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|
|Editing by||Trudy Ship|
|Studio||Walt Disney Pictures
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Running time||103 minutes|
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 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, 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 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 is kicked into a pig pen full of mud by a horse, she having already been covered in molasses. All of the Dalmatians get home by the Metropolitan Police Service, who then arrest Cruella (now covered in molasses and mud) and her henchmen. 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.
- 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.
Release and reception
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.
Critical reception, however, was generally mixed to negative; 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.
- 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.
- Official website
- 101 Dalmatians at the Internet Movie Database
- 101 Dalmatians at Rotten Tomatoes
- 101 Dalmatians at AllMovie
- 101 Dalmatians at Box Office Mojo
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