101 Dalmatians Review

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A young couple are overjoyed when their two dalmatians mate and produce 101 sprightly pups. Enter the evil Cruella De Vil, though - a harridan intent on turning them into a fur coat…


Though some audiences might be more familiar with the live action version, this original Disney version of Dodie Smith's tale still sparks with jokes, swift action and one of the best villains of all time: Cruella De Vil, whose Machiavellian scheming and leering might frighten the very youngest of kiddies, but will delight everyone else.

The period details - it's set in 1952 - add another layer of humour and pleasingly for a Disney, the song count is low, thus sparing us the sight of a doggy chorus line. But what dogs they are - with seemingly every one of the ton-plus-one pooches imbued with a different personality, they're endlessly cute.

In fact, they're so doggone sweet that it's hard to believe that this was once one of Disney's most controversial movies - a scene in which the puppies suckle milk from cows udders was cut from some prints because the sight of teats was deemed offensive. In these much more enlightened times, we can finally see that this is one of the House of Mouse's finest efforts.

Dog-lovers, in particular, will go ga-ga for this, but this remarkably fresh and funny period tale (set in England, fact fans) has all the ebullience and lovability of its titular characters.