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A large part of Disney's triumph cannot be detected by the naked eye. His
last animated film had been `Sleeping Beauty', which was the most
extravagant and spectacular animated film of all time (excluding
`Fantasia'). It wasn't a financial success. `101 Dalmatians', much less
extravagant, was. In the two years between `Sleeping Beauty' and its
successor there had been a revolution. The entire army of inkers who had
carefully translated animators' pencil drawings into smooth, flowing lines
were replaced by a machine that simply photocopied. This changed the
character of animation so much that `Dalmatians' is almost the precise
opposite of `Beauty'. Outlines are rough and black; the entire film looks
decidedly drawn rather than painted, even the bits that are in fact painted;
and the rich variety of colour of Disney's earlier films has been replaced
with the stark white-with-black-spots coat of a dalmatian, with the
occasional splash of startling red. The art directors were as determined to
get the most out of the new technology as they had been to get the most out
of the old technology.
And it has its own quiet extravagance. A title promising over one hundred spotted dogs was (probably still is) the kind of thing liable to make animators feel faint. It couldn't have been done without the photocopier; and even so, getting spots to stay in the right place on a featureless white background is a huge headache. None of this leaps out an audience. We simply see a hundred adorable dogs.
The story is simple, clean, civilised, and warm. It moves slowly but this doesn't matter. Preventing the film from becoming lethargic is Cruella de Vil. She can drive like a maniac through the snow, smoke a cigarette through a holder the length of a sword, wave her arms like a windmill ... yet she handles quiet determination and gritted teeth equally well. Character animation doesn't get any better than this.
If there's any classic Disney movie that's less likely to be forgotten because of the modern Disney movies, this would be one of them. Part of the reason may be the live action version and its upcoming sequel. Skip those remakes and watch the real deal. The other part of the reason is because this movie is just so charming. Cruella De Vil is one of the more memorable Disney villains ever made. Romance abounds in this movie, and don't forget those adorable puppies. This may not have the animation or the big fancy songs of the moderns, but all that fanciness usually distracts from the story. Classic Disney always rocks, and this is no exception.
101 Dalmatians is, no doubt, my all-time favourite story and also one of the greatest films I have ever seen. When I was small, I never got tired to listen to or to read the story, and because of thinking especially much about Cruella de Vil I very early noticed that in fact I like wicked characters. But, of course, the unforgettable dogs are best in the film. Because of this story I have loved real Dalmatians all my life and also thought that only the names of the film's dog figures are really suitable for Dalmatians. I have also read Dodie Smith's original story, and I was really glad that it's so much like the Disney film.
I liked this film mainly for its drawings. It was a departure from
previous Disney animated films in that it had harder-edged drawings
instead of the soft pastels. I found the detailed sketches of the
building to be fascinating. I could actually watch this film with the
sound off and just enjoy the artwork.
I actually saw this movie AFTER the 1996 live-action version with Glenn Close so I was familiar with the story. The only deviation was that there were more animals involved in the rescue of the puppies in the latter version.
The narration was very good in the beginning and film is okay, nothing super. It lags in a few parts, which is the only complaint I would have. It certainly is a nice story.
One of the most lovely films of all,1001 dalmatians is one of the
classics from Disney that all people should watch. I was surprised to
know that it was made in 1961,because I watched it for the first time
in 1993 (I was 7) and it looked a modern cartoon for me,such as Lion
Pongo and Perdita (a couple of dalmatians) and their owners Roger and Anita, are living happily and peacefully in their new home,until Perdita give birth to some puppies: Cruela,the evil friend of Anita, wants to do a new coat,using the little dalmatian's fur. She kidnaps them,and now Perdita and Pongo needs to save their puppies,before being too late.
"One Hundred and One Dalmatians" is among my Mouse House's favorites.And Cruella is second only to Sleeping Beauty's Maleficent ,as far as the villains are concerned.Cruella's character is so vile that my wife gave that nickname to her wicked headmistress (who really looks the part)! Pongo,Perdita,their offspring and all the rest have a long way to go before tasting the quiet joys of home.Very good scene in the park when the two dogs fall in love and make their masters do the same.And during the long walk across the snow ,aren't they nice all these puppies? I did not like the remake (and its abominable follow-up) Cruella is a cartoon character and even a superior actress such Glenn Close was bound to fail.
Lion King has always been my favorite Disney movie. But One Hundred and One
Dalmations is on my top 5. The movie is filled with so many laughs, you have
to love it.
Pongo is a lonely pup with his lonely musical master, Roger. When he spots two lovely women(one being a dog of course), he sets Roger up to meet the woman. They hit it off immediatly as well does Pongo with his new mate, Perdita. When Perdita has puppies, Perdita's(her master) old friend, Cruella DeVille wants to buy them from her. But only to make the puppies into a new fur coat. When Roger refuses, Cruella kidnaps the puppies. Pongo and Perdita go out to save the puppies. And the rest is left for you to see for yourself.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One of Dodie Smith's friends once looked at the novelist's dalmatians
and said: "Those dogs would make a lovely fur coat!" It's this single
phrase that inspired Mrs. Smith and led her to write what was about to
become her most popular and influential novel: "The Hundred and One
Dalmatians". I don't know who was this friend and what was he/she doing
for living and what was his/her name. But whoever this person is,
he/she inadvertently changed popular culture forever. This shows at
which point the simplest sentences can become monumental.
Smith's novel was adapted by none other than Mr. Americana himself, Walt Disney. "101 Dalmatians" was Disney's first work of the '60s, the last decade of his life, but it doesn't mean that old age slowed him anyway.
It is Disney's 17th animated-feature film and 7th focusing on furry animal characters. It's the story of Pongo and Perdita, a dalmatian couple, whose puppies have been kidnapped by Cruella De Vil, one of the most cruel and diabolical characters portrayed by Disney and his crew. Cruella collected every dalmatian she could, so she would be able to make a fur coat from them. But Cruella didn't plan that Pongo, Perdita and a whole network of animal companions would unite their efforts in order to win back the puppies and get home safely.
As previously said, Cruella is by far the most interesting character of the lot. We never know how Perdita's mistress Anita became friend with Cruella, but we guess that Cruella's not interested in Anita: she only wants the dalmatian. Cruella has a scary look. She looks like an old witch. She doesn't respect anyone and she's only interested in her desires. That's what makes Cruella one of the creepiest and most interesting villains of Disney's universe.
But my predilection goes to the puppies themselves, which are absolutely adorable and charming. My favorite scenes are those where Pongo, Perdita and their 15 puppies watch a western on TV.
We don't get to know each one of the 15 puppies, but some are highlighted. There's Patch, who is probably the group rebel, with his black spot on his eyes and his love for hard words; there's Rolly, whose favorite phrase is: "I'm hungry" and there's Lucky who looks like the precursor of Generation X, because he always got the nose on the TV.
The viewer is also introduced to the dogs' own communication system: the "twilight bark", which looks like a large-scale Chinese whispers game. This is wildly imaginative and it's one of the most fascinating aspects of the dogs' own world.
Outside of the dalmatians, my favorite animal characters are the "military shed": a horse called Captain, a sheepdog called Colonel and, last but not least, Sgt. Tibbs, a courageous cat who is assigned to save the puppies from their countryside prison.
Cruella is sided by two stupid and running-gag henchmen, Jasper and Horace. These two foolish guys provide most of the film's laughs and they're not too overshadowed by their horrible boss.
Animation, even if it doesn't break any ground, is excellent, but not perfect. Victorian houses of London are well pictured, but it's not exceptional. It's the animals who are the best drawn. The dalmatians weren't easy to draw, because they don't have a uniform fur. Artists had to draw them white and then adding the black spots over and over, during 70 minutes of screen time. It must have been a monumental task.
Every classical Disney aspect is here: drama (the main plot), comedy (Horace & Jasper and some secondary/tertiary events), fearsome elements (Cruella), suspense (Sgt. Tibbs' puppies rescue) and action (the climatic car chase). And let's not forget some potentially symbolic images, such as the dalmatians' long walk in the blizzard and the puppies watching TV.
Also a thumbs-up for the music, and especially for the Cruella's title song. The soundtrack is mainly made from jazzy parts and it's very adequate.
Another feature, another classic. Walt Disney never deceives us. After this film, we became more familiar with two elements, both from the title. First, the number 101, when heard, is almost instinctively associated with this movie, and so is the dalmatian dog itself. It's another success that both parents and children will like for generations to come.
The 17th animated Disney classic is a less ambitious film comparing to
earlier top Disney classics, but it is enjoyable enough anyway.
"Sleeping Beauty" nearly bankrupted the Disney studio. Perhaps because of this and also because other extremely expensive Disney classics were initially a failure, the Disney studio needed to make cheaper animated films in a try to recover financial costs. This one is cheaper and more simple in everything: story, designs, sceneries/backgrounds, colors, picture quality, characters, etc...
It certainly doesn't have "that" magic and attention to detail which makes Disney so legendary, but it doesn't deserve to be judged too hardly. It isn't Disney at its worst, very far from that! The animation is great as usual on Disney and this one also has lots of fun, entertainment, danger, adventure, darkness, classic humor and even some touching and depressing moments. The happy ending is another sign that it follows the Disney tradition.
Although the artwork is way cheaper-looking than in the most artistic Disney tales, is still in a good and acceptable level in many ways. It is basically the same artstyle we see in "The Sword in the Stone" and "The Jungle Book", for example. Simple and not extraordinary, but not as poor-looking as in "Oliver & Company". Just for the record, I consider "One Hundred and One Dalmatians" a better movie than "Oliver & Company", "The Jungle Book" and "The Sword in the Stone".
However, there is one thing which the artwork of this movie is brilliant: a brief scene which we can see the sparkling stars at night, with an impressing resemblance to the fabulous artwork of the best Disney classic ever, "Pinocchio".
The characters are very enjoyable in general. The most enjoyable are Roger, the Colonel, Sargent Tibs, Pongo, Perdita and those adorable 99 dalmatian puppies. All of the puppies are adorable.
By the way, the first time I saw dalmatians was in this movie. I didn't know that dog breed before, but ever since then they became one of my favorite dog breeds. They're such cute spotty dogs! I love dalmatians since I was a kid.
Returning to the conversation about the characters, Cruella DeVil isn't one of my favorite Disney villains and I personally don't consider her one of Disney's best villains, but she's one of the most eccentric and original. I like her red car, nevertheless. She's got a beautiful and fine automobile! Jasper and Horace are Cruella's sidekicks and they are funny in many moments. They are just as cruel and heartless as Cruella, but more comical. There are several hilarious moments with these two guys. It's so funny how the dalmatians (with the help of other animals) make their lives miserable, considering that they definitely deserve it. This only accents the comical effect.
Pongo, Roger, the Colonel and Sargent Tibs are equally humorous characters. In fact, Sargent Tibs (the cat) has always been one of my favorite characters from this movie. He's funny, smart, clever, well-mannered and cool.
This movie takes place in England. It takes us not only to London, but also to other places that must be not very far from London... or maybe they are. But wherever they are, those are all nice places, at least judging by the movie's perspective.
About the soundtrack, it is generally great too. "Cruella DeVil" is a delightful song (a perfect song for Cruella DeVil, describing her in perfection). "Dalmatian Plantation" is a catchy one. "Kanine Kruchies Jingle" is a lovely and cute song.
"One Hundred and One Dalmatians" had a "remake" in 1996, but as a live-action version. The live-action version/remake has amazing similarities to the animated version, being very faithful to it. Although the live-action version is okay, I rather the animated version with its simple and old-fashioned charm.
Overall, a charming Disney classic which might not be their best, but deserves its attention too. It also features the voice talents of many well-known Disney artists.
This should definitely be on Top 250.
I have always thought that the animation and story of "101 Dalmatians"
were actually a bit weak. After all, a crazy lady who wants to steal
puppies to make them into a coat ISN'T especially deep. And, the xerox
process they used in this film did make the movie look a lot cheaper
than the exquisitely animated films of the 1950s. But what makes it
very good and well worth watching is the character Cruella De Vil. Her
voice work by Betty Lou Gerson was just fabulous--and very obviously
inspired by Tallulah Bankhead. Her mannerisms, style and voice were Ms.
Bankhead all the way--but with a wonderful insane quality that made a
horrific act (slaughtering puppies) so ridiculously comical that it was
watchable and fun. Otherwise, this film would have been seen as cruel
and just awful. Plus the "Cruella" song was a hoot--with great lyrics
and a perfect accompaniment to this horrid character.
The bottom line is that I nearly scored this one a 9--it's awfully good. But having the sub-standard animation brought it down a point. Enjoyably sick and funny--even for adult audiences.
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