'101 Dalmatians' at 60: Why Cruella de Vil is still everyone's favorite Disney villain

She’s also left her distinct imprint on many of the Disney villains that followed in her dog-snatching wake: the sea witch, Ursula, the would-be lion king, Scar, and the scheming Yzma have all displayed Cruella-like tendencies and cadences.

Materialism is her motivation, not power or vengeance, and her unapologetic greed lends her villainous pursuits — in this case, kidnapping a litter of Dalmatian puppies to make a resplendently spotted fur coat — a comic edge.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in 1991 , the actress described her alter ego’s specific patter as resembling, “Someone who’s set sail from New York but hasn’t quite reached England.” And in the Los Angeles Times that same year , she confirmed the longstanding suspicion that Hollywood glamazon, Tallulah Bankhead, was also part of the character’s DNA.

(Photo: Courtesy Everett Collection)Gerson died in 1999, but she lived long enough to see Cruella re-emerge as one of Disney’s most popular villains following Glenn Close’s theatrical portrayal in the 1996 live-action remake.

As soon as 2014’s Maleficent made the multiplex safe for live-action adaptations of Disney cartoons , though, plans were immediately set in motion to bring Cruella back, this time as the star of her own movie.

(Photo: Disney+ / Courtesy Everett Collection) While the online reaction to Cruella has been lukewarm , to say the least, Stone has promised that she’s sticking to the “larger than life” portrayal that worked for Close and Gerson in the past.

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