Cruella – Blu-ray Review


For the most part, my thoughts on Cruella relatively remain the same as my review back in May. Of course, one of the best things about rewatching Cruella is watching the two Emmas battle one another in the world of London’s haute couture. The pair of Emma Stone and Emma Thompson provide excellent and engaging performances. At the same time, Cruella’s partners in crime, Horace and Jasper, is a welcome break from the fashion fight, with Paul Walter Hauser and Joel Fry riffing off each other brilliantly.

There are those out there that are wondering why Disney would make a movie out of a future dog murderer. Yet, one of the most interesting things about Cruella is that it feels as if it deconstructs Cruella and transforms her into an entirely new character. Thus, it removes our familiarity with her from what we know of her in One Hundred and One Dalmatians. Not to mention, you’re more forgiving of the elaborate plotline because Cruella uses all that time to develop a sympathetic protagonist. After all, murdering dogs is too cruel—even for the bad guys. The film also justifies Cruella’s villainy and makes her sympathetic by implementing the same tropes as other villain movies (Joker notwithstanding). So this includes giving her a tragic back story and making the film’s actual villain even more cruel and unpleasant.

Overall, Cruella still holds up after many more viewings. The film still feels long, but you’re more accepting of those issues when you watch the cast go to work. Not to mention, the movie feels inventive and vibrant—from the gritty streets of London to the over-the-top fashion style of Cruella and the Baroness. Hopefully, future Disney live-action adaptations can do what Cruella did and make something relatively fresh out of their classic set of characters.

Movie Rating: 4/5 atoms

Cruella - Emma Thompson


Cruella hits Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-AVC with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Firstly, the picture has a radiant white that glistens off the screen. Unfortunately, the blacks are deep black, but there are many details lost in the shadows. Thankfully, for a colorful movie such as this, the color saturation for this release is divine. So even without the help of HDR, the colors still look rich and brilliant. Now, there is a lot of spectacular fashion in Cruella—stuff that you might find rich people wearing at the Met Gala. The Blu-ray represents these details crisply and cleanly. Overall, the picture looks fantastic despite the really deep blacks.

Video Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Cruella - Paul Walter Hauser and Joel Fry


Cruella hits Blu-ray with a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Much of the sound mix’s immersion stems from the usage of sound effects in the surround channels. For instance, you can really notice it when the butterflies hatch and crash the Baroness’ spring show. The atmospheric effects such as people talking, laughing, screaming, dogs barking, and people walking around in the city all sound excellent in the surround speakers. Nicholas Britell’s score and the film’s killer soundtrack completely fill up the soundstage from all over, which feels like a concert. Not to mention, the mix has a distinct instrument separation in the soundtrack. The dialogue takes priority in the center channel over it all. Overall, this DTS-HD mix sounds amazing.

Audio Rating: 5/5 atoms

Cruella - Emma Stone

Special Features

Cruella‘s Blu-ray disc has the following special features on Blu-ray disc:

  • The Two Emmas
  • The Sidekick Angle
  • Cruella Couture
  • The World of Cruella
  • New Dogs… Old Tricks
  • Cruella 101
  • Bloopers
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Hotel Heist Hallway
    • Baroness Rejects Design Sketches

With The Two Emmas, the featurette looks at Emma Stone and Emma Thompson and their characters in the film. The featurette does rave about them, but it also delves into their character’s mindset and conflict. Similarly, The Sidekick Angle looks at Paul Walter Hauser and Joel Fry and their characters in Cruella. Once again, the featurette features a lot of love for both actors, but Hauser and Fry still talk about their characters and the familial relationship between Cruella, Jasper, and Horace.

Of course, the costumes are a character in their own right in the film. Thus, Cruella Couture is easily one of the more interesting featurettes on the Blu-ray because it covers the stellar costumes in the movie. Costume designer Jenny Beavan breaks down the ideas behind the costumes from Estella’s younger years all the way to her transformation as Cruella De Vil. World of Cruella covers the filming locations and the production design of the movie. It’s fascinating to see the insane amount of work done to dress the sets. Yes, the costumes do overshadow the sets, but as you watch the featurette, you get to see how detailed they are.

New Dogs is a featurette about… Well, the dogs. As a dog lover, this is hands down the best featurette. Cruella 101 explores the similarities and differences between animated and live-action films. The bloopers and deleted scenes are short and sweet viewings, so you can easily watch them and enjoy them.

Special Features Rating: 4/5 atoms

From the movie itself to the audiovisuals of the Blu-ray presentation, this release is top-notch. Not to mention, the bonus features take a comprehensive look at the making of the film. While there isn’t a lot of features, the quality is there.

Overall Rating: /5 atoms

Cruella hits stores on September 21st.

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Walt Disney Home Entertainment.

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