Since Disney has given us two Maleficent films, it's not surprising that an origin story for the devilish villainess from "101 Dalmations" was bound to hit theaters. The Emmas (Stone and Thompson) do good service in the roles of Cruella and her nemesis, The Baroness, respectively.
Cruella is cruelly orphaned and endures a somewhat Dickensian childhood thanks to two thieving youths (Horace and Jasper) who let her join and become a pick-pocketing trio. But Jasper realizes that Cruella's dreams of fashion design should become reality (because she does make a great disguise). Here, Cruella has its small doses of humanity when Cruella tries to go straight thanks to Jasper's, dare I say it, occasional gravitas. But, it just becomes a messy jumble because there are so many costumes (that are exceptionally fitting) and shenanigans with thieving pets that get thrown in that often take away from what is a really good-looking film.
The production design is splendidly 1960s — the hairspray budget for the men alone was likely astronomical. And the music — delightfully full of soul from Rolls Royce, Ike and Tina Turner, Nina Simone to Super Tramp and Queen.