|“||That's right! I am an angel! I... am... an adorable... little... ANGEEEEEEEL!!!||„|
|~ Darla Dimple, showing her cruel true nature.|
Darleen "Darla" Dimple is the main antagonist of Warner Brothers' 1997 animated film Cats Don't Dance. She also has a minion named Max, another enemy of the protagonists.
She was voiced by Ashley Peldon and her singing voice was provided by Lindsay Ridgeway.
Darla Dimple makes an effort to appear sweet and kind when in public, and has a reputation for being "America's Sweetheart, lover of children and animals!". In reality she a spoiled vengeful diva who has no qualms about ruining the lives and careers of anyone she feels is inferior. Darla is also a menace to her staff and subordinates, although they try to appease her due to her talent and her imposing henchman Max. Darla has a terrible temper and a hatred of animals, and will stop at nothing to get what she wants.
The main hero of the movie, a young orange tomcat by the name of Danny, accidentally offends Darla by attempting to sing onstage during a production Darla is starring in. She becomes jealous and infuriated and throws a nasty temper tantrum in front of the entire film crew without any regret. She then calls in Max, who grabs Danny and intimidates him as a warning for what will happen the next time he crosses Darla's path.
Later, Darla has seemingly forgotten her anger and even offers Danny advice on how to succeed in show business; this is meant to get him to drop his guard, as after this Danny is convinced that Darla wants to help all animals. However, Darla's plan has unforeseen consequences, as her advice only results in him inspiring other animals to try to perform.
Darla becomes worried that the animals will be successful, and hatches a plot: she has Max flood Mammoth Studios while the head of Mammoth Studios, L.B. Mammoth, and the film's director Flanagan are giving an interview, then frames the animals for the incident in the hopes of getting them all fired. The animals get barred from acting at Mammoth Studios again, but end up putting on an impressive production anyway. During this show Darla goes backstage in an attempt at sabotage, but her meddling only enhances the show and makes it more impressive while injuring herself in various ways; this ends with her pulling a large switch, which causes a fabulous fireworks display to end the show. Now covered in wires, props, and bruises, she yells at Danny that she should have drowned him and the rest of the animals when she flooded the stage, unaware that a microphone has become attached to her head in the commotion and her confession has been broadcasted to the entire audience, as well as Flanagan and L.B. Mammoth. Darla tries to save face by hugging Danny like she did earlier in the film, but Danny's friend Pudge pulls a trapdoor lever and Darla falls through the stage.
She is later shown after the credits having lost her job and serving as a janitor, and is seen putting up posters for films with animals in the starring roles.
- When Darla is in her sweet and loving persona, her hair bow is normal; however, whenever she loses her temper or begins scheming her bow becomes pointed and gives her the appearance of devilish horns.
- Darla bears a physical resemblance to (but does not have the same personality as) Shirley Temple during her days as a child actress in the 1930s.
- Darla is stated to be a parody of young Shirley Temple.
- Although she is the main villain, she doesn't compete with Danny physically, Max does.
- Her name "Darleen" is a play on the word "darling", a precious and adorable person.
- Her dual personalities make her somewhat similar to Momoka Nishizawa from Keroro Gunso(u)/Sgt. Frog, since both are rich spoiled children.
- However, unlike Momoka, Darla's evil personality is her true form.