How “Cruella” Divided The Internet

How “Cruella” Divided The Internet

How “Cruella” Divided The Internet

There are yays and nays being thrown all around for Disney’s newest

There are yays and nays being thrown all around for Disney’s newest

Text: Ahad Sanwari

With the February 17 release of Disney’s trailer for Cruella, things went a little bit mad on the internet. The trailer was the first glimpse at Emma Stone’s turn as the iconic Cruella de Vil, Disney’s puppy killing-Dalmatian donning-maniacal cackling fashion villain. 

The trailer showcased Cruella’s journey beginning as Estella, a woman who works at a fashion house and is suitably obsessed with furs, to the point that it drives her to villainy. Also making her appearance in the trailer is Emma Thompson, playing the Baroness who hires Estella. As the trailer progresses, Estella starts devolving into more unhinged behavior, making quick getaways, incurring snarls from several Dalmatians, and burning up a cape to reveal a dress underneath (alright, that one may be pretty fiery).

As soon as the trailer dropped, the reviews poured in. Most people were ecstatic to see Stone doing Cruella justice, with her demeanor and spot-on British accent. The aesthetic and fashion choices also garnered significant acclaim, given Cruella’s outlandish high-fashion wardrobe and the cinematic shots and landscapes.

However, several people discovered some foundational and ethical problems when dissecting Cruella. Disney’s previous villain-centric films, like Maleficent, dove into a backstory that ultimately humbled the villain and allowed audiences to sympathize with them. But given Cruella’s proclivity for going Jason Voorhees on puppies, that’s not an easy pill to swallow for several viewers.

Another common complaint was regarding the concept of creating backstories for villains in the first place. Not every bad guy needs to have “baggage,” some are just bad. People are worried that Disney might try to stretch itself too far to humanize Cruella and rationalize her actions, instead of doing the same for villains with more complicated personalities, like Ursula from The Little Mermaid or Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove.

Ethical concerns aside, several people decided to have a dog day afternoon by flooding Twitter with Cruella comparisons. A common one was for the Joker, with his comically sinister manner and flashy attire.

Similarly, several people also noticed some draws to another DC favorite sociopath, Harleen Quinzel aka Harley Quinn.

Although, some were a little more out there.

The trailer has certainly managed to create incredible buzz surrounding the movie. Despite reservations, an optimistic outlook towards the cast and production value could bode well for the film, especially at a time when box office revenues are non-existent. Disney’s Cruella hits theatres on May 28, 2021.

Credits: Image courtesy of Disney

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