Cruella: A prequel with pizazz (2021)

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Emma Stone as Cruella

Prepare to be blown away by a mischievous, precocious child as she evolves into adulthood battling to control both sides of her personality. Disney has created a fantastically innovative take on the origins of Cruella who has risen to prominence over the years in ‘101 Dalmatians’.

This really is a most delightful trip to the cinema. The script is witty and the use of songs from the 60s and 70s has been so cleverly intertwined. It’s not since Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Moulin Rouge’ that I’ve been so impressed by the use of music and lyrics to promote the storyline.

Designed to captivate

In addition, Emma Stone’s performance as Estella/ Cruella is captivating and doesn’t impede in any way on Glen Close’s iconic 1996 performance. In fact, any aspiring young designer will envy the way in which Cruella makes her mark in this 2021 version. One cannot, however, sideline Emma Thompson as Estella’s nemesis, The Baroness – she is outstanding as the egocentric fashion icon whose domination reigns supreme.

At this stage, I must state that ‘Cruella’ is not for cinematic purists (those who have followed 101 Dalmatians since its Disney inception in 1961 or the book ‘The Hundred and One Dalmatians’ (1956)). Please take this as a journey of the imagination which has been updated for the 21st Century generation and yet utilizes the music from a generation which really knew how to make the most of their instruments and create storylines with their lyrics.

Plan an outing for the entire family: children, tweens, teens and, of course, the older generation – you really do need to experience Dolby sound and the Big screen!


Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Emily Beecham, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Mark Strong, Paul Walter Hauser, Joel Fry


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