When I saw trailers for Cruella I was definitely curious about this new Disney Villain origin movie. This curiosity increased so much more when people on my Instagram began saying how much they loved this movie. Even though we had just gone to see A Quiet Place Part II, Krista surprised me with another movie day the very next day. On Saturday we went back to the theater and bought our tickets early, we wanted to ensure better seats. Beyond that we also signed up for Regal Unlimited so we now had a reason to go to the movies so much more.
I actually really like Emma Stone, I was obsessed with Easy A and when I saw she would be playing Cruella I was admittedly skeptical. She would have to play someone who isn’t American and while I assumed there would be comedic elements I wasn’t sure I would truly be able to accept her as an evil character. With everyone mentioning how much they liked it I was a bit more at ease and more urgently wanted to see this movie. Now unlike A Quiet Place Part II you can actually purchase this movie to watch in your own home, but I did have a great time snacking on popcorn in a very sparsely filled theater. Since this was a smaller theater the audio issues we previously experienced didn’t come into play at all.
What struck me about this movie was that Cruella was not actually that cruel to begin with. In her life as Estella, she is actually very sweet and tries her best to be a good person at the urging of her mother. She fights back against bullies and does her best to try and do what she thinks is right. The issue with that is she is often met with people who want to keep her down. When she and her mother try and get a new start something truly terrible happens and Estella finds herself alone and taken in by Jasper and Horace, two orphan boys who appear to be about her age. We then time jump 10 years and learn that they have become a small family of thieves helped along by their canine companions, Wink and Buddy. I am very sure that while Horace see Estella as a sort of sister, that Jasper has a crush on her and that is what pushes him to try and let her live her dream.
Her entry level position morphs into a job working directly with The Baroness, but this changes when Estella learns a secret that pushes her to shift into Cruella. This new personality is less kind and often pushes her closest friends away, but she does so while trying to get revenge. This all consuming plan leads to stolen Dalmatians and the creation of what seemed to be an underground fashion house with her new friend Artie working as her sort of head of design. I loved the fashion, the music, and the relationships between Cruella and the other characters. I will admit I did guess a few things and mentioned that to Krista throughout the movie, but I still had a great time. The biggest positive for me was that Cruella actually does like dogs, she has five in her home by the end of the movie and even is involved a bit more closely with Pongo and Perdita than previous movies would have led you to believe.
Emma Stone did a great job, but I also want to highlight some of the other actors who did an exceptional job. Joel Fry was a perfect Jasper and his continued love of Cruella, even when he did insist he was mad at her, shown through. I hope that they actually got together in some way because I do truly think he loved her. Horace, Paul Walter Hauser, was a delight! He cracked me up and I loved him with Wink and the later stolen Dalmatians. He was a great comedic element of the movie. John McCrea was a great Artie and his character was such a delight with Cruella. I also really enjoyed Anita Darling, Kirby Howell-Baptiste. Her character had such great ties to Cruella and she wasn’t afraid to act against The Baroness. I really want to see her with Roger, Kayvan Novak. He was such a sweet guy and I loved that we see him working on music and jingles. I am really hoping that we get more of this version of Cruella and the Dalmatians. It felt like such a great movie to build off of. Since I could guess bits of the plot, but still had a delightful time I give it a 4.5 out of 5 popcorns.