101 Dalmatians (1961)

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Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 86% IMDB Rating: 7.2
AMR Rating: Absolutely Worth Watching! 

Synopsis: Dalmatians Pongo and Perdita meet and not only bring together their owners, but also save 99 puppies.

Review: When I saw Cruella De Vil, I shuddered. She is believably scary. However, that’s not all to this film. It’s also very hilarious. The bumbling Baduns (nice name ;-)), Pongo’s narration at the beginning, particularly the clever ways the dogs escape. My personal favorite was when the dalmatians covered their tracks and the Baduns remarked that dogs can’t be that smart. The entirety of the film is convincing. We have heard many dog rescue stories, but this one is enchanting in its own way. The premise _a composer trying to scrape up money, a family of dogs_ is sweet. I was cheering for Pongo and Perdita (and I’m more of a cat person!). The ending is also beautiful. After Cruella’s dramatic rage, the dogs all return home and bring Christmas cheer to Roger and Anita. Yet it would be nice if Roger and Anita had more appearances… oh well. 

Though this film only featured three songs, atypical for Disney, “Cruella De Vil” was extremely catchy. After the movie I couldn’t stop humming it! Also, the scenery is idyllic in the countryside and charming in London, especially when looking over the city during the “Twilight Bark.” Each dog seems unique and the new “sharp” style fits this amusing film.

An entertaining and lovable movie about family, 101 Dalmatians is sure to please many people. It’s Absolutely Worth Watching! 

Background: Based on the novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith, the movie was done with life action references (but drawn by hand) and the first to use Xerox in animating because the studio had to cut the budget due to the failure of Sleeping Beauty. (Reference)

The production of the film also signaled a change in the graphic style of Disney’s animation. Sleeping Beauty had a more graphic, angular style than previous Disney films, and the same look was carried over to One Hundred and One Dalmatians and in most subsequent films. (Source)

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