CRUELLA: A Disney Villain Gets a Backstory.

Genre: Crime | Comedy | Kids & Family

Casts: Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Mark Strong, Paul Walter Hauser

Ratings: 7.5/10

Released Date (Streaming): 28 May 2021

Storyline: The story begins with a flashback. We meet a young Estella (Tipper Seifert-Cleveland), who dreams of making it big as a fashion designer. As a child, she always stands out in the crowd, because of her differently colored hair and bullish, outspoken nature. Estella is often bullied, but never buckles down to the horrible kids who just couldn’t get themselves to accept her.

Eventually, her mother Catherine (Emily Beecham), who only wants Estella to fulfill her passion, pulls her out of school and decides to move to London. In typical, heartbreaking Disney fashion (Bambi, The Lion King), Catherine dies in a freak accident involving ferocious Dalmatians, leaving the 12-year-old Estella orphaned.

Emma Stone as Cruella de Vil in Disney’s Cruella [Courtesy: NBC News]

Then begins the real adventure; Estella quickly adapts to her circumstances, befriends two street urchins Jasper (Ziggy Gardner then Joel Fry) and Horace (Joseph MacDonald then Paul Walter Hauser). In their 20s the three reside in a derelict building and make ends meet by pickpocketing and petty thefts. Estella never forgets her design dream and makes the most immaculate disguises for their escapades.

Fry and Hauser, who later become Cruella’s trusty henchmen, provide the requisite comic relief in an otherwise humorless story, but also serve as a reminder of the goodness she might just leave behind. Hauser’s Horace particularly stands out throughout the film and will remain the only memorable character for me. He and Artie, the David Bowie-d thrift shop owner, whom Cruella recruits to further her boisterous sartorial plans.

Thumbs up: It was designed to entertain and the whole family can totally watch it.

Thumbs down: Emma Stone played her role quite well but wasn’t convincing enough.

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