Cruella Ending Explained & Film Analysis

Anyone who has seen the cartoon “101 Dalmatians” is familiar with the image of the owner of the studio, Cruella de Ville, who hates dogs and dreams of sewing a fur coat from their skins. But Craig Gillespie’s new film shows the stylish villain in an unexpected guise. Therefore, in Cruell’s film, the meaning of the plot and especially the ending leaves many questions. Cruella: meaning, summary, interesting facts about the film


In Cruell’s film, the meaning of the plot is reduced to showing the events preceding the transformation of the heroine into a cruel, evil creature.

The action of the picture takes place in London in the 70s. The future villain, whose real name is Estella, lives with her kind, affectionate mother Katherine. Estela is very talented and dreams of becoming a fashion designer.

Interesting! The shooting of the film was delayed for some time due to an injury received by actress Emma Stone, who plays the main character.

The girl has a rather unusual appearance – a two-tone mop of hair – black and white. Because of this, she is constantly teased by her classmates. The only one who treats the young heroine kindly is the modest, quiet Anita Darling.

Katherine tries to raise her daughter as a kind, helpful person. But the girl often shows cruel traits, which is why Katherine jokingly calls her daughter Cruella. The rebellious nature of the girl constantly plunges her into various troubles. And one day she is simply expelled from school.

Then Katherine decides to start a new life by moving to London. But first, she needs to meet with an old friend, whose mansion mother and daughter call on the way.

The visit to the mansion ends tragically. The owner’s Dalmatian dogs pounce on Katherine and throw her off a cliff.

Estella remains an orphan with no means of subsistence. The girl runs away to London, where she makes friends with a couple of thieves – Jasper and Horace.


10 years have passed. All these years, Estella tried to survive by robbing in the company of thieves friends. In parallel, the girl honed her design skills. The main goal of the heroine is to get into the Liberty design house, owned by Baroness von Hellman.

Thanks to Jasper and Horace, Cruella gets a job as a cleaner for the Baroness. The girl manages to quickly prove herself by redoing one of the department store windows.

Having won the confidence of the baroness, the heroine begins to work for her. But one day she notices her mother’s pendant around von Hellman’s neck. And when the girl sees how the baroness controls her Dalmatians with a whistle, she begins to understand that it was she who set the dogs on Catherine.

From that moment on, the heroine begins to take revenge on the killer of her mother. Possessing an impeccable fashion sense, Estella becomes a serious rival to the narcissistic baroness.

Hellman, wanting to get rid of a daring competitor, tries to kill the girl, leaving her tied up in a burning house. But the baroness’s valet John saves the heroine and reveals to her the secret of her birth.

It turns out that Hellman once gave birth to a girl. But since the child interfered with her career, she ordered John to kill her. The valet disobeyed the baroness and gave the girl to one of the maids named Katherine.

The fact that Hellman turned out to be her biological mother does not stop Estella from revenge. Cruella devises a plan to expose the Baroness.

The girl manages to sneak into a charity ball hosted by von Hellman.

Interesting! 277 costumes were created for the film Cruella, of which about 47 were for the main character.

Estella lures the Baroness onto a cliff, where she reveals who she really is. Hellman pretends to be glad to have a daughter, feigning hugging her. But suddenly pushes the girl off the cliff. All this is watched by the guests of the Baroness, who were taken out into the street by Jasper and Horace.

During the fall, Cruella reveals the parachute disguised in her clothing and lands safely. The Baroness is arrested, and all her property is inherited by Estella.

Having entered into the inheritance, the heroine finally renames herself, becoming Cruella De Vil.

Plot Explanation

At first glance, Cruell’s film seems to have a fairly simple plot point. But as events unfold, it becomes clear that serious topics are raised in the picture, affecting:

  • family relationships;
  • the influence of childhood traumas on personality formation;
  • fight against inner demons.

The hidden meaning of Cruella lies in the image of the main character, who is a complex and interesting person. Inside her, two completely different people coexist – the kind Estella and the cruel Cruella.

The symbolic meaning in the film contains both the color of Cruella’s hair and the color of Dalmatians. Black and white colors are a metaphor that conveys the struggle between good and evil.

For a while, the heroine manages to suppress Cruella in herself. But as soon as she learns the truth about the Baroness, the dark side breaks out.

Having finally said goodbye to kindness and tenderness, the heroine takes the name Cruella de Ville, the meaning of which emphasizes her cruel, diabolical nature. Thus, the authors show that not everyone can cope with childhood traumas, allowing them to determine their entire future fate.

What is the essence of the ending

In the final episodes, Cruella exposes her biological mother, Baroness von Hellman. She tries to kill her daughter by throwing her off a cliff. But the girl’s foresight saves her.

The parachute opened in the final scene becomes a symbol of salvation. The meaning of such an ending of Cruella is to show that, even flying into the abyss, you can find a reliable support that can support you in a difficult situation.

Particularly noteworthy is the episode after the credits. The authors show the Baroness Roger’s former lawyer turned pianist and Estella’s school friend Anita Darling, a professional journalist who helps Cruella advance in the fashion world. The heroine sends her friends two Dalmatian puppies Pongo and Perdita as a gift.

Knowing that it is their puppies in 101 Dalmatians that will be the target of the villainess Cruella, who is trying to sew a fur coat out of them, the seemingly touching post-credits scene takes on an ominous meaning.

What does this act of the heroine mean? Is it just a kind gesture, or does it have a far-reaching purpose? The authors chose to leave the answers to these questions open.

Despite some understatement of the 2021 film, the meaning of Cruella is unambiguous – villains are not born, they become them for various reasons and after turning events.

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