Monday, January 15, 2007

Movie Review: 101 Dalmatians 4 Stars

The Walt Disney team of incredible animation directors, Clyde Geronomi, Hamilton Luske, Wolfgang Reitherman were once again assembled to put together this delightful adaptation of Dodie Smith’s children’s book, The One Hundred And One Dalmatians. This 1961 feature is probably the crowning achievement of their work together, memorable for its lounge-like artwork. (Check out the swingin’ opening credits the next time you’re swilling a Manhattan, Charlie.)

101 Dalmatians can also lay claim to introducing the world to cinema’s nastiest villainess, Cruella De Vil as well as one of Disney’s greatest pop songs, “Cruella De Vil.”

One Dalmatian, Pongo, is bored with bachelor life and decides he and his “pet” Roger, a reclusive songwriter, need to get married. Pongo finds a suitable match for himself, Perdita, and her “pet,” Anita, is perfect for Roger. Soon enough, Pongo and Perdita deliver a litter of fifteen pups.

The wicked Cruella De Vil, Anita’s childhood friend, has designs on the pups. When Roger and Anita decide to keep them, Cruella flies into a rage. She orchestrates a dognapping carried out by her evil henchmen, Horace and Jasper. Pongo and Perdita run away to find their puppies aided by a vast web of animals. To their horror, they discover Cruella has stolen 101 puppies in all and plans to turn them into a coat!


101 Dalmatians is Disney at its animated finest--cute, funny, harrowing, tragic, terrific storytelling and even more terrific songs.

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