They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky. It's the Addams Family and Cruella De Vil, and if they don't scare you, no evil thing will.
On issues of Disney Adventures Magazine, it was not unusual to see Disney characters rubbing elbows with then-current stars of stage and screen. In November of 1993, Cruella posed with Wednesday Addams (Christina Ricci) and her brother Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) as seen in the movies "The Addams Family" (1991) and "Addams Family Values" (1993) for a frightfully fun cover. Inside this special 3D issue, one of the big stories was a feature on a brand new movie called The Nightmare Before Christmas.
The Addams Family was created by cartoonist Charles Addams and started appearing in The New Yorker back in 1938. The live action TV show debuted in 1964, starring John Astin as Gomez and Jackie Coogan as Uncle Fester (Coogan's grandson, Keith Mitchell, was the voice of Tod the Fox in Disney's 1981 film "The Fox and the Hound").
Disney's 101 Dalmatians, based on a story written by Dodie Smith, debuted in theaters in 1961. It's easy to imagine Cruella being friends with The Addams Family.
Fashion conscious Cruella likes things with flair. She even has special lamps in her house.
See the glass in this picture? I wonder what kind of beverage Cruella is drinking.
Cruella has a warm and inviting bedroom.
Here, Cruella chats on the phone to her gal pal about the wild night she just spent with Edgar the Butler from "The AristoCats."
Cruella goes shopping at estate sales for the furniture in her home. Much of her furniture is from The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Larger-than-life Cruella has her mind set on making a dalmatian coat. What a mean lady.
Appropriately, Cruella has a b*tchin' car.
When Cruella learns that her friend Anita's dalmatians are having puppies, she quickly pays them a visit.
Anita and her husband Roger met each other because of their dogs, Pongo and Perdita.
Scratch that. Pongo and Perdita make it clear in the movie that Roger and Anita are THEIR pets.
Pongo and Perdita have fifteen of their own puppies.
Roger and Anita are secretly known as "that crazy dalmatian couple" by their neighbors.
Over the years, The Disney Catalog has sold some great 101 Dalmatians items. Many of the items seen here were sold between 1989 and 2005.
These plush toys were sold during the late 1980s and early 1990s, and I think they're the best versions of Pongo and Perdita that I've seen.
Cruella (voiced by Betty Lou Gerson) shows up to buy Pongo and Perdita's puppies, but Roger and Anita insist that they aren't for sale.
Luckily for Cruella, she can still find all sorts of Dalmatian items for sale after all these years. You can frequently see the dalmatian pups grouped with other Disney dogs on pet merchandise at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
When Cruella can't get her way, she creates all kinds of problems, which is a good thing for a movie to be interesting.
Cruella was brought to life by legendary animator Marc Davis, who would later work at Walt Disney Imagineering. He helped to create amazing attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, The Country Bear Jamboree and America Sings for Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
In 1996, Glenn Close starred as Cruella in a live action version of 101 Dalmatians.
The dogs in the movie did not talk. So the film was basically silent dogs running across the screen for an hour. Luckily, Glenn Close did the talking, and the new version of 101 Dalmatians did well at the box office.
Glenn Close played Cruella again in "102 Dalmatians".
102 Dalmatians (released in 2000) was the first live action film directed by Kevin Lima, who had previously directed "A Goofy Movie" (1995) and "Tarzan" (1999).
Glenn Close was the voice of Kala, Tarzan's gorilla mother.
102 Dalmatians introduced some new characters. The Dalmatian parents were Dottie and Dipstick, and their offspring were Domino, Little Dipper and Oddball (who had no spots). Cruella was given a Chinese Crested Hairless named Fluffy. The characters were helped by shelter dogs named Digger, Drooler and Chomp, and their parrot pal, Waddlesworth.
102 Dalmatians had a big marketing push, but the film was not a big hit in theaters.
Kevin Lima went on to direct a great Disney movie called "Enchanted" (2007) starring Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey.
In 1997, Walt Disney Television Animation launched a 101 Dalmatians TV series. It was sort of an alternate universe version of the story that mixed elements from the original animated movie, the live action movie and the book by Dodie Smith.
Cruella De Vil (voiced by April Winchell) lived in the country next door to Roger and Anita. The three main dalmatians were Lucky (Pamela Segall Adlon), Rolly and Cadpig (both voiced by Kath Soucie). They were often joined by a new character named Spot the Chicken (Tara Charendoff Strong). The show aired in syndication and on the One Saturday Morning block on ABC.
In 2003, another sequel called "101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure" was released on video and DVD.
I never saw this movie, but I know Cruella was in it, and the story was about Thunderbolt the German Shepherd.
Cruella is in good company with the Disney Villains.
Look for these ladies to star in a new "Real Housewives" TV spin-off soon.
Cruella stands out among the Disney Villains to me because I feel like I've met Cruella in the real world twice! One of the Cruellas was a real estate agent, and the other was someone's mother-in-law. Scary, but hilarious and entertaining.
As for Ursula: I've had a co-worker tell me that they had Ursula as an English teacher in high school.
In 2002, Hasbro and Disney launched the Disney Wild Racers die cast car line. One of the first sets of cars was a Dalmatian and Cruella.
Yes, there is an ultra-rare black Dalmatian chaser car! The Wild Racer line eventually became Disney Racers, which have been sold in the Disney theme parks for years now. I don't think the Dalmatian Chaser has been available in the parks.
Cruella is not a morning person. Naturally, Disney Villains are night owls.
Ugly mugs like these can't help but make your mornings brighter. You drink will seem tastier when you sip between Cruella's hair curlers.
Cruella's job as a fashion designer wasn't really explored until the live action movie with Glenn Close, but she's been the subject of clothing for many years now.
Smart ladies know that wearing an oversized shirt with a picture of a haggard, old Cruella De Vil on it will attract handsome, rich men.
What is scarier than a bunch of Disney Villains? The fashion sense of people living in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Nice Tic-Toc Croc slippers! That gives Cruella an idea...
Yes, they actually made these slippers:
I think someone saw this movie and got the wrong message from it.
Over the years, they've also made fake dalmatian fur coats, and other misguided products.
Poor Lucky isn't so lucky after all.
Mr. Jones likes to dress up like a Dalmatian, and his wife likes to dress up like Cruella. Whatever floats your boat.
Mr. Jones really likes the fact that Mrs. Jones knows more than one way to skin a Dalmatian.
Mr. Jones and Mrs. Jones better get busy, because it looks like they need 98 more dalmatians.
Everyone has seen an ugly baby. Yet, you always hear people say "every baby is beautiful." Those people have not yet seen Baby Cruella.
Baby Cruella will forever haunt your dreams.