As Charles Pulliam-Moore pointed out with perfect accuracy when the first trailer hit, what really makes Cruella work is how the movie doesn’t appear to be softening the villain’s character, which is unexpected given 1) that’s what Disney did in the two Maleficent films, and 2) Cruella’s villainous plan in 101 Dalmations was to murder an enormous amount of puppies. There’s really no redeeming that, so it’s very wise of the movie to not even try. Instead, the young Cruella tries to break into the cutthroat fashion industry as epitomized by Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson), making Cruella—and I can’t tell you how not sorry I am to say this—the underdog, and we all love a good underdog story even when the underdog wants to murder dogs.

Cruella, which also stars Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Joel Fry, and Mark Strong, arrives in theaters on May 28. There’s no word on when or if Disney might also release it on Disney+, but we’ll keep you posted.


For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.