For the most part, Disney’s procession of live-action remakes based on the studio’s extensive animated back catalogue have been functional and serviceable, if far from spectacular. The vast majority of them don’t add anything to the pre-existing stories with the exception of tacking on some subplots to pad out the running time, and when it was first announced, Cruella reeked of creative bankruptcy.
101 Dalmatians had already been remade with Glenn Close and got a sequel, and there’s hardly been a huge volume of fans desperate to find out her origin story in the meantime. The period piece had been in development for almost a decade before director Craig Gillespie and Emma Stone finally cracked the formula, too, and it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that Cruella couldn’t find a better star.
Without having to copy and paste the animated original directly onto the screen, the movie is free to tell whatever kind of tale it wants, and while that tale is probably 20 minutes too long and some of the intended emotional beats are unintentionally hilarious, fans can’t get enough of Stone’s towering performance, as you can see from the reactions below.
— ????? ? ?????? (@citayfrase) May 28, 2021
— ? (@wassupwanda) May 28, 2021
To those who are in love with haute couture and love The Devil Wears Prada, then #Cruella is a must-see movie! Emma Stone is fabulous as the titular character, so is Emma Thompson. Craig Gillespie succeeded in making me care for the antihero.
— D.R.Y.A.N. (@MisterDryan) May 28, 2021
#darling @cruella was superb.
Emma stone rocked the show and i wanna look as grand as that in @ExistPro and anywhere else that will let me out of my cage. Let's upstage everyone #prowrestling #wales #cruelladevil #disney #killemall #fight
— Cruella Dekill (@Darlingdekill) May 28, 2021
Emma Stone gives a brilliant performance in #Cruella
Glenn Close will be proud! And Emma Thompson is also great in it. pic.twitter.com/K8RC57SOXc
— Best of Glenn Close (@best_close) May 28, 2021
Is it too early to make this my film of the year? Because holy smokes it knows how to have fun and just be an utter cinema delight.
Emma Stone absolutely kills it as #Cruella and I want revel in her delightful madness.
I think I’ve found my Halloween costume for this year… pic.twitter.com/TE8WGkrl3P
— Cameron Harris (@Cameron17Harris) May 28, 2021
#Cruella really surprised me.#EmmaStone is a Goddess.
This is easily the best live action Disney has ever made. It's visually stunning, the costume design is impecable, everyone in the cast is having a blast.
This movie is amazing.
— Matheus (@whovianblunt) May 28, 2021
Emma stone and Emma Thompson in cruella OH MY GOD
— iya??- HBC day (@l1ving_deadgirl) May 28, 2021
CRUELLA WAS SO FUCKING GOOD, I AM IN DESPERATE NEED FOR MORE EMMA STONE AS A VILLAIN CONTENT
— mads (@__madisonleigh) May 28, 2021
#Cruella was fantastic. Emma Stone gave me Joaquin Phoenix Joker vibes in a couple scenes. The soundtrack is ?.
— James Delgado (@JimiTheDevil) May 28, 2021
i saw cruella yesterday and all it did was reaffirm by belief that i am wholeheartedly in love with emma stone my god pic.twitter.com/kqSu4gj4o9
— ❥ kaya (@taylorsjacey) May 28, 2021
This weekend marks the first time in a while that two major titles are releasing at the same time, with Cruella up against A Quiet Place Part II in the race to top the box office, but the horror sequel might win out in the end given that the former is scoring a hybrid debut on Disney Plus Premier Access.
Cruella is easily one of Disney’s better live-action retreads, though, and should hopefully set a precedent that telling a much more original story with a familiar property is a whole lot better than an uninspired beat-for-beat reimagining.