Film, Family and kids
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Tune in for Emma Stone and Emma Thompson’s majestic baddie-off, switch off for the ponderous origin-splaining in this Disney prequel

Generations of kids have been left merrily traumatised by Cruella de Vil. The One Hundred and One Dalmatians villain is a rakish (in that she looks like a rake) fashion diva whose goals are as simple as her two dimbulb henchmen: she wants to turn some adorable Dalmatian pups into a fur coat. Her motives can be summarised as ‘dahhling, it’s fashion and I’m evil... what do you want from me?’ She puffs green smoke from her endless cigarettes and screeches around in a car that haunted all our nightmares. She’s Vivienne Westwood’s raging id without a driving license.

As it turns out, this Disney origin story wants a lot more from her. This bold but uneven prequel from I, Tonya’s Craig Gillespie is definitely not cut from the same cloth as the 1961 animation or the 1996 Glenn Close iteration. An early scene has a pack of slathering Dalmations – oh yes, the spotty pooches are kinda the baddies here – knocking the mum of puckish young Cruella (then going by her actual name, Estella) off a cliff. And if that all takes some swallowing, wait until it gets into a fiddly plot involving a prized pendant that no 12-year-old (apart from those with a solid grounding in inheritance law) will understand.

Out in cinemas and Disney+ Premier Access worldwide May 28.


Release details

Cast and crew

Craig Gillespie
Dana Fox, Tony McNamara
Emma Stone
Paul Walter Hauser
Mark Strong
Emma Thompson
Joel Fry
Emily Beecham
Kirby Howell-Baptiste
Jamie Demetriou
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