101 Dalmatians (1996 film)

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This article is about the 1996 live-action film. For the 1961 animated film, see One Hundred and One Dalmatians. For the original children's novel, see The Hundred and One Dalmatians. For other uses, see 101 Dalmatians.
101 Dalmatians
One hundred and one dalmatians ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Stephen Herek
Produced by John Hughes
Ricardo Mestres
Screenplay by John Hughes
Based on The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith
Starring Glenn Close
Jeff Daniels
Joely Richardson
Joan Plowright
Hugh Laurie
Mark Williams
John Shrapnel
Music by Michael Kamen
Cinematography Adrian Biddle
Edited by Trudy Ship
Production
company
Walt Disney Pictures
Great Oaks Productions
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures Distribuition, inc.
Release dates
  • November 27, 1996 (1996-11-27)
Running time 103 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $75 million[1]
Box office $320,689,294

101 Dalmatians is a 1996 American family comedy film written and produced by John Hughes and directed by Stephen Herek. It is the second adaptation of Dodie Smith's 1956 novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians produced by Walt Disney Pictures following the 1961 animated film of the same name. The film stars Glenn Close as the iconic villainess Cruella de Vil, and Jeff Daniels as Roger, the owner of the 101 dalmatians. In 2000, a theatrical sequel was released titled 102 Dalmatians with Glenn Close and Tim McInnerny reprising their roles.

Plot[edit]

American video game designer Roger Dearly (Jeff Daniels) lives with his pet dalmatian, Pongo, in London. One day, Roger takes Pongo for a walk, and he sets his eyes on a beautiful female Dalmatian named Perdy. After a frantic chase through the streets of London, Roger and Pongo discover that Perdy likes Pongo; and her owner, fashion designer Anita Campbell-Green (Joely Richardson), falls in love with Roger when they meet in St. James's Park. They get married along with Perdy and Pongo.

Anita works as a fashion designer at the House of de Vil. Her boss, the pampered and very glamorous Cruella de Vil (Glenn Close), has two passions in life: cigarettes and fur. Anita, inspired by her Dalmatian, designs a coat made with spotted fur. Cruella is intrigued by the idea of making garments out of actual Dalmatians. When she learns that Perdy has given birth to 15 puppies, she offers the couple a decent price for them, but they refuse. Flying into a maniacal rage, Cruella dismisses Anita and seeks revenge against her and Roger. She has her henchmen, Jasper and Horace (Hugh Laurie and Mark Williams), steal the puppies along with 86 others and deliver them to her ancient country estate, De Vil Mansion.

With the help of the other dogs and animals scattered throughout London, the puppies manage to outwit Jasper and Horace, and escape to a farm, where their parents have been called to wait. But shortly after, Cruella, the glamorous 'city girl', shows up and tries to retrieve them. However, she gets kicked by a horse backwards after peeping through the stable doors, then walks down stairs where later on gets sat on by a pig and is farted on. She then walks up some stairs, enticed by some raccoons (one of them is wearing her red fur hat) and then falls down into a vat of molasses, she screams and then slowly attempts to climb out, falling on to a bed of straw in the end, finally she attempts to walk up more stairs where she delivers her final animal speech, the horse jumps onto a free plank sending Cruella smashing through the glass and into a pigs mud pen. She then sits up in the mud (whilst all of the Dalmatians are sent home via the Metropolitan Police Service), who then arrive to arrest Cruella (now covered in molasses and mud) and her henchmen. The final scene of Cruella and her henchmen involves her belittling them and in turn a skunk (she thought was her bag) sprays on them. Roger and Anita adopt the other Dalmatians she stole, bringing the total to 101. Roger designs a successful video game featuring Dalmatian puppies as the protagonists and Cruella as the villain, and they move to the English countryside with their millions.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The role of Cruella had been previously offered to Sigourney Weaver (Close took it after finishing her run in the musical Sunset Boulevard).[2] The animatronic creatures used in the film are provided by Jim Henson's Creature Shop.[3]

Filming locations[edit]

Minster Court was used as the exterior of Cruella De Vil's fashion house.[4] Sarum Chase was used as the exterior of Cruella De Vil's home.[5]

Reception[edit]

Release[edit]

The UK première of the film was held on 4 December at the Royal Albert Hall, London and the exterior of the Hall was lit with dalmatian spots. The film performed very well at the box office, earning $136,189,294 in the United States and $314,159,265 worldwide.[6][7]

Critical reception[edit]

The film recevied generally mixed reviews : on review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a "rotten" rating of 39%, with an average rating of 5.4 out of 10 from 33 reviews, with a lot of criticisms devoted towards its plot and use of slapstick humour (akin to Hughes' Home Alone films and his later Disney remake, Flubber, a year later). However, Close's performance as Cruella De Vil was universally praised.[8]

Home Media releases[edit]

101 Dalmatians was released on VHS on April 15, 1997 and on DVD on December 12, 2000. Due to the high sales of the One Hundred and One Dalmatians Platinum Edition DVD, Disney re-released this film on September 16, 2008 in the U.S., along with its sequel, 102 Dalmatians, and the sequel to the original 1961 animated version, 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure.

Reboot[edit]

A live action Cruella de Vil film is in development by Disney.[9] Screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna most known for writing The Devil Wears Prada is set to write the film for Disney, with Andrew Gunn as the producer.[10]

References[edit]

External links[edit]