Cruella De Vil is, as her name suggests, a cruel devil, albeit the most stylish. In the original novel she wears her extensive collection with long dresses in red and green, with ropes of contrasting gems around her neck. Her trademark half-and-half hair has been two-toned since grade school, where she was a classmate of Anita’s. A wealthy and spoiled girl, she refused to be refused, and when she wasn’t given what she wanted, she reached out and took it, regardless of courtesy, fairness, or lawfulness. When she visits Anita and offers money for the new litter of Pongo and Perdita’s puppies and is rebuffed, she berates them all and slams out, but not before splotching Pongo and Roger with ink from her jammed fountain pen. Her car is the Dorfenheimer Wildcat, a statuesque European roadster painted lipstick red, which she drives with an utter lack of concern about traffic rules. Cruella may have been as purely spoiled as Veruca Salt, but this selfishness extends to sociopathy when every step of her plot has failed—her money is refused by the Dearly-Radcliffes, her stolen puppies escape from Hell Hall, her decrepit and dilapidated country manor, the dogs disguise themselves and stowaway in a moving van, her car stalls in the snow, and she gets into a collision. She may be crazy and foul-mouthed, but whether blowing smoke in someone’s face from her ivory Tallulah Bankhead cigarette holder or lounging in her round satin-sheeted bed with a fur stole over her negligee, Cruella has panache, glamour, style.
Cruella De Vil: [reads one headline] "Dognapping!" Tsk, tsk, tsk. Can you imagine such a thing? "Fifteen Puppies Stolen". They are darling little things. [she looks at the photos in the papers of the Radcliffs and their Dalmatians] Anita. [Cruella laughs] And her bashful Beethoven, pipe and all! Oh, Roger, you are a fool!
Anita: Cruella, isn't that a new fur coat?
Cruella De Vil: My only true love, darling. I live for furs. I worship furs! After all, is there a woman in all this wretched world who doesn't?