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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The special features make it even more entertaining.
Note: This review is of the most recently issued (2008) version.

I find it difficult to believe that it has been 47 years since this film first appeared. (I also find it difficult to believe that I now have ten grandchildren with whom to watch it.) Credit the Disney organization with providing with this latest restored version a generous selection of bonus...
Published on March 4 2008 by Robert Morris

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3.0 out of 5 stars A good family movie, if not a towering classic
101 Dalmations has a nice story and Disney really never surpassed this movie until Little Mermaid. The trouble, however, is the animation. I understand the challenge faced in trying to animate all those spots, and I realize that some people have convinced themselves that the style used is some fabulous milestone in animation (and it may actually appeal to some...
Published on Jan. 17 2000


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The special features make it even more entertaining., March 4 2008
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: 101 Dalmatians (2-Disc Platinum Edition) (DVD)
Note: This review is of the most recently issued (2008) version.

I find it difficult to believe that it has been 47 years since this film first appeared. (I also find it difficult to believe that I now have ten grandchildren with whom to watch it.) Credit the Disney organization with providing with this latest restored version a generous selection of bonus features that substantially increase the pleasure of seeing this classic film once again. They include a DVD-ROM of a "Virtual Dalmatians Game," "Op-Up Trivia Facts," and "The Making of One Hundred and One Dalmations," and correspondence between "Sincerely yours, Walt Disney" and Dodie Smith, author of the novel on which the film is based.

The basic plot involves two lonely dalmatians (Pongo and Perdita) who meet in a London park and whose owners then meet and marry. Over time, the dalmatians become parents of 15 puppies who are stolen by Cruella De Vil who is determined to make a fur coat out of their skins. That doesn't happen, of course, but younger children get all caught up in efforts to rescue the puppies (at least when viewing the film for the first time) just as they do when hoping that Pinocchio will be reunited with Gepetto, that Snow White will awaken from her deep sleep, and that Belle and the Beast will live happily ever after. In the best of Disney's animated features, there always seems to be a subtext of menace and this film is no exception. When observing Cruella De Vil's behavior, many of those in my generation will be reminded of Gloria Swanson's portrayal of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. In terms of quality of its story, art, and music, 101 Dalmatians deserves to be ranked among Disney's finest animated films. The special features offer an exceptional "bonus."

My only concern, frankly, is that once again, many adults who are charmed by the Dalmatian puppies will decide -- or feel great pressure from children -- to purchase one. They would be well-advised to learn all about the breed first. Perhaps the next time around, Disney could add a special feature that provides such information. Just a thought....
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5.0 out of 5 stars "101 Dalmatians," 2-DVDs, and 6,469,952 spots, March 2 2008
By 
Amazon Customer (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: 101 Dalmatians (2-Disc Platinum Edition) (DVD)
"101 Dalmatians" was the first movie that I took my son to see in a movie theater. He could not have had any idea of what sort of magical place we were walking into with all those rows of seats and the giant curtain (this was a classic movie palace in Champaign, Illinois, with a gigantic screen and all of the seats laid out in a horizontal rectangle rather than the traditional vertical arrangement). I think the first movie I saw in a movie theater was "Pinocchio," although I might be wrong. I do remember that the first movie I saw that was neither at the drive-in nor at the base theater was "Mary Poppins." We drove to some town near the base and had to wait in line during the showing we had intended to see in order to actually get in to the one after that. Decades later when Disney released "Mary Poppins" for the last time in theaters I finally got to see it again, and remembering how great it had been that first time many years ago was something of an emotional experience. I wonder if my son will have anything like that reaction when he sees "101 Dalmatians" on DVD; after all, it is not quite the same.

The story here should be familiar to most. Dog (Pongo) meets dog Purdy) and helps boy meet girl. The dogs have puppies and the evil Cruella De Vil wants to buy the puppies to make a fur coat, thereby giving rise to a generation of children who grow up to be anti-fur. Cruella arranges for the puppies to be puppynapped, at which point Pongo and Purdy go off to the rescue, aided and abetted by a nice collection of supporting animal characters as the story goes on to reveal the meaning of the title (the movie is both anti-fur and pro-adoption). The tale is relatively simple simply, but it is hard not to have 99 spotted puppies and not be rather charming, espcially given the dedication of the Disney studio to giving each of the original puppies their own personalities (and patterns of spots).

This is the eleventh release of Disney's Platinum Editions, and in their effort to update the idea that the studio's films are something special, Disney has been loading up these DVDs with a quantity and quality of extras that make the folks putting out the Criterion Collection editions seem like pikers. There are two pop-up tracks with 101 trivia facts, the first geared for the family and the second intended for the family (somebody actually counted all of the dogs' spots throughout the movie). Disc One also has another one of those teeny-bopper music videos with Selena Gomez of "Hannah Montana" doing "an all-new rocking version" of "Cruella De Vil" (Like there was an old rocking version). There are more treats to be found on Disc Two divided in Games & Activities (e.g., Puppy Profiler, "101 Dalmatians" Fun With Language Games), Music & More (deleted songs, extended versions, and the "Kanine Krunchies" Jingle), and Backstage Disney. That last one has a half-hour featurette on the innovative art work of the film, "Cruella De Vil: Drawn to Be Bad," a reenactment of the correspondence between Walt Disney and author Dodie Smith, and an assortment of trailers, radio and TV spots. In short, there is way too much here to get through in one sitting. Final Note: "Sleeping Beauty" is due for a Fall release this year and the lucky 13th Platinum Edition will finally be "Pinocchio."
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4.0 out of 5 stars Calling all dogs, we must find the puppies!, Aug. 10 2003
By 
JediMack (VALRICO, FL USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 101 Dalmatians (VHS Tape)
We purchased the cartoon version at our first opportunity, and this has been a heavily watched movie by our kids, especially when they were pre-kindergarten. This is still my 6 year old daughters favorite movie and the family voted it #8 of 41. Not quite up to the production standards of other Disney movies, this one was popular with all 5 children and is very watchable with repeat viewings. It narrowly beat out Fox and the hound for the 8th spot.
Cruella De Vil sees the 15 puppies of Pongo and Perdita and decides that she needs to make a polka dot Dalmatian coat with their fur. Her henchmen kidnap 86 puppies from around London and with these 15 she has 101. Pongo and Perdita call upon their doggie friend to search for the lost pups in hopes of engineering a rescue.
We had a lot of fun by gathering the family together to rank the 41 Disney movies we have that include some cartoon work. All the kids, ages 6 to 27, participated along with mother and dad. Peter Pan is no Codfish, we rank it #2. Lion King was selected number 1 of the 41 as the family favorite, but narrowly. Peter Pan was 2. Pete's Dragon 3, Beauty & the beast 4, Sleeping Beauty 5, Snow White 6 and Robin hood 7. These 7 movies all received a 5 star rating from us and complete our magnificent 7.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-moving film in a new style, March 15 2002
By 
Timothy Hulsey (Charlottesville, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 101 Dalmatians (DVD)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Disney's funnest films!, Sept. 16 2000
This review is from: 101 Dalmatians (DVD)
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...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sadly never included when reviewing Disney's best work..., June 15 2000
This review is from: 101 Dalmatians (DVD)
I have recently rediscovered 101 Dalmations as my 18 month old son insists on watching it every single day. What has surprised me is that I have not even remotely grown tired of it and it grows in appeal with each watch.
Never really up there when people consider the best Disney animated features - Jungle Book, Snow White etc. usually take the acclaim - I think it is one of the finest and more subtle of the Disney movies.
The story is wonderful and well adapted for a wider audience. Cruella is evil personified and there are great comic moments - slapstick for the kids and cunning wordplay for the adults.
Some of the animation is not of the highest quality - check out some of the snow scenes and they don't quite ring true. But overall the movie has a endearing tone and feel.
One major criticism, as with nearly all Disney and Beuna Vista DVDs, is that there are no good extras. What is the point of this excellent new format if idiots in huge companies don't use it to its full potential?
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites, Oct. 9 2000
This review is from: 101 Dalmatians (VHS Tape)
Most Disney movies will stick with you for the rest of your life after you see them, and you will never forget them. "101 Dalamatians" is one of those. When the dalmatians, Pongo and Perdita, find out that they have 15 dalmatian pups, they think that nothing can go wrong. That is, until Cruella De Vil shows up and they find out that she is evil and that she wants to steal their puppies. Cruella hires Horace and Jasper to steal the puppies for her. Pongo and Perdita have to find a way to get their puppies back from these wretched enemies. With the help of some other dogs such as Colonel and using the 'Twilight Bark,' they just might have a chance.
I grew up watching "101 Dalmatians," and it's still a good movie to watch. I know when I settle down and have kids one day that they will like it just as much as I do. The movie has some good songs and it doesn't get boring the whole movie. I recommend anybody to get "101 Dalmatians."
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5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING, Dec 12 2002
This review is from: 101 Dalmatians (DVD)
101 dalmations is hands down the best and most underrated disney animated film in existence. The "live" version with Glenn Close was a complete insult and disgrace and did not even deserve to be made. And to go as far as "102" dalmations is a complete and utter disgrace. Skip those "versions" if you can even call them that, and please, please watch the cartoon version! It is amazing...the drawings are incredible and i respect the fact that this was created without computer assistance--i admire the artists so much. At times i forget that i am watching a cartoon. Not only is the art amazing, the characters a so well-developed (particularly cruella de vil) and the voices are suited perfectly to the characters. The story in itself is so clever and i never tire of watching it. This movie is AMAZING and should not be pushed aside.
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4.0 out of 5 stars DISNEY AND XEROX, Nov. 30 1999
This review is from: 101 Dalmatians (VHS Tape)
Pongo and Perdita have a litter of 15 puppies. Their mistress has a - shall we say - eccentric "friend" by the name of Cruella DeVille who takes an immediate fancy to the darling pups - she wants to get a hold of them - and many more - in order to make herself a lovely Dalmation Skin coat. Will Mom and Dad find their precious kids in time to rescue them from this heartless witch? This is a good - though not great - film for children and young-at-heart adults alike. The character of Cruella deVille is alternately funny and frightening. The animation itself was newly 'xeroxed' and done very well; some we see today aren't as good. Pongo and and his family are sure to delight future generations of kids world wide.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One Hundred and One Dalmations, Aug. 22 2000
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This review is from: 101 Dalmatians (DVD)
That is the way the title is read, not 101, according to my dad. It is my favorite Disney film, no matter how you spell it.I really like the way they did the artwork. It looks alike "Jungle Book" and "The Sword In the Stone" which I also like. I remember seeing it in the show with my mom and dad and I had a really good time. We saw it 3 times. I liked the way Pongo and Perdita did not give up on their pups. It has a real good feeling about it. Why don't they issue a sountrack to this film? The DVD is great. I remember we got it on Laser disc last year, but this looks a little sharper and sounds really good.
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101 Dalmatians (2-Disc Platinum Edition)
101 Dalmatians (2-Disc Platinum Edition) by Wolfgang Reitherman (DVD - 2008)
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