PETA is giving Disney’s “Cruella” two paws up after the film responded to the organization’s requests to encourage viewers to adopt a dog instead of visiting a pet shop.
When the trailer for the “101 Dalmations”-inspired live-action film — starring Emma Stone as villainous Cruella De Vil — dropped in February, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals issued a statement recalling how Disney’s 1996 live-action remake of the animated “101 Dalmations” led to a massive uptick of people bringing Dalmation puppies into their homes, only to ditch them at shelters when they grew older, typically because that particular breed is notoriously strong-willed and difficult to train.
“No character spotlights the cruelty of wearing fur or skinning dogs better than Cruella, but PETA’s praise will be on paws until Disney takes steps to stop a repeat of 1996, when animal shelters were flooded with Dalmatians reportedly bought and discarded by ‘101 Dalmatians’ fans who weren’t prepared for the puppies to grow up,” said PETA senior vice president Lisa Lange in a statement at the time.
“The devil is in the details, and Cruella must remind viewers that animals are individuals — not accessories — and to adopt them,” she added.
Following PETA’s statement, Disney acquiesced by placing a disclaimer during the film’s credits, reading, “Every dog deserves a loving home. If you’re ready for the commitment of pet ownership, please consider visiting your local animal rescue to find the right pet for you.”
Lange responded with another statement. “Talk about a Disney ending!” she said. “When PETA heard that ‘Cruella’ was in the works, we reminded the House of Mouse that animal shelters were flooded with Dalmatians reportedly bought and discarded by ‘101 Dalmatians’ fans 25 years ago. We urged the studio to add an ‘adopt, don’t shop’ disclaimer, so we’re howling with joy to see Disney’s on-screen message encouraging viewers to give dogs in shelters their happily ever after.”