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Your Guide To Disney's 50 Animated Features
The complete story of the House of Mouse's full-length cartoons...
Next Page 17 of 50 Back

17. One Hundred And One Dalmatians
One Hundred And One Dalmatians (1961)

One Hundred And One Dalmatians

In Dalmatians' first scene, the spotted hero Pongo inspects a chic art magazine called Lilliput. It sets a new, sophisticated tone for Disney's animation, along with the debonair voice-over by Rod Taylor ("It was a beautiful spring day, a tedious time of the year for bachelors..."). Dalmatians also sports a brand new look, with sketchy, semi-abstract backgrounds, in shocking contrast to the '50s lushness of Lady And The Tramp and Sleeping Beauty.

You can see the new style as Disney's growing out of picture-books to embrace the cartoon modernism pioneered by rival studio UPA (the guys behind Gerald McBoing Boing and Mr Magoo). Or you can mourn it as a betrayal of Disney's sumptuous traditions (Walt himself disliked the look). But the wonderful characters honour Disney tradition, from the heroic Pongo and Perdita (who, unusually for Disney protagonists, are adults and parents); to the blimpish English sheepdog voiced by James Patrick O'Malley (later Colonel Hathi in The Jungle Book); to the top-drawer villainess Cruella de Vil, an upper-class monster with goblin cheeks and a psycho black-and-white hairdo.

Cruella steals the dogs' adorable puppies, meaning to skin them for their spots, and our heroes race to the rescue. For all the complaints about Disney trashing British culture, Dalmatians is a comedy-thriller paying warm tribute to Hitchcockian suspense and war dramas (the climax where the dogs sneak onto a van under the baddies' eyes is pure Great Escape). The sophistication extends to the one song, the impishly impudent "Cruella de Vil."  ANDREW OSMOND

  • Feature: The 50 Best Animated Movie Characters
  • Next Page 17 of 50 Back

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    Your Comments
    1 Llama face!
    Posted on Friday June 14, 2013, 11:11 by FilmFanaticFrancesca
    Although Mulan has always been my favourite Disney movie, mostly because she is the most awesome Disney female ever, The Emperors New Groove will always be right up there with it! I'm glad to see it getting the recognition it deserves! It's hilarious and it doesn't have the typical Disney movie characters, the lead is a lying, spoilt, arrogant dick, but he's funny while doing so and he's possibly my favourite leading disney male! Kronk is awesome, Yzma is an incredible villain and who doesn't love Pacha! Overall fantastic film! Read More

    2 MUSIC IN YOUR SOUP DELETED SCENE
    Posted on Monday November 5, 2012, 13:06 by crazypython
    With all the technology available nowadays and with the release of Extended Editions of Beauty & the Beast, Pocahontas, and so on they should colorize Music in Your Soup and release it on DVD or Blu-Ray instead of repackaging and sell the same product over and over. It's a wonderful song and I don't think the movie loses any pacing with it. Read More

    3
    Posted on Monday March 21, 2011, 03:49 by Taizy
    Really interesting and was trying to guess which one had been made next - I feel as if I have now revised for a pub quiz! Great to see The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under get praise as these were two of my favourites growing up but I'll always remember seeing both The Little Mermaid and Beauty & The Beast at the cinema; properly magical and memorable treats. Read More

    4 Great
    Posted on Friday March 18, 2011, 13:08 by Enzino
    This is a great feature, thanks Empire! Read More

    5 Criticism of stereotypes
    Posted on Friday March 11, 2011, 13:56 by Enzino
    If Native Americans and Arabs criticise Pocahontas and Aladdin, the French can certainly decry their negative portrayal in Beauty and the Beast and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. According to these films they're bigoted idiots. Read More

    6 Pinocchio
    Posted on Friday March 4, 2011, 16:51 by lizzygilly
    i love disney, but i have to say that pinocchio is the one film in this list of 50 that i actually hate. it's creepy and scary and the boy turning into a donkey still gives me nightmares. Read More

    7 RE: OMISSION
    Posted on Tuesday February 8, 2011, 09:13 by JIm R
    L: Helen OHara This is the list Disney used; don't blame us for any omissions. I admit it's a strange one in some respects... sp; oing to say, you seem to be getting panned for every mistake Disney have ever made. A bit unfair, you present an article as a favour and what thanks do you get Read More

    8 RE: Guide To Disney's 50 Animated Features
    Posted on Saturday February 5, 2011, 04:26 by raymondtt
    There is no film on the list? Read More

    9 RE: OMISSION
    Posted on Wednesday February 2, 2011, 11:28 by primebhoy
    Anyone having problems getting the feature to open? Read More

    10 RE: OMISSION
    Posted on Tuesday February 1, 2011, 12:37 by Helen OHara
    This is the list Disney used; don't blame us for any omissions. I admit it's a strange one in some respects... Read More

    11 RE: OMISSION
    Posted on Tuesday February 1, 2011, 08:38 by benthemitchell
    If you look at the list of the 50 "Classics" included within a great many of the Disney DVDs, then you are correct, it lists The Wild there, and Dinosaur is not listed. However, I'm pretty sure that a great many people would not even consider including The Wild. The true Disney Classics have a certain standard, and as far as I'm concerned, it wasn't met in this film. As for me, the top five have got to be Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Hercules, The Jungle Book, and Aladdin. I feel a trip to the cinema with my daughter is needed this weekend to see Tangled! Read More

    12 RE: OMISSION
    Posted on Sunday January 30, 2011, 07:55 by GomJabber11
    That one was released through Disney, but it was made be a different studio. (like Valiant, Brave Little Toaster or any of the Pixar films) I didn't like that one either. Read More

    13 Fantastic Article
    Posted on Saturday January 29, 2011, 22:49 by moviebuff_11
    Literally spent the last 40 minutes reading the whole thing, missed phone calls and ignored my door being knocked on Read More

    14
    Posted on Saturday January 29, 2011, 13:28 by talkstoomuch
    Robin Hood, definitely Read More

    15 Hnh
    Posted on Friday January 28, 2011, 18:04 by HighwayJoe
    "...the bunny rabbits and deer who turn up to help with the housekeeping in your average Disney movie." So the Empire staff writes quick summaries of 50 Disney movies--thereby proving that housekeeping animals only actually appear in 2-3 Disney movies hey STILL feel the need to trot out this tired and inaccurate joke? "Animated animal" does not always equal "cute" in Disney. In fact, in most cases it just equals "characters." Read More

    16 RE: Sleeping Beauty
    Posted on Friday January 28, 2011, 17:53 by BrooksyTHX1138
    The list is of the 50 films the Disney Corporation refer to as the 'Disney Animation Canon', this is not a list compiled by Empire. So stop moaning about it, its not their fault. I personally thought it was a fantastic article/list. Maybe be a bit more detailed in some of the more obscure films, but then again it gives me some incentive to research them off my own back. And seriously, having a dig at some typos? Some people have far too much time on their hands. Well done Empire, i loved it Read More

    17 RE: Sleeping Beauty
    Posted on Friday January 28, 2011, 17:11 by HighwayJoe
    I'm surprised Andrew Osmond did not point out how Prince Philip was the first Disney Prince to a) actually have a name and b) actually have a personality. He is by far one of THE best Disney Princes--right up there with The Beast, Simba and n Read More

    18 OMISSION
    Posted on Friday January 28, 2011, 15:37 by jm.cathelotte
    What about this piece of crap that is THE WILD It was an "official Disney" as far as I remember... Read More

    19 RE: The Flying Lanterns Scene In Tangled
    Posted on Friday January 28, 2011, 13:20 by a_osmond
    As the writer of the entries on 'Sleeping Beauty' and 'Dalmatians,' apologies for the mispelling of 'de Vil.' Re murrakmr's complaint, he rightly points out that Kells is based on illuminated manuscripts. However, I'd still argue there are parallels between the art styles of Kells and Beauty; most obviously in that they both recreate medieval ideas of perspective.  Read More

    20 RE: The Flying Lanterns Scene In Tangled
    Posted on Friday January 28, 2011, 10:21 by Scruffybobby
    L: Bighousewill Can't wait to see Disney animated feature No. 50. However this seems odd to me my local cineworld is screening this in 3D and that lantern scene is meant to be good but I can't see this in 3D as my local cineworld has opted to include audio description(A D) for all the 3D shows. Imagine that, would you like to purchase a pair of 3D glasses? Er no I am blind. Okay that will be a tenner please. hilst it does seen a bit odd that they would have AD on 3D film that's no barrier to you seeing it, the AD is carried on an infrared signal available via hearing aids or special headphones like you get in museums and galleries, it's not part of the main audio. Read More

    21 Aladdin, without a doubt
    Posted on Friday January 28, 2011, 10:13 by Boromirs Redemption
    Even though I'm a pretty cynical individual, I do really have a soft spor for Disney films. I haven't seen all 50 yet, but I certainly intend to. My top five (in no particular order until number one) are: Robin Hood (the one that most reminds me of growing up - I used to watch this all the time as a kid), Beauty and the Beast (stunning animation, amazing score), The Lion King (obviously), The Little Mermaid (Sebastian - genius). But number one is definitely Aladdin for me. I remember seeing at the pictures with my family like it was yesterday and being blown away by the frenzied Genie. The songs are great, the hero and heroine aren't actually wooden like a lot Disney leads, the colours are memorable and the story bounces along well. But it would be merely an ordinary one without Robin Williams, I've never laughed so much at anything Disney have done, because of him, and the animation that went with him. Brilliant stuff. Read More

    22 RE: Who Is Hiss?
    Posted on Friday January 28, 2011, 02:24 by Briar Rose
    Indeed, Kaa is Jungle Book... Hiss is Robin Hood... basically the same character in some ways so I suppose an understandable mix up, but I expect better Empire! Read More

    23 Hercules!!
    Posted on Friday January 28, 2011, 02:15 by khodges90
    I have to agree...Hercules is certainly underrated and one of the best Disney films ever made, its certainly my favourite ever Disney animated feature.... Plus you gotta love Danny Devito's Philoctetes aka Phil as the voice of a rather short satyr....coincidence? Read More

    24 Who Is Hiss?
    Posted on Thursday January 27, 2011, 22:28 by ingloriouslanda
    The snake in the Jungle Book is Kaa. For all the love it gets you think names would be a factor Read More

    25 It's "de Vil", not "de Ville"
    Posted on Thursday January 27, 2011, 21:44 by dayboy76
    As a life-long Disney fan I'm absolutely loving this feature!! However, as One Hundred and One Dalmatians has been my favourite Disney film since I was 8-years-old and I tend to err on the pedantic side, I always get annoyed when Cruella de Vil is referred to as "Cruella de Ville". The whole point of the name (in Dodie Smith's original novel, and therefore also the film) is that it is essentially "devil", and NOT that she is French and "of town". It winds me up almost as much as when I see Dalmatians incorrectly spelt as "Dalmations". OK, rant over. Love you Empire!! Read More

    26 The Flying Lanterns Scene In Tangled
    Posted on Thursday January 27, 2011, 19:56 by Bighousewill
    Can't wait to see Disney animated feature No. 50. However this seems odd to me my local cineworld is screening this in 3D and that lantern scene is meant to be good but I can't see this in 3D as my local cineworld has opted to include audio description(A D) for all the 3D shows. Imagine that, would you like to purchase a pair of 3D glasses? Er no I am blind. Okay that will be a tenner please. Read More

    27 The Secret of Kells
    Posted on Thursday January 27, 2011, 15:32 by murrakmr
    The Secret of Kells animation isn't based on tapestry works at all but based on the art of the Book of Kells itself and the work of early Christian illuminated manuscripts. Was that not obvious from the plot of the film? Read More

    28 THE JUNGLE BOOK!
    Posted on Thursday January 27, 2011, 15:14 by Snake-Eyes
    EASILY The Single Greatest Animated Feature produced by the House of Mouse. Simply beautiful and timeless. Read More

    29 RE Ommissions
    Posted on Thursday January 27, 2011, 14:32 by JimTheGreat
    This isn't a list by Empire writers, this is an official list by Disney themselves so stop complaining about certain films being missing etc. So no Mary Poppins, Song of the South, Bedknobs and Broomsticks and the great Enchanted and no Roger Rabbit. Official Disney animated films only annoyingly means missing some of those good films and featuring crap like Make Mine Music and Dinosaur. Oh and Meet the Robinsons is awful!!! Read More

    30
    Posted on Thursday January 27, 2011, 14:14 by amycullen
    I love this film!!! Its not that bad! Read More

    31
    Posted on Thursday January 27, 2011, 14:02 by Bulla
    Song of the South isnt an Animated Feature. Read More

    32 Omissions
    Posted on Thursday January 27, 2011, 13:35 by Murumasa
    |What about Song of the South? The not fondly remembered now, but very popular and hugely moneymaking at the time. Although not mentioning the litany of straight to DVD crud that Disney also made is doing us a favour. Read More

    33 Enchanted? Partly animated and very funny.
    Posted on Thursday January 27, 2011, 13:23 by ghulley
    Where is this film on your list? Read More

    34 Enchanted? Partly animated and very funny.
    Posted on Thursday January 27, 2011, 13:23 by ghulley
    Where is this film on your list? Read More


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