Wondering if CRUELLA is ok for kids? Cruella is rated PG-13 for violence and mature content. If you remember 101 Dalmatians, Cruella is no saint. In this live-action origin story of one of Disney’s greatest villains, this is no animated version. Cruella has a dark side and may not be kid-friendly for all kids. Here’s what parents need to know in this Cruella Parents Guide.
Is Disney’s Cruella Kid Friendly?
Estella (Emma Stone), a young orphan, finds herself in 1970s London and comes upon two thieves -Jasper and Horace- who take her in to be part of their gang. They’ve set up a decent life for themselves, perfecting the art of a stealing stuff.
An aspiring fashion designer, Estella catches the eye of Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson), a fashion icon who is chic and nasty. As Estella starts to learn just how wicked the Baroness can be, the evil Cruella comes out, even if it’s a side her mum wanted her to hide. Cruella is out for revenge and nobody’s going to stop her.
Why is Cruella rated PG-13? It’s a darker story that explores psychological and emotional effects with a revenge plot. Is Cruella a Disneyfied version of Joker? Eh, I don’t think so. There is some violence (not Marvel-type violence) that may be unsettling for younger viewers.
There is no profanity in Cruella, but there are words like stupid, imbecile, and psycho.
A character’s mother dies as she watches it happen as a kid.
Dogs attack people and are shown as sometimes vicious.
A character tries to murder another by setting them on fire.
Characters drink alcohol.
Is Cruella Appropriate for Kids Under 10?
Under the dark layer, Cruella really is a fun movie. However, there are sinister undertones that may be too heavy for younger children that won’t grasp the humor mixed in to break up those moments. Also, some of the movie is just sad. I would recommend Cruella for kids ages 10 and up. However, if they are sensitive to death, then perhaps skip it.
Cruella feels like it’s divided into 3 acts, and it really is way too long. At 2 hours and 14 minutes, there’s not enough action to justify the length. At about the halfway mark, I thought the film was wrapping up, but it was just getting really good. It should have gotten there faster.
One of the opening quotes in Cruella is, “From the very beginning I’ve always made a statement. Not everyone appreciated that. But I wasn’t for everyone.” This sets the tone for the movie. Cruella certainly makes a statement, but this film won’t be for everyone.
What saves Cruella are the performances. Emma Stone and Emma Thompson leave it all out there – two queens battling for the grand prize. I’m constantly in awe of the number of faces Emma Stone can make. Supporting characters Jasper and Horace are equally as good in their roles, providing the humor this movie desperately needed.
I get weary of the misunderstood Disney Villain angle (Maleficent is not my favorite), but I was pleasantly distracted by Jenny Beavan’s insane costume design. She said she’s not a costume designer, but a storyteller, and I believe her in Cruella. I anxiously awaited the next costume choices.
Unfortunately, Cruella’s origin doesn’t feel too original. While there are missteps, the effort and production are there, and it’s worth a watch. The Emmas’ devilish performances make it wicked good fun! Just enough evil without going overboard for Disney’s fanbase.