Hooded spotted puppy coat
102 Dalmatians
Review by Ross Anthony

Usually, I like kid's flicks - I loved "Rugrats." But I growled through both live-action 101 and 102 - ultimately all two hundred and three of these Dalmatians. Despite my feelings, apparently allure exists, since Disney opted for a sequel. And admittedly, I did overhear two young boys excitedly telling each other their favorite movie parts while exiting the theater.

After a miraculous psychological cure, Cruella loves puppies and hence is released on parole. Her parole officer is none other than Dipstick's owner Zoey.

The few tricks deserving praise:
1) Again, grand costuming, especially on Cruella de Vil. 2)Nice opening credits (you'll see spots). 3) When a cute puppy Dalmatian peers with sad eyes at his spotless reflection in a mirror. 4) When the new Cruella shouts "Murderer." Alonzo makes a great nervous butler. 5)Cruella's transformation. 6) "Lady and the Tramp" homage and Tony's restaurant reprise. 7) Parrot that sings the cop to sleep. 8) Skinny dog with wild hair.

And the theater did explode with laughter twice - maybe three times, but not more than that.

My bones:
In addition to the near total lack of any bones thrown to the adult audience, here are some specific dog bites that left me gritting my teeth, 1) Giving a dog a new hairdo might sound good on paper, but on screen wasn't funny. 2) One minute the dog is on the roof, the next cut he's hanging from some ascending balloons. Where was the leap? Did the dog refuse to do the trick? 3) The dogs pick out Zoey's clothing, another careful scene that didn't hit the mark. 4) Cruella's cohort exclaims, "Steeling puppies is like taking the baby from the candy." I don't know if kids find that cute, but to an adult it's as painful as the empty chime of ... "I'm really beginning to dislike that woman." 5) As we approach the climax a pseudo car-chase is injected but with absolutely no point - perhaps only to amuse the youngsters who don't need a point. 6) Continuing in the theme of pointlessness, the film wraps itself up in a pie machine simulation from "Chicken Run."

To be honest, I just don't know how your kids will react to this film; you, however, might want to bring something to read.

  • 102 Dalmatians. Copyright © 2000. Rated G.
  • Starring Glenn Close, Gerald Depardieu, Alice Evans, Ioan Gruffudd.
  • Directed by Kevin Lima
  • Written by Kristen Buckley, Brian Regan
  • Produced by Edward S. Feldman at Disney.

Adult Grade ............................ C

Kid's Grade ............................ ?
(Tell me what your kids thought.)

Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:22:10 PDT