Why 'Cruella 2' Should Completely Ignore '101 Dalmatians' - VRGyani News and Media

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Saturday, August 28, 2021

Why 'Cruella 2' Should Completely Ignore '101 Dalmatians'

After multiple lackluster live-action Disney remakes, Cruella is a breath of fresh air. Not only is it highly entertaining, but it was clearly made with love, passion, and creativity. It has a mix of Joker and The Devil Wears Prada blended with some Disney magic. Emma Stone is phenomenal as Cruella (or Estella) and is matched by a truly villainous performance from Emma Thompson. Paul Walter Hauser and Joel Fry provide some great comedy as Cruella’s cohorts, Horace and Jasper.

However, Cruella suffers in its attempts to tie into 101 Dalmatians. While Stone does a great job bringing aspects of the Disney animated villain to life, the Cruella at the end of the movie is not the one that audiences see in the animated film. She has her wicked moments, but it would be completely out of character for this version of Cruella De Vil to murder dalmatian puppies and make coats out of them.

In fact, this version loves dogs. Dogs even save her life and assist her in pulling off multiple heists. Cruella jokingly refers to potentially killing dogs, but Cruella herself laughs it off, as even she is not that evil. Horace and Jasper would also have to be content in being complicit with these crimes and they are also dog lovers. Hauser’s bond with his chihuahua, Wink, is a highlight of the film.

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At the end of Cruella, it’s shown that Pongo and Perdita were gifts to Anita and Roger from Cruella herself. So, somehow, within the next few years from this moment, Cruella turns into someone who wants to murder puppies. It’s quite hard to imagine, especially if audiences are expected to sympathize with this version of the character.

Cruella 2 is in the early stages of development. However, it’s better off if it tries to not simply recreate the events of 101 Dalmatians from Cruella’s perspective. It could take place slightly before the animated film begins, but this means that something horribly traumatic would have to happen to Cruella to get her into a puppy-killing mentality.

It’s a tightrope to walk, especially with a character like Cruella. The film needs to turn Cruella into a likable character but also keep what makes her character entertaining. The previous Disney villain origin movie, Maleficent, fell flat because it turned Maleficent into a full-on protagonist. Yes, audiences were given a better understanding of why she cursed Aurora, but it removed her wickedness. It’s fascinating to see another perspective of Sleeping Beauty, but it came at a cost because it removed what audiences loved about the animated Maleficent.

However, Maleficent can get away with cursing Aurora and audiences can still like her as a character. Killing dogs in any form of entertainment makes the audience immediately turn on that character and Cruella 2 would truly suffer if it tries to make audiences root for a puppy murderer. It will be incredibly challenging to make Cruella a protagonist if Cruella 2 recreates 101 Dalmatians.

It would be a massive disservice to Stone’s Cruella to have her go full evil as well. It was quite enjoyable to root for this character who goes from rags to riches and manages to take down one of the most powerful figures in society. Cruella isn’t heroic, but she’s never a true villain in the film. Her trying to balance the good Estella part of her along with the wicked Cruella part made for an interesting dichotomy in her character.

The sequel needs to understand that this is a different version of Cruella who needs a different story. The Maleficent sequel actually benefited from being an entirely new story for that character. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil didn't try to tie into any other movie. It told an entirely new story while using characters people already knew. The film isn’t perfect, but it managed to expand upon the character of Maleficent by exploring her background and giving her new motivations.

Disney would truly benefit from taking the character in an entirely new direction for the next movie. One of the biggest complaints about the live-action remakes is that they are too similar to the original versions. They often provide nothing new except for a couple of new songs or new characters.

The Jungle Book is often considered the best of these remakes and that featured plenty of differences to the animated one. It managed to take the story in new directions while still giving people what they loved about the original one. 101 Dalmatians is not as beloved as other Disney animated films, so audiences would probably not find an issue in creating a new story with these characters.

There already is a 101 Dalmatians live-action remake and Glenn Close already brought the crazy, insanely evil version of Cruella to the big screen. Stone and the rest of the creators here have an opportunity to reimagine this character into a complex anti-hero. Cruella 2 will still no doubt be a Disney movie; however, it should try to be something completely new instead of giving people what they know.

KEEP READING: 7 Movies Like 'Cruella' to Watch After Disney's Stylish Live-Action Remake



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