Disney has been accused of "normalizing animal cruelty" by social media users after the company released the trailer to its upcoming Cruella movie.
The live-action flick will provide a backstory to the classic Disney villain Cruella de Vil, with 32-year-old actor Emma Stone playing the titular character.
The evil fashionista was created by English author Dodie Smith, and first appeared on screens in the Disney's 1961 animated movie One Hundred and One Dalmatians.Check out the trailer for 'Cruella' below:
In the original adaptation, de Vil's passion for fur coats and high fashion sees her driven mad by her quest to steal a litter of puppies from former schoolfriend Anita and her husband, Roger.
Glenn Close also portrayed the infamous villain in Disney's 1996 live-action movie, 101 Dalmatians, and its 2000 sequel 102 Dalmatians, in which de Vil was portrayed as a ruthless and vindictive magnate of an haute couture fashion company.
Now, following the release of the Cruella trailer earlier this week, Disney has now been accused of "normalizing animal cruelty" by providing audiences with a backstory for the character that will seemingly allow viewers to "sympathize" with her - with many making parallel's to Joaquin Phoenix's Joker.
Following the release of the trailer, one person tweeted: "There is no possible way Disney can make me sympathize with [an] animal cruelty lover."
Another Twitter user wrote: "Taking a leaf from Maleficent and The Joker, Disney has decided to release Cruella, forgetting that people don't like watching people hunt puppies for fashion... You know, like that villain in that Dalmation movie."
They later added: "If Disney try to soften Cruella it would fail because this isn't about magic, but about fur farming and animal cruelty."
Another social media user wrote: "No, Disney, I’m so not here for you trying to spin animal cruelty and murdering puppies for fashion into any sort of villain redemption story. Hard pass."
Of course, these comments have been made based solely on the trailer alone, as very little is known about the movie.
What we do know is that Stone will star alongside Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser, Emily Beecham, and Mark Strong in the movie.
Cruella is scheduled to be theatrically released in the US on May 28, 2021.