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101 Dalmatians

  • 1996
  • G
  • 103min
  • 38%
  • 5.7 / 10

A diabolical and glamorous Cruella De Vil covets her employee's Dalmatian puppies. She decides that their skins will be the perfect pattern for her new fur coat. Hence, she sends her bumbling henchmen to kidnap the pups. It is up to the pups parents, Pongo and Perdy, to stage a rescue mission.

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Seven-time Academy Award nominee actress Glenn Close has long been passionate about costume design. She has had a clause in her contract that allows her to keep all the costumes she has ever worn - including the obnoxiously glamorous costumes she wore in the films, 101 Dalmatians and 102 Dalmatians. It is a clause that her contract has had since her very first film The World According to Garp and has resulted in an enviable collection for the actress. Though she originally saved her costumes in a storage unit in Bedford Hills, New York, she has since donated her collection to Indiana University. She had joked that they were kept in a state-of-the-art facility that is 'apocalypse proof.' She had donated them for the purpose of having the university's students study them for various majors such as theatre and merchandising. Close considers her donation to be bittersweet, saying, “I feel quite emotional when I talk about it . . . [knowing] that it’s going out and won't be under my roof anymore.”

101 Dalmatians movie review

The original 101 Dalmatians was not Disney's most artful animated feature. Yet, its story remains to be one of Disney's most memorable cartoons. Disney's live-action version is not as memorable.

The irony of the live-action remake of 101 Dalmatians is that the Dalmatians are not characters, but mediums. They are the object that which push the protagonists and antagonists to cross paths. The reason for this is that all the animals in the film are no longer anthropomorphic in nature. It is a sad turn for those who had been fans of the book in which the film sources its material as well as the animated film.

The film's second pitfall is paying close attention to its antagonist. Since the film does not have to devote a lot of its time to the animals, the film follows most of intrigues and schemes of Cruella De Vil. Glenn Close's show-stopping portrayal of Cruella is simply nonpareil. She gives off a grande dame persona - perhaps a hangover from her role as Norma Desmond - who takes pleasure in making every living being quake at the thought of her. She makes anyone that crosses her path feel like they are intruding her space all while brandishing her scarlet cigarette holder. As for the other human counterparts, the two bumbling pup robbers are as close as it gets to the animated film. They even resemble the robbers in Home Alone. In fact, they are the robbers from Home Alone. They were cast by the film's writer, John Hughes to play the same kinds of robbers facing the same kind of shenanigans. However, these shenanigans do not pay off in the film's final act, and only prove to be tedious to watch. Daniels and Richardson, on the other hand, prove to be a winning and well-matched pairing as the earnest and congenial couple.

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about the movie

101 Dalmatians (1996) is an American live-action comedy adventure film directed by Stephen Herek. It is an adaptation of the 1961 animated film, and the Dodie Smith Novel of the same name. It stars Glenn Close as Cruella De Vil, Jeff Daniels as Roger Dearly and Joely Richardson as Anita Cambell-Green-Dearly. Other cast members include Joan Plowright, Hugh Laurie, Mark Williams, and Tim McInnerny. Unlike in the animated film, the dalmatians do not have a speaking role. The film was not only successful in recouping its budget, but it received several nominations, including Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and Best Makeup Effects.

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