Jeff Daniels (Roger) says that on more than one occasion, he heard an authoritative voice on the dog-strewn set shout "Sit!" and immediately plopped himself into a chair only to be told, "Not you, Jeff."
Glenn Close initially rejected the role of Cruella due to scheduling conflicts with the stage musical "Sunset Blvd." The producers then offered the role to Sigourney Weaver, who also declined. Cathy Moriarty did a screentest for the role, but was later deemed too frightening for a children's film. By that time, Close had ended her run on Broadway, and when the producers offered her the role again, she accepted.
This movie was never aired on any pay-television network, up until 2016, when this film was a part of HBO and Cinemax's catalogue of archival titles from Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. HBO and Cinemax were the first and only pay-television networks to air this film.
The Disney computer game "101 Dalmations Animated Storybook", which takes the user through the story in interactive ways, has a mixture of story elements from both the animated and live-action "101 Dalmations" movies. In the game, most details follow the animated version of the film. However, Roger and Anita have the same jobs as in the live film: Roger's a Video Game Designer, and Anita works for Cruella as a Clothing Designer, which gave Cruella the nasty idea for a genuine Dalmation coat. In the original animated film, Roger was a songwriter, and Anita's job was never mentioned. She did not work for Cruella, and knew her only as an old school mate. Also in the game, Roger and Anita meet in the park while taking their dogs for a walk. They end up colliding simultaneously in the pond, as they do in the animated film. However, they do so while on their bicycles, which was a detail exclusively from the live-action film. The game also shows only one dog rescuing the puppies from the De Vil manor. This is a detail similar to the live-action movie, while in the animated movie, a cat and dog banded together to save the puppies.
The scene where Skinner first arrives outside the de Vil mansion, is similar to the famous scene in The Exorcist (1973), where Father Merrin first arrives at the McNeil household to perform the exorcism.
Glenn Close felt that John Hughes wrote Cruella De Vil as too soft a villain, hoping to play a "bitchier and funnier" take than what Hughes had envisioned. She turned to the 1961 animated film for inspiration and delightedly mined several lines of dialogue seen as politically incorrect in 1996, such as Cruella's open suggestions of bludgeoning and drowning the dogs. Close felt that making the character more extreme made her more "well-defined... the whole deal is seeing the villain get her comeuppance." The effort worked strong enough that Close terrified several animals on set.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
After all 101 dalmatians have been rescued and loaded up in police cars to be taken home, Pongo barks twice out the car window to the Hero Dog, who barks three times in reply. Given the context, the rhythm of the barks sounds like "thank you" and "you're welcome."