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Cruella DeVille

Cruella DeVille

Cruella De Vil

Cruel devil

The villain in Disney's '101 Dalmatians' had a name which was a clever play on words - Cruella DeVille. Or did she? Searches now find only references to Cruella De Vil, and many are putting this down to more than a false memory but a Mandela Effect.

Could this be caused by the fact she drove a DeVillle car in the movie? It had the license plate "DE VIL", so that doesn't really help settle things either way.

The movie was actually based on a book by Dodie Smith. At the end Mr's Darling comments on how fitting her name is, because she really is a devil, which just again reinforces the play on the "devil" name.


The character of Cruella De Vill first appeared in Smith's 1956 novel One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and her name is part of a running theme - she lives in Hell House, for example. In other languages, such as Italian, her name appears as a similar pun, in this case Crudelia De Mon and in French Cruella d'Enfer.

There's another literary connection with the name which comes from an alias Count Dracula used in Bram Stoker's 1897 Dracula novel. In that, the purchaser of a house in Piccadilly, London, England is a nobleman from abroad called "Count De Ville", which turned out to be a pseudonym for Dracula himself.

Another interesting aspect is the car Smith bought in 1939, which was a Rolly-Royce 25/30 "Sedanca de Ville". She often travelled in it with her pet dalmatian, drawing obvious parallels between the name, character and car used in the novel.

Like most spelling Mandela Effects, the line is seriously blurred when the term in question sounds exactly the same when spoken aloud as it is spelt either way. What must also be borne in mind with this on is that it was a children's movie, largely shown many years ago, so it's understandable how the detail of this kind of memory can become lost over time.