New trailer: Is the ‘Cruella’ movie actually a Disney version of ‘Joker’?
Cruella de Vil is one of those iconic Disney villains. From her two-tone black & white hairstyle to her long smoking stick, everyone recognizes Cruella from the get-go. Sure, she wants to skin a punch of dalmatian puppies to wear their fur for a coat, but there’s still something about her that puts over the top in terms of memorability. Maybe, it’s not that surprising that Disney wanted to do a live-action origin story for Cruella.
With the trailer for the Cruella movie out, showing Emma Stone rocking that heavy smokey eye, we have to ask: Is Disney trying to make their own version of the Joker? Because there’s just something about Cruella that feels like we’ve seen it in the 2019 award winner with Joaquin Phoenix.
What’s the Cruella movie about?
The trailer begins with what appears to be a more innocent version of Cruella (Stone), appearing before us. No black-and-white hair, stylish but similar to any other stylish young woman in the 70s, and things just appear to descend into madness as the trailer continues on. Much like Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur, it looks like the whole film is about her descent into madness & villainy.
According to a synopsis for the movie, “Cruella, which is set in 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution, follows a young grifter named Estella, a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs. She befriends a pair of young thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief, and together they are able to build a life for themselves on the London streets.
One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman, a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute. But their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable and revenge-bent Cruella.”
It does kind of sound like Joker
There’s definitely an interesting contrast here between the two films. Joker is more about mental illness, class warfare, and real darkness that emerges from Gotham’s underbelly. There’s a lot of interesting stuff in that film, but Cruella puts Cruella fully into the world of the rich. Given that this is set 20 years before 101 Dalmatians, we’re assuming it’s about her clawing her way into that world.
Though, given the Looks that Cruella & the Baroness (Emma Thompson) are giving each other? We’re guessing that her descent into revenge isn’t entirely on her own accord. Rather, we’re looking at the external forces that led Cruella to embrace the fact that she was “born bad”. The Joker’s descent was a mix of societal forces (cutting off his medication) and his own warped worldview.
Disney live-action? I don’t know.
We’re hoping that the Cruella movie will break the Disney streak of their live-action adaptations being lackluster. So far, the only ones to rise above is The Jungle Book and Maleficent, but woof. Disney is not doing great with these things in a bid to keep their hands on the copyright. Unlike Maleficent, it looks like with the Cruella movie, Disney is keeping her bad without invoking too much sympathy for the character.
Like, yes, you can feel bad for Cruella de Vil, but at the end of the day she still wants to make puppies into a coat. It looks like she set something on fire and stole a car. You’re not supposed to feel too sympathetic for her – like how you weren’t really supposed to feel too sympathetic for the Joker.
Cruella will be released on May 28, 2021.