Cruella de Vil is one of the most iconic Disney villains out there, and the new film Cruella gives her the devilishly fun backstory she deserves. But could this prequel be setting up another live-action remake of the classic story we all know and love? So far, that’s not clear, but one thing is for sure: Cruella’s mid-credits scene has an unexpected lead-in to 101 Dalmatians that fans were not expecting.
Warning: Major spoilers for Cruella follow. Cruella reimagines its titular villain (played by Emma Stone) as a cutting-edge designer who got her start in 1970s London’s punk rock scene. Viewers learn she was originally a trouble-making girl named Estella, who joined a found family of petty thieves after being orphaned as a child. Years later, Estella’s dreams of making it in the fashion world seemingly come true when she’s hired by influential designer Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson). But after Estella learns the Baroness is stealing her work and is even connected to her late mother in vile ways, she sets out to destroy her through via wickedly fashionable provocateur alter-ego: Cruella.
In a major twist, it turns out the Baroness is (gasp!) actually Estella’s biological mother and Estella is the rightful heir to her lavish estate. So, Estella fakes her own death and gets the Baroness locked up in prison for her murder, thus fully transforming into Cruella once and for all. The film seemingly ends with Cruella, her friends-turned-henchmen, and her birth mother’s dalmatians enjoying their glamorous life and preparing to wreak more havoc upon the streets of London.
TBH, it kind of felt like a strange point to leave off, since Cruella still hadn’t descended to the level of true evil she is in the original 101 Dalmatians story. However, if you stuck around after the credits, you’ll know Disney nodded at Cruella’s future madness with a mid-credits scene that leads seamlessly into the tale we all know and love — but with a twist. You may remember the original story follows two dalmatians, Pongo and Perdita, who have puppies after setting up a meet-cute between their human owners, Roger (played in Cruella by Kavyan Novak) and Cruella’s old schoolmate Anita (Kirby Howell-Baptiste). Well, while Anita and Roger both appeared in minor roles in Cruella, the movie’s mid-credits scene make it clear their eventual meet-cute is just around the corner... and it may not have been as coincidental as it seemed.
In the film’s mid-credits scene, puppy versions of Pongo and Perdita are individually delivered to Roger and Anita — as gifts from Cruella herself. Yep, that means Roger and Anita came to be such dalmatian lovers (and ended up meeting and falling in love with each other) because of Cruella. Had she not gifted them those pups, the story of 101 Dalmatians would never have happened! Could this also mean Cruella’s plan to turn Pongo and Perdita’s puppies into a fur coat was put into motion *far* earlier than viewers originally believed?
As the mid-credits scene ends, Roger sits down at his piano and begins playing the iconic “Cruella de Vil” theme from 101 Dalmatians. Nothing is set in stone yet, but it certainly seems like a punk-rock sequel to this prequel could be heading our way.