In 1961, Walt Disney Productions took upon themselves to take the 1956 novel written by Dodie Smith and turn it into Disney’s 17th animated film. The film was released in 1961 and was an instant box office hit. It has since come around again and again and consistently sells out to audiences.
The story is that of Roger Radcliffe (Ben Wright), a songwriting bachelor in London whose dog Pongo (Rod Taylor) believes needs a significant other. Searching day by day out the window of their flat, he sees Perdita (Cate Bauer) and a beautiful woman named Anita (Lisa Radcliffe). Knowing it’s what he must do, he arranges a meeting for all four of them!
Now Anita and Roger are married with Pongo and Perdita waiting for the arrival of their first litter of puppies. Also waiting for the little darlings is Anita’s former schoolmate Cruella De Vil (Betty Lou Gerson), a wealthy woman who seems to always get her way about things.
Wanting to buy the litter of puppies, Roger is flat out refusing that they are for sale. Cruella doesn’t like taking no for an answer and decides it’s time to kick things into gear and steals them away.
But that doesn’t stop the canine patrol of London including the Colonel (J. Pat O’Malley), Captain (Thurl Ravenscroft), Sgt. Tibbs (David Frankham), and even a cat from discovering the whereabouts of Pongo and Perdita’s family. Once they are found it will take all of them to find their way home and steer clear of Cruella!
Most of Disney’s films have many more songs than 101 DALMATIONS. This film only had three with “Cruella De Vil”, “Kanine Krunchies Jingle” and “Dalmatian Plantation” and all are quite catchy!
101 DALMATIONS also had a live-action to screen in 1996 starring Glen Close as Cruella De Vil. Since then there has also been 101 Dalmatians: The Series and 101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure.
There is absolutely everything right with this animated film. The story is just so darn cute it’s ridiculous which, of course, is Disney’s specialty. The animation on Bluray is just stunning and crisp and reminds me of the first time I saw this film in theatres as a kid. That is a pretty good feeling that I am happy to share with my grandchildren.
Hearing Rod Taylor voice Pongo is also a thrill as he has always been one of my favorite actors. That being said it is Gerson as Cruella De Vil that just stops the show doesn’t it? She is aggressive, flamboyant and the woman you want to keep your dogs away from.
I would have said long ago that 101 DALMATIONS is a dog lover’s film but obviously that is no longer the case. This is a family film that is meant to be seen by everyone who loves animation and a story that is about love, friends, family and doing the right thing.
The Diamond Edition Bluray includes bonus features such as the new animated short The Further Adventures of Thunderbolt so you can pick up the action where the movie left off in The Pups’ favorite show, Dalmatians 101 hosted by Disney Channel’s Cameron Boyce, Lucky Dogs conversation with the Disney Team, Walt Disney Presents The Best Doggoned Dog in the World (1961 version), and Disney View expanding your experience. Also 101 DALMATIONS includes with the Bluray is a DVD and Digital HD so you can enjoy the experience on all your devices.
If you are a parent or grandparent like myself who wants a total Disney library for the family then add 101 DALMATIONS Diamond Edition to your collection.
In the end – spotted cuteness is now a Bluray away!