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Western Animation / 101 Dalmatians

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"Cruella De Vil, Cruella De Vil
If she doesn't scare you, no evil thing will
To see her is to take a sudden...
Cruella... Cruella...
She's like a spider waiting for the...
Look out for Cruella De Vil"
Roger Radcliffe, "Cruella De Vil"

Entry #17 in the Disney Animated Canon, The Hundred and One Dalmatians was adapted for animation by Walt Disney Pictures as One Hundred and One Dalmatiansnote . The second Disney animated film to be set unambiguously in contemporary time period note , this 1961 production was also the first to use xerography to ease the inking process and make a film with this much technical complexity (the 101 dogs and their collective innumerable spots) possible. Unfortunately, financial setbacks at the studio, especially in the wake of Walt Disney's death in 1966, made the process the norm and the technique, now dubbed Disney's "scratchy outline" period, plagued the studio's features for 16 years until technological improvements allowed for softer xeroxing on The Rescuers.

Although the original children's novel is far less remembered than the Walt Disney movie based on it, (and it had a sequel, too), this is one of the most faithful adaptations Disney has ever done.

It was followed by several sequels and spin-offs in different media beginning in The '90s. These works are listed on a separate franchise page.

The Disney version got a direct-to-video animated sequel in 2003 in 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure, in which Pongo and Perdy's son Patch is accidentally left behind when the family moves to the country, and feeling unappreciated, goes to find his idol Thunderbolt to be on his show.

101 Dalmatians provides examples of:

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  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • Roger and Anita laugh following the Meet Cute scene when Anita tries to wipe herself dry with a handkerchief, only to find it's sodden, and Roger's handkerchief is as well.
    • Pongo enjoys Roger's song and impression of "Cruella de Vil" after she barges in and asks about Perdita's unborn puppies. Anita tries to put on an invoked Dude, Not Funny! front since she's trying to be civil to Cruella but eventually she breaks down giggling offscreen when Roger waltzes with her to the melody.
  • Adaptational Job Change: In the book Mr. Dearly has an office job; in the film Roger is a struggling songwriter.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: The original book illustrations show Cruella as being fairly attractive-looking in spite of her cold-blooded personality. The movie, in contrast, makes her very ugly to fit her more eccentric personality in the adaptation. Early designs for her by her animator Marc Davis keep truer to the book's design.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Both the original author and Disney himself praised the story's streamlining.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Mr. and Mrs. Dearly were changed to Roger and Anita Radcliffe for the animated movie. Later adaptations give them the given names from the movie and the surname from the book. Also, Saul Badun becomes Horace, Roly Poly becomes simply Rolly, and Lt. Tib becomes Sgt. Tibbs (with that particular cat also getting a sex change in the process).
  • Adapted Out: A few non-important characters from the novel were removed like Cruella's husband and cat, Cadpig (although she appeared in the animated series), and Perdita's old boyfriend Prince (who was mainly important in the book as dalmatian number 101 and part of an implied Beta Couple.)
  • Angrish: Roger stutters, yet holds firm, when telling Cruella that he and Anita are not selling their puppies.
  • Argument of Contradictions: When Patch and Lucky push each other in the fireplace, they argue "Did not!" (Lucky) and "Did too!" (Patch) about who did it first.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: To get Jasper's attention, Cruella yanks what appears to be a wine bottle out of his hands while he's drinking it and flings it backhand into the fireplace, where it shatters and then explodes with a loud bang. Wine doesn't have enough alcohol in it to explode even if aerosolized like this.
  • Artistic Licence - Geography: An American road sign appears in the British countryside during the climactic car chase.
  • Badass Bystander: The van driver who has to deal with Cruella ramming him several times in the climax, hoping to first send him in the snow and then off a cliff. He merely yells at her, mutters, "Crazy woman driver," and focuses on keeping the van on the road.
  • Bag of Kidnapping: Jasper and Horace put the puppies in the sack.
  • Bait-and-Switch: At the end of the final chase, Jasper and Horace break their steering wheel and the loss of control causes them to collide with Cruella's car and fall down the hill underneath the bridge, allowing the Dalmatians to escape. What follows is a very grim scene where we see the wrecked remnants of both of their vehicles lying in the snow, and we are about to assume the worst has just happened right before our eyes...only for the camera to suddenly pan to the left, revealing that Cruella, Jasper, and Horace all survived the crash.
    • Prior to that, a darkly comical example occurs after Cruella demands Jasper and Horace kill the dalmatian puppies on that night. Jasper shows reluctance, which is then revealed to be because he wants to finish his television program.
    • When Sergeant Tibbs is trying to convince the puppies to escape with him, he hears Horace shout "Look!" and dives for cover, but Horace hadn't spotted him, he was just amused to see someone they knew on the game show he and Jasper were watching.
  • Berserk Button: Cruella seems like a somewhat pleasant woman at first, if a bit snide and condescending, but she really didn't like being told the Radcliffes weren't interested in selling the puppies.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Roger may be a goofball with No Social Skills, but you don't barge into his flat right after he's saved a stillborn puppy, make several catty remarks about calling the newborns "little white rats," and then have the gall to "buy them all" expecting to get an acceptance.
    • Pongo and Perdita are as charming and adorable as animated dogs can be. As long as you don't mess with their children.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Patch is technically the same age as his 14 other siblings, but he adopts this attitude towards Lucky and the others. When Horace and Jasper push down Lucky to stop him from hogging the TV, Patch angrily barks at them. He later says that the other 84 puppies need help and protection from Cruella and the Baduns.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Pongo and Perdita bursting into Hell Hall just in time to stop Horace and Jasper from killing all the puppies.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Cruella yells this at Horace and Jasper a lot. It comes back later as she's having a tantrum over having lost the puppies and ending up in a ditch, much to the irritation of Jasper.
  • Big "WHAT?!": While Jasper is on the phone to Cruella, he snaps at Horace, “Shut up, you idiot!” Cruella yells this at him, thinking he said it to her. Jasper quickly clarifies he said it to Horace.
  • Born During a Storm: Perdita gives birth during a rainy October night. The patter of falling rain and the occasional distant sound of thunder adds to the anxiety of the scene as Roger and Pongo wait outside, then when Roger is reviving one of the puppies. When Cruella bursts in to buy the whole litter, she is backlit by a flash of lightning, accompanied by a loud thunderclap.
  • Bowdlerize: Promotional stills of the Diamond Edition Blu-Ray release edited out Cruella's cigar and smoke in her shots, although it was left in the film proper with a PSA against smoking added to the trailers on the disc.
  • Braving the Blizzard: The Dalmatians have to walk through a blizzard at the start of their journey home. It's very tough, and Lucky has to be carried by Pongo, as he's too exhausted and cold to walk.
  • Butt Biter: Pongo gives Jasper a painful chomp in the rear at one point.
  • The Cameo: Jock and Peg (along with the bulldog from the pound who seems to have had puppies with her) from Lady and the Tramp make cameos during the citywide dog barking scene.
    • Tramp and Lady themselves show up in the very same scene, Tramp on top of a car and Lady in the street.
  • Canines Primary, Felines Secondary: Sergeant Tibbs, the heroic cat, ranks lower than Colonel, the dog. Also, Tibbs is the lone cat in a movie whose cast is made up mostly of dogs.
  • Cat Scare: Happens twice. The first time, Tibbs is right next to a bottle of rum; Jasper tries to take a swig from the bottle and mistakenly tries to drink the cat. The second time is when Tibbs is helping the puppies to hide. Tibbs can't take on Horace and Jasper on his own, but when Jasper looks under the bed, the ensuing MEEEOOWWWW and wild leap from Tibbs startles Jasper enough for the puppies to run past him.
  • Ceiling Banger: Nanny does this to get Roger to take a break from writing songs.
  • Chase Scene: While most of the plot is a chase, the straightest example comes when Cruella chases after the van in which Pongo, Perdita, and the puppies are making their escape.
  • Cheated Angle: The climax has a peculiar example of this combined with sleight of hand editing. When it starts, Cruella and her lackeys split up in different directions. Later on, Jasper and Horace show up at the top of the hill with a road crossing the same path as the Moving Van, and when the point of view switches to their car, we can see that they're correctly coming towards the left of the moving van the dalmatians hitched a ride on. But in the shots just before Jasper and Horace lose control of their truck and T-Bone Cruella's car, there are two gaffes—first, the van and hill has magically moved to the right side of the van when the camera switches to the Moving Van drivers POV. And as if that wasn't enough, in the Moving Vans POV, we can clearly see Jasper and Horace are almost at the bottom of the hill. But in the next shots, right after they break their steering wheel and go reeling down the bank and into Cruella's car, they somehow magically teleported back up the hill! Given how extensively Disney planned their films, Its more than likely they purposely ignored continuity for the sake of staging and cinematic effect.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • The dogs that Pongo sees strolling on the street before Perdita and Anita appear later reappear to relay the message that the puppies have been stolen.
    • The truck that nearly hits Pongo and Perdita on their journey to Hell Hall is the same truck that will later take them and their puppies back to London.
  • Clean Pretty Reliable: One of the 15 (the eventual "Lucky") was apparently stillborn, leading Roger to get an idea, rubbing the pup rapidly to stimulate it to breathe. It does the trick, and Lucky starts moving within the blanket.
  • Clock Tampering: At the beginning, Pongo forwards the time on Roger's clock so he can go for his 5:00 walk in the park and get Roger and Anita, plus him and Perdita, to meet.
  • Clothes Make the Legend: One of the most famous fur coats ever. Ironic considering it never actually gets made (which considering the villain's theme, may as well been intentional).
  • Combat Pragmatist: As fierce as they were against Horace and Jasper, Pongo and Perdita actually dispose of them by barely touching them at all, instead using their lair's surroundings against them or fooling them into hurting themselves in their own buffoonery (most likely to keep their cathartic "mauling" of them G-Rated).
  • Composite Character:
    • Perdita is the name of Pongo's wife in this adaptation (in the book his wife was named Missis and Perdita was a separate character).
    • Nanny Cook and Nanny Butler are merged into a single "Nanny".
    • Cadpig, the small and delicate puppy, is merged with Lucky, the brave leader.
  • Conversational Troping: The bit where they watch Thunderbolt's show ("Ol' Thunder always wins!").
  • Cool Car: Cruella's car. A lot of people have put effort into trying to figure out what model it is, though it most closely resembles a 1936 Alvis Speed 20 Drophead Coupe, similar to this one. It's just too bad that Cruella's obsession with making a fur coat out of the dalmatians led her to trash the car...
  • Creator's Show Within a Show: Horace and Jasper can be seen watching Silly Symphonies.
  • Creepy Jazz Music: Roger sings (and plays) a jazzy "The Villain Sucks" Song about Cruella de Vil, which describes how wicked and heartless she is.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Horace and Jasper are on the receiving end of this when Pongo and Perdita charge in just as they were about to attack the puppies.
  • Dangerous Backswing: In one scene, Horace accidentally bonks Jasper in the head with a club.
  • Dangerous Clifftop Road: Cruella car-chases the truck with the dalmatian puppies along such a dangerous clifftop road.
  • Dangerous Interrogative: After Perdita's puppies are born, Cruella shows up with an offer to buy them for herself. She ends up doing this when Roger nervously, but defiantly, declares that the puppies will not be sold.
    Cruella: (writing a check) When can the puppies leave their mother? Two weeks? Three weeks?
    Roger: Never!
    Cruella: (gets up and into Roger's face) What...?
    Roger: We-We-We're not... not s-s-selling... th-the puppies. N-Not a single, single one! You understand?
  • Death Glare: Roger and Pongo both give one to Cruella when she has made fun of Roger's songwriting career. Their expressions didn't seem to change after they were splattered with ink from Cruella's pen.
  • Deus ex Machina: The Dalmatians had nothing to do with their final escape from the villains. It was pure chance that a panicked Horace yanked out the steering wheel of the Baduns' truck, causing them to lose control and T-bone Cruella's car.
  • Disney Death:
    • One of the initial litter of puppies (Lucky, although in the original book it was Cadpig) appears to be dead, but is resuscitated by Roger rubbing him. Yes, a Disney Death moment for a character that's only just been born.
    • This also happens in the Thunderbolt TV show. Patch is Genre Savvy enough to realize that Thunderbolt survived.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Not one of the dogs, but at the end, as the defeated Cruella has her Villainous Breakdown which involves verbally assaulting Horace and Jasper some more, Jasper calmly replies, "Aw, shaddap!"
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Subverted with most of them, but played straight with the Colonel. In the book, the Colonel is much less bumbling and more of an actual military commander, teaching the dogs how to fight and promoting them whenever they do something awesome.
  • Dog Walks You: Happens with Pongo and Roger in the early parts of the movie, as part of the Meet Cute.
  • Doomed New Clothes: Anita has a new spring suit on as she walks Perdita. Cue the Meet Cute, and she's sopping wet in a pond. What we go through for love, huh?
  • Door Slam of Rage: Done twice by Cruella, both times hard enough to result in property damage:
    • When the Radcliffes refuse to sell their puppies to her, she storms out of their flat, slamming the door hard enough to shatter the window panes on it.
    • Later at Hell Hall, after she angrily orders Horace and Jasper to kill the puppies so she can make her coat, she slams the door behind her with enough force to cause a large crack to rise up the wall and across the ceiling, from which a chunk of plaster falls onto Horace's head.
  • The Door Slams You: Three times.
    • Early on, when Cruella shows up looking to buy the puppies, she slams poor Nanny. Later, when Horace and Jasper barge in to steal the puppies, they do the same thing.
    • It happens again much later, just before the climactic Chase Scene. Having discovered that the Dalmatians have disguised themselves as black Labradors, Cruella yells for Jasper and Horace while impatiently honking the horn of her car. The Baduns are inside a blacksmith's shed with a large, locked wooden door that leads out to the street. Upon hearing Cruella's yells, they break down the door — which falls right into Cruella's face, as it turns out that she had parked right outside it.
  • Dope Slap: Ironically, Jasper's usual response to Horace's Dumbass Has a Point moments.
  • Dramatic Thunder: A loud one rolls right before the 15th puppy gets resurrected.
  • Dramatic TV Shut-Off: Near the end, Roger turns off a nearby radio playing his song "Cruella de Vil", not out of anger or embarrassment, but because he's still down over the Dalmatians' disappearance.
    Anita: Roger, after all that, your first big hit. It's made more money than we ever dreamed of.
    Roger: Yes, I know. But I still can't believe that Pongo and Perdie would run away.
  • Dub Name Change: The Finnish dub has Horace's name changed to Jesper.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Horace is clearly not the sharpest tool in the shed, but by assuming that dogs think the same way that people think (which is true in this movie), he is constantly suggesting what the dogs are actually doing while trying to evade the Baduns. He's almost always right, but Jasper will have none of it.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: When Pongo sees two of his little ones covered in soot, he gets the idea for the disguise as black Labradors.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Just about every dog can tell Cruella is pure evil. Pongo and Perdita can tell straight away, with Perdita fearfully saying, "It's her... it's that devil woman" when Cruella drives up to the Radcliffes' flat the first time, and Pongo growling angrily at Cruella when she beckons him to come over to her.
  • Evil Laugh: Roger has one when he sings about Cruella.
  • Excellent Judge of Character: Roger is this towards Cruella. He is the one who invented the song "Cruella De Vil" after all. Just listen to the lyrics! Not to mention that he remembers how much Cruella wanted Pongo's and Perdita's puppies and how aggressive and angry she got when she couldn't have them. As such, he proclaims her to be his "number one suspect" after they're kidnapped, even after Anita argues against his accusations. Turns out he was right about this, even though he doesn't find out in the end.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Sadly, Cruella's obsession with the dalmatian fur coat she will never have ultimately lands her in this trope.
  • Filthy Fun: When the dogs are rolling in the soot to disguise themselves as black Labradors, they greatly enjoy it.
  • Foreshadowing: One of the lines in the Cruella de Vil song — which is cut from the actual movie, but does appear in music video versions of the song — is "all innocent children had better beware". Roger had no idea how accurate that statement later turned out to be (well, if you're a dalmatian child, anyhow).
  • Fourth-Date Marriage: Let's do the math. The movie opens in spring. After Anita and Roger get married, they live together for six months, before the puppies are born in October. This places the wedding in April, so they must have married right after their Meet Cute.
  • Frame-Up: Cruella threatens to blame the entire puppy-napping/skinning scheme on Jasper and Horace to get them to finish the job.
  • Funny Phone Misunderstanding: Happens twice, in similar fashion both times -
    • When Cruella and Jasper are on the phone together, Jasper says, "Shut up, you idiot!" to Horace. Cruella responds with a Big "WHAT?!", and Jasper says, "No, not you, miss, I mean Horace!".
    • When Anita is on the phone with Cruella, the former accidentally calls Roger an idiot while still on the phone, offending Cruella who thought Anita was saying it to her.
  • Furry Reminder: Dogs can both speak and bark. In fact, in one scene, the Colonel has to translate a distant dog's barking into English so that the cat and horse he's talking to will understand.
  • Gender Flip: The character of Sergeant Tibbs (Tibb, in the novel) is changed in this adaptation from female to male. And on a more minor level, so is the puppy whose life Mr. Dearly/Roger saves at birth, given that this puppy is hinted to be Lucky — not Cadpig, as in the book.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Desperate to get the word out about the kidnapped puppies, Pongo resorts to the Twilight Bark, the local gossip chain. It works.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Roger's Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe versus Cruella's cigarette with holder.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Jasper's pink underwear gets exposed during the fight at the old house.

  • Heroic Dog: Pongo and Perdita not only rescue their kids, but also 84 more of them on realizing they have nowhere to go. All of the dogs that respond to the Twilight Bark end up proving to be this, especially those that go out of their way to help Perdita and Pongo find their puppies and then get home. The Great Dane gives Pongo and Perdita instructions on where to go while telling them to bark for help from his liaisons. While the Colonel doesn't do much physical stuff, he alerts Perdita and Pongo where the De Vil mansion is and distracts the Baduns as the dogs beat a retreat. A Border Collie runs into the snow to get everyone to safety in the barn while fetching food scraps for the parents as the cows feed the little ones and make room for them in the hay. To top it all off, the Labrador helps arrange a ride for them in a truck and charges at Horace and Jasper when they and Cruella figure out the deception.
  • Happily Married: Pongo and Perdita and their "pets" Roger and Anita.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Anita honestly trusts Cruella, mainly due to them being old schoolmates, while no one else thinks very fondly of her at all.
    Anita: Roger, I admit she's eccentric, but she's not a thief.
    Roger: Well, she's still the number one suspect in my book!
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Sergeant Tibbs and the Captain to the Colonel.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Cruella telling Horace and Jasper, "Watch your driving, you imbeciles! You wanna get nabbed by the police?!"
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Hell Hall.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Played for Drama and heartwarming feels. When Pongo tells his fifteen puppies that they're going home to London, Patch points out that the other puppies don't have homes and have nowhere to go. Pongo then immediately says they're taking everyone home and the humans will help, much to their delight. Roger on seeing the puppies decides they're getting a bigger place.
  • Internal Reveal: We know from the get-go that Cruella is behind the puppies' kidnapping, but Pongo and Perdita don't know about this until the Great Dane tells them about "the De Vil place" halfway through the film.
  • It Can Think:Discussed. Horace suggests that the dalmatians are just as smart as humans such as going up the creek to avoid leaving prints or rolling in soot to disguise themselves, but Jasper dismisses the notion.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Patch is established as the most aggressive of the 15 puppies, relatively speaking. He trash-talks Thunderbolt's human rival and angrily barks at Horace for bullying Lucky. When the puppies reunite with their parents, Patch is the first to say that they need to take care of the other 84 puppies.
  • Jump Scare: Roger and Pongo get one from Nanny of all people when she announces that THE PUPPIES ARE HERE!!!
    • Then there's the bandit Thunderbolt is fighting on the television, scaring the daylights out of Lucky who stood too close for his own good.
  • Just in Time: The moment when the Baduns have cornered Sgt. Tibbs and the puppies and are about to kill them, Pongo and Perdita smash through a window and attack the would-be murderers.
  • Laughably Evil: As ruthless as Cruella and her goons are in stealing (and attempted murder of) the puppies, their overblown whimsy and bumbling make up a lot of the movie's humor. It helps that Roger starts singing "The Villain Sucks" Song and then starts playing it in the attic as background noise when Cruella first appears onscreen.
  • Light Is Not Good: Cruella's fur coat is light-colored, yet she is the villain.
  • Limited Animation: While still a literal film when compared to most theatrical cartoons from the time, most of the character designs and backgrounds have an abstract stylized look inspired by the works of UPA. The Kanine Krunchies commercial is especially animated in the limited style of animated commercials of the sixties.
  • Literal Ass-Kicking: Horace and Jasper get kicked in the behind by Captain the horse — hard enough for their heads to break through the wall of the barn!
  • Love at First Sight: Pongo instantly takes to Perdita, calling her "the most beautiful creature on four legs".
  • Mama Bear / Papa Wolf: As if traveling through the English countryside in the middle of winter to save their puppies wasn't enough, Pongo and Perdita are scary when they face off against Horace and Jasper, snarling with bared teeth and their eyes flashing red. Considering they just interrupted the Baduns as they were about to bludgeon their children to death, who can blame them?
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The puppies in Hell Hall cower in fright when Cruella orders Jasper and Horace to kill them.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The Big Bad Cruella de Ville, given that she's indeed cruel, and her last name is a pun on "devil".
    • The Bumbling Henchmen Duo Horace and Jaspar Baddun (bad one).
    • Some of the puppies have names alluding to their personalities. Patch has an eye patch; Rolly is a roly-poly; Freckles has spots resembling Youthful Freckles; Lucky has a pattern of spots in the shape of a lucky horseshoe. However, Lucky most likely got his name from the fact he almost died after Perdita gave birth to him, but Roger saved his life.
  • Meet Cute: Invoked by Pongo who was probably going for more of a conventional Boy Meets Girl scenario, but his intervention leads to Roger and Anita's (and consequently his and Perdita's) first meeting starting out as this.
  • Men Can't Keep House: Commented on by Pongo at the beginning of the film, Roger's flat is a horror.
  • Named by the Adaptation: In the book, only four of the puppies are given names: Lucky, Patch, Roly Poly and Cadpig. In the movie, while dropping Cadpig (her characterization passed on to Lucky) and simplifying Roly Poly's name to just "Rolly," gives us the additional puppy names Freckles, Penny and Pepper.
  • Near-Villain Victory: If Horace hadn't yanked out the steering wheel of the Baduns' truck in panic, causing them to lose control and crash into Cruella, there's almost certainly no way the dalmatians would have escaped her — her car was literally hanging onto the van. That's how very, very badly Cruella wants that fur coat.
  • Newspaper-Thin Disguise: Jasper and Horace make their entrance this way, sitting in their truck and hiding behind their newspapers until Anita and Roger have walked by.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Sergeant Tibbs has the horse Captain kick Horace and Jasper into a wall... and from there, the two see the dogs' footprints in the snow. Oops. Probably couldn't be helped much, though, since the alternative was letting the pair burn the whole place down.
    • When the Dalmatians are crossing a street and hear Cruella approaching, Pongo begins to sweep away their tracks. Unfortunately, he fails to sweep them all away before Cruella arrives on the scene and Cruella discovers them anyway, which leads her to eventually finding them. Then again, Pongo did the best he could to hide them.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Horace grabs the steering wheel and accidentally breaks it, causes the Baduns' van to lose control and crash into Cruella's car instead of the van the Dalmatians are escaping in as was intended. This of course gives the Dalmatians a chance to escape.
  • Nightmare Face:
    • Cruella certainly has one as she's about to ram to back of the van during the climactic Chase Scene.
    • Pongo and Perdita are scary too when they get their Game Face on.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Pongo and Patch refuse to leave behind the other puppies even though they certainly will not have the room at home to accommodate them all. Nonetheless, Perdita agrees without argument and adopts them all as her kids.
  • No Time to Explain: When Pongo and Perdita meet the Colonel, they inquire about their puppies but he hurries them along using this line.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Sergeant Tibbs' response when Jasper, mistaking him for a wine bottle, grabs him by the neck.
    • Pongo and Perdita's understandably horrified response when they learn that their puppies are being held at "the De Vil place".
    • Pongo, when water drops from ice stalactites fall on him and the puppies, exposing their Labrador disguises.
    • A more dramatic one in the climax from Pongo and Perdita, when Cruella manages to ram her car into the back of the van they're trying to escape in.
    • Cruella gets one during the climactic chase when she looks up and realizes that she's headed straight into a ravine.
  • Paper Destruction of Anger: After Roger makes it clear to Cruella that he and Anita are not selling their puppies, Cruella angrily tears up the check she had written and throws the pieces over Roger.
  • Parental Bonus: At the end, when Pongo and Perdita return to the flat with their own puppies plus 84 extra, Anita asks "But where did they all come from?". Roger responds by patting Pongo on the head and saying "Pongo, you old rascal!".
  • Pie in the Face: Horace gets his face slammed into a cake when the piano wing collapses above him at the mansion.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Inverted with the dogs' collars: Pongo and the male puppies wear red collars, while Perdita and the female puppies wear blue ones. At the time the movie was made, blue was considered a feminine color and red a masculine color. Later adaptations didn't care as much. Nor did the tie-in merchandise artists.
  • Powder Gag: Invoked when the Dalmatians deliberately cover themselves in soot to disguise themselves as Labradors. The puppies enjoy the excuse to get dirty.
  • Pulling the Rug Out: Perdita takes out Horace by yanking the rug out from under him, causing him to fall into the fireplace.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Cruella's unforgettable and vicious reaction to Roger flatly rejecting her offer to buy the puppies.
    "Why, you horrid man! You... You... All right! Keep the little beasts for all I care! (tears up check, throws pieces over Roger) Do as you like with them! *Drown* them! But I warn you, Anita, we're through! I'm through with all of you! I'll get even! Just wait! You'll be sorry! You fools! You... YOU IDIOTS!"
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: During the climactic Chase Scene, we get two shots of Cruella with red in her eyes. The first shot comes immediately after she has driven her car out of the ditch and smashed through a tree: her irises are red. The second shot comes during her Nightmare Face moment, as she is about to ram the back of the van: her eyes are almost completely red, with her pupils star-shaped and spirals emanating from them.
  • Riddle for the Ages:
    • Jasper and Horace recognize an old acquaintance of theirs, Percival "Meathead" Fauncewater, on "What's My Crime", a game show where a panel has ten guesses to figure out the unusual felony of a criminal contestant. The show runs out of time before they guess, and so the question of what the hell Meathead did remains unanswered. It's confirmed that it wasn't burglary or homicide, at least.
    • Likewise, there was an earlier contestant whose crime isn't revealed, in their case because Cruella interrupted the Baduns' watching by turning off the TV so she could scold them; by the time she leaves and they turn the set back on, that first segment is over.
  • Rotoscoping: Sort of. Cruella's car was a white model with outlines drawn on the edges shot in stop-motion in front of a white background with a high exposure; the result was then photocopied onto the cells.
  • Sarcasm Mode: When Horace suggests to Jasper that the puppies have disguised themselves using soot, Jasper says, "Say now! Horace, that's just what they did. Dogs is always paintin' themselves black! (clonks Horace on the head) You idiot!"
  • Scenery Porn: In a retro and colorful way that perfectly complements the characters' angular designs.
  • Screen Shake: Happens after Horace and Jasper's Staircase Tumble comes to an end in the old house.
  • Share Phrase: One really gets the sense that the dialogue editors loved the word "idiot". note  To help get the point across: After Horace and Jasper have stolen the puppies, Jasper is on the phone with Cruella when he says to Horace, "You idiot!" Cruella hears this insult and thinks it was meant for her, angrily hanging up in response. The exact same gag is repeated a few seconds later when Cruella calls the Radcliffes, as she hears Anita saying "You idiot!" to an angry Roger while grabbing the phone back from him. This time, however, Cruella does not immediately hang up in anger.
  • Shout-Out:
    • During the Twilight Bark scene, various dogs from Lady and the Tramp make cameos.
    • In the first scene inside Hell Hall, the TV is showing the Silly Symphonies short Springtime.
    • "What's My Crime?", a favorite TV show of the Baduns, is a pretty clear homage to What's My Line?.
  • Show Within a Show:
    • "The Thunderbolt Adventure Hour".
    • "What's My Crime?", a show mentioned in the original novel and given some more detail in the movie.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Cruella barges into the Radcliffes' flat just minutes after the puppies are born, she takes one look at Lucky — who Roger has just saved from being stillborn — and makes several nasty, catty remarks about the puppies, which angers Nanny enough to get in Cruella's face and tell her off.
    Cruella: Fifteen! Fifteen puppies! How marvelous! How marvelous! How perfectly — ugh! Oh, the devil take it, they're mongrels. No spots! No spots at all! What a horrid little white rat! Ugh!
    Nanny: They're not mongrels! They'll get their spots! Just wait and see!
  • Source Music: All throughout Cruella's first scene, Roger plays "The Villain Sucks" Song as loud and obnoxiously as he possibly can, utilizing a piano, a trumpet, and a trombone by turn.
  • Spoiled Sweet: The poodle that Pongo rejected as a potential mate. Her owner is obviously extremely wealthy, but when she hears about the missing puppies, she's as horrified as everyone else and joins in spreading the news.
  • Stylistic Suck: The Kanine Krunchies commercial that the puppies are watching is animated in the Limited Animation style typical for animated TV commercials of the time.
  • Surprise Inspection Ruse: Horace and Jasper pretend to be electric company repairmen making a surprise inspection, but Nanny won't let them in while Roger and Anita are out of the flat. Jasper then barges in, distracts Nanny by locking her in a room, and leaves once Horace has nabbed all the puppies.
  • Surprise Multiple Birth: Downplayed. Dogs usually have large litters, so Perdita giving birth to multiple puppies isn't a surprise to her owners. Perdita giving birth to fifteen puppies, however, is a surprise to everyone present.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Like most henchmen, Jasper and Horace are nowhere near as intelligent as Cruella.
  • Technical Euphemism: Subverted in a Show Within a Show that Horace and Jasper are watching. A woman is trying to find a euphemism for murder and starts to say, "Do something of a violent nature", but then settles on the more casual euphemism "do someone in".
  • Terrible Trio: Cruella De Vil and her henchmen Jasper and Horace are textbook cases.
  • This Cannot Be!: Cruella delivers this line when she discovers that the Dalmatians have disguised themselves as black Labradors.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The original theatrical trailer prominently features the climactic car chase, including showing Cruella's final defeat.
  • Uncatty Resemblance: From his window, Pongo observes the resemblance between the dogs and their owners on the street below.
  • The Dark Age of Animation: Somewhat overlaps with The Golden Age of Animation, but this is clearly where the Dark Ages found solid rooting in Disney animation. Still one of the most entertaining Disney features from any era.
  • Vanilla Edition: Among all 12 of the movies that joined the top-tier Walt Disney Signature Collection of Blu-ray/Digital HD releases before Disney+'s launch, 101 Dalmatians remains the only one with a barren Disney+ Extras page.
  • Villain Ball: Cruella would have won if she stuck with the 84 dogs she bought, but she just had to kidnap the Radcliffe puppies to prove her superiority to Roger. Even if this didn't result in Pongo and Perdita coming to their rescue, she was already under pressure from the police due to being the number one suspect in the kidnapping and was going to settle for fewer coats than if she just sat back and waited for the other 84 puppies to grow to adult size before skinning them like she intended to do originally. On the other hand, it's implied that one of the reasons she wanted them skinned as puppies is because the fur of puppies is softer than the fur of adult dogs. It's even explained in the live-action remake.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Cruella during the climactic Chase Scene. This is especially acute after she accidentally drives her car down a ditch and then storms back to the road at full speed, in the process smashing through a tree and turning the car into a hot rod. By now, she is plenty pissed off, and it has become clear that it's the dalmatians or her — and she doesn't care who gets in her way.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Jasper and Horace are watching the programme “What’s My Crime?” in Hell Hall when Cruella informs them she wants the puppies killed and skinned. At one point she turns the TV off because they’re more interested in watching than paying attention to her. After she storms out, they decide to finish watching the programme before getting on with the job. This allows Tibbs time to get the puppies out of the living room.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: You know the one. It probably got published either because Cruella's universally acknowledged as a horrible person, or the publishers thought it was a made-up name.
  • Watch the Paint Job: Cruella epicly trashes and then wrecks her own presumably-valuable classic car in her rage-induced pursuit of the puppies. It even returns in the sequel, having apparently been very cheaply slapped back together. (Guess she's not as rich as she comes across.)
  • Wham Line: Sergeant Tibbs goes to Cruella De Vil's old mansion to investigate the case of the 15 stolen Dalmatian puppies, and as he meets one puppy:
    Tibbs: Are you one of the fifteen stolen puppies?
    Dalmatian Puppy: Oh, no, we're not stolen. We're bought and paid for. There's 99 of us all together.
    Tibbs: (rubs his eyes and stares in shock) Ninety-nine?!
    (cue the Wham Shot of all these puppies, clearly more than fifteen, in the same room together)
    • Then later, we learn what Cruella plans to do with all these puppies.
      Cruella: The job has to be done tonight!
      Horace: But they ain't big enough.
      Jasper: You couldn't get half a dozen coats out of the whole caboodle.
      Tibbs: (spying, appalled) Coats?! Dog-skin coats?!
  • Wingding Eyes: To go along with Cruella's Nightmare Face during the climactic Chase Scene, especially as she is about to ram the back of the van.
  • Women Drivers: Cruella Drives Like Crazy, and the van driver even cites this trope during the climactic Chase Scene. Justified by Cruella being completely Ax-Crazy.
  • You Fool!: Like most Disney villains, Cruella loves to call people fools, including Roger and the bumbling henchmen.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Captain, Colonel, and Tibbs do this for the Pongos at the old farmhouse, and later the Labrador at Dinsford does it as well — attacking Jasper and Horace so the Dalmatians can escape.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): One Hundred And One Dalmatians 1961


Cruella De Vil

One of the most famous examples, and with a name and personality like her's one can hardly blame Rogers for calling her such a cruel woman.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (17 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheVillainSucksSong

Media sources: