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In Once Upon a Time, when we are first introduced to Cruella de Vil in Land without the magic, her husband is shown arrested and she runs away in her car with Ursula and Rumpelstiltskin. Later in the backstory we only get to know about how she got her power and how she got back in Land without magic with Lily and Ursula.

What happened between this time is not mentioned in TV series. Is that missing story supposed to be from the 101 Dalmatians film (similar to Frozen)? If yes then which version of the film is canon to the TV series, the animated or the live action one?

  • In OUAT it shows her making the coat and so do the other two movies. So the only canon coat making story is the story featured on OUAT. – user24358 Aug 27 '15 at 22:42
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The version of events in Once Upon A Time is not exactly like any other canon film or movie; even the events that were borrowed from Frozen are only canon within the Once Upon A Time show. (In other words, Frozen 2 won't need to keep faithful to any of what happened in Storybrooke). They were more faithful to Frozen than the other fairy tales, but mostly for business reasons -- Frozen was more recent, and entirely Disney-owned, so they didn't want to "confuse" the fans of that movie by messing too much with it's characters.

The whole conceit of that show is that the stories we know about these characters are based on, but never exactly the same as, what happened to them in their actual Enchanted Forest lives.

We know that Cruella did make a coat from puppies, but that is a very common element of her back story, which was present all the way back in the original The Hundred and One Dalmatians novel that Disney based their movies on. We also know that Cruella, in the Once Upon A Time world, has an extensive history with The Author, which obviously is original material for the show.

However, the intention of the writers does seem to be that this is the Cruella from the animated cartoon. The actress playing her on the show puts it this way:

“They took what we know of her from the cartoon and said, ‘What would she be before that?’ with her love of glamor and mask and all the things she wears,” src

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