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Cruella: Will Disney’s new edgy origin story be a dog’s dinner?

As Disney turns its hand at reimagining another of its classic animated films, can this tired trope finally be put out of its misery?

The trailer for Cruella has just launched, recounting the gritty backstory of the fur-fetishist antagonist of 101 Dalmatians, and you can check it out below:

Starring Academy Award-winning actress Emma Stone, this version of the puppy tale takes place in England; the opening shot of the trailer showing Liberty’s famous Great Marlborough Street exterior while we listen to Stone’s dulcet tones informing us, in clipped received pronunciation, that she “saw the world differently from everyone else” (especially sentimental pet owners, I assume).

Emma Thompson appears to be the antagonist to our anti-hero, perhaps being the person who provoked Cruella De Vil to become the dog-detesting dame that we all know and hate.

There’s a strong gothic theme to the trailer, replete with a foreboding lightning clap above a gloomy mansion. Corporate giant Disney has even placed an approximation of the Anarchist symbol on the official poster, which is almost too ironic for words.

The movie will be released on May 28, and is likely to make its debut on Disney Plus.

While the aesthetic is different and a little kooky, it can’t save the film from feeling like just more of the same (it’s especially reminiscent of 2014’s Maleficent), being yet another entry in the movie industry’s ever-expanding collection of remakes, reboots and re-imaginings of previous successes. Do we really need to know the personal history of a character whose name quite literally spells out that she’s the baddie?Β 

While we’d love to see Disney get a bit more creative and launch some all-new original content, you can’t argue with the fact that these reinterpretations of its greatest hits evidently keeps the money rolling in, just as much as they keep our eyes rolling up. By not taking gambles on new ideas, the Mouse always wins.



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