After it’s success with Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, Disney decided to dazzle audiences with the retelling of the 1961 Animated Feature Film, 101 Dalmatians. The films mirror each other almost seamlessly, except with a few changes. None of the animals spoke like they had in the animated feature, leveling the roles of the humans from secondary characters to leading roles.
Roger (played by Jeff Daniels) is an American Computer Game Designer who falls in love, by chance, with Anita (played by Joely Richardson) when their dogs create mischief during an afternoon walk. Anita works for the Risque Fashionista, Cruella De Vil (played by Glenn Close) as a fashion designer. The mayhem begins when Anita playfully adds Dalmatian spots to a design for Cruella’s next collection. Little did Anita know she had just begun to turn the gears of a mad woman.
With a full cast of some of Hollywood’s brightest including Joan Plowright, Hugh Laurie, and Mark Williams, this film still carries the charm of the 1961 film and then some. Who couldn't fall in love with 99 little pups?!
The film's popularity struck audiences by storm. There were multiple toy sets, clothes, computer/video games (the same one seen in the film), and even an animated television series chronicling the adventures of the puppies when the family moves out to the country side. I still remember the Dalmatian craze that hit the pet world once this film came out. It was almost like the Clownfish and Blue Tang craze when Finding Nemo came out in the early 2000's. Disney thought it could strike thunder twice with 102 Dalmatians, but it still wasn’t as popular as the first.
Take a look at the trailer for 101 Dalmatians.