Cruella de Vil and cruelty to animals go hand in hand. It's basically the character's whole schtick. So it's perhaps not too surprising that, following the release of the first trailer for Cruella, the new live-action origin story of the 101 Dalmatians villain, the animal rights organization PETA has something to say. But PETA isn't asking Disney to turn Cruella into a dog lover or anything. The group simply wants to see Disney promote animal adoption, in order to prevent a repeat of events the last time Cruella and Dalmatians were in the live-action movie spotlight.
In a press release from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals the organization actually points out that, as a character, Cruella de Vil is an excellent character to serve as an example of why wearing fur is a bad thing. However, PETA would like to see Disney do more to promote pet adoption surrounding Cruella. This comes from a fear that the new movie might result in renewed interest in Dalmatians, which could end up resulting in a lot of homeless dogs once they grow up.
Back in the late 1990s a live-action 101 Dalmatians was produced starring Glenn Close as Cruella de Vil, and the movie was such a success that a sequel 102 Dalmatians soon followed. The films are widely credited with popularizing the Dalmatian puppies as a pet. However, it seems that as the large, high energy dogs got older, many owners found they were less able to care for them-- leading to many reportedly being dumped or given to animal shelters. PETA wants to avoid a repeat performance, and thus wants to encourage pet adoption.
Considering in the past that PETA has called for the removal of Bo Peep's crook in Toy Story 4 and been mad at Nintendo for a video game that simulated cow milking, the organization's Cruella concerns are honestly fairly reasonable.
It's not the worst thing in the world to ask for. Adopting animals is a good thing to do for those that are able. Although it's unclear how much Cruella might actually influence that as a movie. The trailer only has a single shot of three Dalmatians, and they don't exactly look that friendly. So I'm not sure kids are going to be asking mom and dad for their own one of those. And they are also full sized dogs, not puppies.
While Cruella will give us an origin story for the woman who eventually wanted to make Dalmatian fur coats, it doesn't appear the new film will really include that many Dalmatians. It looks to be a very separate story from 101 Dalmatians. Still, one can't disconnect Cruella de Vil from that story too far, so it will likely have a lot of people thinking about the spotted dogs once again. Nobody wants to see a bunch of homeless dogs, so if you're going to get puppy of any kind, Dalmatians or otherwise, please consider the long term consequences of that.
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