From the incredible soundtrack, to the impeccable costume design, and the adorable dogs, everything in Cruella is an ambitious feat. Bringing to life a Cruella Deville, a character known as one of the most vicious villains in Walt Disney’s repertoire, wasn’t easy, but a necessary challenge. However, when it comes to Cruella Deville things aren’t always so black and white – pun intended. 

In a recent press junket, Director Craig Gillespie said that he wanted “…there to be this gray area [when it comes to Cruella] and [have the audience] be able to empathize with the choices she was making…[because of] the situations she is responding to. And I wanted to do it in a fun way.” 

Emma Stone as Cruella in Disney’s live-action CRUELLA. Photo by Laurie Sparham
Image: Disney

So, how do you make an unlikeable character a little bit more likable? With a killer soundtrack and a fabulous wardrobe. Every scene of the film has specific songs meticulously chosen to enhance every scene. 

More to Cruella than meets the eye

“There’s a great Nancy Sinatra song [in a scene], which was kinda spontaneous when we were shooting,” Gillespie said. “…she’s in the elevator [at Liberty] and I thought, [I] feel like you should be singing here…I just went to my phone.”

Whether it’s setting the mood, a character’s introduction, a drunken sing-a-long, or a punk rock fashion show, Gillespie was constantly mindful when filming scenes and knowing the perfect songs to use. 

Image: Disney

The task of designing Estella through Cruella rested with costume designer Jenny Beavan. Beavan considers herself more of a storyteller with clothes rather than fashion designer. Rightfully so in this instance…. She knew that she had to keep where Cruella would be 15 years from now in mind – the crazy, unscrupulous fashion designer, and wannabe puppy murderer we all know and… love? Taking a page from her youth from her youth, and taking into account Cruella comes from nothing, Beavan drew inspiration by repurposing other items. As we see when Cruella shops in Artie’s vintage clothing store, or turns literal garbage into a dress worthy of the Met Gala.

I was absolutely impressed with all the details the studio put into film. I sincerely hope you will be too. Make sure to catch Cruella in cinemas and Disney+ Premier Access on May 28th! You can pre-order NOW!