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101 Dalmatians

Animation and Kids & Family movie

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"I live for furs. I worship furs! After all, is there a woman in all this wretched world who doesn't?"

  • Aug 3, 2009
I'd forgotten how wonderfully enjoyable this Disney classic was! 101 DALMATIANS was remarkably the highest-grossing movie of 1961; and although Walt Disney himself was said to have been disappointed by the look and quality of the animation in the film, the design of the production holds up just as beautifully as it did 40 years ago.

Based on the book of the same name by Dodie Smith, the story follows dalmatians Pongo (voiced by Rod Taylor), Perdita (Cate Bauer) and their "pet humans" Roger and Anita (Ben Wright and Lisa Davis). After Perdita gives birth to an impressive litter of fifteen puppies, Anita's old school chum Cruella De Vil (Betty Lou Gerson) - obsessed with furs and wanting to create a dalmatian coat - kidnaps the tiny dogs and spirits them away to her country estate, Hell Hall. Thanks to the "twilight bark", Pongo and Perdita track down the pups, but are they too late to save them from Cruella's evil scheme?

"Sleeping Beauty" was released in 1959 and whilst a big hit, didn't recoup it's investment. During production of that film, animators began experimenting with the Xerox system, a method of duplicating raw animated cells on a copier machine to cut down on the time and money required to hand-ink and paint each individual cell.

The Xerox system worked wonderfully on 101 DALMATIANS, where most of the lead characters were black and white anyway! The movie also introduced one of Disney's strongest, most memorable villains - Cruella De Vil - drawn by Marc Davis and widely acknowledged as one of his finest characters. The movie was drawn in a contemporary style with free-flowing, almost abstract lines; a complete departure from the formal, "storybook" style that had been seen in Disney feature animation up until that time. What emerged was one of the most refreshing, modern Disney animated films, and audiences were totally carried away.

Disney's 2-Disc Platinum Edition of 101 DALMATIANS is stacked with some great extras, including :
* "Redefining the Line: The Making of 101 Dalmatians" which boasts a new interview with Lisa Davis (Anita) as well as Disney animators past/present and historians
* "Sincerely Yours, Walt Disney" showcases the touching correspondance between Disney and author Dodie Smith
* "Cruella De Vil: Drawn to Be Bad" delves into the creation and fascination behind the film's most outrageous character
* "Virtual Dalmatians" is a fun feature for kids where they can 'adopt' and care for their very own dalmatian puppy!

Grab this DVD before it goes back into the Disney Vault!

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More 101 Dalmatians reviews
review by . March 04, 2008
Note: This review is of the most recently issued (2008) version.    I find it difficult to believe that it has been 47 years since this film first appeared. (I also find it difficult to believe that I now have ten grandchildren with whom to watch it.) Credit the Disney organization with providing with this latest restored version a generous selection of bonus features that substantially increase the pleasure of seeing this classic film once again. They include a DVD-ROM of a …
review by . March 01, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Based upon a story by Dodie Smith, 101 DALMATIANS is the story about a Dalmatian couple, Pongo and Perdita, and their litter of fifteen puppies. The wicked Cruella De Vil has a keen interest in the Dalmatian puppies because she wants to make a Dalmation-skinned coat, but only her henchmen, Horace and Jasper, are aware of her plans. Something doesn't seem right and the dogs' owners refuse to part with the animals. So, Horace and Jasper steal the puppies and bring them to the old De Vil mansion in …
About the reviewer
Byron Kolln ()
Ranked #145
Byron has been actively involved in theatre since the age of 12. He has had a great variety of roles (both on-stage and off). In addition he has hosted the long-running "Show Business" programme … more
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About this movie


Back in 1961, Walt Disney got a little hip with101 Dalmatians, making use of that flat Saturday morning cartoon style that had become so popular. The result is a kitschy change in animation and story. Pongo and Perdita are two lonely dalmatians who meet cute in a London park and arrange for their pet humans to marry so they can live together and raise a family. They become proud parents of 15 pups, who are stolen by the dastardly Cruella De Vil, who wants to make a fur coat out of them. Cruella has become the most popular villain in all of Disney; she's flamboyantly nasty and lots of fun. But it's the dalmatians who shine in this endearing classic, particularly those precocious pups. Telling the story from the dogs' point of view is a clever conceit, a fundamental flaw of the live-action remake. --Bill Desowitz

On the DVD
This two-disc platinum edition features great sound and incredibly bright, intense colors thanks to the restoration process, but its most impressive selling point is the huge assortment of bonus features designed to delight children, families, and the most serious Disney fans. Kids will have fun caring for their very own puppy in the virtual Dalmatian game for television or on DVD ROM and can find out just what kind of puppy they're most like and which human Disney character they're most compatible with in the puppy profiler game. The fun with language game is geared toward the very young preschooler and teaches numbers and the names of ...

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Genre: Family
Release Date: 1961
DVD Release Date: March 4, 2008
Runtime: 79 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Studio Home Entertainment
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