1. Snow White and the Huntsman
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Like Cruella, Snow White and the Huntsman retells a well-known tale in a fresh way with intriguing new elements. The 2012 fantasy adventure, based on the classic Snow White story, gives an intriguing backstory to Charlize Theron’s (Evil) Queen Ravenna. She marries Snow White’s father, but kills him because she is afraid he will be like another king who had previously hurt and abandoned her.
That paranoia, in contrast to the Disney version, is also what leads to her death. Kristen Stewart plays Ravenna, a character who can keep herself young by stealing the youth of other women. Eventually, Snow White reaches adulthood and learns that she can become immortal by eating Snow White’s heart. Because the idea of living forever appeals to her, she strikes a dark bargain with Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman: the queen will restore the life of his wife if he kills Snow White and brings her heart back to Ravenna. Snow White is aided in her escape by the Huntsman after learning that the queen possesses no such clout. While the Huntsman usually plays a supporting role, he takes on a larger role in this film, mentoring and teaching the young woman how to defend herself as well as discovering their inner strength.
2. One Hundred and One Dalmatians
For many of us, 101 Dalmatians: The Animated Series, released in 1961, was a must-see movie as a kid. Pongo and Perdita, two Dalmatians who meet and fall in love, are the focus of the story. Fortunately for them, Roger and Anita, their owners, fall in love and decide to move in with them. Perdita is overjoyed when she has a litter of 15 puppies, but her joy quickly turns to terror when the puppies arrive.
Cruella De Vil, an old friend of Anita’s, joyfully appears and declares that she will purchase the puppies from them. As a result of their refusal, she decides to exact vengeance on them by having her thug brothers Horace and Jasper Badun kidnap the puppies, along with the many others she already has in captivity. She intends to skin the puppies and turn them into spotted fur coats for herself. A daring rescue occurs later in the film, and it’s a must-see for fans of Cruella de Vil.
3. 101 Dalmatians (1996)
If you liked Stone’s portrayal of a young Cruella, you’ll love Glenn Close’s interpretation in the 1996 live-action 101 Dalmatians if you enjoyed Stone’s. Anita and Cruella’s relationship is further developed in this version as it builds on the strengths of the 1961 animated film. Joely Richardson plays Anita in this version.
Cruella and Anita are no longer colleagues at House of de Vil, where Anita works as a fashion designer. Instead, Cruella is her boss. Cruella’s adoration of dalmatians is a result of Anita’s creation of a spotted coat. When Jeff Daniels’ Anita and Roger refuse to sell Cruella the puppies, Cruella dismisses them and vows vengeance. When she sees a cartoon about puppy kidnapping, she recruits Hugh Laurie and Mark Williams to play her henchmen. Then she plans to get a dalmatian fur coat to fulfill a lifelong dream, but the dogs have another plan in mind. Despite the fact that her Cruella de Vil is devoid of the sympathetic quality that Stone’s portrayal possesses, Close revels in the role of the glitzy villain, and her heightened interpretation of the character is an enduring thrill, as are the extraordinary fashion moments created by three-time Oscar-winning costume designer Anthony Powell.
4. The Devil Wears Prada
Cruella shares many similarities with The Devil Wears Prada, and in fact, Cruella was co-written by The Devil Wears Prada screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna. Speaking of extraordinary fashion, Anne Hathaway plays Andy, an aspirational young woman who takes a job as an assistant at a prestigious fashion magazine in order to begin her career as a journalist. Andy struggles, unsure of how to please her ruthless boss, Miranda Priestly, despite her lack of knowledge of the fashion industry. Miranda, portrayed by Meryl Streep, is a perfectionist and a scathing critic who is on the verge of being supplanted by newer talent and emerging trends in the fashion industry.
Miranda and Cruella de Vil share a lot in common as devilish, tyrannical bosses: strong personalities with dubious methods who know how to get what they want. However, Emma Thompson’s Baroness, Cruella’s villain, is an even more tyrannical and dangerous fashionista, as seen in the film. As a fan of Thompson’s deliciously wicked portrayal of a fashion queen, you’ll enjoy Streep’s equally potent turn as Priestly – the rare comedy performance to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a leading role.
Maleficent is a great example of a villain origin story that, like Cruella’s, shows how a beloved Disney character like the sorceress came to be a villain. Angelina Jolie plays Maleficent, Sleeping Beauty’s archenemy. With this movie, the antagonist, who was intriguing but flat in the animated film, gets some depth. The more you learn about her backstory and how she came to curse an innocent baby, the better you understand her motivations, what she has been through, and where she is going.
Maleficent has been betrayed by the human boy she adored. Avenging the king who had attempted to conquer Maleficent’s Moors, he then marries the princess, and he becomes king. He cuts off Maleficent’s wings in order to ascend to the throne, which causes her to seek vengeance on him by cursing his newborn daughter. Maleficent, who is played by Elle Fanning, becomes attached to Aurora as she grows up, which gives the story even more depth. Similarly to Cruella, Maleficent is a film that challenges our preconceived notions about the villain, and when it comes to narrative approach, Maleficent is the closest remake from Disney’s live action.
6. Alice in Wonderland
The story of Alice in Wonderland has been adapted numerous times, but director Tim Burton’s 2010 version adds a dark style and new depth to the plot. For starters, this time around, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is more mature and has decided to make a triumphant return to Wonderland. She reunites with a number of characters she met as a child, such as Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter and Anne Hathaway’s White Queen. Her new goal is to kill the Red Queen’s Jabberwocky (Helena Bonham Carter) Jabberwocky and bring an end to her reign.
Alice returns to Wonderland in this film, making it a prequel to the original story. As an added bonus, it turns her into something of a monster-slayer and folk hero. The backstory of the Red and White Queens is revealed, providing new insight into their rivalry, and director Tim Burton’s distinctive style elevates this Alice in Wonderland adaptation above the rest.
7. Beauty and the Beast (2017)
After watching Cruella, you may want to see the 2017 remake of Beauty and the Beast, which stars Emma Thompson once again. When compared to Cruella de Vil (1991), this live-action version is a great complement to the original because it sticks closer to the source material while also being more straightforward than Cruella.
There are some changes made in this reimagining, like Cruella, and Belle (Emma Watson) and Beast (Dan Stevens) have more to their backstories this time around. Even Belle’s mother’s fate is revealed, as is the reason for the prince’s transformation into a beast after turning away the enchantress. These additions do more than just broaden the mythology; they also provide context for the pasts of the characters and the problems they must overcome in order to progress.
However, the wonderful soundtrack remains, including a new ballad for Beast, which features the beautiful voice of Susie Stevens. As with Cruella de Vil and the other films on this list, Beauty and the Beast expands on a well-known story while still paying homage to the originals’ best qualities.