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Disney Drops First “Cruella” Trailer Starring Emma Stone

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

“How does the saying go? I am woman, hear me roar.” coos Emma Stone is an impressively sinister British accent. The Academy Award-winning actress has taken on a starring role as the notorious Cruella de Vil in Disney’s upcoming live-action feature film Cruella. In a dazzling spectacle of luxurious fashion and undeniable chaos, all set by the backdrop of London in the 1970s, the minute-and-a-half-long trailer has shocked and excited Disney fans alike.

From the first clip of the trailer, the audience is taken into young “Estella’s” world as she walks down a bustling London street with Stone throatily narrating overtop. Fans have attributed this new character to the Disney equivalent of Harley Quinn or even the Joker. The first indication that the film might stretch Disney’s usual PG ratings is a clip, 15 seconds in, that shows our anti-hero carrying a rather large crystal bottle of liquor. Stone then pronounces a general fear others’ have that she might be, “a psycho.” Following this statement, there is a cutaway as she lets out a blood-curling yet iconic, Cruella de Vil cackle, playing over the traditional Cinderalla’s castle-Disney intro. Not to mention, the entire Disney intro clip is in a foreboding black and white, with only the ‘Disney’ letters in a piercing red.

Then enters the romantic yet eerie, jazzy background music with visions of the movie’s star entering an extravagant masquerade ball. Three dalmatians growl up at the party’s newcomer as the other guests all turn, champagne in hand, to see Stone light her own white over-coat on fire to reveal a flaming red gown. Right as a smirk begins to spread across her face, the screen cuts entirely black, and she recites the quote: “I am woman, hear me roar.”

Flashing clips of organized pandemonium ensue only being broken by the words: “Hello; Cruel; World.” We see the iconic Cruella de Vil car being driven, complete with the “Devil” license plate. We also see a raging party scene with our anti-hero in the midst of the crowd and lights being juxtaposed with cars crashing into the glass windows of buildings. However, there are also clips slipped in that inspire a sense of empathy for the notorious villain, as we see close-ups of Stone visibly crying and distraught while driving deep into the night, alone on a motorbike.

The narration then continues with a new level of self-awareness as Stone states that she was: “born brilliant, born bad, and a little bit mad,” paired with another series of haunting laughter. A final clip shows Stone, face in shadow so we only see her split-down-the-middle dyed black and white hair, closing some sort of gate, transitioning the screen again into darkness. As the slow music returns, the end of the trailer shows a building, burning from the inside, amongst the London skyline

Despite the overall trend of dark imagery, it is suggested that the plot of the film’s story revolves around “Estella’s” pursuit of fashion. From that of the characters displayed in the trailer, the director, Craig Gillespie, spared no cost in creating delicate and extraordinary costumes. Between these costumes and the romantic soundtrack, the film should have a dark but beautiful aesthetic. The 2014 film “Maleficent” was a hit, and with continuing the villain’s-backstory film genre, Disney promises a twisted masterpiece.

Cruella will be released in May of 2021.

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Julia is a fourth-year student at FSU majoring in editing, writing, and media. When she isn't writing or studying, you could probably find her somewhere drinking a lot of coffee and watching some good movies.
Her Campus at Florida State University.