This article contains Cruella spoilers.
Disney’s latest live-actioner, Cruella, is a prequel to 101 Dalmatians which sees Emma Stone’s budding fashion designer Estella begin to grow into her villainous alter-ego Cruella de Vil. By the end of the film ,she hasn’t yet reached the depths of Disney’s puppy-skinning diva – there’s time yet – but there’s a mid credits scene in Cruella which might hint at what we’ll see next.
At the end of the main narrative, Estella has inherited her father the Baron’s fortune, faked her own death and bequeathed the estate to her dear friend Cruella. She, Jasper (Joel Fry), Horace (Paul Walter Hauser), and Artie (John McCrea) all move into Hell Hall, with John the Valet (Mark Strong) who has proved himself an important ally. Here Cruella announces she has a few ideas for what their next move might be…
In the mid-credits scene, we see Roger (Kayvan Novak) receiving a gift from Cruella – a dalmatian puppy which she introduces to him as Pongo. Then we see Anita (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) receive a matching puppy, Perdita.
Pongo and Perdita are of course the dogs at the center of the story of 101 Dalmatians – their owners, Roger and Anita, fall in love, as do the dogs, and they have a litter of puppies that Cruella steals to make a coat.
In the book and the movie it’s not Cruella who gives the dogs to Roger and Anita, so this is an interesting twist as to where any possible sequels might be going. While in the originals Cruella is indeed a school friend of Anita, she and Roger don’t have a shared history, and he is a songwriter rather than a lawyer. In the mid-credits, we see Roger messing about on the piano and singing the “Cruella de Vil, Cruella de Vil, if she doesn’t scare you no evil thing will” song, which is a part of the animated film, sung by Roger to annoy Cruella, and which later becomes a hit. Perhaps Roger will change careers? You can’t imagine our Cruella would be particularly annoyed by that ditty.
At the end of Cruella, Anita and Cruella are on good terms. She was Cruella’s only real friend at school, and now working as a journalist Anita helps boost Cruella’s profile as a designer. The gift of a dalmatian puppy to her wouldn’t make sense as something barbed. She also has no specific beef with Roger by the end of the movie. It’s hard to imagine these gifts to Anita and Roger are deliberately orchestrated so the two will fall in love, as will the dogs, and produce a litter of puppies she can turn into a coat at some unspecified point in the future. If that is the plan she’s playing a long game.
Nerd dalmatian fact: dalmatians usually reach their adult size by about 16 months, so it’s likely Anita and Roger won’t cross paths for at least a year, and it certainly could be a lot longer, giving us plenty of time for a Cruella 2 before a full blown 101 Dalmatians remake, should Disney choose to take that path.
It’s also worth noting that the Baroness is still alive (but in prison) and has sworn to get her revenge on Cruella. Check out our ending explainer for a theory about how that might play out.