12 moments in Disney's live-action 'Cruella' that call back to '101 Dalmatians'

·7 min read
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Emma Stone in "Cruella." Laurie Sparham/Disney
  • Warning: There are spoilers ahead for "Cruella," currently in theaters and streaming on Disney Plus.

  • "Cruella" has a lot of obvious and subtle nods to its predecessor, "101 Dalmatians."

  • Horace watches TV with kidnapped Dalmatians in both films while the live-action prequel recreated Roger's flat.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

It's Estella's (Cruella) dream to go to Regent's Park in London.

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Estella is joined by her dog Buddy as she talks to her "mom" at Regent's Park after getting a job. Disney

Regent's Park is the main setting of "101 Dalmatians." The 1961 film opens with Pongo narrating from his home not too far from the area.

Anita is given a different, significant last name in "Cruella."

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Anita as she appears in both "101 Dalmatians" vs. "Cruella." Walt Disney Animation, Disney / composite by Kirsten Acuna/Insider

Anita is the protagonist of the 1961 animated film "101 Dalmatians." While we never learn her last name, she eventually marries Roger and takes his last name, Radcliffe.

In the live-action prequel spin-off, Anita's last name is Darling, which may have made Disney fans smile.

"Darling" is an affectionate term Cruella uses to address her old schoolmate in the animated film and a catchphrase she uses at random. In "Cruella," Estella mainly uses the term to address her friend by her last name.

This version of Anita is given a job at the London Editorial.

It's not clear at first, but Roger is in the film, too. His flat is a direct recreation of his home in the animated film.

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Roger's smoking pipe is replaced in the live-action "Cruella" with a pencil. Disney, Walt Disney Animation. Composite by Kirsten Acuna/Insider

Roger is the other lead character of "101 Dalmatians." In the animated film, he only knows Cruella because of Anita. Here, he's a lawyer for the Baroness' company and knows Cruella because of their mutual employer until he's fired.

In the animated film, Roger is solely a prospective music writer. By the end of "Cruella," Roger is seen in his humble flat working on the iconic "Cruella de Vil" tune from the animated feature.

According to the film's production notes, the flat was recreated from footage in "101 Dalmatians" as an homage to the movie. It's pretty perfect right down to the hat placed atop the clock in the room's center.

Horace and Jasper are Cruella's henchman from the animated movie.

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Laurie Sparham/Disney

The live-action movie fully fleshes out the two Disney characters who were nothing more than bumbling fools who Cruella constantly berated in the original film.

Here, the two are loyal and dear friends to Estella before her turn as a Disney villain. Joel Fry and Paul Walter Hauser not only make the two thieves likable but also complex characters worth rooting for with a lovable one-eyed dog, Wink.

In "Cruella," it's also hinted that Jasper has feelings for Estella, something that is never explored in the animated film.

A woman and her dog owner are modeled after two animated characters from the start of the animated movie.

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Pongo watches dogs and their owners who look alike walk down his street at the start of "101 Dalmatians." It's Horace who makes this observation in "Cruella." Disney, Walt Disney Animation, composite by Kirsten Acuna/Insider

About an hour into "Cruella," Horace and Jasper are people watching. Horace asks Jasper if he's ever noticed how some dog owners look a lot like their dogs.

The camera then cuts to a woman and her Afghan hound. The pair share a striking resemblance with two characters from the start of the animated film who Pongo notices at the film's start.

Horace and Jasper kidnap the Baroness' Dalmatians in a regular old van, a nod to how they're stolen in the animated film.

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Horace and Jasper stow the Baroness' three Dalmatians in a blue van in "Cruella." Disney, Walt Disney Animation, composite by Kirsten Acuna/Insider

The two drive a similar non-descript van in the animated movie when they capture Pongo and Perdita's puppies.

Cruella notes that the Baroness' Dalmatians would "make fabulous coats."

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Cruella says she's joking, but by the film's end you kind of wonder if this woman could one day make good on her word. Disney

Cruella's entire bit in the Disney universe has been that she steals puppies to have them skinned and turned into fur coats.

The live-action prequel alludes to this, with Cruella even saying that the Baroness' three prized Dalmatians would make great coats. The mention of killing dogs visibly horrifies Jasper and Cruella insists that she's joking.

Shortly later, Cruella shows up at her own fashion show in a Dalmatian-inspired look and the Baroness is convinced that she killed her dogs. (She didn't.)

Instead, this Cruella is strangely very pro-dog, which goes against everything the animated film had viewers believe. By the film's end, she takes in the Baroness' three Dalmatians. If the plan is for Disney to do a follow-up sequel, it's currently unclear whether or not Cruella will eventually take a turn and lean into the notorious puppy murdering fashion icon that made her one of the Mouse House's cruelest villains.

Estella doesn't know how to drive, a nod to Cruella's rather reckless driving.

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Cruella is even wearing red gloves in both scenes. Disney, Walt Disney Animation, composite by Kirsten Acuna/Insider

According to the film's production notes, the filmmakers wanted to include a scene of Cruella "manically driving the enormous vehicle that inspires her name" in the film.

So when Estella steals a car and races through the streets of London about halfway through "Cruella," she's crashing every which way. When Jasper asks her if she knows how to drive, Estella admits that she doesn't, prompting Jasper to tell her to stop the vehicle.

Estella drives hunchbacked at the wheel, similar to Cruella in the animated movie when she's on a rampage chasing after the Dalmatian pups late in the film. In both scenes, you may have spied she's also wearing red gloves.

Cruella steals the car that gives rise to her iconic name.

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The iconic car needed to be built for the film. Disney

Late in the film, Horace says he discovered the car that Estella stole is called a "devil."

Jasper quickly corrects him and says it's a "Deville." Cruella takes note and decides to tack it on to her name to give herself the moniker Cruella de Vil.

According to the film's production notes, the UK-based Dream Cars created two cars based on the 1980 Panther De Ville for "Cruella" since the cars no longer exist.

The Baroness' Dalmatian trio settle down and watch TV with Horace after they're kidnapped.

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Walt Disney Animation, Disney. Composite by Kirsten Acuna/Insider

The Dalmatian pups were always privy to watching television in the animated film.

The 15 original pups watch a show with their parents near the film's start. Later, when Horace and Jasper kidnap a bunch of Dalmatian pups, they're entertained by a television in the room and enjoy watching it whenever it's on.

By the film's end, Cruella takes possession of Hellman Hall and renames it "Hell Hall," something which should give Disney fans chills.

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Cruella now resides at Hell Hall. Disney

Hell Hall is where Horace and Jasper housed the many Dalmatian pups they planned to kill to make Cruella's dog coat.

At the film's end, Cruella gifts Pongo and Perdita to Roger and Anita, respectively.

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Pongo and Perdita show up at Roger and Anita's doorsteps at the end of "Cruella." Disney

We never learn how Roger and Anita acquired their Dalmatian pups in the animated film.

"Cruella" makes it so that Pongo and Perdita come straight from Estella. Though we don't know for certain, it seems like they may even be from the same litter.

The ending to the live-action movie sets the scene for a potential live-action sequel/remake of "101 Dalmatians."

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