Skip to main content

'Cruella': Movie Review

Movieguide Magazine


Share This article

In CRUELLA, which is based on the villain in ONE HUNDRED AND ONE DALMATIANS, Estella is a young fashion designer who wants to take revenge on another fashion designer. CRUELLA has a convoluted storyline and a humanist worldview showing a character who decides to become evil and receives no repercussions for her actions.

As a young girl, Estella is always getting into trouble, and when she did, her mother would call her Cruella. Of course, Estella loved her mother, so she would try to be good for her. However, when they’re left with nothing and have to move to London, chaos ensues. Her mother takes Estella to a huge estate to talk to a woman dressed in costume. Though Estella isn’t sure what her mother is asking, she sees that three Dalmatians are let loose. The dogs end up pushing her mother off the cliffside. Somehow thinking that the Dalmatians getting loose is her fault, Estella is distraught and thinks she killed her own mother.

Estella jumps into a trash truck. It drops her off in London, where she finds two young, orphaned boys who steal from other people to survive. The boys let her come live with them, because they think Estella will help them steal more things. Years go by and Estella and the boys, Jasper and Horace, are now older. They’ve conned other people for years, and Jasper helps Estella con her way into working at the Liberty Department store, the nicest store in London.

Estella has always dreamed of becoming a fashion designer and has used her skills for creating costumes to con people, but now she has the chance to do it for a real fashion company. Excited, Estella starts at Liberty, but they hire her as a maid. Upset, late one night she changes the stores entire front window display.

The next day, Estella is found sleeping in the store window, with her complete redesign. The store manager is furious, but the store’s top fashion designer, The Baroness, comes, sees the window display and instantly hires Estella.

Estella goes to work for The Baroness. It doesn’t take The Baroness long to see that Estella has talent and creativity. However, she uses Estella’s design and takes all the credit. Saddened and upset, Estella decides to take action. She transforms herself into Cruella each night, with new fashion creations, to outshine The Baroness. The question is, will The Baroness find out and fire Estella from her dream job?

CRUELLA has a convoluted storyline with a humanist worldview. The movie is generally overacted, except for Emma Thompson who does an exceptional job. Also, much of the plot rambles. In fact, a whole hour could have been deleted to make the movie more cohesive. The fashion is the movie’s most noteworthy aspect. It’s creative and entertaining.

CRUELLA has a humanist worldview and doesn’t have many redeemable qualities. It shows the antihero becoming the antihero, with the character becoming more and more intense and unlikeable as the plot develops. In fact, Estella is excited about becoming evil and has no qualms about it. Also, there are no repercussions for her bad behavior. One positive theme in the movie involves a pro-life message, which is a pivotal point in the story. Overall, however, MOVIEUIDE® advises extreme caution. CRUELLA is not a good movie for families.

Share This article

About The Author

MOVIEGUIDE® was founded in 1985 by Dr. Ted Baehr, past president of the Episcopal Radio & Television Foundation and former director of the Television Center at the City University of New York. MOVIEGUIDE® is affiliated with the Christian Film & Television Commission® ministry (CFTVC). Both MOVIEGUIDE® and CFTVC are dedicated to redeeming the values of the entertainment industry, according to biblical principles, by influencing industry executives and artists and by informing and educating the public about the influence of the entertainment media and about how to train their families to become