This famous Disney villain anthem is seeing a resurgence after Kristi Noem’s puppy drama

This famous Disney villain anthem is seeing a resurgence after Kristi Noem’s puppy drama

You are currently viewing This famous Disney villain anthem is seeing a resurgence after Kristi Noem’s puppy drama
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Kristi Noem and (inset) a Cruella De Vil doll
Kristi Noem and (inset) a Cruella De Vil doll (Photo: X/Shutterstock)

Everyone’s talking about Kristi Noem and how she bragged about killing her Wire-Haired Pointer in her new book. It’s got us and many others thinking about another puppy slayer. 

Before Noem started recalling the time she shot a small dog, the most famous pup-hating villain was, of course, Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians

One Hundred and One Dalmatians first appeared as a children’s book by Dodie Smith in 1956. It became a beloved animated movie courtesy of Walt Disney in 1961. De Vil is an evil woman who’s obsessed with fur coats. She sets her sights on making one from Dalmatian puppies. It’s unknown if she had any ties to… ahem, South Dakota. 

Unlike previous Disney movies, One Hundred and One Dalmatians incorporated music by having a protagonist (Roger Radcliffe) who was a down-and-out songwriter. Its songs were created by composer and lyricist Mel Leven. Leven came up with three versions of “Cruella De Vil” and settled on a bluesy, jazz version. It was sung by Bill Lee. 

“Cruella De Vil, Cruella De Vil, If she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will,” opens the song. It paints an image of a woman as a “vampire bat” and “inhuman beast” who should be “locked up and never released.”

Later covers

The song was such an integral part of the original animation that it was featured again in the 1996 live-action remake, in which Glenn Close played Cruella. Dr John performed this version.

Several other artists have covered the track, including Lalaine, Skye Sweetnam and Hayden Panettiere. Here’s Selena Gomez covering the track for the 2008 album, Disneymania 6

The song did not feature on the 2021 movie, Cruella, which instead featured an original song, “Call Me Cruella”, by Florence and the Machine. The origin story featured Emma Stone as a younger De Vil. 

This week, producers announced that a new 101 Dalmations theatre show will be hitting the UK in the fall. Faye Tozer, from pop band Steps, will take on the role of Cruella.

Faye Tozer of Steps as Cruella De Vil
Faye Tozer of Steps as Cruella De Vil

Kristi Noem again defends killing dog

Before this week, Noem was considered a long-shot candidate to be Donald Trump’s Vice President for the 2024 election. However, last week The Guardian ran an excerpt from her forthcoming memoir. In it, Noem talks about living on a farm. This includes having to sometimes kill animals. She details how she killed an unruly goat and shot a 14-month-old dog named Cricket. She said she “hated” the “untrainable” animal which had been aggressive toward others. 

Noem said she took the dog to a gravel pit and shot it in front of a “startled construction crew”.

The backlash to the revelation was swift, with fellow lawmakers from across the political spectrum expressing horror. Many posted photos of themselves with their own beloved dogs. 

Last night, Cruella… sorry, Noem, appeared on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox. She again defended her decision to shoot her dog. 

Noem said she hoped people bought her book to read the story in full context. She’s now trying to paint Cricket as public enemy number one. 

“The truth of this story is this was a working dog and it was not a puppy. It was a dog that was extremely dangerous. It had come to us from a family that found her way too aggressive. We were her second chance. And the day she was put down was a day she massacred livestock that were a part of our neighbors. She attacked me. And it was a hard decision.”

It’s unknown if Noem had the dead dog skinned and made into a coat. 


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