101 Dalmatians (1996 film)

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101 Dalmatians
One hundred and one dalmatians ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byStephen Herek
Produced by
Screenplay byJohn Hughes
Based onThe Hundred and One Dalmatians
by Dodie Smith
Music byMichael Kamen
CinematographyAdrian Biddle
Edited byTrudy Ship
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures Distribution [1]
Release date
  • November 27, 1996 (1996-11-27)
Running time
103 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States
Budget$75 million[4]
Box office$320.7 million[3]

101 Dalmatians is a 1996 American comedy adventure film.[1] The film is a live action adaptation of Walt Disney’s 1961 animated film of the same name, itself an adaptation of Dodie Smith's 1956 novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians. Directed by Stephen Herek and co-produced by John Hughes and Ricardo Mestres, it stars Glenn Close, Jeff Daniels, Joely Richardson, Joan Plowright, Hugh Laurie, Mark Williams and Tim McInnerny. Unlike the 1961 film, none of the animals have speaking voices in this version.

101 Dalmatians was released on November 27, 1996. It grossed $320.6 million in theaters against a $75 million budget. Close was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.[5] The film was also nominated for a BAFTA award for best makeup effects. A sequel, 102 Dalmatians, was released on November 22, 2000 with Close and McInnerny reprising their roles; a live-action spin-off/prequel directed by Craig Gillespie will be released on May 28, 2021.[6][7]


Close at a costume fitting for her role as Cruella de Vil

American video game designer Roger Dearly lives with his pet Dalmatian Pongo in London. One day, Pongo sets his eyes on a beautiful female dalmatian named Perdy. After a frantic chase through the streets of London that ends in St. James's Park, Roger discovers that Pongo likes Perdy. Her owner, Anita Campbell-Green falls in love with Roger when they meet. They both fall into the lake as a result of their dogs chasing each other, but they return to Roger's home and Anita accepts his proposal. 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, has a deep passion for fur, going so far as to have a taxidermist, Mr. Skinner, skin a white tiger at the London Zoo to make it 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 (Anita) is too, much to her shock. Sometime 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 too. Several weeks later, she returns when a litter of 15 puppies are born and offers Roger and Anita £7,500 for them, but they refuse. Enraged, Cruella dismisses Anita and vows revenge against her and Roger. One winter evening, she has her henchmen, Jasper and Horace, break into their home and steal the puppies, while Roger and Anita are walking in the park with Pongo and Perdy. Along with 84 other dalmatians that were previously stolen, they deliver them to her ancient country estate, De Vil Mansion. Jasper and Horace also asks Skinner to kill and skin them to create her coat.

With the family devastated at the loss of their puppies, Pongo uses the twilight bark to carry the message via the dogs and other animals of Britain, while Roger and Anita notify the Metropolitan Police. A dog who had witnessed the stolen puppies follows Jasper and Horace to the mansion, and finds all of them 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. Angry with the thieves' failure, she decides to carry out the job herself, while Jasper and Horace attempt to search for them also. After several mishaps, Jasper and Horace discover nearby police on the hunt for Cruella and her henchmen and hand themselves in, joining Skinner who was beaten earlier while trying to kill Lucky (one of the 15 puppies), who had been left behind. Meanwhile, Cruella tracks the puppies to the farm where they are hiding and tries to retrieve them. However, the animals outwit her, causing her to fall into a vat of molasses and get thrown through a window into a pigpen. Shortly afterwards, the fleeing dalmatians (including Lucky) are found and sent home via the Suffolk Constabulary, while those looking for Cruella arrive at the farm to arrest her. In the police van, she belittles Jasper, Horace, and Skinner for their incompetence before they are sprayed by a skunk which she had mistaken for her purse. 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, as they have not yet been claimed by their original owners, 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 countryside with their millions. Roger and Anita have a baby daughter, and a year later the puppies have grown up with puppies of their own.



The animatronic creatures used in the film are provided by Jim Henson's Creature Shop.[8]

Sigourney Weaver was offered the role of Cruella de Vil. Cathy Moriarty did a screen test for the role, but was later deemed too frightening for a children's film.[9]

Minster Court was used as the exterior of Cruella de Vil's fashion house.[10] Sarum Chase was used as the exterior of her home.[10]

Cruella de Vil's car is a modified 1974 Panther De Ville.[11]


Box office[edit]

101 Dalmatians was released on November 27, 1996. The UK premiere of the film was held on December 4, 1996, at the Royal Albert Hall, London, and the exterior of the Hall was lit with dalmatian spots. It grossed $136.2 million in North America and $320.7 million worldwide.[12][3]

Home media[edit]

101 Dalmatians was released on VHS for the first time on April 15, 1997,[13] Laserdisc in early 1997, and on DVD on April 21, 1998.[14] It was re-released on September 16, 2008.

Video game[edit]

A video game based on the film entitled 101 Dalmatians: Escape from DeVil Manor was released in May 1997.


On Rotten Tomatoes, 101 Dalmatians has an approval rating of 41% and an average rating of 5.32/10 from 37 reviews. The site's critic consensus reads: "Neat performance from Glenn Close aside, 101 Dalmatians is a bland, pointless remake".[15] On Metacritic the film has a score of 49% based on reviews from 20 critics.[16] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade A.[17]


Animal rights organizations protested the film's release, saying that Dalmatian sales shot up after the premiere, fueled by impulsive purchases of puppies by parents for their children. Being ill-prepared to care for a relatively difficult breed of dog past puppy-hood, many of these new owners eventually surrendered their animals to pounds, where many dogs ended up being euthanized.[18]

Sequel and prequel films[edit]

A sequel, 102 Dalmatians, was released on November 22, 2000. The film's early working title was 101 Dalmatians Returns.

Disney is planning a live-action Cruella de Vil prequel titled Cruella directed by Alex Timbers. Marc Platt and Andrew Gunn will produce; Glenn Close is executive producer.[19][20] Screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna was set to write it,[21] but Kelly Marcel replaced her.[22]

Emma Stone will play the eponymous role.[23] Timbers left the project in December 2018 due to scheduling conflicts and will be replaced by the I, Tonya director Craig Gillespie.[24] Dev Patel was considered for the role of Roger Dearly, while Nicole Kidman was considered for the role of "the Baroness", described as "an antagonist to Cruella who's thought to be pivotal in her transformation to the villain we know today".[25] Emma Thompson, Charlize Theron, Julianne Moore, and Demi Moore were also in consideration for the role of the Baroness.[25] Jasper and Horace are also set to appear in the film, with Disney reportedly looking for an African-American actor to portray Jasper.[25] In May 2019, Thompson was cast as the Baroness and on July 2019, Paul Walter Hauser reportedly joined the film in an undisclosed role.[26][27] In August 7, 2019, Joel Fry joined the cast as Jasper, while Hauser was revealed to be playing Horace.[28] Filming was set to begin at the end of 2019.[25] On August 24, 2019, during the D23 Expo, it was revealed that principal photography for Cruella had already begun. The first official image from the film featuring Stone as Cruella de Vil with three adult dalmatians on a leash, Hauser as Horace and Fry as Jasper was also unveiled during the event.[29] Filming wrapped on November 26, 2019.[30] In September 2019, Mark Strong, Emily Beecham and Kirby Howell-Baptiste were cast as Boris, Anita and Tabitha, respectively.[31][32][33] The film was originally scheduled to be released on December 23, 2020.[6][34][35] However in August 2019, it was announced that the film would be delayed to May 28, 2021.[7]


  1. ^ a b c "101 Dalmatians". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved September 16, 2017.
  2. ^ "101 Dalmatians (1996)". AllMusic. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "101 Dalmatians (1996)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 5, 2008.
  4. ^ "101 Dalmatians". PowerGrid. Archived from the original on March 27, 2014. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  5. ^ "Golden Globes".
  6. ^ a b Adalessandro, Anthony (May 7, 2019). "Disney-Fox Updates Release Schedule: Sets Three Untitled 'Star Wars' Movies, 'Avatar' Franchise To Kick Off In 2021 & More". Deadline. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  7. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 20, 2019). "Amy Adams 'Woman In The Window' Will Now Open In Early Summer, 'Cruella' Moves To 2021". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  8. ^ http://www.creatureshop.com/productions_film.php Archived August 27, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "The DisInsider on Twitter: "Sigourney Weaver was offered the role of Cruella De Vil; Cathy Moriarty screen tested for the role but was deemed to scary for a children's film". The DisInsider. August 3, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  10. ^ a b "101 Dalmatians filming locations". Movie-Locations.com. Archived from the original on April 9, 2016. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  11. ^ https://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_10957-Panther-DeVille-1974.html
  12. ^ Puig, Claudia (December 2, 1996). "'101 Dalmatians' Nabs Top Spot". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  13. ^ "Dalmatians with car rental". Ad Age. March 27, 1997. Archived from the original on March 27, 1997. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  14. ^ "101 Dalmatians". Amazon. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  15. ^ "101 Dalmatians Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 18, 2011.
  16. ^ https://www.metacritic.com/movie/101-dalmatians
  17. ^ 101 DALMATIANS (1996) A Archived February 6, 2018, at the Wayback Machine CinemaScore
  18. ^ "Activists Protest Disney Dalmations". Cinema.com. August 30, 2000. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  19. ^ Kit, Borys (December 14, 2016). "Disney's Live-Action 'Cruella' Finds Director". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  20. ^ Kit, Borys (November 17, 2011). "Disney Preps Live-Action Cruella de Vil Film (Exclusive)". Hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  21. ^ "Disney is making a live-action Cruella de Vil movie". Entertainment Weekly. October 1, 2013. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
  22. ^ Borys, Kit (January 6, 2016). "Emma Stone in Talks to Play Cruella de Vil for Disney (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  23. ^ Takeda, Allison (April 26, 2016). "Emma Stone as Cruella de Vil and More Live-Action Fairy-Tale News From Disney". Us Magazine. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  24. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (December 4, 2018). "Craig Gillespie In Talks To Direct Emma Stone In 'Cruella'". Deadline.com. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  25. ^ a b c d Shuler, Skyler (April 29, 2019). "Disney Interested In Dev Patel For An Iconic Role In 'Cruella'". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  26. ^ "Emma Thompson in Talks to Join Emma Stone in Disney's 'Cruella' (EXCLUSIVE)". variety.com. May 14, 2019. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  27. ^ "'Richard Jewell' Star Paul Walter Hauser Joins Disney's Live-Action 'Cruella'". variety.com. July 29, 2019. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  28. ^ Shuler, Skyler (August 7, 2019). "Joel Fry To Play Jasper In Disney's 'Cruella'". The DisInsider. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  29. ^ ‘Cruella’ is next, and here’s your first look!
  30. ^ Stacey, Nadia (November 26, 2019). "That's it folks. What an experience. I think it's going to take a while to come down. Thank you to my amazing team for working so so hard and for always having such fun. My crowd team, oh my goodness, Julia Vernon is a total genius and I was so spoilt with the talent in the room. Wait till you see the looks! It's been the biggest challenge. So fast paced and totally mad at times but I'm so proud of what we've done. Now to rest! #makeup #design #hair #designer #cruella #cruelladevil #emmastone #disney #teamworkmakesthedreamwork Thank you to the super talented @soleiljacksonillustration for my bags!". Instagram. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
  31. ^ Earle, Toby (September 11, 2019). "Ooooh Mark Strong says he starts work with Emma Thompson & Emma Stone on #Cruella this Friday (via @BBC6Music)". Twitter. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  32. ^ ‘Cruella’: Cannes Best Actress Winner Emily Beecham Joins Disney Live-Action Prequel With Emma Stone
  33. ^ Kroll, Justin (September 24, 2019). "'Cruella' Adds 'Killing Eve's' Kirby Howell-Baptiste Opposite Emma Stone (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  34. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (December 4, 2018). "Craig Gillespie In Talks To Direct Emma Stone In 'Cruella'". Deadline.com. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  35. ^ Ridgely, Charlie (May 7, 2019). "Disney Gives Live-Action Cruella Movie 2020 Release Date". ComicBook.com. Retrieved August 7, 2019.

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