101 Dalmatians (1996 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Stephen Herek|
|Produced by||John Hughes
|Screenplay by||John Hughes|
|Based on||The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith|
|Music by||Michael Kamen|
|Edited by||Trudy Ship|
Walt Disney Pictures
Great Oaks Productions
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc.|
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 and Joely Richardson as Anita, the owners of the 101 dalmatians. In 2000, a theatrical sequel was released titled 102 Dalmatians with Glenn Close and Tim McInnerny reprising their roles.
American video game designer Roger Dearly (Jeff Daniels) lives with his pet dalmatian, Pongo, in London. One day, Roger takes Pongo for a walk in St. James's Park, 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, Anita Campbell-Green (Joely Richardson), falls in love with Roger when they meet. After they both end up falling into the lake as a result of their dogs, they return to Roger's home, and Anita accepts Roger's proposal to wed. 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 a deep passion for fur, going so far as to have a taxidermist, Mr. Skinner, skin a white tiger at London Zoo to make into a rug for her. 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 and finds it amusing that it would seem as if she was wearing Anita's dog.
Anita soon discovers that Perdy is pregnant, and is then informed that she is too, much to her shock. Some time later, Cruella visits their home, and expresses contempt upon meeting Roger. Her initial disgust at them having a baby turns to excitement when she finds out Perdy is expecting puppies. Several weeks later, she returns when a litter of 15 are born and offers the couple a decent price for them, but they refuse after attempting to reason with Cruella. Flying into a maniacal rage, Cruella fires Anita and vows revenge against her and Roger. She has her henchmen, Jasper and Horace (Hugh Laurie and Mark Williams) break into their home and steal the puppies. Along with 84 others that were previously stolen, they deliver them to her ancient country estate, De Vil Mansion. Cruella also hires Mr. Skinner to kill and skin them to create her coat.
With the family devastated at the loss of the puppies, Pongo uses the Twilight bark to carry the message via the dogs and animals across the whole of London. A dog who had witnessed the stolen dalmatians follow Jasper and Horace to the mansion, and finds all the puppies inside before helping them escape under the duo's noses. They make their way to a nearby farm, where they are later joined by Pongo and Perdy. Cruella arrives at the mansion and soon discovers what has happened. Furious, she decides to carry out the job herself, whilst Jasper and Horace attempt to search for them also.
After several mishaps, the two jaded men discover nearby police on the hunt for Cruella and hand themselves in, joining Mr. Skinner. Cruella meanwhile tracks the puppies to the farm where they are hiding and tries to retrieve them. However, the animals outwit her and cause her to fall into a vat of molasses and thrown through a window into a pigs mud pen. The fleeing Dalmatians are soon found and sent home via the Metropolitan Police Service, whilst more arrive at the farm to arrest Cruella. In the police van, she belittles her henchmen for their incompetence before they are sprayed by a skunk which Cruella had mistook for her bag. Pongo, Perdy and their puppies are reunited with Roger and Anita. After being informed that the remaining 84 puppies have no home to go to, they decide to adopt them, 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.
- Glenn Close as Cruella de Vil
- Jeff Daniels as Roger Dearly
- Joely Richardson as Anita Campbell-Green Dearly
- Joan Plowright as Nanny
- Hugh Laurie as Jasper
- Mark Williams as Horace
- John Shrapnel as Skinner
- Tim McInnerny as Alonzo
- Hugh Fraser as Frederick
The role of Cruella had been previously offered to Sigourney Weaver (Close took it after finishing her run in the musical Sunset Boulevard). The animatronic creatures used in the film are provided by Jim Henson's Creature Shop.
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.
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The film received 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.
Home Media releases
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.
A live action Cruella de Vil film is in development by Disney. 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.
- "101 Dalmatians filming locations". Movie-Locations.com. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- Puig, Claudia (December 2, 1996). "'101 Dalmatians' Nabs Top Spot". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
- "101 Dalmatians (1996)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 5, 2008.
- "101 Dalmatians Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 18, 2011.
- Kit, Borys (2011-11-17). "Disney Preps Live-Action Cruella de Vil Film (Exclusive)". Hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 2013-10-02.
- "Disney is making a live-action Cruella de Vil movie". Entertainment Weekly. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 101 Dalmatians (1996 film).|
- Official website
- 101 Dalmatians at the Internet Movie Database
- 101 Dalmatians at Rotten Tomatoes
- 101 Dalmatians at AllMovie
- 101 Dalmatians at Box Office Mojo