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Cruella now free on Disney Plus: How to watch Disney's live-action prequel

Emma Stone plays the dog-skinning villainess as the live action prequel becomes free to all Disney Plus subscribers Aug. 27.

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert
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Emma Stone as Cruella in the live-action 101 Dalmatians prequel.

Walt Disney Studios

"Cruella de Vil, Cruella de Vil, if she doesn't scare you, no evil thing will!" Cruella, Disney's live-action prequel starring Emma Stone and Emma Thompson, is finally streaming on Disney Plus for no extra fee.

Originally released in May, the movie reveals Cruella de Vil's origin story and shows what she was like before the events of classic tale The Hundred and One Dalmatians, which was originally published as a novel in 1956. The story has since been twice adapted for the silver screen: first as an animated film in 1961 and then as a live-action movie with Glenn Close and Jeff Daniels in 1996. Actress Emma Stone's version of Cruella de Vil breathes new life into the iconically evil villain with real punk rock revolution energy

Keep reading to learn all the details of how to stream Cruella at home.

Cruella: How and when to watch

Due to delays caused by the pandemic, Cruella's release date moved from Christmas to May 28, 2021. Disney fans could see it in the movie theater or via paid Premier Access on Disney Plus, which cost an extra $30.

The good news is the movie became available to all Disney Plus subscribers without the extra Premier Access fee on Friday Aug. 27.

If you're not a Disney Plus subscriber or you just like physical media, Cruella is available on Blu-ray starting Sept. 21.

The plot and trailers: What's it all about?

In August 2019 at Disney's D23 event, a video from Stone and Emma Thompson -- who were filming the movie at the time -- said Cruella will "take us back" to the villain's younger years.

"It's 1970s, set in London," Oscar winner Emma Stone said in the video. "It's punk rock. A great cast."

A trailer in February showed Cruella as a young woman trying to make it in London as an aspiring fashion designer. "I was born brilliant, born bad and a little bit mad," Stone says in voiceover. The trailer shows Dalmatians growling at her, Cruella speeding around in a vintage car and the villainess setting things on fire.

Cast and crew: Who's in it?

Here's the main cast:

  • Emma Stone as Cruella de Vil
  • Emma Thompson as the Baroness
  • Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Anita Darling
  • Kayvan Novak as Roger 
  • Joel Fry as Jasper
  • Paul Walter Hauser as Horace
  • Mark Strong as John the valet

The new Cruella de Vil song

Here's the Florence and the Machine song Call Me Cruella, written for the movie. It's a bit of an update to Roger's piano-based song from the original cartoon, and the video shows more of the "crazy" villain scrubbing floors and attending fashionable events.

Was Cruella a hit?

The film reportedly earned over $32.4 million in the US and over $48.5 million worldwide. It should be noted the theatrical release came during the pandemic, which doubtless affected box office takings. Disney rarely shares specifics on how a film did on Disney Plus. However, it was clearly enough of a hit for Disney to invite Emma Stone back almost immediately...

Is there a Cruella sequel?

Yes! Probably! Reports say director Craig Gillespie and screenwriter Tony McNamara are expected to return for a sequel to the prequel.

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