101 Dalmatians (1996) Poster

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Disney does it again
dillon094 May 2000
As an animation student, I frequently cringe when they make a live action version of an animated film, as they rarely live up to their cartoon counterparts. This is not one of those films. I loved it, the Dogs, pongo and Perdy, were outstanding, and even with computer stand ins, and Hensons creature shop, you'd be hard pushed to see the joins, the exceptions being the Wood pecker at the door and the two Racoons giving each other a high five. Jeff Daniels and Joely Richardson were great, Hugh Laurie and Mark Williams were brilliant as the bumbling lackeys, but the star of the show had to be Glenn Close as Cruella DeVille. I never knew animated characters could have real life twins, but Glenn Close was Cruella's, delightfully over the top, with more ham than a bacon butty. If you liked the cartoon you'll love this version as well. The only thing I wondered about in the whole film was how many takes it took them to get some of the animal shots, this certainly contradicts the old adage of not working with animals and kids.
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Get yer spots on!
Mister-629 December 2001
I've noticed something about John Hughes' movies: he started out writing about adults with child-like tendencies ("Mr. Mom", "National Lampoon's Vacation"), went on to actual teenagers ("Sixteen Candles", The Breakfast Club"), devolved down to pre-teens ("Home Alone", "Dennis the Menace") and then babies ("Baby's Day Out") and now that he's exhausted all the ages of man (except the elderly - don't give him any ideas) he's moved on to the animal kingdom with "101 Dalmatians".

You know the basic storyline if you've seen the 1961 Disney animated original - Roger and Anita (Daniels and Richardson) meet and marry then their respective dalmatians Pongo and Perdita have 15 puppies which are coveted by the despicable Cruella DeVil (played con brio by Close) who will have them at any cost to make a puppy fur coat.

What's new this time around? The fact that it's all live action, for one, and the formidable assistance of computers helps create the illusion of dogs and other creatures acting with almost human precision, plus the fact that instead of precocious voices for all the animals they act out voiceless against the human baddies, especially Horace and Jasper (Williams and Laurie), as if the animal kingdom were all channeling Macaulay Culkin.

And, of course, since Hughes wrote the script, you know this won't be Shakespeare - slapstick malice is at the forefront with cute but noble good guys, ugly and dumb bad guys and lots of adorable animals.

But not just dalmatians, mind you: there are all manner of dogs - sheepdogs, bulldogs, terriers, etc. Not to mention horses, sheep, raccoons, rabbits, chickens, pigs, cows, birds and even a mouse in one instance. All of them banding together to bring the dalmatians, all 101 of them, together safely.

Director Herek brings everything together with assurance and all the actors make sure you know that this is a story that is first and foremost for the kiddies. Especially Close - complete with claws on her gloves and a different wardrobe for every scene, she not only chews the scenery but nibbles on it with every tooth in her head and savors the taste like a connoisseur. Bless her.

This isn't the kind of movie that can be successfully analyzed. You either like it or not, depending on what kind of tolerance you have for kiddie slapstick. I like that, so I liked "101 Dalmatians".

Seven stars, plus half a star for Close's diabolical work...and a half star more for the donations from the animal world.
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Fine, fine film. As good as the animated version, but different!
mallard-61 September 1999
Incredible as it may seem, this film is every bit the equal of the Disney animated version of the same title. And it is DIFFERENT from the Disney version. This is a rare accomplishment, in a medium where remakes and sequels are so often weak.

The film is made by Glen Close, whose appearance as Cruella DeVil is fascinating! She is even more evil than her animated namesake. But the rest of the casting of the film is also incredibly strong. No problems with anyone.

The dalmations are most excellently employed. Virtually seamless integration of live action and computer animation. And also, the hosts of animals (live and animated) in the film do NOT talk (a cloying and sentimental habit too often indulged in by Disney Studios et al).

The film is an adult's movie that children should also enjoy! The VHS version was good, the DVD version even better.
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Out of the box
1fortheroad13 July 2002
As a very young child, I grew up on the 1961 101 Dalmatians. I loved the show, and I remember thinking that it was one of Disney's best. So when the 1996 live-action remake came out, I had my doubts that anything could be as good as the original. I was wrong. This movie is absolutely fantastic! It is beautifully written and the dogs are so cute and loveable... but I think the thing that ties it all together is the casting. The characters were brought to life in a totally believeable way--from Jeff Daniels as the Dalmatian-loving, Cruella-hating Roger Dearly, to Ms.DeVil herself, played to perfection by the unbeatable Glenn Close. All of the actors fill the shoes of their characters, the comic timing is just right, and everything about it spells a Disney masterpiece.
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Great children entertainment.
Boba_Fett113822 October 2005
"101 Dalmatians" is perfectly good clean children entertainment. It's has a fun feeling and atmosphere and some great characters.

John Hughes his writing style is notable in this movie. The characters and the humor are similar to his other movies such as the well know movie "Home Alone". The humor is slapstick like at times (especially with the villains Jasper and Horace) which works very effective for a fun children movie like this one.

Of course everything is terribly predictable and nothing that happens in this movie comes as a surprise. It's simple fun and entertainment. The humor is simple but it's good and works effective.

Glenn Close is perfectly cast as über-villain Cruella De Vil and portrays a highly memorable character. She truly is the highlight of the movie and steals the show. She also seemed to had lots of fun playing the over-the-top villainous but oh so fun character. Also good are the more slapstick like, stereotypical villains Jasper and Horace played by Hugh Laurie and Mark Williams. Another fun villain role is played by John Shrapnel who is perhaps best known for his role in "Gladiator".

The fun and perhaps also a bit underrated musical score is done by Michael Kamen. It quite honestly is one of his better works.

Children will enjoy watching this movie and I can know, since I actually saw this movie back in the cinema, when I was still a child myself.


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Delightful and funny! A gret remake of the cartoon classic!
movies2u21 June 2001
"101 Dalmatians" is a very cute and funny movie from the original Disney cartoon classic. Glenn Close was very good in the movie, and I liked all of the dalmatians. Glenn Close did a wonderful job as "Cruella Devil", and I think she did a good job fitting the role. Overall, this is a family classic, and should be enjoyed by anybody! I give it a 9.5 out of 10!
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Colorful, Cute & Clichéd
ccthemovieman-11 July 2006
This is one of those movies that truly is - and I don't mean to use the cliché - entertaining whether you are a kid or an adult. The dalmatians and other animals are a lot of fun to watch.

Glenn Close must have had a lot of fun making this film, playing the evil "Cruela De Vil." Just as much fun, maybe more, were the two bumbling dog-nappers - Hugh Laurie and Mark Williams, I believe - idiots who were genuinely funny in their stupidity. Their dialog was hilarious.

There are nice colors in here, too, so a widescreen DVD is good to have if you enjoy this movie. I didn't find the surround sound to be much.

Speaking of clichés and such, there are some drawbacks here that were a little annoying to me, like overdoing the intelligence of the dogs, making them almost human-like with their abilities to understand English. In fact, it's taken to the absurd level level of some of the animals being smarter than humans. Please....give me a break! Also, you get the quick "film romance" in which two people (Jeff Daniels and Joely Richardson) barely meet and already they are in love, getting married in no time. Please....give me a break!

Still, recommended if you want a want 103 minutes of a "cute" story and don't take any of it the least bit seriously as if anything in here could really happen.
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Excellent remake of a pure Disney classic
Catherine_Grace_Zeh18 January 2006
101 DALMATIANS, in my opinion, is an excellent remake of a pure Disney classic. It made me feel all warm and tingly when Pongo and Perdita set out on their mission. If you ask me, Cruella (Glenn Close), Horace (Mark Williams), and Jasper (Hugh Laurie) were truly devious. If I were Pongo or Perdita, I'd probably do the same thing they did. Before I wrap this up, I'd like to say that everyone was perfectly cast, the production design was beautiful, the performances were top-grade, the direction was flawless, and Disney has done it again. In conclusion, I highly recommend this pure Disney classic to everyone who hasn't seen it. I guarantee you you'll enjoy it.
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Almost made me purchase a Dalmatian
victorsuk17 October 2006
I have to say although i had heard of the classic cartoon version and had heard that it was a great film i had never seen it whole myself - only bits and pieces of it.

When i watched the live action one i wasn't really sure what to expect but i have to say it is one of the most enjoyable and charming children's films i have ever had the pleasure to watch.

I have to say to enjoy a film you have to care for the characters you are watching and i cared for everyone one of them, apart from Cruella Deville perhaps.

The film is beautifully shot in my opinion with great famous recognisable locations. From the opening of the film with Jeff Daniels being dragged through Trafalgar Square on his bike, having tried to chase Joely Richardons character and Perdita on her traditional Pashley bike. The opening of the film grabs you and sets the tone and in my opinion never lets up. The whole film is enjoyable and you never get bored. Well i am biased ; i did not get bored anyway. Go watch it yourself.
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Pointless remake
Smells_Like_Cheese8 August 2004
Warning: Spoilers
101 Dalmatians, the ultimate Disney animated classic about none other than PUPPIES! It was clever, sharp, witty and just a wonderful movie and created one of Disney's most memorable and classic villains Cruella DeVil. So when I had heard about the live action version I wasn't too interested, this movie came out when I was 11 years old for goodness's sake, but I just didn't want to see what was already a perfect movie being made into a live action one, but my grandparents had bought it and we watched it together. I remember seeing it and really didn't like it, but as I grew up, it was on TV one day so I figured since I'm a little more grown up to give this another chance and still I'm not too thrilled with this new take on the "tail", lol, get it? Eh, my lame jokes, gotta love them.

Roger Dearly is an American computer game designer, who shares his home in London with his pet dalmatian, Pongo. One day Roger takes Pongo for a walk, and the dog sets his eyes on a beautiful female Dalmatian named Perdy. After a frantic chase through the streets of London, Roger and Pongo discover Perdy likes Pongo; and Perdy's owner, fashion designer Anita Campbell-Green, is taken with Roger when they meet in St. James Park. Romance blossoms between both human and canine couples and Roger and Anita walk down the aisle. Anita works for Cruella DeVil, a sexy fashion maven with a great love for cigarettes and fur. Anita becomes inspired by her dogs and designs a fur coat made with spotted fur, causing Cruella to leap on the idea of making garments out of actual Dalmatians. When Cruella learns that Perdy has given birth to fifteen Dalmatian puppies she offers the couple a decent price for the newborn puppies, but the couple refuses. Flying into a maniacal rage, she fires Anita and vows to get even. She has her henchmen, Jasper and Horace, steal the puppies and deliver them to her ancient estate, but the puppies escape and now must find their way home.

So I absolutely adore Glenn Close, she's one of my favorite actresses of all time and always delivers very on the key performances, now she was a great choice for Cruella, but I think it was just the whole idea of the movie that dragged her down, the whole cast as a matter of a fact is too good for this movie. It's just not as fun as the original animated classic, I think the reason the animated movie is so much better is because it was just more special and personal as it was hand drawn and a classic for so many kids who grew up with it. Maybe I am being stubborn where I'm just more for the original, but honestly this movie is just kind of pointless and not really for the kids nore the adults. I'd say it's not like it's the most horrible movie in the world, but it's just not worth it to go out of your way to watch it.

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Excellent villain, mate - again.
pkzeewiz12 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This was one of those times when remakes are a good idea. It was a remake of a classic and it was the remake of an animated movie to a live one so I approve and it was a good attempt.

Evil Cruella De vil wants her assistant Anita to give up her spotted puppies so she can turn them into a coat. Anita is fired for refusing and De vil has the puppies stolen along with many more and the adventure begins of trying to get them back.

Of course this movie was no where as good as the original. It didn't have the dogs as the stars like the original and it took the heart out of it. It didn't have the hilarious cat from the first one and that was the funniest bit from the first one. With it being live action many of the funny stunts pulled off in the original was missing.

It seems to me that working with that many dogs would be a horrible task for a film maker and you can tell that editor Trudy Ship had her work cut out for her here. John Hughes wrote the screenplay and he made a lot of changes, some obviously had to be made and some had to be made in order to modernize it, it was good and still true to the original.

Glenn close WOW, what a perfect job she did here as Cruella, great acting and to me this is her best role. I love Hugh Laurie from House, and he was a great villain and stood out to me from this film. Also, I like Joan Plowright and enjoyed her as the lovable Nannie.

Not as good as the cartoon, a bit longer and slow at times. Some great acting and some fillers, boring music that has already dated badly in the 14 years since its release. I also hated the C.G.I. and most of it could have been avoided. The movie was very corny at times, which made it hard to accept as an adult, but this is surely one for the kids...3 out of 10 stars
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ShortCuteBlonde26 December 2002
i liked this movie better then the cartoon and thats like one of my favorite disney movies, it had great acting and was even funny at some parts, all in all, i gave this movie a 9/10, i just feel it didnt deserve the whole ten even if it was a great movie and disney did a great job!
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101 Dalmations
rossrobinson16 September 2003
I thought that 101 Dalmations was brilliant to watch, the humor to the movie was laughable and great. I thought Glenn Close played a great part of playing that evil woman Cruella De Vil. I think Glenn Close is a brilliant actress and i thought she was good in both 101 and 102 Dalmations movies.
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Enjoyable live-action remake ...
dwpollar10 March 2001
1st watched 9/23/1998 - (Dir-Stephen Herek): Enjoyable live-action remake of Disney classic. Glenn Close has the best lines and does a tremendous part of Cruella Deville. This is definitely her movie from beginning to end with the dogs being there for the kids to enjoy.
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Great adaptation
oldiesmann10 January 2003
Glenn Close is great as Cruella and the guys who play the crooks are good too. While nothing is as good as the original, this one comes close. Lots of comedy and a fun story with very believable characters. If you liked the original one, you'll like this one.
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Glenn Close's performance doesn't save the remake's incoherent plot and unfunny humor
I think this is one of those films from the 90s I saw as a kid, but when years have passed, I took one more view of this film again. Besides I knew it couldn't be possibly worse than the earlier movies that the late John Hughes made in the classic 90s.

Boy was I wrong. Never have I been so disappointed in this mediocre remake, but I don't think it's the worst movie ever made. Let me point out the stronger points.

The cast is pretty tolerable. Jeff Daniels and Joely Richardson did alright as Roger and Anite Dearly. Joan Plowright also did alright as Nanny. Hugh Laurie and Mark Williams did very good as Jasper and Horace, I think, but arguably the best performance throughout the entire film goes to Glenn Close who did such a compelling job as Cruella De Vil.

The visuals are very amazing that looked exactly like the Disney cartoon and successful details the look of London, Roger and Anita's house and Cruella De Vil's mansion. Gotta give the director some credit for doing such a great job for visualizing them perfectly. That's it for my praise.

The reason why I became so disappointed is because the screenplay was made by the late John Hughes who also wrote screenplays for such great films like the first two Home Alone films, the National Lampoon movies, Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club and many more, but his career went downhill in the 90s when he wrote screenplays for such great disappointments like Dennis The Menace, Baby's Day Out, Just Visiting, the Miracle on 34th Street remake, and Flubber. In here, his screenplay has pathetically contrived dialogue and inconsistently unfunny humor that seemed too childish.

The story is unbelievably predictable. It potentially has some great atmosphere in some of the scenes, but since this a remake of one of the greatest Disney films ever made, we all know what's gonna happen next and the second half becomes repetitive.

If young kids want to see this mediocre remake of a Disney classic, be my guest, but only if they enjoy Glenn Close's performance. Otherwise, even that doesn't save this remake from it's incoherent plot and unfunny childish humor.

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Good clean fun
dav7nine9 November 2004
Watched this curled up in bed with girlfriend, probably the best place...

Good clean family film, good stuff. I always think it's great how actors do these family films... Glenn Close is great as the villain, and I was surprised to see Mark Williams (of Fast Show fame) in it. Hugh Laurie is good as well. As are all the dogs and other animals for that matter.

I haven't seen the Walt Disney version, but I would imagine that's probably more of a classic than this.

One for all the family.

5/10 (for me).
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Campy, fun, cute...
Cephyran13 September 2004
This is a cute movie. The original Disney classic set up the story, and this live action version is just as fun and entertaining. Albeit, some details were modified for the sake of live action, but these story elements don't deter from the decency of the movie. Glenn Close is quite literally the perfect actress for the job of Cruella DeVil, and Jeff Daniels and Joely Richardson are a well-composed couple with decent chemistry. It's always neat to see other actors you recognize in movies you didn't remember them from, like Hugh Laurie and Mark Williams. They're more than entertaining as the bumbling lackeys who are given the responsibility of capturing the dogs. And though there is some violence, it's completely slapstick, so there's really nothing to worry about. I liked it as much as one can like a family movie. It's campy, fun, and appropriate for kids, so I'd recommend it.
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It's Disney, so it's not bad.
saminwigton11 April 2002
Making a live action film with animals is one of the well known don'ts in entertainment. That and working with kids. They also have a habit of being rubbish films (Homeward Bound anyone?). Anyway, I liked this film, well written, well acted and funny. 6/10.
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Fun For The Whole Family
Chadderbox0412774 January 2002
Absolutely adorable "live-action" version of the classic animated Disney tale. Glenn Close gives a stand-out Golden Globe nominated performance as the ultimate villain - Cruella DeVil. Fun atmosphere, lively costumes and of course, the puppies make this fun for the whole family.
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I prefer this to the animated version
SweetCherry19 April 2004
I liked it, especially with the make-up and all the stunts. The dogs were well trained and Glen Close was excellent as Cruella De Vil. She truly captured the part, actually I couldn't imagine anyone else filling the role as good as she did. The costume designs she wore were fantastic, the entire production was top notch.

The supporting cast were very good too, and I can't faulter the set design either. Some scenes were hilarious (to me anyway) I thought Disney did a great job on this. The director and script writer should be congratulated also on transferring from the animated movie to real life. Don't think I didn't like the animated version, I do, but this one definitely stays with me. My rating 9/10 .
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Great film in photography and acting departments
JuguAbraham22 November 2000
When the film is over, you are complimenting Glenn Close. Those of us who remember the Disney cartoon we will recall the headlights of the vans in the night creating sharp cones--and here we have Adrian Biddle doing just that with his camera. The film is what it is because of Biddle and Close. Watch it again, and you will see Biddle's outstanding angles and output!

This is not just a kiddie movie, it's a move adults could love equally. Close is a delight to watch any day.
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This is my 101st review so I am reviewing the remake of 101 Dalmatians.
cinephile-276908 July 2018
Many prefer the 1961 version, but I prefer this. Glenn Close kills it as Cruella! I grew up seeing this on TV, and then having the VHS-which I still do! I wish I had a DVD of it. If you have sen the original, you know what this is about. However, since it was written by John Hughes, it has a Home Alone slapstick section, which is a lot of fun. Roger Ebert gave this thumbs down for that reason but I like it fine. I mentioned Closes's performance. Another compliment his her evil laugh after the puppies are stolen. Best. Laugh. Ever. This is a fun movie everyone in the family can enjoy and should be seen when the chance comes!
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It's a Home Alone ripoff, but instead of a creepy albino outwitting the thugs it's a bunch of puppies.
thisseatofmars24 July 2016
I love Glen Close in this. She's a sexy, stellar actress, and I know it's immoral, but *damn* she looks fine in those furs. I'm more of a cat person, which must mean that I hate dogs, so I was hoping she'd get those puppies at the movie's end. It's too bad she doesn't—it would've been a nice slice of reality for the boomers and man-child kiddies. True fact: after this movie tons of Dalmatians were adopted and then given back to shelters. Ouch, and shame! Should've let Cruella have her way. It's what happens in real life, and we let it.

Despite ugly reality, this movie kills me, mostly because I'm so taken with Glen Close. She's an elegant and beautiful woman starring in a bad "kid's movie," so you know she's bound to get her face dragged through the mud.


But Close returns for a bad sequel in which she winds up getting baked into a giant muffin (I think) so I guess Close was getting something out of it (hundreds of thousands of of dollars? Oh, me too, please!!!)

Still. Watching someone get debased on screen is hard to watch. If only she was hideous like the guy playing Horace. Ooh. Then we'd want to see her burn.

On a semi-side note, kid's movies were at one point superb, like the truly excellent and elegant 1961 original version of 101 Dalmatians. So… when did they become all about hitting men in the pills?
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A cute live action movie all about Dalmatians
lisafordeay26 October 2010
I have seen this so many times on TV and every time its on I have to watch it again and here is why.

101 Dalmatians is a live action Disney movie based on the animated version. The movie is about two Dalmatians who meet in a park along with their owners who both fall for each other and they have 15 puppies. Anita(Joey Richardson) is a fashion designer who works for the evil Cruella De Vil(played by the brilliant Glenn Close who is sporting a Sharon Osbourne do)steals Anita's puppies along with other Dalmatian puppies to make a spotted coat. She hires two dim-witted burglars who helps her get the puppies with hilarious cauos along the way with the other animals that save the puppies from the evil Cruella.

I liked this film as it was cute and adorable how we see two Dalmatians falling in love even though they have different owners(Jeff Daniels from the hilarious Dumb & Dumber flick and the late Natasha Richardson's sister Joey Richardson who play the owners who decide to marry so that there dogs could be together). Its kinda hard to explain this film as its all about animals been kidnapped by an evil woman who wants to make a Dalmatian coat.

Anyway if you like animals then check it out. Its a really nice film as well as a very funny one too.
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