Cruella Was Peak Punk Rock for Disney

“Cruella” was one of the most interesting Disney movies in a while, and for a multitude of reasons too, with the movie taking heavy inspiration from the London punk rock era for its use in themes, soundtrack, original score, and so much more which overall caused the movie to scream pure punk inspiration in seemingly all directions. Originally, fans never felt like that needed much information out of the character of Cruella as she was simply seen as the villain to a lot of dogs that we believed rightfully belonged to the characters of the original films, but “Cruella” as a film gave us a new perspective on her life and character from within. Below, we’ve gone into detail on the overwhelming punk inspirations that were the music, the scenes, and the overall vibe that was Disney’s “Cruella”.


Cruella was of course, and foremost, known heavily and simply as an evil Disney villain but “Cruella” gave possibly the most insightful origin story of not only any Disney movie but specifically for Disney’s villain origin stories that the company has been quite vocal on their work with. Another example of a Disney villain origin story could be found in the “Maleficent” films and the sure-to-come other Disney villain origin story movies. Cruella has always been featured as a fiendish, evil, and stylish villain, having been featured in various animated projects from Disney, as well as the previously released “101 Dalmations” live-action films. In the live-action film, released in 2021 simultaneously to theaters and Disney +, “Cruella” focused on a much younger and struggling, but very inspired clothing designer. Even while the movie was building up, punk rock was getting introduced more and more throughout the movie, holding together the overall theme of the London punk and fashion scenes. Based in London, the movie takes clear style and inspiration from artists from the punk era such as Sex Pistols, The Clash, and others.

Cruella Was Peak Punk Rock for Disney

As mentioned above, and like most movies that are music-heavy, “Cruella” had a highly original soundtrack and original score that made the movie easily stand out from not only other Disney movies but origin stories in general, and combatted Marvel movies in its own way. “Cruella” may not have had Cruella herself screaming some punk rock lyrics or even referencing punk necessarily, it was the overall atmosphere of the film that made the trip into past London so memorable and the actual actions and portrayal of the characters may have been the most punk rock attributes found in “Cruella”. Normally, anything punk, outside of Disney’s attempt with young audiences with the “Camp Rock” films, would be something the company would likely avoid interacting with but the atmosphere and inspiration of punk rock London may have been too inspirational for the writers to pass up.

Cruella Punk Rock Soundtrack

“Cruella” had a total of fifteen tracks included on the soundtrack itself, while up to 20 additional songs could be found throughout the movie as well. Possibly the most interesting song from the soundtrack was the inclusion of the new track from Florence and the Machine, “Call Me Cruella”, as the titular and leading track for our surprisingly punk rock lead character Cruella and her equally surprising struggle and feature of her own villain truly opened eyes to the villain’s true motives and what brought her to where we know her to be today.

Cruella Punk Rock Score

“Cruella”‘s score may have been even more punk rock than the mentions or plays of literal punk rock artists and scenes as a movie’s score needs to uphold a specific atmosphere within a movie more than a soundtrack. A movie soundtrack sets the tone for certain events that are typically more memorized by audiences and fans but the actual movie score holds together the little scenes, transitions, and moments and truly hold the entire movie together. Overall, “Cruella” featured a villain’s own villain and an origin story that without a doubt gave viewers sympathy and respect towards the characters that certainly weren’t felt previously, especially as the movie left viewers with different ideas of animal abuse towards the character compared to what was previously known. “Cruella”‘s punk rock score even featured an instrumental version of the previously mentioned Florence and the Machine song created for the film, “Call Me Cruella”, and as noted previously with scores and soundtracks, the two are both necessary in their own way and add specific dynamics and elements to the movie which can be proven well with the use of these tracks.

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