NEW YORK -- "Cruella" is what is known as a prequel because events in the new movie take place before the story of Disney's "101 Dalmatians."
It is a mix of comedy and drama that works well thanks in large measure to two top stars: Emma Stone and Emma Thompson who are at the top of their games.
Much of the appeal of this film lies in watching them work together.
Emma Stone might seem like an unlikely choice to play the title role, especially since Glenn Close made such a big impression as the villainous Cruella DeVil, but after seeing the new movie, it's clear why Stone is perfect for this part.
"This 'Cruella' takes place in a very different era long before the '101 Dalmatians' story that we all know and love," the star said.
We first meet her character as Estella, who dreams of becoming a fashion designer. It's a goal she has a chance to pursue under the very critical eye of The Baroness played by Emma Thomson.
"You have the talent," the forbidding character tells Estella, "whether you have the killer instinct is the big question."
Thompson noted her character was, "really ceaselessly, and unreasonably, and really has no reason to be: just completely ghastly to everyone."
So, it makes perfect sense when Estella turns into Cruella saying, "I want to make art, and I want to make trouble."
As the wicked alter ego of Stone's character emerges, the pair of performers spur each other on to new heights of villainy.
"You can do anything with great actors," Thompson said, speaking admiringly about Stone. "You know that whatever you hand out, you're going to get something back."
This is why watching them work is really such great fun.
"It's like playing tennis with someone better than you," Stone said. "It is the greatest joy."
Two of the best making each other better, and the chance to spend time with them should be relished.
For the full interview, check out the ABC 7 App on Apple TV, Fire, Roku, and other streaming devices.
You can see "Cruella" starting May 28, when it opens in theaters or stream it on Disney+ with Premier Access.
"Cruella" is from Walt Disney Pictures - owned by the same parent company as ABC 7.
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