THE PLOT THUS FAR
When a litter of dalmatian puppies are abducted by the minions of Cruella De Vil, the parents must find them before she uses them for a diabolical fashion statement.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
“101 Dalmatians” was a much-needed shot in the arm for Disney. The theme park experiment was taking off, their TV holdings were doing great, but the animation department seemed in decline. It wasn’t like America stopped watching cartoons, it’s just that they weren’t connecting with what the Mouse House was offering. Disney picked up an easy literature adaptation from Dodie Smith and “101 Dalmatians” was born. Outside of a scene with the pups suckling a cow, the unwashed masses loved the film and helped begin a new era of animation.
Disney was at a weird place during the early 1960s. “Sleeping Beauty” was a majestic animated triumph shot in scope. However, it ate the big one at the Box Office. The use of xenography was introduced with “101 Dalmatians” and Disney started cutting animators to get cheaper product to theaters faster. It was a hit, but it started this one spot of Disney history that would last until well into the 1980s. I’d talk about the film proper, but anyone over the age of 10 is intimately familiar with the story. There is actually very little difference between the animated and live-action versions, so pick your poison in regards to visual aesthetic.
The Blu-Ray comes with a DVD copy, Digital HD copy, a brand new animated short about the pups, featurettes, 1961 short and a ton of related special features. The A/V Quality looks amazing for an animated film from 50 years ago. However, the 1080p transfer is a little too smooth for the animation purists that want to see some grain. The DTS-HD 7.1 master audio track continues Disney’s long streak of pleasing your home theater. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: 02/10/2015