Cruella - 2021

Cruella - 2021
Movie Info

Rating: PG-13


Age-appropriateness: scary sequences and images, scenes involving death, uses of alcohol


Overview: A live-action prequel feature film following a young Cruella de Vil. Cruella fights her internal sin nature to try and make her mother proud. She tries to live out her authentic self, which is anything but normal.


Themes: being different, belonging, death/grieving, foster/adoption, friendship, stealing, mother/daughter, revenge, justice

The Quick 3

Ask these quick questions to hit the major themes of the film.

1. Sinful nature. How can you "put to death the sinful things within you"? How does your sinful side pop up, even when you don't want it to?

  • When Estella was a young girl, she named the "dark/mean" side of her personality "Cruella". When Cruella showed up, Estella's mother encouraged her to say, "no thank you, you may go away now." Every single person is born with sin in their hearts. Sin is anything we do that falls short of God's best for us. Colossians 3:5 informs us how we should deal with our sin nature: "So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world."


2. Revenge. Do you think Cruella should've gotten revenge on the Baroness? Why might getting revenge be the wrong choice of action?

  • Cruella realizes that it was the Baroness who was truly responsible for her mother's death. Cruella now understands that her mother's death was not her fault. Cruella mentions there are 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. She then adds one more: revenge. 1 Peter 3:9 says, "Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing."


3. Stealing. Have you ever taken anything that didn't belong to you? Why is it wrong to steal?

  • Cruella, Jasper, and Horace became really good at stealing stuff. Stealing involves taking anything that doesn't belong to you. In Exodus 20, God gives us the Ten Commandments. In verse 15, one of the commandments says, “you must not steal”.

After The Movie Discussion Guide

Follow this 5-10 minute discussion guide to drive an in-depth conversation.

1. From an early age, Cruella realized she did things a different way. Her mother considered her to be a creative genius. In what ways are you different from the kids around you? Do you consider yourself a creative genius?


2. When Estella was a young girl, she named the "dark/mean" side of her personality "Cruella". When Cruella showed up, Estella's mother encouraged her to say, "no thank you, you may go away now." Every single person is born with sin in their hearts. Sin is anything we do that falls short of God's best for us. Colossians 3:5 informs us how we should deal with our sin nature: "So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world." How can you "put to death the sinful things within you"? How does your sinful side pop up, even when you don't want it to?


3. Cruella loved fashion design. It was at a fashion show that she felt like she truly "belonged". What are your favorite hobbies? Where are the places or communities where you feel like you most "belong"?


4. After her mother died, Cruella became an orphan. She felt lonely and she was very emotional. What do you think this must have felt like for a young Estella? What questions do you have about orphans?


5. Cruella, Jasper, and Horace became really good at stealing stuff. Stealing involves taking anything that doesn't belong to you. In Exodus 20, God gives us the Ten Commandments. In verse 15, one of the commandments says, “you must not steal”. Have you ever taken anything that didn't belong to you? Why is it wrong to steal?


6. The Baroness advises Estella to "not care about anything else". She says you need a "killer instinct" in order to become a powerful fashion designer. Jesus had a completely different view of power and kingship. Jesus used His power to serve others, lowering and humbling Himself so that He might elevate others. Which approach do you think gives people a better chance at becoming powerful? Why?

Minute By Minute Guide

Use this break down of the entire movie in addition to the “After the Movie” discussion guide. Great for repeat viewings.

:05 Estella was expelled from school after misbehaving countless times. She made a lot of bad decisions and regularly broke the rules. As a result, she had to face the consequences of her actions. What are some bad decisions you've made recently? Have you ever continually broken the rules on purpose?


:09 Dalmatians jumped on Estella's mother and knocked her off a cliff. Estella blamed herself for her mother's death. She felt responsible because the Dalmatians were initially chasing after her. She responded to the tragedy by running away. How do you think she's feeling right now? What would be a healthy way she could deal with her emotions?


:14 Jasper and Horace meet Estella and welcome her into their gang, giving her a home. They saw that she was in need and that she could help them. Who are your friends who would take you in and help you if you needed it? In what ways do you help them?


:20 Jasper and Horace gift Estella with a job offer at the most fashionable department store in the city. They want her to be able to live out her dream of becoming a fashion designer. What is your dream? How would you like to spend your time as a grown up?


:30 The Baroness loved Estella's work on the window display. While her boss considered it to be the work of a vandal, Estella's work was appreciated by the famous fashion designer. One person saw garbage while another one saw genius. Have you ever received negative feedback for something you worked really hard on? How do you know whose feedback to listen to?


:35 In a store, Cruella agrees with someone who said "normal is the cruelest insult of them all." Cruella desired to be anything except normal. She wanted to stand out. Do you consider yourself "normal"? What parts of you make you different from others?


:43 The Baroness called Estella's mother a "thief" and said she "failed as a mom". At that moment, Estella commits to stealing her mother's necklace back from the Baroness. How would the Baroness's words about Estella's mother make Estella feel? Do you think she should steal the necklace back?


:57 Cruella realizes that it was the Baroness who was truly responsible for her mother's death. Cruella now understands that her mother's death was not her fault. Cruella mentions there are 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. She then adds one more: revenge. 1 Peter 3:9 says, "Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing." Do you think Cruella should get revenge? Why might getting revenge be the wrong choice of action?


1:10 The Baroness mistreats Estella, stealing her ideas and talking down to her. The Baroness is incredibly prideful, arrogant, and mean. Have you ever met someone like this? Why do you think they mistreat others like they do?


1:20 Jasper mentions that he misses Estella because he likes being around her more. Cruella responds, "Cruella gets things done. Estella does not." Which person do you think she should be? Why should she be Estella or Cruella?


1:30 Cruella was saved from the fire by John. John also gave her the necklace and informed her that she is actually the daughter of the Baroness. How do you think this news makes Cruella feel? What do you think she should do from here?


1:46 Jasper tells Cruella that killing the Baroness will not help Cruella feel better. It won't take away her pain. The opposite of taking revenge would be forgiveness. Ephesians 4:32 says, "Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." How much more difficult would it be for Cruella to forgive Baroness instead of taking revenge? When was the last time you forgave someone when it was really difficult?


2:00 Cruella outsmarted the Baroness, giving her the justice she deserved. Cruella also ditched her "old self" of Estella and completely became Cruella. Justice is "making sure everyone is treated fairly and that people get the consequences they deserve". Do you think Cruella made the right choices in the end? What advice would you give her moving forward?