101 Dalmatians (1961)
User ReviewsReview this title
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.
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 story sees Dalmatian Pongo and his 'pet' Roger find love with two of their kind in Perdita and Anita. When Perdita gives birth to 15 puppies the cruel Cruella De Vil wishes to buy them but is turned away. With the help of her bumbling henchmen she kidnaps the puppies in order to make fur coats of them. Its then up to Pongo and Perdita, with the help of a collection of animals, to find the puppies and return to London. The story is simplistic but wonderfully executed. It has so many great elements that make it such an engaging movie, from the way dogs view their owners to the many escape attempts.
The characters are superb. Rod Taylor is perfect as the very likable Pongo who we see as brave and caring as the film goes on. The relationship between him and Perdita is better than most as they do care for each other. Cruella is one of Disney's stronger villains, it's the way she is so crazed and manic but always trying to be stylish that makes her so entertaining. Jasper and Horace are brilliant henchmen, supplying lots of fun comic relief. Their so inept and clumsy that there's never a dull moment with them. The team of the Colonel, Tibbs and the Captain are brilliant. The Colonel is lovingly silly and Tibbs is so likable due to his never say die attitude. Roger and Anita are good as they are presented as a normal pleasant couple. The other dogs that help out like Danny the Great Dane and Towser are nice, solid supporting characters.
Though the rougher animation isn't to everyone's taste it does fit in really well here. The way it looks fits in with the gritty darkness of London and the wilds of the countryside, it's a nice change from the angular style of the films preceding it. When you consider the amount of puppies they had to animate it's an impressive feat. It is certainly one of the Disney's most suspense filled and exciting films. It's not very often that a Disney climax has a car chase and it's an outstanding sequence. The whole search for the puppies has a brilliantly tense feel and watching Cruella search for them has some really well made strong moments. This leads on to another highlight which is the atmosphere the film has. The whole 'twilight bark' is a great piece and the scenes where Tibbs and the Colonel investigate the matter have a really effective dark feel. These are underlined by the superb visuals of a gloomy London and the demonic looking 'hell hall'. The music is also very memorable as it contains the usual solid score Disney does, as well as the fantastic songs ''Cruella De Vil'' and ''Dalmatian Plantation''. The other effective scenes include a humorous look at how dog owners are similar to their pets and the what's my crime TV show that's funny.
This is one of Disney's most entertaining movies filled with many great elements.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
But I don't really care. The movie won my adult heart all over again with its charm, its sense of intimacy, and a thousand little atmospheric touches, like the "Twilight Bark" and the "What's My Crime?" TV show and the way Cruella De Vil slammed her car down the lanes and around corners like a woman possessed. The directors and animators were obviously forced to take shortcuts and economy measures (due in part to the sheer number of puppies on the screen at some points) with both the artistic process and with the plot in order to meet the budgetary guidelines of the "new era" of animation. Even so, you can tell they labored mightily to create a mood, an atmosphere, of a world seen from a canine point of view, even down to camera angles, sound design and character design. (Cruella, for instance is too physically ugly to actually exist, even as a cartoon character, unless you take Pongo's and Pertita's fear and loathing for her into account.)
My conclusion: this may be a smaller, less lush and less epic Disney animation project, but it still reflects the utmost care and dedication of some very talented people, and it still holds up very well indeed to my grown up sensibilities. It was a great pleasure to see it again. "Bambi" is still my all time reigning champ of animated movies, but "Dalmations" in this context, could easily be thought of as Mickey Mantle to "Bambi's" Babe Ruth. It's a classic whose likes we are not likely to see again.
"One Hundred and One Dalmatians" is one of my favorite Disney films. I first saw it when it was brought back to theaters in 1991 when I was four years old. It was the first movie I ever saw in theaters and I loved it. In fact I became obsessed with this movie and dalmatians for a few years after I saw it.
My favorite dalmatian puppy is Lucky. He is adorable. I also like Patch and Rolly. My favorite part of the movie is when the puppies are trying to escape from Cruella De Vil's house. That part is great! I also like the part when the puppies are rolling in the ashes trying to disguise themselves.
I suggest all Disney fans to see this movie because it really is a great movie. I give this movie 10/10 stars.
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
Delightful Disney classic has the evil Cruella De Vil trying to steal ninety-nine Dalmatian pups so that she can turn them into a lavish fur coat.
It's funny but ONE HUNDRED AND ONE DALMATIONS is a film that I never really cared too much for as a kid but seeing it for the first time in probably fifteen years certainly made a world of difference because I never realized how fun and how extremely dark the film was. As far as characters there's no question that the film offers some of the most memorable in any Disney movie. This includes the two Dalmatian dogs and their fifteen pups as well as the two humans and of course there's the wonderful villain. All of these characters are given their own delightful personalities and it's rather amazing to see how much character they actually have.
Another major plus is of course the animation, which is excellent as you'd expect. Add in a good tune and there are all sorts of wonderful elements here. Heck, I mentioned how great the main characters were but even the supporting characters are extremely entertaining. Another thing that the film has going for it is how dark it actually is. I mean, the plot involves cute little puppies being killed and skinned. You can't get much darker than that.
ONE HUNDRED AND ONE DALMATIONS has wonderful characters and plenty of nice laughs making it a classic.
From here on it there's laughter in almost every scene. From that wide- eyed cat who helps them escape,to the part where Cruella looks rather wacky looking(if you watch it near the end there's a scene that will scare the crap out of yeah)and the dimwitted robbers getting kicked by a horse was hilarious.
The animation is really good yet not as good as lets say Aladdin as its done in pencil drawing and you can clearly see the circles on the charcther design. Also Anita and Roger remind me of the new characters from the upcoming movie Frozen but still is 101 Dalmatians my all time favourite NO but was it good YES.
Im giving it a 9 out of 10.
Cruella De Vil robs 99 dalmatian puppies to make them into fur coats,now its up to the puppies parents to save them with some help from some other friendly animals in their town.
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.
This story is based on a children's story by Dodie Smith and written for the screen by Bill Peet. The film's premise is that there is this scary lady who wants to steal Pongo and Perdita's children and turn them into coats. Peet has done four films with Disney and those are Cinderella, Sword In The Stone, 101 Dalmatians and Peter Pan. Out of all of these films, I felt that his best was Peter Pan but his darkest is 101 Dalmatians. This film gets into a dark place once Cruella De Vil is introduced and some children may find her frightening, when her eyes went red it was one of the most frightening things Disney has ever done. Once the stealing of puppies begins, I started to see the themes of genocide and imprisonment. After when they escape it becomes like a survivalist film. It feels similar to world war 2 films like Schindler's List and Defiance which I admired. The beginning of the film feels a little misleading, as it feels positive like something from Lady and the Tramp but then that adds to that shock you would feel when this woman comes in with evil intentions and a horrible personality. It was pretty funny though when the film starts and thinking that the narration is from the human's perspective but rather from the dog and we find out through calling of the human from Pongo, a "Pet".
This film is directed by Clyde Geronimi and Hamilton Luske. These guys have directed some well known Disney classics, in particular Lady and the Tramp, and so there is some expectations with this film. I think with their experience from Lady and the Tramp, it was easier to animate and needing not to do a lot of research in animating it. The third director for this film is Wolfgang Reitherman. This is his first feature length film for Disney and I bet he was the reason that this film had that edge to it, whether it's the music or the animation. This is the guy who used Jazz and R&B for his future Disney flicks. I feel that they did a decent job. I can't say that this film will be the most remembered but with a memorable villain and edgy feel to it, it is deserving of its status as a Disney classic.
The animation of this film is a start of a string of films that uses a dirty look. The animation is not as clean as compared to Cinderella or Lady and the Tramp but it is effective as it captures urban London so well that it won't be so much of a distraction. The dalmatians are drawn very well but can get rather repetitive, then they did half to draw 99 dalmatian puppies. The animators have improved from their last Disney efforts, Sleeping Beauty, as there is more personality in the characters, especially the people. They drew Cruella very menacingly and so uniquely in the film. She stands out when she is in the scene, especially near the beginning when standing next to Roger and Anita.
The music of this film has a mix of both orchestral and jazz. It feels like a bridge between their orchestral dominated film, Sleeping Beauty, and the film soon to follow, The Jungle Book. I enjoyed the songs that Roger plays as it feels catchy and edgy. I like that the film did not decide to become too melodramatic with its score and dis something a little more simple.
This film is not Disney's top classic but it is fun and something different from the films that Disney usually puts out, aside from Alice In Wonderland. I suggest let your child be a little bit more mature or have seen at least a decent amount of Disney animations before watch this. I recommend it to anyone but don't get your hopes too much on it.
What I like about this movie: That it's excellent! I've seen this on video as a little kid, had the tape and book story, and watched this on ABC a few years back. It is a good story with great action and it has puppies and dogs!!!!!
Give "101 Dalamatians" 10 stars...no, no - 101 stars! That shows you that it's excellent in many ways!!!!!