One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)

Ok, I’m just gonna come out and say it. I liked the live action version of One hundred and one Dalmatians. I mean come on, Glenn Close as Cruella Deville? THAT’S JUST AWESOME!! So as you’ll imagine, I was curious when it came round to watching the original. What did I think…?

The film revolves around two Dalmatians, Pongo and Perdita, whose owners Roger and Anita. Perdita gives birth to 15 puppies who are stolen by Jasper and Horace under the orders of Cruella Deville, a fashion obsessed woman who plans to turn them into a fur coat. The rest of the movie sees Pongo and Perdita trying to get their 15 puppies back and ending up adopting 99 more.

Ok I’m gonna make this easy. The live action version is better, why? Well it there were one word to some this movie up it would probably be meh…Maybe a little less than meh. The animation is generally good, I like the backgrounds being designed like one of those early 20th century French paintings and yet the film is set in London, quick question, WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST SET IT IN PARIS!!!??? Hell, Cruella Deville as a fashion obsessed, fur wearing psychopath would’ve fitted in perfectly with the city most associated with fashion, sure you had to follow the book but seriously does artistic licence mean nothing to you? The rest of the animation is alright at best. I respect the idea that making so many puppies could be difficult, and yeah that’s pretty cool but it doesn’t excuse the other problems, there are instances where the film pauses on a character’s reaction to something and just hold it for a good few seconds, just one frame, the same frame for at least 3 seconds. Why? It wastes time and is completely pointless. Most of the characters are just bland. The human couple, bland, the dog couple, bland, the puppies, bland. Only three characters are memorable enough to deserve a mention; the nanny, the thugs and Cruella Deville. Also, why all the big palava surrounding the dogs being kidnapped? There’s nothing there to support it, not back story wise anyway. What they should’ve done is obvious. Pongo and Perdita should’ve been Dalmatian royalty or famous or something, anything to warrant the reactions to the kidnapping of their puppies from the media (it makes front page on what I can presume was a very slow news day) and the other dogs, granted this is all done for humour but it isn’t nessarcerily done well and I can sort of understand the whole ‘all dogs together’ mentality behind the whole barking thing, but even so, there is literally no explanation, it’s a decent sized hole. the humour is alright, nothing entirely original there’s a good bit of slapstick in there. Cruella Deville is a great villain. The way that she transforms from this luvvie into this mad, vicious woman, filled with blood lust and rage, the final scenes of her showing her true, inner nature are just great. The songs are nice and the film doesn’t seem that long, aside from towards the end where it gets tedious at times.

A very mediocre film. A handful of saving features, the villain, some of the animation (ish) and the songs.



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