101 Dalmatians

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I'm seeing lots of spots, plenty of polka dots...

Entry #17 in the Disney Animated Canon. The Hundred and One Dalmatians was adapted for animation by Walt Disney Pictures and it was the second Disney animated film to be set unambiguously in contemporary times. Furthermore, the 1961 production was 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, this technology became the norm and its limitations trapped all Disney animation into a hard scratchy outline look for 16 years until The Rescuers, which finally was able to use further advancements for allow for a softer look again.

Disney adapted it again into live-action in 1996, casting Glenn Close as Cruella and setting the story in more modern times. The remake was mixed in critical terms, but it turned out such a big monetary profit that it spun off an Animated Series, 101 Dalmatians: The Series, that ran in both Syndication (as part of what remained of The Disney Afternoon) and on Saturday mornings (as part of ABC's One Saturday Morning) in the 1997-98 season. Did we mention it was made by the same studio that made Doug? Then the live-action version got a sequel in 2000, as did the animated version three years later.

The original children's novel is less remembered than the Walt Disney movie based on it. (And it had a sequel, too.)

Tropes used in 101 Dalmatians include:
  • 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, and Lt. Tib becomes Sgt. Tibbs (with that particular cat also getting a sex change in the process).
  • Adult Fear: The kidnapping of the puppies is very much presented as if it was Roger's and Anita's children who were taken as well as Pongo and Perdita's.
  • Alliterative Name: Roger Radcliffe.
  • Angrish: When Cruella comes to claim the puppies, Roger starts stuttering in anger.
  • Ascended Extra: Pongo and Perdita's son Patch and TV-star dog Thunderbolt, a background and a one-scene character respectively in the first film, are primary characters in the sequel.
  • Battle Couple: Pongo and Perdita.
  • Becoming the Mask: Thunderbolt in the sequel. At first, he just wants to use Patch's fanboy knowledge of his show to get some press but ends up becoming genuine friends with the pup and helps him rescue his family.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Pongo and Perdita are as charming and adorable as animated dogs can be. But mess with any of their kids and they will find you and they will kick your ass.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Pongo and Perdita crashing into Hell Hall just in time to stop Horace and Jasper from killing their puppies.
    • Played with in the sequel when Thunderbolt arrives to save the puppies.

Thunderbolt: I always arrive in the nick of time...(whispering to Patch) Hey, I may not be a real hero, but I can act like one. I'll distract them.

  • Big Eater: Rolly, who continually remarks that he's hungry.
  • Big "Shut Up!": Spoken by Jasper to Cruella at the very end in response to her yelling at him and Horace from the ditch for letting the dogs get away and breaking down crying.
  • 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.
  • Catch Phrase: One really gets the sense that the dialogue editors loved the word "idiot."
    • To help get the point across: Early in the movie there's a gag where a character on the phone with Cruella says "You idiot!" to someone else in the room, but Cruella hears it and thinks she's being called an idiot. A little while later, still not even halfway through the film, the exact same gag is repeated with different characters (but still Cruella on the other line).
  • Cat Scare: Happens twice. The first time, Jasper tries to take a swig from a 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 by him.
  • Cats Are Mean: Completely averted with Sergeant Tibbs; he's perfectly fine around dogs and vice versa. In fact, he was about to die protecting the puppies from Horace and Jasper just before Pongo and Perdita arrive.
  • Ceiling Banger: Nanny did this to get Roger to take a break from writing songs.
  • Chase Scene
  • Clothes Make the Legend: One of the most famous fur coats ever. Ironic considering it never actually gets made.
  • Composite Character: Perdita/Missis, as well as Nanny Cook/Butler.
    • In a way, Horace and Jasper; they're given a somewhat expanded role compared to the book, and replace the nameless group of significantly more competent professional thieves who steal the puppies in the original.
    • Also, Lucky/Cadpig; as Cadpig does not appear in the movie, her role and main traits have been given to Lucky.
  • 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.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: One of the fifteen (the eventual "Lucky") was apparently stillborn, leading Roger to get an idea, rubbing the pup to stimulate it to breathe.
    • What did you expect? It's a Disney film! Lord forbid something actually die.
  • Cut Song: Some alternate songs about Cruella (one of which, "The Creation of Cruella de Vil," is full of Nightmare Fuel), a Drunken Song for Horace and Jasper, and some marching songs for the dogs' return to London.
  • Demoted to Extra: In a similar vein to the TV series, Pongo and Perdita are largely secondary characters in the sequel with their puppy Patch taking the foreground.
  • Deus Ex Machina: Ever notice how the Dalmatians had nothing to do with their final escape from the villains? It was only by pure luck that the Baduns lost control of their truck and collided with Cruella's car.
  • Dinky Drivers: The Dalmatian Puppies do this to a London double-decker bus at the end of 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Not one of the dogs, but at the end as Cruella is having her sobbing Villainous Breakdown which involves verbally assaulting Horace and Jasper some more, Jasper finally has enough and says "Awww, SHADDAP!".
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Subverted with most of them but played straight with the Colonel.
  • Dog Walks You
  • 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?
  • Drives Like Crazy: Cruella. Big time. Horace and Jasper go a little crazy at the end as well.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Horace is clearly not the sharpest tool in the shed, but by assuming that dogs think the way people do (which in this movie, they do), he is constantly suggesting what the dogs are actually up to when trying to evade them. He's almost always right, but Jasper will have none of it.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: At the very end, as Cruella yells at her henchmen from the ditch and breaks down crying, Jasper just says, "Aw, shaddup!"
  • Evil Is Hammy: Cruella
  • Evil Laugh: Roger has one when he sings about Cruella.
  • Fake Brit: In the first film, Cruella, Nanny and the Captain's voice actors were all American, and Pongo's was Australian. In the second film, basically everyone except Patch and Pongo's voice actors.
  • False Friend: Lil' Lightning in the sequel. He informs Thunderbolt that his character is being killed off the show, when in fact, soon revealed to be a lie just to trick Thunderbolt into getting out of the picture in order so Lightning can have the spotlight for himself having grown tired of being in Thunderbolt's shadow.
    • Then upon hearing about Thunderbolt still gaining fame while on a real heroic mission, Lil' Lightning then decides to join forces with him, along with the pup, obviously just to stop them from succeeding as to prevent Thunderbolt from reclaiming the spotlight. Once they reached the bad guys' hideout, as expected, Lightning betrays them and gets them both locked up. He even reveals to them his true nature and intentions before leaving them behind in their cages.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress: Averted. Anita's wearing what looks like a modest dress similar in style to her Spring outfit.
  • 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.
  • Genre Savvy: Dimwitted henchman Horace actually guesses what the dogs are doing on two occasions by attributing to them human-level intelligence; however, both times this is dismissed by Jasper who says that "dogs ain't that smart."
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Roger's magazines, filled with attractive young women
    • Lilliput was a real-world magazine of humor, short stories, photography, and the arts. Word of God is that it was simply a graphic design magazine that featured the kind of art that inspired the style of film. According to The Other Wiki, it was known for including what were for the time period daring photos of female nudes. Apparently it eventually merged with another magazine and later became explicitly pornographic.
    • Cruella also lists a bunch of ways to kill puppies (poison them, drown them, bash them in the head).
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Roger's pipe vs Cruella's cigarette with holder.
  • G-Rated Sex: Well, where else did those fifteen puppies come from?
  • Happily Married: Pongo and Perdita and their "pets" Roger and Anita.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Sargent 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?!"
  • 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.
  • The Kids Are American: Noticeably Averted in both.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The film is a sweet romantic comedy before Cruella literally rolls in.
  • Large Ham: Thunderbolt in the sequel. And Cruella.
  • Lean and Mean: Cruella De Vil.
  • 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, teeth bared and eyes red! Considering they just interrupted the Baduns as they were about to bludgeon their children to death, who can blame them?
  • Meet Cute: Pongo 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.
  • Meaningful Name: Cruella De Vil = cruel devil.
  • Men Can't Keep House: Commented on by Pongo at the beginning of the film, Roger's flat is a horror.
  • Parental Bonus: "Pongo, you old rascal..."
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Averted and possibly even inverted with the dogs' collars. Later adaptations didn't care as much. Nor did the tie-in merchandise artists.
  • 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 "Dogs is always paintin' themselves black! *hits him in the head* YOU IDIOT!"
  • Scenery Porn: In a retro and colorful way that perfectly complements the characters' angular designs.
  • Show Within a Show: "Thunderbolt".
    • "What's My Crime?"
  • Shout-Out: The Silly Symphonies short Springtime briefly appears on the TV the pups are watching.
  • Suddenly Always Knew That: In the sequel, Thunderbolt uses his dramatic death scene to distract Cruella and her lackeys while the puppies get away.
  • Taught by Television: In the sequel, Patch has every episode of "Thunderbolt" memorized and uses the show's plots to first help Thunderbolt do "big hero stuff" and then to rescue his family.
  • The Other Darrin: In the 2003 sequel. What is the deal with the white-eared Lucky?
  • Think Nothing of It: In the sequel, after the puppies are safe and sound, Pongo thanks Thunderbolt for saving his family to which he responds "Oh, don't thank me. Thank your son. He's the real hero."
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Horace and Jasper.
  • Through a Face Full of Fur: In the original film, Horace's face turns three shades of red from the heat of the flames in the fireplace on his rear, when Perdita and Patch snatch a rug out from under him and cause him to fall back there.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Cruella during the climactic Chase Scene.
  • "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 epically 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.)
  • Women Drivers: Cruella Drives Like Crazy, and a truck driver even cites this trope at one point. Justified by Cruella being completely Ax Crazy.