276 of 310 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2005
My kids watched this movie one hundred and one times. I have it memorized. Well, one day it saved a life.
My dog, Keesha, was expecting pups, and a few days early, she had the first one on my son, Kyle's bed. He was shocked and surprised, and didn't know what to do. I was out shopping for groceries. The father was asleep in front of his newspaper.
That first pup didn't move, our dog wasn't the best mother, and she didn't take care of it. My older son, Joel, upon seeing the lifeless, wet pup - and having watched "101 Dalmatians" so many times - knew exactly what to do!
He took the pup in a towel and rubbed it, bringing circulation to the wee babe's tiny body. Just like he saw the dad do on the movie! And it worked!
Four more puppies later, the mom and all the babies were in good health. thanks to my smart son and this movie!!! Thank you Disney!
PS - I guess I should add - it is a nice Disney Classic movie - every house should have one or more. good story, good fun!!
64 of 72 people found the following review helpful
After goofing up the aspect ratio of the re-mastered Jungle Book DVD, Disney got this one right.
101 DALMATIANS was shot in the old 1:33-1 aspect ratio & projected that way at theaters. For the many theatrical re-issues it had, Disney produced special "window-boxed" 35mm prints so that the theaters would not mask off the top & bottom. I saw this in a theater in 1991 with black bars on the left & right side of the picture.
Once and for all, there is no question. This was produced and intended to be seen in 1:33-1 aspect ratio.
I am also glad that this movie has finally gotten the respect of a two-disc DVD release. I don't remember Walt promoting the film much during its original release like he did many others. With the stigma of being the first "Xerography" processed Disney animated film, this title often gets overlooked when talking about the classics.
79 of 94 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2007
Disney has announced the release of 101 Dalmatians, one of the most cherished Disney classics, on 2-disc Platinum edition dvd on March 4, 2008. Rather than speaking about the film I would rather share the details about this upcoming Platinum Edition dvd. The film has been digitally remastered for this release which also boasts of many previously unseen bonus features. The best part, however, is that unlike the recently cropped "Jungle Book", 101 Dalmatians will be presented in its original fullscreen aspect ratio. Here's a list of bonus features based on the press release published by UltimateDisney:
Disney's Virtual Dalmatians: Adopt, name, train and care for your very own virtual puppy where there are over 101 possibilities.
Puppy Profiler: Find out which dog you're most like!
101 Pop-Up Trivia Facts For The Family & Collector: Discover 202 amazing things You Never Knew about the movie as you watch it - with 101 pop up facts for the family and 101 for the collector
All-New "Cruella De Vil" Music Video: The classic song "Cruella De Vil" gets a contemporary twist when multitalented teen Disney Channel star Selena Gomez performs the song in a brand new video!
Redefining The Line: The Making Of 101 Dalmatians
101 Dalmatians is considered by critics to be one of the best and most innovative Disney animated films. Go behind the scenes with its creators to find out about everything - including the technological innovation of the Xerox process in animation.
Cruella De Vil: Drawn To Be Bad: Inspired by flamboyant actress Tallulah Bankhead, Cruella De Vil has become a villain that movie fans love to hate. Marc Davis, an animation legend and one of Disney's immortal "Nine Old Men" reveals how this iconic character came to be.
Sincerely Yours, Walt Disney: Experience Walt Disney and Dodie Smith's (author of the book The Hundred and One Dalmatians) actual correspondence during the movie's production.
Deleted Songs: Songs written for the film - finally come to life!
.....And Much More!
35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
"101 Dalmatians" may be the most unfairly slighted of Walt Disney's 'classic' animated films, as this dog-napping adventure literally saved the studio, introduced the ultimate Disney villainess, Cruella De Vil, and ushered in a visually graphic 'style' that would set the industry standard for a decade. Oh, and it's great FUN, too!
Based on Dodie Smith's 1956 novel (inspired by her own Dalmatian pets), Disney knew it would be a 'natural' for the screen, at a time when he desperately needed a blockbuster. Despite the huge success of "Cinderella", in 1950, the decade, with the studio's resources stretched between both live and animated features and shorts, television, and the opening of Disneyland, had been a costly one, and the skyrocketing cost of producing animation, after a string of less successful cartoons (culminating in the failure of "Sleeping Beauty"), threatened to curtail any future animated films. It was a desperate time (most of the major studios were shutting down their animation departments, and the 'limited animation' of Hanna-Barbera, which Disney detested, appeared to be the 'future' of cartoons), and he turned to production manager Ken Anderson to find a way to make the film cost-effective while maintaining the 'Disney' look.
Anderson's solutions didn't please Walt, but would create a film revolutionary in style, and far less expensive to produce. Utilizing xerox technology to copy original artwork directly onto cels, he eliminated the huge staff of painters who had traditionally inked and colored each frame. The line work had a scratchier quality, which he complimented by more stylized, linear backgrounds, with splashes of color. As the story would be the first 'contemporary' Disney feature (with far less music, and a more dramatic plot), the new 'look' worked perfectly (especially in the brilliant conception of the scene-stealing De Vil, who quickly achieved 'legendary' status among Disney villains). The technique did have shortcomings (the climactic chase between De Vil's hot rod and a Dalmatian-filled moving van, as she plows into a snow bank, looks artificial, particularly as snow covers her car), but the film, as a whole, was an astonishing achievement.
Despite Walt's misgivings, the film was exactly the blockbuster the studio needed, becoming the top-grossing film of 1961, and, for years, the highest grossing animated film of all time. Critically praised, it became such a fan favorite that it was re-released frequently, always successfully. Blessed with a rich, funny plot, unforgettable characters, and 101 of the cutest dogs you'll ever see, it certainly has earned a place beside "Snow White", Pinocchio", "Bambi", and "Cinderella".
While I wish somebody had invited Rod Taylor (the voice of Pongo) to share his experiences of the production, I was blown away by the extraordinary quality of image and sound of this remastered edition, and enjoyed the second disc of special features (did you know TWO actresses voiced Perdita?)
This Platinum Edition is an absolute ESSENTIAL for every Disney collection!
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
I just got to share this movie with my 4 year old granddaughter and just like the one before her (who is now 8) we had a great time viewing it.
Her eyes widened as she met the evil Cruella, who wanted those poor little puppies so she could have a coat. "Why would someone want to do that Grammie?" her little voice asked me.
How cute is that? This is a great movie, full of enough action for the little one, not a complicated storyline so they can easily follow along, sprinkled with chuckles here and there and ending on a very happy note. Lots of fun!
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2005
This movie is wonderful, but wait for Disney to release the Platinum version, and then purchase it directly from Amazon or another authorized seller. There are fake copies being sold through 3rd party sellers. They look new packaged and sealed. It is a violation of Amazon rules for a 3rd party seller to knowingly sell fake copies. If you have received a fake copy you must send it back to the seller. If they do not refund your money immediately you can use Amazon's a-z guarantee to get your money back. This is regardless whether you have opened the copy or used it. Do not let a seller force you to leave good feedback in order to receive a refund that is also a violation of Amazon's polices. BUYER BEWARE.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2002
The technical innovation of "Xerography" is on prominent display in this film, the first animated feature to use the process. As a result, this film looks very different from previous Disney efforts; character designs are looser and more caricatured, with solid, detailed draftsmanship. The backgrounds, consisting of black lines and flat areas of color, are carefully crafted pop-art masterpieces that possess an almost abstract beauty. From the scrawny, angular form of villainess Cruella de Vil, to the hundreds of individually designed, black-and-white spotted puppies, the visual design of this film is extremely sophisticated -- unmatched, I think, by any mainstream animated feature before or since.
For _101 Dalmatians_ Disney opted to throw out the strict photorealism of earlier films, and in doing so pushed the artistic barrier of animation. Had Disney decided to pursue this approach further, this film could have had as great an impact on animation as UPA's shorts of the '50s. Still, even as a one-shot deal, this witty, graphically savvy effort is a major achievement.
The DVD is short on extras, but what's there, as they say, is "cherce." The video transfer is full-frame and flawless; audio is solid throughout. The English subtitle feature (ostensibly for the hard-of-hearing) reveals the unexpected complexity of the film's dialogue, which is peppered with local slang and obscure but amusing in-jokes.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This new Platinum Edition of Disney's 101 DALMATIANS is a great DVD set, but let me start off with an ongoing beef I have with the Disney Company. Will you guys stop putting the previews at the beginning of all your DVDs?! It is irritating even the first time you watch the DVD, but it gets inconceivably tiresome the 30th or 40th time your kid watches the disc.
Here is what I had to go through to avoid seeing these intrusive and unwelcome previews: first I kept hitting a combo of skip to the next chapter and hitting the menu button. Once I finally got to the main menu, it is essential NOT to hit the option to play the movie. That will just kick you back to the previews. What you have to do is go to the chapter menu and select the opening credits. That is apparently the only way to avoid all the commercials . . . uh, I mean previews.
Apart from that one failure, this is a great pair of discs. The restoration is incredible. When my daughter was younger we had this on VHS, but the difference in quality between that and this is eye popping. The sound is also pristine and pure. Let me add that if you have pets, this will definitely get a reaction. In the scene where Pongo barks to notify the Great Dane about his missing puppies, barking for a few minutes follows. My cats were actually, truly alarmed. I can only imagine the reaction of a dog.
101 DALMATIANS is a lovely film, but to be honest, it is more a film for kids than for grown ups. There really are three kinds of animated films: 1) those that primarily appeal to children, 2) those that appeal to children and adults, and 3) those that appeal mainly to adults. Miyazaki's SPIRITED AWAY is a great example of 2, while Satoshi Kon's PARANOIA AGENT is an example of 3. 101 DALMATIANS is an example of 1. For adults, this is going to be more enjoyable watching it with a child than watching it either alone or with other adults. Having said that, this is an incredibly good movie for kids. My daughter was a huge fan during the VHS era and we even had a sizable collection of the various dogs. I know she had a Pongo and a Lucky, and I believe we had one or two others as well.
For me the real joy of the set is the second disc. There are a host of wonderful special features that add a great deal to appreciating the particular achievement of the film. For instance, I was fascinated to learn that this was the first film to use the Xerox process. Sadly, it was also the first film to dispense with Disney's army of pencillers and colorists and there is no question that for a couple of decades Disney films simply were not as lovely. This film actually looks a lot better than several that followed, like the truly ugly ROBIN HOOD. The features explain that the switch to the Xerox process, while in many ways lamentable, was also inevitable. It meant that they could make animated films that were still high quality, but with a considerably smaller budget. The only other option would have been to stop making animated films entirely. I was also interested to learn -- something I should have known but didn't -- that this was the first Disney film not set in a fantasy setting, but instead set in a contemporary time and place. Even though "contemporary" here means the early 1960s, it retains that feeling of being "now" rather than "once upon a time."
I also love the credit that the various features give to the great Bill Peet. I've been very conscious of his contribution to the major Disney films for quite some time, but too often other individuals at the Disney Company seem to have received more attention. I think the features here will help correct that some. As one commentator points out, today a Disney movie will have up to 15 people working on the story. Bill Peet did the same thing all by himself. And he was instrumental in character design. They offer many shots of storyboards Peet produced and it is clear that a great deal of his vision was transferred to the screen. One person points out that his storyboards were hardly deviated from through the entire film. You need only see his drawings of Cruella De Vil to appreciate how crucial he was to the production. Three others were listed as director, but Peet was clearly the heart of the film.
There are also some games that I'm sure small children will find fascinating. My daughter loved computer programs that would allow her to adopt and care for a pet and that is one of the games included here.
I do have one complaint. For us adults, I would have enjoyed a commentary. There are some pop ups you can look at if you rewatch the film, but I would have appreciated something going into more depth. One last thing. The film was originally made in the standard 1.33:1 ratio, but matted for widescreen in theaters. I do not have a widescreen television, but one non-widescreen TVs this should appear as a "full screen" DVD.
All in all, this is a terrific new release. I would have liked a commentary track and would have been ecstatic if they had decided not to force those commercials on us, but overall it does a good job of providing a highly entertaining movie for kids while providing some additional features that will interest adults. And if you have kids, this would definitely fall into the "must get" category.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2000
Pongo and Perdita are the proud parents of 15 dalmatian puppies. When an old friend of the family, Cruella De Ville, shows up offering to buy all the pups, the trouble begins. Soon it's a madcap, fun-filled race to find 99 missing puppies before they're turned into coats!
This is a classic Disney animated film. It contains several wonderful, memorable moments... such as Cruella's confrontation with Roger, and the courtship of Roger and Anita.
The animation is bar none. As far as stylized, caricaturized animation goes, this is one of the top five to watch for believable, fluid movement. The characters, mostly, are unique and unforgettagle.
The score is par for the course, though it has the same feel as the score for Jungle Book. (Dalmatians actually came out first...) The three actual songs in the film are quite hummable and entertaining, but this is definitely not what one may categorize as a musical.
For sheer entertainment, 101 Dalmatians is at its best during the suspense scenes, of which there are many. Quite an interesting (and somewhat scary...) movie.
Anyone who is picky about their animation will notice the re-use of many "cycles", which was pretty much a necessity when you're talking about drawing 99 puppies running through the snow.
In addition, there are a few points in the movie where the action wanes and the plot slows down a little too much. That's about the worst thing I can say about the story...
Overall impression: 101 Dalmatians is a must-have for your movie library. Though the video is currently out of production, it is still available on DVD. Animators and hopeful in particular will find a great reference piece in this film.
And Cruella DeVille is cool...
36 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2008
I bought this movie because my then 15-month-old daughter was obsessed with the ad (she kept pointing at it and barking at the dalmations). She really does love the movie, but here's my big problem: there are NO LESS than three minutes of crappy Disney and Disney-partner advertisements at the beginning, after putting in the DVD, and you are not allowed to fast-forward nor skip through them. You watch about five or six of them, then get to the menu where you get to finally push play, at which point you're treated to three more before the opening credits begin to roll. It's worse than a rented movie from Blockbuster, and at least with those you have the option of skipping through them!
Overall, though my 19-month-old daughter loves watching the movie (in short segments), I loathe having to load it up for her because by the time the opening credits are rolling, she's usually lost interest and is playing with something else.