about Mark Strong’s character (not that there was much of one) because knowing what he knew- that the Baroness had charged him with killing her newborn why would he have told Katherine (adopted mother) to stand at a cliff’s edge and then gone and told the Baroness? It seemed weird mostly because he did seem to care about Estella at the end there.

Anyway the scene on the cliffs at the end was my favorite part in the movie again based on the Emma’s. Because damn for just a minute, even knowing everything about the Baroness, for just a minute I was buying it and I honestly couldn’t tell if Estella was or she wanted either way she couldn’t have been surprised.

So I enjoyed the film and while I agree it didn’t need to be Cruella per say it’s better and more imaginative than some of Disney’s other forays recently. Mostly I hope to see the Emma’s working together again cause that would be an automatic ticket buy for me 🙂

11 thoughts on “Cruella (2021) The Good, The Bad & The Emma’s

  1. I skimmed the spoiler section because I haven’t seen it yet, but I read somewhere that her hair being colored black and white is natural and that sounds so stupid. I’m still prepared to have fun with this though.

  2. For me, Cruella is way better than Maleficent, but it does fall into the usual Disney trappings. The twist felt like a way to justify her being evil without it being her choice. That made the mid-credits scene with the Dalmatians particularly head scratching. I do tend to notice dog CGI a lot more too. The two Emma’s were definitely a highlight. As was the fashion and soundtrack.

    1. Definitely falls into the Disney trappings 🙂 I’ve heard some people say it’s like they started out with the typical Disney princess but melded her with the typical Disney villain which I think opens up a whole new avenue in the Princess genre. Make them go evil 🙂

      1. I’m glad you said that, because I think Emma Stone would’ve made a great Ariel if she was cast in the live-action Little Mermaid.

  3. I loved this, no doubt about it. I was nervous about the dog issue, going in. Isn’t it funny that we’re fine with movies being made about terrorists but movies killing dogs is a huge no-no? They handed it perfectly though! That moment of oh, no, followed by relief!

    1. The minute she found the little dog I panicked that something horrible was going to happen to him and it would break her heart and turn her against dogs forever. I hate to admit it but I didn’t care half so much about her mother!

      1. I’m with you on that, I actually cared for Jasper and Horace the most! It’s rare that we get to see so much of the ‘mindless henchmen’ characters 🙂

  4. One of the things I really loved about the original ‘Maleficent’ was just that – it was an imaginative retelling of a character we all know. Disney has done SO MANY live action/CGI remakes of their past animated films and, honestly? I can’t get too excited over them. And that’s part of why I liked ‘Cruella.’ I saw this film to be more in line with ‘Maleficent,’ taking an old character to tell a new story and I appreciated that.

      1. I get wanting to respect the source material. I do. But Cruella was just…kind of a bad person who liked to kill dogs and wear them. As you said in this post, does anyone really want to see a movie about Cruella killing a bunch of dogs?? Or the story about how she started to really like killing dogs?
        And we always have the original 1961 film AND the 1996 one with Glenn Close. “Classic Cruella” abounds. In an age of what feels like constant sequels, prequels, reboots, and remakes I am drawn to originality.

        In fact, what made me want to see ‘Cruella’ in the first place was reading a few pieces making that argument that they changed her too much. I was curious to see what they did and I enjoyed it. But I think you’re right. I think Disney couldn’t’ve won either way here – which is a shame. If we continue to react to creative takes then it will continue to narrow the scope of stories we can get.

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