Cruella de Vil: Wikis


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Cruella de Vil
First appearance One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
Created by Dodie Smith
Voiced by Betty Lou Gerson (101 Dalmatians film)
April Winchell (TV Series and 101 Dalmatians: Escape from DeVil Manor)
Susanne Blakeslee (House of Mouse, sequels and 102 Dalmatians: Puppies to the Rescue), voiced and portrayed by Glenn Close in 101 Dalmatians and 102 Dalmatians
Aliases Ella (only in 102 Dalmatians film)

Cruella de Vil is a fictional character and the primary villain in Dodie Smith's 1956 novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians, Disney's 1961 animated film adaptation One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and Disney's live-action film adaptations 101 Dalmatians and 102 Dalmatians. In all her incarnations, Cruella kidnaps dalmatian puppies for their fur. In the live-action version, it is revealed that the reason Cruella chooses to skin puppies is that when short-haired dogs grow older their fur becomes very coarse, which does not sell as well in the fur fashion industry as the fine, soft fur of puppies. She also always has the left half of her hair white and the right half black, it is her style. She is one of the most well-known villians in Disney history. Making her way to #1 several years. In 2000, de Vil was awarded with Billboards Villian of The Year award (shared with her potrayer, Glenn Close). By 2005, The Walt Disney Company ranked her the #1 villian in entire Disney history.

Cruella de Vil ranked 39 on AFI's list "100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains".[1]



Cruella's name is a play on the words cruel and devil, an allusion which is emphasized by having her country house be nicknamed "Hell Hall". In some translations, Cruella De Vil is known as "Cruella De Mon" to change the play on the word "devil" to one on "demon" because the word "devil" in some languages does not have a clear meaning. An example is Italy, where she is called "Crudelia De Mon" (a pun on "crudele", cruel, and "demone", demon). In the French translation of the Disney's animated movie, she is referred as "Cruella D'Enfer" (Literally, Cruella of Hell or from Hell). In some languages (such as Spanish) where her last name has been left as De Vil, but is not similar to their equivalent of devil, it is taken to be a play on their equivalent of "vile" or "villain". Spelled out as one word; cruelladevil, taken as Cruel Devil or Cruel and Evil.


The Hundred and One Dalmatians novel

In the original story, Cruella is a pampered London heiress who knows the owner of the Dalmatian puppies through school. She was a notorious student with black and white plaits. She was later expelled for drinking ink. Now she is the last of her prosperous and notorious family and married to a furrier who supplies her obsession, such as the one piece she is never seen without; a white mink cloak. With this, she wears skin-tight satin gowns and ropes of jewels in contrasting colors, such as an emerald color dress with ropes of rubies. Her chauffeur-driven car is black-and-white striped (Mr. Dearly comments that it looks like "a moving zebra crossing") and has the loudest horn in London, which she insists on displaying to the Dearly family. Such dramatic luxuries were said to be based on Tallulah Bankhead's lavish spending habits, which the producers of the film first read about in a newspaper.[2]

When she has guests for dinner, all of Cruella's food is strange colors and tastes of pepper (alluding to her quick temper). She constantly stokes a roaring fire and complains of being cold despite the elevated temperature. The flat is portrayed as a sort of luxurious version of Hell and sets up Cruella's "devilish" persona for her later crimes. Her guests also meet her abused white Persian cat, which plays a key role in a later part of the story.

When invited to a dinner party held by the Dearly couple, Cruella expresses her sinister interest in the Dalmatians, remarking how she and her henpecked husband have never thought of making clothing from dog pelt before. Yet seeing the spotless skins of the newborn puppies she is revolted and offers to have them drowned at once; her way of getting rid of animals which she views as worthless, including her own cat's kittens. Upon a second visit to the house she picks up the mature puppies and treats them like clothing to be worn.

Cruella also makes a brief appearance, albeit asleep, in Dodie Smith's sequel, The Starlight Barking.

One Hundred and One Dalmatians film

Cruella De Vil takes out her anger on Jasper and Horace, her bumbling henchmen. This image illustrates the exaggerated mannerisms and appearance of De Vil, key to her character's continued success among audiences and critics alike.

Cruella first appears when Pongo and Perdy were about to go to sleep. She goes inside the house where she asks her school mate Anita when the puppies will arrive. Anita says in three weeks. Cruella leaves, while it seems that Pongo (Rod Taylor) was very upset to see her. Cruella returns to the house where she offers a lot of money for the puppies. Roger refuses and Cruella is furious. She hires Horace and Jasper as her henchmen to steal the puppies. Horace and Jasper call her where during an argument Jasper yells to Horace even on the phone "Oh Shut up you idiot!" Cruella thinks Jasper was talking to her and hangs up. She calls Anita where she pretends she is upset about the stolen puppies. Roger is angry saying that Cruella stole the puppies. He turns out to be right though, but Anita says it is not true. Cruella then next appears when she watches Jasper and Horace watching "What's my crime". She takes Jasper's alcohol and throws it in the fire where it explodes. She slaps the henchmen, and roars off in her car. Sergeant Tibbs helps the puppies escape, and during a chase Cruella's henchmen fails to kill the puppies. She demands they go to Dinsford where she discovers the puppies with Pongo and Perdy getting on the van while it is driving away. A chase ensues with Cruella and the Baduns trying to stop the van. Cruella repeatedly tries to ram the car off the road (promply damaging her car in the process), while the Baduns try to cut it off from another direction. They nearly succeed, but just as the Baduns are about to cut the van off, Horace panicks and accidentally pulls out the wheel from the truck's dashboard. Because of this, the Badun's truck swerves out of control and crashes into Cruella's car, sending both vehicles flying into the air and down into a deep ravine. They are all shown to have survived the crash, and standing among the wreckage of their totaled vehicles, with Cruella calling her henchmen names and berating them for their failure before starting to cry and sob over the loss of her fur coat.

Disney's animated version of Cruella first appeared in 1961's One Hundred and One Dalmatians, in which she was voiced by Betty Lou Gerson and animated by Marc Davis who together crafted her into an iconic and memorable character. The cool detachment of the original character was replaced by a crazed mania, in which Cruella only barely clung to a sheen of glamour. Anita comments Cruella's above mentioned fur coat is new when Cruella first appears. For unexplained reasons, Cruella's cat and husband were omitted from the Disney version.

The film featured a song, written by the late Mel Leven, using her name as the title, sung by the dalmatians' owner Roger (Bill Lee), who holds the woman in contempt. The lyric begins with: "Cruella De Vil, Cruella De Vil. If she doesn't scare you, no evil thing will..."

Disney considered reusing Cruella as the villain for The Rescuers, but decided against it because they did not want to make it a sequel to an otherwise unrelated film. Cruella eventually returned in the 2003 direct-to-video sequel 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure, where she was voiced by Susanne Blakeslee. Blakeslee also voiced Cruella in the 2001 TV series House of Mouse, which featured a running gag in which she inspects dogs from other Disney films with a measuring ruler. Cruella is also one of the Disney Villains Mickey fights in Disney's Hollywood Studios version of Fantasmic! Nighttime Show Spectacular in Walt Disney World. In Disney On Ice play'Celebrations'Cruella De Vil was one of the Villains who appears during the Halloween Party.

From the unsubtle symbolic name to her hideous physical appearance, the evil of Cruella De Vil is overt.[3] In 2002, Forbes ranked Cruella as the thirteenth wealthiest fiction character, citing the single 65-year-old has a net worth of $875 million, obtained through inheritance [4] Cruella was listed as the 39th greatest villain in American cinema in AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains.

101 Dalmatians live-action film

In Disney's 1996 live-action remake of the animated film, 101 Dalmatians, and its 2000 sequel, 102 Dalmatians, Cruella was played by Glenn Close.

In Disney's 1996 live-action remake of the animated film, 101 Dalmatians, and its 2000 sequel, 102 Dalmatians, Cruella was played by Glenn Close. The film reinvented Cruella yet again, this time as the magnate of a couture fashion house, "House of De Vil", which specialised in fur couture. The character of Anita (played by Joely Richardson) was a couturière and employee of De Vil. This film increased the physical comedy of the animated film, even veering into toilet humor, such as Cruella falling into a vat of old molasses or having a pig fart in her face. Close's performance was universally well-received, and her sex appeal as the character was also credited.

The live-action film was not as critically successful as the animated movie, but Close's performance, as well as her costumes, by Anthony Powell and Rosemary Burrows, received appreciative attention, including a spread in Vanity Fair magazine. Claws were applied to gloves, and necklaces were made from teeth, to add to the idea that Cruella enjoyed wearing parts of dead animals. Nails were also projected from the heels to make them especially vicious in appearance. Close has commented on how demanding the slapstick physicality of the role was while wearing nail-heeled boots and corsets. She was always smoking to give the appearance of a mysterious "villain".

In 102 Dalmatians, while under effect of Dr. Ivan Petrovich Pavlov's dog conditioning, Cruella wanted to be called "Ella de Vil" because "Cruella sounds so ... cruel". Cruella was completely devoted to saving animals and while experiencing "doraphobia," was scared at the smallest sight of fur fashion, especially since she had all her old fur clothes and the dalmatian coat sketch boarded up. Unfortunately, this new persona does not stay for long, since the effects of Big Ben's bells manage to undo the hypnotherapy, and "Ella" reverts back to Cruella. During the "Ella" stage, Cruella quit her characteristic habits, such as wearing fur, long nails, extravagant hair styles, and of course, smoking. Once the Big Ben jolted her brain waves back into Cruella, her old habits came back. In the end of the movie, she turned into a massive cake and got arrested once again.

101 Dalmatians animated series

In the 101 Dalmatians animated series, Cruella was voiced by April Winchell and was based on Glenn Close's portrayal from the live-action film, but with Betty Lou Gerson's design from the animated film. She appears to be a vegetarian in the show, therefore did not wear clothes made out of animals, nor smoked (although in the episode "Smoke Detectors" she did). Her villainous plot in the show was to steal the Dearlys' farm from them, and using the puppies as a ransom, mainly because the old widow Smedly would not sell it to her and that her mother Malevola demands it. She is an archetypal corporate villain who will seize on any scheme to make money, including drilling oil from the swamp near Dearly farm (thereby polluting it), buying Kanine Krunchies and replacing the nutritious ingrediants with sawdust and chalk or sending Jasper and Horace to drive out the owners of Mom and Pop's Grocery Store so she can buy it herself.

In the Christmas episode, "A Cruella Christmas", since she was a child, Cruella wanted a dalmatian puppy but her parents always go on vacations, leaving her with a foreign nanny and clothes for gifts. During her teens was the final straw, which gave her her half white hairline in her fury (earlier she is seen with all black hair and a slight gray-ish streak). Her miserable childhood is what drove her to evil.

The series is also the first time Cruella competes with Anita for Roger. In the series finale, she uses an inflatable body suit to disguise herself as a sexy blonde bikini surfer to seduce Roger to make Anita think he is cheating her so they will split up and she can get the farm and Roger. When Anita goes swimming, she makes her move on him. She calls him "hunkalicious" and asks him to go swimming with her. She leans in to kiss him, but the puppies' chicken friend Spot pokes a hole in her suit just as she is about to kiss him and she deflates and is used as a surfboard.

101 Dalmatians Musical

Cruella also appears as the primary antagonist in the Broadway musical based on the novel. The character was portrayed by Rachel York;[5] however, the actress announced on her blog that she had stepped down from the role of Cruella de Vil to pursue other projects, and that the role would be taken over by Sara Gettelfinger.[6]

In popular culture

The Queen song "Let Me Entertain You" features the lyrics "I'll Cruella de Vil You!"

The Deadsy song "Cruella" is written about Cruella de Vil.

The Selena Gomez song "Cruella de Vil" is, respectively, a song about Cruella de Vil.

In 1998's The Parent Trap, Hallie & Annie called Meredith "Cruella" when they go camping.

The spanish singer Alaska made a song called "Cruella de Vil" for the 101 Dalmatians Live-action film.

In The Bing Bang Theory chapter "The Bat Jar Conjencture", Rajeesh suggests that they use an evil laughter as a psychological threat against Sheldon, and Howard points out that his evil laughter is more like a Cruella de Vil's laughter.


In The Simpsons episode, "Two Dozen and One Greyhounds", Mr. Burns plays the role of Cruella De Vil, but unlike her in the movies, where she steals the dalmatian puppies to make them into fur coats, he steals Santa's Little Helper and his girlfriend's greyhound puppies to make them into a tuxedo. The episode also featured a song strongly resembling "Be Our Guest" from "Beauty and The Beast, here renamed "See my vest"

Coco LaBouche from 2000's Rugrats in Paris is a parody of Cruella.

The Dark Eldar, an alien race from the tabletop wargame Warhammer 40,000, include a Special Character named "Kruellagh the Vile", whose name is an obvious pun on Cruella de Vil.


  1. ^ "100 Heroes and Villains: List Downloads page". 
  2. ^ Disney Archives | Cruella De Vil Villains History
  3. ^ Michael A Baldassare (1999), Can Someone Named "Cruella" Ever Act in Good Faith, "Cruella de Vil, Hades, and Ursula the Sea-Witch: How Disney Films Teach Our Children the Basics of Contract Law", Drake Law Review 48 (2): 351–356, 
  4. ^ "The Forbes Fictional Fifteen". 2002-09-13. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  5. ^ Preston, Rohan (October 14, 2009). "'The 101 Dalmatians': A Canine Caper". Star Tribune. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  6. ^ York, Rachel (January 30, 2010). "Parting Is Truly Such Sweet Sorrow". Retrieved February 1, 2010. 

External links

Simple English

Cruella de Vil
First appearanceOne Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
Created byDodie Smith
Voiced byBetty Lou Gerson (101 Dalmatians film)
April Winchell (TV Series)
Susan Blakeslee (House of Mouse and sequels).
Background Information
FriendsHorace & Jasper , Alonsso
Rivals101 Dalmatians, 102 Dalmatians

Cruella De Vil (obviously a play on cruel and devil) is the villain in the Dodie Smith book The Hundred and One Dalmatians who kidnaps (dognaps) the puppies for their fur. She is described as having one half of her hair white and the other half black, an extreme fondness for pepper and a preference for elevated temperatures.

In the 1961 Disney animated movie her voice was played by Betty Lou Gerson. The movie featured a song about her sung by Roger whose lyrics begin:

Cruella De Vil, Cruella De Vil, If she doesn't scare you, no evil thing will.

Later, in the 1996 live-action remake, and its 2000 sequel, 102 Dalmatians, she was played by Glenn Close. Shortly afterward, Cruella was a regular viallian in 101 Dalmatians: The Series, where she was voiced by April Winchell. This time, though, she wanted to steal the Dearly Farm, seeing how killing animals for fashion was deemed politically incorrect. However, she returned to hunting dogs in House of Mouse (which features an ongoing joke in which she inspects dogs from other Disney movies with a measuring ruler) and 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure, both of which had Susanne Blakeslee as her voice.

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