Pongo is a bachelor, Dalmatian too by breed,
Who sees his human Roger has a very special need.
Without a female presence, all is apathy and sloth.
So the dog resolves to find some girls to satisfy them both.
He sees some in the park, and, though his plan does not excel,
Considering they marry, I would say it went quite well.
Now Roger’s a musician, mainly loved by wife Anita,
And Pongo soon has puppies with Anita’s dog Perdita.
With fifteen newborn puppies, they’re all jubilant until
A visit from Anita’s “friend” named Cruella De Vil.
Obsessed with furs, this smoking fiend insists she buy each pup,
But Roger’s firm, unyielding “No” just gets her dander up.
They all rejoice, although Cruella’s temper is enflamed,
And all the puppies grow a bit, though only six are named.
But then two robbers barge in once the couples both have left
And steal the pups for Cruella, who’s behind the awful theft.
Once human means bear no results, the dogs go to the park
And spread the word of what’s been stolen, through the twilight bark.
Through barks and woofs and howling too, the somber news is spread.
(They also get ‘most everyone in London out of bed.)
A ways away near Suffolk, once the dreadful news is heard,
A dog and cat investigate and find what was plundered,
The fifteen puppies, yes, but others, ninety-nine in fact,
All guarded by the thieves, who wait to do a heinous act.
Cruella’s stashed these puppies in this country house remote
To skin them all and have enough to make a dog-skin coat!
With help from Tibs the cat, they flee, but, when they’re almost caught,
Both Pongo and Perdita come, alerted of the plot.
Retreating through the snow, they try to lose the thieves outdoors
And finally escape upon a truck as Labradors.
Cruella and the thieves are left behind as they depart,
And all the dogs are welcomed by Anita and Roger’s heart.
They pledge to take the lot away and set up a plantation
For all one hundred one of their beloved new Dalmatians.
One Hundred and One Dalmatians has a very ‘50s/’60s feel to it, in addition to its many British colloquialisms which make it unique. The animation is in that “just okay” time period between Disney’s golden age and its Renaissance, but it’s obvious that much effort went into it, especially the scenes with all the puppies. As a cat lover, my favorite character is Sergeant Tibs, but everyone is likable, if not particularly memorable. And of course, Cruella De Vil is one of the classic Disney villains with a most vain and horrendous master plan, skinning dogs in the name of a spotted fur coat. Pure evil. The accompanying song also makes One Hundred and One Dalmatians a Disney classic, just not their best.
Best line: (Cruella) “You got any chloroform?”
(Jasper) “Not a drop.”
(Horace) “And no ether, ei-ther.”
(A fun riff on British pronunciations)
Visual Effects: 4
TOTAL: 27 out of 60
Tomorrow: #355: Howl’s Moving Castle
© 2014 S. G. Liput