Disney is once again back at their classic antics. The company that brought your childhood so much joy has a recent knack for rehashing their classic animated films into a series of modern remakes and origin stories. This time around we have Cruella, which explores the backstory of 1961’s 101 Dalmations.
While this new film is currently available to Disney+ subscribers, I decided to go see this villainous dognapper’s story in a movie theater, like an adult. After two hours and 14 minutes, I must say I was pleasantly surprised. While Disney may have an original idea crisis, this film felt like a fresh take, while keeping true to the original source material. Without going into spoiler territory, I truly sympathized with Cruella (played by Emma Stone) and now have a very different view of dalmatians than I did when I was five years old.
Director Craig Gillespie managed to keep the story exciting while rotating between the various tragedies and triumphs of the film. The story structure felt familiar but definitely packed a few twists and punches when called for. Likewise, Emma Stone’s performance as Cruella was wholly believable, and the actress brought about a new depth to a character that certainly felt one dimensional when I watched 101 Dalmations as a kid. So kudos to you Disney. While I am sure the studio has many more remakes and recycles in store, this is certainly the caliber to shoot for.