Going Dotty for Dalmatians

101 Dalmatians (1961)

Pongo the Dalmatian belongs to songwriter Roger, a bachelor who is always working. But Pongo decides it is time that Roger settled down and when he spots Perdita the Dalmatian and her owner Anita heading to the park he does some matchmaking and before you know it Roger and Anita are married. Well with marriage comes babies or in this case puppies as Perdita gives birth to a litter of fifteen puppies which brings Anita's old school friend Cruella De Vil back into their lives as she wants to buy all fifteen of them. When Cruella is told they're not for sale she hires Jasper and Horace Badun to steal the puppies and take them to a location in the countryside where she has accumulated other Dalmatian puppies to use for a fur coat. With the police getting nowhere Pongo and Perdita get the canine grape vine working which soon feeds back to them exactly where there puppies are and so they head out on a rescue mission.

I could watch vintage Disney all day long, there is simply some thing magical about the older animations brought about by the mix of characters, story, comedy and animation style. And "101 Dalmatians" ticks the box on all of these with its simple but fun tale of Pongo and Perdita which takes us from how they met, through the birth of their family and then the adventure involving the rescue of their kidnapped puppies. It is a story which mixes cute with comical from the way Pongo wrapped his lead around Roger and Anita's legs to bring them together to the henchmen who Cruella hires to kidnap the puppies.

But the thing which stands out about "101 Dalmatians" is the look and this movie used photocopying technology in creating the animation and whilst you might not know that the contrast between this and the luxurious look of previous Walt Disney movies is clear to see. But the differences, those slight straggly edges actually help to give the animation its own sense of character. And reportedly it helped save the animation studios as after "Sleeping Beauty" which had been a flop at the time the studio was in debt and in much need of a hit.

What this all boils down to is that "101 Dalmatians" is up there with the best of the Disney animations with all the right ingredients from the amusing story to the various animated characters who we meet. But it is also the clearly different visual style which also contributes to its appeal with a slight roughness which adds to the character.

Tags: Dog Movies

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