101 Dalmatians (1961) – Review

Coming from the vault of Disney’s animated classics, 101 Dalmatians is still full of charm and wit which makes this film thoroughly enjoyable to watch while it explores the meaning of family and determination. 

Much of this story is driven by the theme of family and the will and determination of the two parent dalmatians, Pongo & Perdita, as they travel across England to save their 15 puppies which have been stolen from Cruella de Ville. Now it’s not just the 15 puppies they are saving but the lives of 84 other dalmatian puppies that were also stolen, Pongo & Perdita instantly decide to treat them as if they were their own children and they are later taken in by the dogs owners Roger and Anita.

For a film that was created in 1961, the cartoon hand drawing style of animation is still as beautiful and gorgeous to watch 60 years later which is also enhanced by its use of colour. With great animation is accompanied by a great score as the film utilises classic ballroom piano pieces throughout its scenes. Even the dogs barking has aged well and sounds as realistic as it could have been back in the 60’s although they do overuse the barking sounds in certain scenes.

We all know Cruella de Ville is one of the most iconic and despised villains in Disney’s history and after watching 101 Dalmatians it’s easy to see why. Not only is she persistent in purchasing the dalmatian puppies we later come to know that she was the mastermind in the theft of the 15 puppies and 84 more where her ambition was to defur and skin them to make clothing apparel, the word to describe this character is in her name itself…Cruel.

Not quite as popular as Disney’s other classic animated films  101 Dalmatians is a forgotten gem that is enjoyable to watch 60 years after its initial release and I’m sure 60 years in the future it will still be enjoyable to the newer generation.

7.8/10

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