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Headscratchers / 101 Dalmatians

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Disney film

  • Okay, the Kanine Krunchies commercial seems to be targeted at dogs THEMSELVES, rather than dog OWNERS. I can buy there being dogs intelligent enough to understand advertising (and that can somehow see images on an analog TV). However, I don't think any of the human characters showed any indication that they knew the dogs had the ability to be marketed to, and if they did, that raises further questions. Questions like, "why is nobody making a bigger deal about there being dogs that can understand such complex things as advertising," "who do they expect to then purchase this product," and "did anyone at the studios care?"
    • They could be targeting dog owners with a similar mindset; the owners might believe their dog enjoys the commerical because it looks like it'd appeal to them, and get the product because they believe it's something they'd want as a result.
    • Think of it like those diaper commercials where babies appear to gush about how comfortable Pampers are.
  • How did the bad guys plan to round up and capture all 99 puppies again once they caught up to them?
    • Well actually, aside from the fifteen stolen from Roger and Anita, the rest were all bought and paid for. While Cruella was obviously getting madder as she chased after them, it's possible they were going to stop the van and explain to the driver that the dogs had stowed away and they were trying to get them back. Legally the puppies were Cruella's property, so she could produce some kind of paperwork to get people to help her round them up.
      • That would be a big risk however. If someone happened to find any of the 15 stolen from the Radcliff's, they'd read the collars, connect the dots on the missing puppy capper, and suddenly Cruella is facing a prison sentence. Even throwing Jasper and Horace under the bus isn't going get her off the hook in that situation.
  • Why is it that despite being kidnapped, going to be made into coats, and separated from their parents, the puppies didn't seem the least bit upset or scared while they were in Hell Hall with Jaspar and Horace?
    • Children adapt surprisingly well to situations they can't control, and as for the coats thing, it's no new thing for kids and teens to think they can't get seriously hurt. It can be easy for them to pretend danger isn't real until it's impossible to ignore (such as when they were actually being chased and they reacted with fear).
  • How did the dogs make it back to Roger and Anita in London without attracting attention at the sight of a colossal pack of dogs in one of the largest cities in the World?
    • Well, they'd thrown Cruella off the trail at that point, so nobody was looking for them. Plus they were hidden in the truck most of the way
    • Black dogs, dark's plausible that no one would notice them if they kept to the shadows. Plus there is the implication that it is Christmas Eve. There probably wouldn't be too many out and about, and if anyone had been and said, "I just saw a giant pack of black dogs! I think the grims are out to get us all," it would probably be dismissed as someone hitting the eggnog a bit too hard.
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    • If you saw a pair of black dogs walking down the street with a large pack of puppies trailing after them, what would you do? You'd stop and stare for a moment, think "that's weird," and be on your way. There's no reason a passerby should particularly care, apart from the fact it's an odd sight.
    • The two adult dogs probably led the pups in groups of a dozen or so, from one hiding place to the next. It'd take time, but be much safer, as mother dogs leading their puppies home isn't all that noteworthy.
  • Dalmatians' fur is rather short, and not particularly soft even in puppies. Plus, if the stories of dog-wool sweaters are to be believed, the "dog smell" doesn't go away. Why would anyone want to buy a coat like that? Or wear it in public, knowing the source is self-evident and would mark its wearer as a dog-hater?
    • Well, generally speaking, high-class fashion has often been more about flashiness than comfort. And as to wearing it in public, well, the idea of making a coat out of dogs is so absurd that it seems likely many people would just assume it's fake. Although that does kind of kill the point of showing it off...but then, one might assume that the sort of person who'd buy a coat made from dogs would spend most of their time around people who share their...uh...unusual preference.
      • The original book was written BECAUSE people WERE buying dog-fur coats. From places like Sak's Fifth Avenue. Except that the dog fur would be labeled as "Chinese coyote" (There is no such animal). It was one of the things that started off the modern anti-fur movement (along with the Artek tourist film which included the baby Harp Seal bashing.) The fur trade is still not dead, but it certainly SHOULD BE. And don't think the Chinese aren't still selling dogfur coats, mislabeled. Fuck slavery, down with the fur trade.
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    • In the original novel, Cruella actually bothers to address this factor- She plans to make the front side of her coat Dalmatian and the wrong side made of some other, less conspicuous fur. Until the fuss over the abducted puppies dies down, she was going to wear the coat Dalmatian inwards, and then turn the whole furry coat inside-out.
    • There's no indication that anyone besides Cruella would have actually bought a Dalmatian coat. If it seems like a dumb idea to us, it may well have been a dumb idea In-Universe as well.
  • If Roger and Anita have such big financial problems that they apparently can scarcely afford to feed themselves, then why on earth do they have a Nanny?
    • In the book they each had a Nanny living with them before they were married (presumably the same nannies who had watched over them as children - Rodger's Nanny says at one point that she's been caring for him since the day he was born), and both Nannies continued to live with them after the wedding because they were more like family by that time than servants. It's safer to assume that movie!Nanny had also been with one of the two since childhood (probably Anita, given the state of Roger's flat when the movie starts) and remained with the new couple for the same reasons as in the book. Of course, they are also much wealthier in the book than they are in the movie - Roger is a successful financier, not a broke musician - and would have had no trouble being able to afford household servants.
      • Movie!Nanny does make an offhand remark about Anita's childhood artistic talents, and how happy she is to be there as she starts a family of her own.
    • Even in the movie Roger isn't exactly poor, he's successful enough at his craft to afford a dog and all his instruments, eventually buying a house. Cruella is most likely simply being mean when she says they can barely afford to feed themselves
    • Well maybe from Cruella's perspective, they are. She's a high society Londoner who's able to afford fur and a rolls royce - as well as having a second home in the countryside (it's falling apart but still). She sees Anita and Roger living in a small house and assumes they're poor.
    • Roger's work is writing songs. He probably sold a few and made modest sums, keeping him afloat when it was just him and Pongo. Money would have become tight, however, with the addition of Anita and Perdita, as well as the fifteen puppies and any children Roger and Anita ended up having. Fortunately for them, "Cruella de Ville" became a big hit that made them a fortune. As for Cruella, part of her ranting about the Radcliffes not being well off was likely because she was offering them a lot of money for the puppies and they were turning her down.
    • Plus for Anita and Cruella to have gone to school together, presumably Anita came from money. Can you see someone with Cruella's wealthy background going to a local public school?
  • Alright, so in the end, Cruella lost both all the puppies and her nice car...happy ending yet? She still has her money and she still has her mansion, I mean, she even knows Pongo and Perdita were leading the puppies home! She could easily get on their tracks again, knowing who owned Pongo and Perdita. She even lets herself into their own house! Can't hide those 101 Dalmatians forever?
    • The end of the film and the sequel address this. The whole family moves to the countryside. Cruella was sent to prison, and after getting out has no idea where they've moved (she even tries going back to their old, empty flat and feels offended they didn't leave a forwarding address). She's given a restraining order, which requires her to stay away from the Radcliffes, animals, and furs. It's only because Patch accidentally got left behind during the move that she gets the farm adress. If not for that it's highly unlikely she would have found them.
    • And even if you don't take the sequel as canon, she mentions that "the police are everywhere". That's why she's so keen to get the puppies killed and skinned quickly. Evidence would point towards her, due to the argument after the puppies are born. Horace and Jasper don't seem particularly bright, they could probably snitch on Cruella too.
    • The fact that she went after the puppies while they still were puppies, rather than letting them grow bigger so they'd have bigger pelts to offer, suggests that Cruella specifically wanted their soft puppy-fur for her coats. By the time she gets out of prison, the dogs will all be fully grown and no longer fluffy enough for her plans.
  • Here's a big one to me. In the animated movie, one of 84 puppies indicates he was bought (presumably from owner or store). If Cruella already buying puppies, why bother to steal other 15 newborns from Roger and Anita?
    • There weren't any more dogs left to buy or steal?
      • It was an act of petty revenge against Roger and Anita (mostly Roger) for actually standing up to her and initially refusing to sell the puppies.
    • Same reason she tried to BUY the puppies in the first place : supply and demand issues. It's not like it would be easy for pet stores and farms to breed that many Dalmatians.
    • In the book it's just revenge for being rebuffed. She already had plenty to start her farm, she just couldn't handle being told no.
    • Understandable, but it seems Cruella really didn't think through the consequences. Whether she succeeds in skinning the puppies or not, she's in trouble. It would be risky for her to wear a Dalmatian fur coat in public shortly after 15 Dalmatian puppies were reported stolen. And since she was already Roger's number one suspect in the investigation, he would certainly be quick to accuse her if he saw her wearing a Dalmatian fur coat. If she had just stuck with the puppies she bought, she wouldn't have put herself at risk.
  • Anita claims Cruella De Vil was inspected by Scotland Yard. I'm not to familiar with how their investigations would have worked in the 50's and 60's (when they could only used paper files and not computer systems), but wouldn't they have made a background check on Cruella, found out that she still owns an abanded estate in the countryside (and still paying electric bills on it), and look into THAT? Given that she was Roger's number one suspect, I'd ask law enforcements to go the extra mile on that one person too.
    • The police could have checked the place out, but it wouldn't have meant anything if Horace and Jasper weren't there with the puppies at the time. They might have had another place that they used to lay low, until the amount of puppies they had in their possession necessitated going to Hell Hall.
  • Concerning Two-Tone in the TV series, why would the Dearlys have her ear pierced?
    • I guess they like earrings?
    • Maybe she did it behind their back. Don't know how, but still...
  • Anita is, by all appearances, a very kind person and animal lover, and not at all a fashionista, yet the way Cruella talks to her and the way Anita defends her to Roger seems to indicate a strong friendship. How in the world would this happen between such radically opposed personalities? It seems unlikely that they'd even run in any of the same social circles.
    • All the Disney-related continuities made after the film explained that she worked for Cruella's fashion company.
    • In the book, they went to school together.
      • Pretty sure that gets mentioned in the animated movie, too - in the scene where she first shows up at their flat.
      • It is.
      Roger: (hearing Cruella's car pull up) Oh, must be Cruella, your dearly devoted old schoolmate.
    • Cruella was likely more of a bully than a friend to Anita, and Anita still seems afraid to stand up to her, as well as too kind for her own good. Past experience has probably taught her how vengeful Cruella can be if she doesn't get her way. She does not want Roger to insult Cruella and potentially turn Cruella against them. Meanwhile, the way Cruella treats Anita is one of the primary reasons why Roger does not like her.
    • If Anita comes from money like is suggested above, they may have basically had to see each other because of their parents or whatnot. Once Anita grew up, she'd have a life of her own and not have to see Cruella regularly.
    • It's entirely possible that the two genuinely were good friends while growing up; even if Cruella was still loud and forceful and Anita was more quiet and meek as children, it's really not that uncommon for a friendship dynamic to develop between children of those opposing personalities - the loud one simply takes the quiet one under their wing, so to speak, which is clearly the dynamic the pair still have as adults. It's likely that the pair simply drifted apart as they got older and increased their social circles and began mixing more with people whose personalities matched their own but they'd still consider themselves friends purely with how long they'd known each other and it's clear that they'd never really had a falling out that officially put an end to that childhood friendship until the business with the puppies.
  • Why didn't Cruella sue? Sure Rogers song is very close to the mark but she hasn't actually done anything when he wrote it. You'd think she'd have sued for libel and defamation of character, since it is incredibly insulting to her. Sure she might have been worried about her dog coat plan being exposed but if she's sued Roger for every penny he's got, he'll probably have to sell her the dogs just to get out from under it...
    • She wasn't thinking, probably. Also, Roger can truthfully say he never met her before or really even knew she existed before he wrote that song. Her name is so odd, practically comic bookish, that most would assume he made up the name having no clue that an actual person had that name.
    • If she's trying to avoid suspicion, a lawsuit might put the police on her trail. They'd investigate Roger and learn that he recently had his dogs kidnapped - not long after he refused to sell them to Cruella. It'd look like she kidnapped the puppies as revenge for his song.
    • Or if she's found out and thrown in prison, she doesn't have much case to sue for defamation.
    • Or yet another thing: Anita was wrong when she said that Cruella would be upset of the song. You know, there's a plenty of Disney villains that know they're evil, and love to be the bad guys ! Alright, it's not really shown that Cruella is like that, but they aren't either evidences against it. So perhaps she took the song as a compliment. Of course, she could have insincerely sued them so she could kidnap the puppies more easily, but she did not need to, did she?
    • There is a scene where she says, "Roger's song!" and laughs uproariously. She genuinely thinks it's funny. Suing probably hasn't even occurred to her.
      • She actually says "Roger's songs" and is mockingly laughing at the idea that Roger could make any respectable amount of money as a musician. Hence the annoyed look on Roger's face.
    • I believe Great Britain's anti-defamation laws have a specific clause that exempts opinion, so Roger might be able to successfully argue that he'd made up the song on the spot based on a bad first impression.
    • She's a famous figure from the catty world of fashion design, whose legal name is freakin' Cruella Deville. Roger can't possibly be the first person to publicly poke fun at how eeeeeeevil her name sounds.
    • Having just learned about defamation lawsuits, a few important things are whether the song Roger composed was malicious and, most importantly, the truthfulness of it. And it's up to the plaintiff to prove that not only was she falsely and maliciously misrepresented by the song, but also what her damages are as a result of it. (At least in America.)
    • She lives in high society and probably makes her living as a fashion designer, and there's No Such Thing as Bad Publicity.
    • Doesn't the song become successful after the puppies are gone? When everyone returns home, it's playing on the radio. So beforehand, Cruella was focusing on pulling off her scheme, and afterwards she had the police "everywhere". She didn't have the time or focus to consider a lawsuit.
  • What was his crime?
  • How come Horace says, "I don't like it" about stealing the puppies... yet is enthusiastic about killing them?
    • Stolen puppies are probably a lot of trouble to deal with, while dead puppies are easier to handle and, above all, are largely someone else's (Cruella's) problem. I mean, once they're dead he'd no longer have to worry about keeping tabs on them, feeding them, keeping them quiet, making sure they don't make too much of a mess, etc.
    • Based on what he's saying ("One more pinch, and they'll throw the keys away!"), it's likely that Horace and Jasper just got out of prison for a different crime, and if they get caught this time, they'll be going to jail for good.
  • Why does Cruella threaten to call the police if Horace and Jasper don't do what she wants? Does it not occur to her that they would probably testify against her for a lighter sentence (as they are just accomplices, while she's the Big Bad.) Is she just that Stupid Evil?

The TV Series

  • Why do Lucky, Cadpig and Rolly refer to Roger and Anita by their names instead of calling them their masters or something? The fact that they refer to their masters by their names seems to be just... rude.
    • Way to go to show how much of a slaver mentality you have towards non-humans, dude.
      • Way to be rude and completely forget that these are animals. Not humans. That's kind of a big difference.
    • They don't see them as masters. The first movie has Pongo refer to Roger as his pet.
  • The Bark Brigade. If the TV Series is anything to go by, ninety dalmatians are soldiers in the Bark Brigade. Including women, sure, that's the norm in Israel Defense Forces, but what's about the fact that the aforementioned ninety soldiers are children?