To gear up for Disney’s “Cruella” release on May 28, Obé Fitness is hosting a series of Cruella de Vil-themed workout classes over Memorial Day weekend. Instructor Peter Tucci will dress as the iconic movie villain — complete with a wig supplied by Disney — and teach a sculpted dance cardio session. Other classes will lead participants through 101 burpees, pushups and more, as a nod to the story’s famous number of Dalmatians.
The “entertainment” fitness brand, as co-founders Mark Mullett and Ashley Mills refer to it, launched in 2018 when the two former CAA agents set out to put a new spin on the modern-day exercise class. Drew Barrymore, Kate Hudson and Kelly Ripa are among its regular users. Obé broadcasts 22 live sessions a day, available to stream on its website or app, and has a library of 6,000 classes on demand. Mullett and Mills operate their business with the mission of “bringing entertainment to fitness,” incorporating top industry trainers, high production values and a pop culture narrative into their sessions. Users of the platform love the specialty classes that stem from Obé’s many media partnerships, including with Peacock, CBS and HBO Max; it worked with HBO Max to infuse shows like “Sex and the City” into the fitness space.
“Our instructor Madelaine O’Connell dressed as Carrie Bradshaw in that signature white ballerina skirt and instead of weights, used a bottle of rosé for her class,” says Mullett. Obé also collaborated with Disney on a “Raya and the Last Dragon” martial arts-style class on which it consulted a choreographer from the film to correctly depict the characters’ movements, and writer Qui Nguyen to make sure the culture of the Asian-based production was properly represented.
Obé fans, says Mills, are so into the content that many leave their televisions on long after their workouts have ended. “A lot of our members watch Obé like they would watch a morning show or the way that you leave HGTV on,” she says. “There’s always something that’s happening.”