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Cruella‘s Hilarious Origin Story Launches 101 Dal-meme-tions

Social media is off and running with this ridiculous plot point.

emma stone as cruella de vil

***SPOILER ALERT: This post spoils the origin story of Cruella, so read if you dare MWAHAHAHAHA***

When Disney first announced that they were making a film about the origins of Cruella de Vil, we had questions, like “Why?”, “Who asked for this?”, and “Really still no Ursula movie?” Chief among them was how will the film humanize an animal abuser/murderer? After all, audiences can forgive a lot of transgressions: theft, violence, murder, revenge. But animal cruelty is both something that is unjustifiable and universally reviled (as well it should be). So the central question remains, how do you justify Cruella’s desire to turn 101 Dalmatian pups into a fur coat?


When the film was first announced, many on social media joked that Cruella’s origin story would somehow involve Dalmatians killing her parents, which we all laughed at because it was so absurd and cliché. Well, hold onto your two-toned wigs, because Cruella seizes that first draft of an idea and runs with it. The opening of the film sees a flashback to Cruella’s childhood, where we witness Cruella’s mother pushed off of a cliff by some ferocious Dalmatians.

It’s a wildly obvious and ridiculous choice to make this Cruella’s Joker moment (or more accurately, Bruce Wayne moment), and the internet quickly seized on this plot point with the fire of a thousand memes. I mean, this script presumably went through dozens of rewrites and notes and drafts, yet they still stuck to the hackiest reason why Cruella hates those dogs. I know this is a live-action version of a cartoon, but damn is this cartoony. Here are some of our favorite memes mocking this unintentionally hilarious plot point:

Yes, this plot point is the most obvious, most banal choice the film could have made. But does that make Cruella a bad movie? Well, it depends on who you ask. Personally, all I want from this film are campy performances, dazzling costumes, and high production values. If Cruella can deliver an entertaining night out, then I’m more than ready for it. Even if death by Dalmatian is the inciting incident, the film still has rich territory to explore.

Have you seen Cruella yet? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

(image: Disney)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.