Disney’s Cruella is the newest live action remake centering around a villain. Trailer opening to smashing views, Cruella will bring the high fashion, and the villain nature viewers want to see.
By Maia Pagán
Disney dropped a new trailer for a movie we didn’t know we needed. The trailer for a live-action film about Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians centers around her origin story. Why do we need this Cruella film? To answer the question fans of 101 Dalmatians' have been asking for years? Why does Cruella de Vil hate Dalmatians so much? Is Cruella a feminist?
Fans of the upcoming film have mixed reviews about this upcoming film. Some think that Disney is trying to push a feminist agenda on a movie about a villain. Even with all the criticism, the trailer has received more views than other Disney trailers in 2021.
The film seems strikingly similar to Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker but about a woman with a better fashion sense. Cruella de Vil plays on the word “demon,” and in the original film, Cruella names her country house “Hell Hall.” Throughout the trailer, many similar dark colors, a disheveled looking main character looking to shatter the world around them while exacting their revenge, and of course, a memorable quote. Darker versions of movies (film noir) are popular, and viewers’ excitement is more than Disney expects.
Now, let’s talk about fashion; this movie trailer reminds me of The Devil Wears Prada but more sinister. The style is very dark and sleek while depicting high fashion. In the original film, 101 Dalmatians, Cruella wore fur, heels, and tight black clothing similar to the style we see in this live-action Cruella origin story. The film is set in the 1970’s London and captures so many looks with super fun and funky retro feel. Cruella is known for her outfits using both black and white, whether with her hair being half black and half white or the black and white elegance we see as Cruella enters the masquerade ball. However, we get something we have never seen before, which is color, where the white and black satin cape catches fire and turns into a fiery red dress. I can tell just by the trailer that this film will be full of iconic outfit moments. Cruella will be a fashion sequel to The Devil wears Prada with a 1970’s London twist.
The red outfit isn’t the only thing that is new to this film. Some exciting viewpoints regarding Cruella as a feminist, bring an interesting perspective to this iconic villian. Many critics don’t want a feminist twist on the film. In contrast, others don’t appreciate the idea that a “crazy woman” is how feminists are often portrayed in media. Conversations around this trailer create a buzz about the crazy dalmatian hating lady we all love or hate. Let’s go back to the flaming satin cape. Just maybe the red in the world of black and white outfits is a liberation. Chew on that for a bit.
She’s Estella, the maid? “I am Cruella,” so where did she get the name Cruella? An answer to a question that needs a solution. Is the consensus she may have stolen her identity from a woman of high society? In an early scene shown in the trailer, Estella exits an elevator in a maid uniform. Then next scene in the trailer, she’s at a high society masquerade ball. Did Estella grow jealous of this woman who once was Cruella who owned Dalmatians? Is she taking over the high society lifestyle by creating her new identity? Another possible clue pointing to this idea is the shot of a burning building similar to the outside image of a large mansion right before Estella enters the ball. Does she burn down the home of the high society women to “phoenix” her new life? The trailer incorporates Estella’s scene holding a sharp needle-looking object and three dalmatians barking at Estella, which may be foreshadowing her hate for the dogs. Who knows, maybe this movie has a deeper meaning about how society treats people they feel are “less than” and how only a “crazy feminist” could smash those ideals? There’s only one way to find out, watch the film when it comes out on May 28, 2021.
Ryan Ford '23,