101 Dalmatians (1996)
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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).
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 .
This is not just a kiddie movie, it's a move adults could love equally. Close is a delight to watch any day.
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?
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.