The global audience is already discovering the story of one of the most iconic villains of all time: the legendary Cruella de Vil. Until this Friday, June 11, Disney + subscribers have time to hire CRUELLA’s Premier Access to enjoy the film that is on the lips of many, and that is also being screened in available cinemas in the region.
In the story, actress Emma Stone plays Estella, an intelligent, creative and determined young woman who lives off scams and other misdeeds on the streets of London, but is determined to become famous for her designs. When Baroness Von Hellman (Emma Thompson), a fashion legend, notices the talent of the young designer, she begins a path of transformation for Estella that will lead her to lean on her evil side and become the very elegant Cruella, an excessive woman and eager for revenge.
To celebrate Cruella de Vil’s arrival on Disney +, we’re sharing some facts about the intriguing story, charismatic cast, canine charm, and other details from her iconic film.
A STORY OF ORIGINS
The history of CRUELLA goes back to the childhood and adolescence of Cruella de Vil – born with the name Estella – to discover the circumstances in which she grew up and try to understand the origins of her evil. “What we wanted to explore was why she was the way she was, what made her become Cruella de Vil, who she was as a child, where she came from, and so on. The only thing that the public knew about Cruella was that they wanted to make a Dalmatian fur coat, so from the beginning, we decided that in order to give the public something new, we had to upset their expectations, ”explains Andrew Gunn, producer. of CRUELLA.
THE LEGACY OF THE 101 DALMATS
Because the story of CRUELLA takes place before the events of the 101 DALMATS films (both the 1961 animated classic and the 1996 live-action version), costume designer Jenny Beavan had creative freedom in imagining the looks for characters. Two elements that should be present were the use of black and white in Cruella and the strong imprint of the Dalmatians, but the sheet was practically blank from there. “I did look at the characters of Horacio and Gaspar in the animated version. I felt there was something very charming in the way they were drawn and in their colors, so I brought that into the Joel Fry and Paul Walter Hauser costumes, “says the designer, adding:” On the other hand, as for Cruella, I made sure it was credible that she would eventually look like the character in Glenn Close’s 1996 performance. “
BORN TO BE CRUEL
From day one, Cruella’s name had the face of actress Emma Stone. “I can’t imagine another actress who could define Estella’s journey to Cruella as specifically and vividly as Emma Stone, because she brings so much humor, so much wit, so much exquisiteness to the character, and at the same time makes it so real…”, comments the producer Marc Platt, while Andrew Gunn adds: “Emma Stone has an extraordinary ability to play an unsavory and selfish character, and at the same time win over audiences. You can go from evil to heartbreaking in seconds. She is an actress who makes the audience want her to win at the end of the movie. He has an impeccable ability for humor and really inhabits the characters he creates, making them all distinct and memorable. “
ONE MOMENT, ONE PLACE
The historical moment and the place where CRUELLA takes place perfectly accompany the emotional process that the protagonist goes through. Most of the action takes place in the London of the seventies, a disruptive time in the worlds of music and fashion, crossed by emerging movements such as punk. This sociocultural context is the ideal setting for Cruella’s metamorphosis: from a quarrelsome Dickensian orphan to a rebellious, resourceful, daring and highly skilled antiheroine. Along the way, she gets to know herself and learns to be true to herself. “It was very interesting, because it was the first time that we had a live action character based on an animation that we were going to set in the real world, and not in a fictional fairytale land. It was an opportunity to push the boundaries. London was the center of fashion and anarchy at the time. An extraordinary parallel with Cruella, ”says producer Kristin Burr.
MUCHO ROCK N’ ROLL
CRUELLA’s soundtrack -available on audio platforms and digital stores- is an explosion of emerging rock from the 1970s, more traditional pop sounds and current music. Recently, “Call me Cruella” was released, the original song from the film performed by Florence + The Machine that leads the soundtrack. “The music in the film is almost like one more character. Craig (Gillespie, director of CRUELLA) found a way to infuse the film with extraordinary rock and roll songs, which are heard and yet the lyrics of the songs never collide with the dialogue. The music injects energy and a sense of rebellion into the film, ”says Andrew Gunn. Other songs that make up the eclectic album? Blondie’s “One Way or Another”, The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go”, Queen’s “Stone Cold Crazy”, Bee Gees “Whisper, Whisper”, The Doors “Five to One” and “Whole Lotta Love ”by Ike & Tina Turner.
CRUELLA’s aesthetic is strongly crossed by the spirit of punk. Beyond the presence of bands like The Clash or Blondie in the soundtrack, Estella’s wardrobe also has a strong imprint of this countercultural movement of the late ’70s, with nods to iconic designers such as Vivienne Westwood, and artistic exponents. like German punk and new wave singer Nina Hagen. The character’s hairstyle and makeup, meanwhile, are also heavily influenced by punk. Nadia Stacey, hair and makeup designer for CRUELLA, says that legendary singer Debbie Harry, leader of the band Blondie, was her inspiration for Estella. “It’s a subtle style, but beautiful, and a bit provocative,” describes the designer.
CRUELLA was filmed at the Shepperton movie studios, outside London, and in 44 incredible locations in the British capital over 40 days. As the story takes place in the 1970s, many of those locations were adapted to the style and aesthetics of that time. In turn, aerial shots of the city of London, which changed so much in the last 50 years, were digitally retouched. Some of the locations seen in the film are the typical shops on Portobello Road; the imposing Engelfield House and its surrounding estate for the exteriors of the Baroness country house; Royal Air Force Station RAF Halton for the exteriors of the Baroness’s London home, Ipswitch Manor; the elegant area of Westminster, in the center of London, next to the street The Mall, for the surroundings of the house of the Baroness; an old cement headquarters in Aldermaston for the Tattletale newspaper offices; and Naval College Greenwich for the red carpet sequences, parks and various street car scenes.
PROTECTED AND RESPECTED DOGS
What would Cruella be without the Dalmatians? Unsurprisingly, the canine presence in the new movie is an important part of the story. Following that premise, the creative team assembled a small cast of animal actors, composed mostly of rescue dogs and others from the homes of the film’s trainers, who made sure that the dogs were well cared for and trained before filming. In addition, all the scenes that included animals were closely monitored by the American organization for the protection of animals The Humane Society. In turn, extensive special effects work was used to generate other dogs by computer, such as the Baroness’s three Dalmatians. Max Wood, CRUELLA’s visual effects supervisor, says that digital animations were used more than expected, and also in very detailed close-ups.
AN ICONIC SCENE
The scene from the animated version of 101 Dalmatians in which Cruella madly drives a Panther De Ville to catch her escaping puppies in a van is one of the most memorable in cinema. In CRUELLA, the team knew they wanted to include a sequence that referenced that iconic scene. For that, two Panther De Ville models were created for the film. One of them, in bronze, is stolen by Cruella when she needs to quickly escape from a party, leading to a live-action version of the iconic scene from the 1961 animated classic.
A FABULOUS PREMIERE
The world premiere at the El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles, with the stars of the film in attendance, marked Disney’s return to the iconic red carpet. Wearing a look worthy of Cruella’s glamor, Emma Stone was present and confessed her enthusiasm for sharing the story with fans. Also in attendance were the director, Craig Gillespie, and actress Kirby Howell-Baptiste, who plays the character Anita.