Cruella is more than just a dog napper

‘Cruella’ origin story hints at personality disorder, explains her behavior in original movie



The movie is definitely worth it. Go out and splurge on some expensive theater snacks.


*Editor’s note: This movie review contains spoilers.

Watching the movie “Cruella” was an exciting and thrilling experience. As a kid, I never watched “101 Dalmatians” (still haven’t). However, even for me, not having watched it, I knew the basics of Cruella and how she used dogs’ skin for the sake of fashion and was most definitely the villain.

The movie “Cruella” provided so much more to her story than simply being a villain. It even had me excited and rooting for her throughout the story! I loved how things were so unexpected (at least, for me) in the story. From wanting so desperately to work aside from the Baroness to finding out the Baroness — spoiler alert — killed her mother, then finding out the Baroness IS her mother. The twists and turns were very attention-grabbing throughout the entire film.

I especially loved when Cruella began to rebel against the Baroness through her fashion statements. She would one-up the Baroness at her own game, which became Cruella’s game instead. When Cruella presented her dress on top of the Baroness’s car, it made me laugh. Cruella even upstaged her in an outfit made solely of trash.

Throughout the film, one aspect that stood out to me was the constant hinting and presentation of the dalmatians. For most of Cruella’s life, she believes that her disobedience caused the dalmatians to kill her mother. These were the dalmatians that belonged to the Baroness that Cruella kidnapped. After nabbing those dogs, she commented how their fur would make a fine coat, which directly alludes to “101 Dalmatians.” Later in the movie, she puts on a concert in a newly designed dress-wearing, you guessed it, dalmatian patterns. The Baroness’s reaction revealed Cruella did not kill the dogs but modeled the dalmatian fur pattern.

One thing that many noticed is that Cruella likely suffers from a split personality disorder. This disorder is not addressed in the film but looks pretty apparent to the audience. She refers to her usual self as the boring Estella and Cruella as the rebellious danger. We notice this when she shows up dressed fully as Cruella and disrespects her friends that are as close as family.

I found it interesting that she later realizes her behavior despite becoming the villain and apologizes to her friends, begging them to return. I find this specifically fascinating because it seems as though she entirely becomes Cruella but still has specific values from Estella. She puts a stop to treating her friends as servants and treats them with more respect again.

With this film focusing on a villain’s backstory and showing the hardships experienced, many have compared this film to “Joker.” I agree with this comparison, and there are some parallels throughout the film. However, it was made to be more age-appropriate and less of a murderous, violent film.

Overall, this movie was exciting and had me on the edge of my seat, ready to see how the story would unfold. The others that I saw this movie with were equally excited and invested. I suggest it is worth it to go out and enjoy some expensive theater snacks and kick back and relax.