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Villain Overview
Darling, I live for furs, I worship furs! After all, is there a woman in all this wretched world who doesn't?
~ Cruella De Vil foreshadowing her obsession.


Cruella De Vil is the main antagonist of Disney's 101 Dalmatians franchise, and a major antagonist in House of Mouse and Mickey's House of Villains.

She was voiced by the late Betty Lou Gerson in the film, April Winchell in the TV series, and Susanne Blakeslee in House of Mouse and Mickey's House of Villains.

Personality

Cruella is one of the most iconic and well-known Disney Villains and is a primary member of the franchise, she is remembered for her unique name, extravagance, and obsession - practically a worship - of fur. As mentioned earlier Cruella is very fashionable and chic, she dresses only in fur which she apparently lives for. However, as her name might suggest, she is also extremely cruel, ruthless, manipulative, conniving and vile. Behind her glamour is an extremely murderous and vituperative psychopath who is willing to kill and skin 99 puppies just to create her own spotted fur coat and when the Radcliffes would not sell she resorted to stealing them.

However, unlike other villains such as Scar, Hades or Judge Claude Frollo, Cruella is not much of a schemer who carefully plans out, she has shown to be quite reckless and temerarious, so she appears to act on impulse. Cruella shows a complete lack of manners, being rude and possibly even arrogant and according to Anita this trait was passed on when she was young at school, Cruella is shown to be extremely obnoxious, detestable and prejudicial, so she demands her 99 puppy dalmatians without saying "please". Cruella could be considered a narcissist.

Cruella's appearance resembled that of a demon, she is described as a "devil woman" by the Dalmatians and is physically frightening which was shown by the lyrics of "Cruella De Vil", "Cruella De Vil, Cruella De Vil if she doesn't scare you no evil thing will!" Cruella is short-tempered, cantankerous and quarrelsome. She has shown to be easily enraged and infuriated, an example of this would when the Radcliffes denied her the dalmatians and she left in a fit of rage. Her henchman, Jasper and Horace, appear to be the cause of most of her frustration. At the end of the film is when Cruella has a complete and murderous breakdown.

She appears to be abusive, defamatory and argumentative towards her minions, Jasper and Horace, an example of this would be when she acquired the two of them the task of dognapping the dalmatians while they were watching the TV show "What's My Crime" and then asked if they can watch it to the end she slaps them in exasperation of their bumbling stupidity. Cruella is cold-hearted and unsympathetic, so she despises dogs, describing them as beasts and shows very little concern of their lives.

She also appears to be an unpleasant and treacherous sadist, taking great delight in the thought of killing the puppies in the most brutal ways. It is not until the end Cruella reveals her true personality, a violent, careless, murderous, destructive and downright evil psychopath after the dalmatians escape, she becomes nearly insane and preposterous, so she goes on a rampage trying to retrieve the dogs but accidentally crashes the car she was driving.

History

Live action films

Main article: Cruella De Vil (Live Action Films)

101 Dalmatians (1961 film)

In her debut, Cruella was mentioned by Roger to be Anita's old schoolmate. He began to sing his own version of her called "Cruella De Vil". Cruella storms in and asks if the puppies came believing they are the key to make a spotted fur coat. Anita says in three weeks they will. Cruella leaves without even joining Anita for tea. She then comes back in three weeks. Anita and Roger say "no" when she asks them to sell the puppies. Roger even told Cruella off. Furiously, Cruella storms out, warning them that she would get even and they would be sorry. She asks Horace and Jasper on the phone for help in stealing the puppies.

Then she next appears in the film when she angrily watches her henchmen watching "What's My Crime". She demands them to start skinning the puppies for a fur coat. She slaps Horace and Jasper when they ask if they can finish the show first, and leaves them in her house to skin the puppies, threatening to call the police if they aren't done by morning. She finds Horace and Jasper looking for the puppies who escaped the house and they discover their footprints in the snow. She then vowed to find the dogs "even if it takes until next Christmas."

They follow them to Dinsford and Cruella sees black puppies and soon she realizes that they are the puppies in soot when snow falls on them and uncovers their disguises. She calls her henchmen to catch them, but they are attacked by a black Labrador and fall down on the road. Cruella follows the van the puppies ride in, but damages her car in a tree and is trapped in the snow, but quickly escapes the trap and crashes into a tree, knocking off her car parts. Enraged, she goes insane with a wild look in her face in her attempts to catch the puppies and rams the truck that they are in to try and knock it off the road, but Horace and Jasper try to do the same thing, but Horace pulls out the wheel and they crash into Cruella's car. Both cars crash down a hill but Cruella and her henchmen are unharmed, but the puppies escape. Cruella cries and yells at Horace and Jasper, who finally get fed up with her insults, and tell her to shut up, and they are later arrested off-screen.

101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure

Cruella had been released from jail, but has a restraining order and is on probation. Her life in ruins, she tries to calm herself down working with Lars, a German artist. Try as he might, however, he cannot please Cruella with his designs, so she decides to help by looking for the Dalmatian puppies again and find out their address by seeing Patch on the newspaper. She bails Horace and Jasper out of jail to find the puppies, and she hides them in a stolen truck to get to the puppies. The Baduns are able to subdue the Nanny and steal the puppies for Cruella, who aspires to use their fur for a coat. When Lars disagrees, Cruella ties him up and gags him, and turns to her original plan of turning the puppies into a fur coat.

Patch's hero, Thunderbolt, tries to rescue the puppies, but Lil' Lightning tricks him into openly attacking Cruella and the Baduns. Cruella captures him and Patch. Lightning reveals Thunderbolt as a fraud, crushing Patch's spirit. The puppies escape but Thunderbolt is too ashamed to follow. The Baduns inform Cruella that the puppies escaped, but Patch tricks them while Thunderbolt frees Lars. The dalmatian puppies escape in a double-decker bus and Cruella chases after them with her henchmen, but Cruella is distracted by Thunderbolt faking a heart attack. Cruella decides to put him out of his misery by killing him, but she accidentally knocks the Baduns unconscious. Patch puts the bus in reverse and Cruella, Lil' Lightning, and the Baduns are almost run over and fall into a river. Lil' Lightning and the Baduns are imprisoned while an insane Cruella is dragged into a mental institute, never to be seen again.

Other Appearances

House of Mouse

Cruella Devil is in one of the guests from the House of Mouse.

Mickey's House of Villains

Cruella De Vil is one of the members of Jafar's team, assembled to rule the House of Mouse.

Kingdom Keepers

In the novel series Kingdom Keepers, Cruella is one of the main Disney villains called the Overtakers, and their plan is to take over all of the Disney parks. (at night, all of the characters and attractions in Disney World and Disneyland come to life) Cruella is the Evil Queen's right-hand woman and a nuisance. She was not as dangerous and scary as Chernabog, Jafar, Judge Claude Frollo, the Evil Queen, Ursula, and Maleficent, but she was still dangerous. She threatened to burn one of the Kingdom Keeper kids' face with a cigarette.

Once Upon A Time

Main article: Cruella De Vil (Once Upon a Time)

Cruella is a character in Once Upon a Time, where she appears as one of the four main antagonists in the second half of season 4. The character later appears in the latter half of season 5, which primarily takes place in the Underworld. She was portrayed by Victoria Smurfit.

101 Dalmatians Comic Strip

Cruella also appears as the main antagonist, and still want the puppies, but in some episode, she seems to be nicer then evil, because at the finale of the series she finally redeemed herself by being loved by everybody. It is revealed that she has a brother, mother, cousin and niece.

Descendants

Cruella seems to be banished and a prisoner on the Isle of the Lost with other villains and their offspring, she had a son named Carlos De Vil, and she is African American and was portrayed by Wendy Raquel Robinson.

Trivia

  • Cruella is ranked #39 on AFI's list "100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains".
  • She is ranked #6 in the Top 30 Disney Villains.
  • Cruella is not only one of the most iconic and popular villains in the Disney franchise, but also one of the most iconic villains of all time.
  • Cruella De Vil was originally meant to return as the villain of The Rescuers, but was scrapped and replaced with Madame Medusa, as Ollie Johnson stated that it felt wrong and that he was never interested in making a full-length sequel to an otherwise unrelated movie around that era. Plus Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians has nothing to do with The Rescuers, and both films already have sequels.

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