Early sketches for Cruella De Vil (inspired by Tallulah Bankhead!)

Fiercest. Bitch. Ever.

Just when I thought Cruella De Vil couldn’t get any better… I stumbled across this sketch today by Ken Anderson of an early version of the character for Disney. Like I think I mentioned, I’m not much of a Disney fan but I did/do have the Dodie Smith book of the original Hundred and One Dalmations from the late 50s that I think belonged to my mum as a child. I wish I had the book in front of me to quote the descriptions of her but wowser, actually Wikipedia does a pretty good job of setting the scene:

Cruella is a pampered London heiress… a notorious student with black and white plaits… later expelled for drinking ink… Now she is the last of her prosperous and notorious family and married to a furrier who supplies her obsession, such as the one piece she is never seen without – a white mink cloak. With this, she wears skin-tight satin gowns and ropes of jewels in contrasting colors, such as an emerald colour dress with ropes of rubies. Her chauffeur-driven car is black-and-white striped and has the loudest horn in London, which she insists on displaying… Such dramatic luxuries were said to be based on Tallulah Bankhead’s lavish spending habits, which the producers of the film first read about in a newspaper.


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