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Film / 101 Dalmatians (1996)

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101 Dalmatians is a 1996 live-action adaptation of Disney's One Hundred and One Dalmatians. It stars Glenn Close as Cruella DeVil, is updated to The Present Day, and the animal characters don't speak this time. It was written and produced by John Hughes and directed by Stephen Herek.

The film got a sequel in 2000, 102 Dalmatians.

While the film was technically one, it is not part of the current trend of Disney Live-Action Remakes, which will include a Perspective Flip reboot-prequel titled Cruella in 2021, starring Emma Stone in the title role.


This film provides examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Cruella never gets Roger's name right (This trope is repeated in the TV series.)
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Glenn Close's Cruella is certainly more good looking than her animated counterpart. Pretty much unavoidable since Glenn Close is a stunner herself.
  • Adaptational Job Change: Instead of working as a songwriter as in the original version, Roger is an American game developer.
  • Adaptational Nationality: While Roger is an American residing in London, the original book depicts him as an Englishman given the nationality of the book and its author, Dodie Smith.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Pongo and Perdita realize something is wrong while on a walk with their humans. They immediately rush home and find the puppies missing. When Roger and Anita arrive, Perdita's sadly lying in the basket where her puppies were.
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    • When Pongo and Perdita run away, Nanny tells a worried Roger and Anita that they're searching for the puppies.
    • Anita and Roger also have this reaction when Anita finds her drawing of the dog skin coat. She tells Roger with a horrified expression, "She's going to kill the puppies".
  • All There in the Manual: All of the puppies' names are found only in promotional materials for the film.
  • Animated Adaptation: Sort of. Cartoon versions of these movies' unique puppies have been featured on tie-in merchandise, and a few characters from the movie made it into the cartoon series.
  • Ash Face: Horace, after the Banana in the Tailpipe moment below.
  • Babies Ever After: Roger and Anita have a little girl at the end, while the puppies grow up with puppies of their own.
  • Bag of Kidnapping: This is how Horace and Jasper steal the puppies.
  • Banana in the Tailpipe: Raccoons put a large nut in the tailpipe of the bad guys' truck. The pressure does shoot the nut out eventually - when Horace is examining the tail pipe.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: Jasper punching Horace for commenting on Skinner's scar after the former explicitly tells him not to isn't shown to the audience, as Jasper closes the door before the punch. It would be too violent for a G rating if it was actually shown.
  • Bowdlerise: A slight re-dub occurred in the United Kingdom release, in which Horace's line "No bloody wonder you can't talk, mate!" was re-dubbed to "No blinkin' wonder you can't talk, mate!" The "bloody" slang is considered to be profane in the United Kingdom.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Anita's drawing of Cruella in a dalmation coat. She finds it after Pongo and Perdita run away and realizes that Cruella did take the puppies, to kill them.
  • Comically Missing the Point: There's this exchange after Cruella and her henchmen have been defeated:
    Cruella: (addressing Jasper, Horace, and Skinner) Congratulations, you three have won the gold, silver, and bronze medals in the Moron Olympics.
    Horace: (after a very long beat) Who won the gold?
    Cruella: (screaming) SHUT UP!!
    • This may be justified as Horace's expression shows he's merely mocking her for his amusement.
  • Composite Character: As in the animated film, it combines the book's Missis (Pongo's mate) and Perdita (another female who was brought in as a sort of wet-nurse because there were too many puppies).
  • Conspicuous CG: Any scene where the dogs could be in a dangerous situation. The drainpipe scene is particularly conspicuous.
  • Decomposite Character: In the animated film, Horace and Jasper were supposed to kill and skin the puppies themselves. This film introduces the character of Mr. Skinner, who Horace and Jasper are tasked with delivering the puppies to. Though they thought of doing the jobs themselves when Mr. Skinner hasn't arrived yet.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Jasper tries to emphasize to Horace not to comment on Mr. Skinner's huge scar on his throat. First words out of his mouth when Skinner opens the door?
    Horace: Crikey! Look at the size of that scar! No bloody wonder you can't talk, mate!
    Skinner: (Death Glare)
    Jasper: Excuse me. (closes the door and decks Horace)
  • Disappointed in You: Cruella was furious when her best employee Anita got married, earlier she tries to discourage her from such things as married/family life would damper her potential. When Anita refuses to sell the puppies to her, Cruella dismisses her from her job.
  • Dog Walks You: Pongo and later Perdita run after the other, dragging their owners on bikes by the leash. Poor Roger and Anita end up veering out of control and land in the park duck pond.
  • Dope Slap: Horace gets one from Jasper after loudly pointing out the scar on Skinner's neck when he was specifically told not to.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Cruella cannot understand why Roger and Anita, who are on a fixed income, refuse to sell the puppies, even when she offers them a cheque for £7,500. In fact, her insistence is what convinces them that Cruella's intentions are not in the puppies' favour.
    Anita: But Cruella, what would you do with 15 puppies?
    Roger: That's irrelevant, Anita. She can't have any of them because they're not for sale!
  • Evil Laugh: Several impressive examples, courtesy of Cruella.
  • Expy: Skinner’s black coat, hat and gloves resemble those of Judge Doom.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Cruella.
  • Femme Fatalons: One of Cruella's outfits has long, curved fingernails on the outside of her High Class Gloves.
  • Flames of Love: Roger and Anita's romance begins with them drying their clothes by the fire. When things get clearly romantic, there's a lingering shot of the clothes catching on fire before a Smash Cut to the characters getting married.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: Cruella, Anita's boss, offers to take the puppies, to buy them. While Roger declares they're not for sale, Anita is a bit hesitant at first because of the money being offered, and because refusing your boss is not necessarily a good idea. Then Cruella shouts at them to take it, and Anita quietly refuses. She's not surprised when Cruella fires her and threatens to blacklist her.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Cruella and Jasper are choleric, Horace is phlegmatic/sanguine and Mr. Skinner is melancholic.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: A G-rated sex scene consisting of clothes symbolically bursting into flames.
    • In the first park scene with Roger and Pongo one of the dogs walking by is a bulldog with very large (and noticeable) testicles.
    • In the park scene, Roger realizes that the female Perdy is not his male Pongo when he lifts her hind leg and checks her genitalia.
    • Cruella has an Immodest Orgasm at the sight of the Siberian tiger pelt. In fact most of her reactions to fur is the fur fetish take to the extreme.
    Cruella [While admiring her tiger pelt in a mirror]: You were a big bad boy weren't you darling?
    • When Roger and Anita tell Cruella they're having a baby, she's less than interested. When Roger adds that they're also having puppies (meaning Pongo and Perdy were) Cruella grins and says, "Well, you have been a busy boy, haven't you?". Yes, ladies and gentlemen, they made a bestiality joke in a Disney movie.
  • Gross-Out Show: A pig farts in Cruella's face, she falls into a vat of molasses, is kicked by a horse into a pigsty, and sprayed by a skunk that she mistakes for her handbag. There's also Wizzer, the puppy who is constantly peeing.
  • "Home Alone" Antics: Jasper and Horace suffer all kinds of humiliations (Jasper nearly gets impaled by a mounted moose's antlers, Horace falls into a freezing pond, etc.). Of course, this movie was produced by John Hughes.
  • Harmless Freezing: Horace, though he's still blue and shivering in the next scene.
  • Human-Focused Adaptation: Sort of. Because none of the animals talk in this version, the humans get more focus and screen time.
  • Humiliation Conga: The villains end up getting this.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Mr. Skinner. Unlike Cruella, who is hammy and laughably evil at times, there are no such moments, apart from Horace's comments. He never utters any dialogue because a dog tore open his throat, and there is a visible scar shown, with a permanent leer on his face. His job is basically skinning animals and turning them into coats for Cruella, and was about to do it to Lucky, until another dog mauls Skinner with a shot in the shadows. He is terrifying as a result. Notably, he does not encounter any slapstick in the film like Horace, Jasper, or even Cruella.
  • Large Ham / Evil Is Hammy: Glenn Close knew this was a great role for the application of mountains of ham, and she brought it all with her. Her legendary talent let her pull it off while making it look easy.
  • Lost in Imitation: Naturally seems to be based more on the 1961 film than on the book. Though unlike the first film, it does get Roger and Anita's last names from the original book right: Dearly instead if Radcliffe. Also, the sequel includes the dinner party from the book, which was not included in the original film.
  • Love at First Sight: Perdita for Pongo, and vice versa.
  • Meaningful Name: Lucky has a horse-shoe pattern on his back (and was lucky to live after his Near-Death Experience), Rolly is fat, Wizzer has a weak bladder...
  • Minecart Madness: A 3D version serves as the final level in Roger's game.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Raccoons and a skunk in England.
    • What's really weird is that all filming was done in England.
    • Justified in a bizarre way. There are feral populations of raccoons and skunks in England. Long story short, they were bred for the fur trade (and as exotic pets) but ended up escaping into the wild and breeding. It's not so much a case of misplaced wildlife in fiction, but rather a case of misplaced wildlife in Real Life.
  • Mythology Gag: The dalmatian that appears in Roger's video game strong resembles Pongo's animated counterpart.
    • Also, Cruella. In the game, she chases after the puppies in her car like in the animated film, and sports her animated counterpart's Nightmare Face.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In this version, Cruella gets the idea for a dalmatian skin coat from a sketch that Anita draws inspired by Perdita's fur. Though of course Anita never meant for the coat to be made of real fur.
  • Nightmare Retardant: In-universe, Roger's attempt at making an interesting villain for his video game, which is a devilish plumber. Pongo just yawns.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Cruella wears a cheetah striped one when she tries to buy the puppies.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Glenn Close. Her American accent is constantly poking through in the vowels.
    • And right before that when Anita tells Cruella that she's having a baby, "You know what they say, accidents may happen!"
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Some of Cruella's outfits.
  • Police are Useless: Completely subverted. When Anita realizes that Cruella has taken the puppies and is going to kill them, the UK police get a warrant to raid Cruella's house, which leads to them finding the tiger fur that was in the papers earlier. Ms. De Ville gets arrested, as do her cronies. The police also find all the puppies and return them to Anita and Roger.
  • Punny Name: The puppy who constantly pees is named Wizzer.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After the Humiliation Conga that Jasper and Horace suffer, when they happen to run across the police, they happily surrender.
  • Setting Update: Among other things, Roger is a video game designer.
  • Sycophantic Servant: Cruella's assistant, Frederick. He even admits to it:
    Cruella: What kind of a sycophant are you?
    Frederick: What kind of a sycophant would you like me to be?
  • Take That!: In-universe. At the end of the film, Roger adds Cruella to his video game as the villain.
  • Tempting Fate: An unhinged Cruella rants about being victorious yet against the dalmatians and all the other farm animals and then yells, "Cruella De Vil has the last laugh!", laughing maniacally as she does so. The farm animals, in a kind of example of a Shut Up, Hannibal!, kick her out of the barn and into a pigpen. Moments later, the police shows up to arrest her. Clearly, that was her last laugh.
  • This Is My Human: Pongo, at least, considers himself the Master of the household.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Jasper and Horace.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After Cruella De Vil and her henchmen have been defeated and are being carted off to prison by the police, she has this to say:
    Cruella: My business, my reputation, my life, has been ruined because you three incompetent twits let yourselves be outsmarted by a bunch of dumb animals! And you call yourselves men? HUH?! I've seen more intelligent pieces of carpet!
    • What follows next is that they are sprayed by a skunk that Cruella had confused for her handbag.
  • Title Drop: "Make that 101 Dalmatians, sir."
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: Roger proposes to Anita via a Freudian Slip: "Would you like another cup of marriage? I mean tea?"
  • Worst News Judgment Ever: Why do National Newspapers like The Independent have reports on two relative nobodies getting married? Or make the kidnapping of fifteen puppies front page headline news? Though Anita did work as a fashion designer for Cruella's fashion house, nothing on screen implies she is particularly notable within in the company - Cruella only notices her when she designs the coat (her original idea being for FAKE fur). Though Cruella did walk up towards her, and even tries to discourage Anita from getting married out of fear of damping her talent.

Alternative Title(s): One Hundred And One Dalmatians


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