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101 Dalmatians
DVD disk
09.29.2008 By: Mathew Plale
101 Dalmatians order
Director:
Stephen Herek

Actors:
Glenn Close
Jeff Daniels
Joely Richardson

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Fashion queen Cruella de Vil (Close) sets her sights on an employee's Dalmatian puppies for her new line of clothes.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
That’s how you spell ‘Dalmatian?’ Really? I would’ve never acknowledged my ignorance had Microsoft Word’s squiggly red line not butted into the matter. I knew it was capitalized, but would’ve bet my wallet it was spelled D-A-L-M-A-T-I-O-N, not …I-A-N. Why am I harping on the spelling of ‘Dalmatian?’ Because that’s all 101 Dalmatians really gives me to work with.

This 1996 live-action remake of Disney’s 1961 animated classic, itself based on Dodie Smith’s novel, follows the sources’ basics. As the story goes, Roger (Jeff Daniels), a video game designer (a songwriter in the original), and Anita (Joely Richardson) meet, marry, and (their dogs) have puppies—fifteen of them.

Enter Cruella de Vil (Glenn Close, in a Golden Globe-nominated role), the skunk-haired fashionista with a fetish for Dalmatian fur. Cruella’s one of the easiest Disney rogues for kids (born animal lovers) to loathe. I despise her for a separate reason: her choice of sidekicks, who seem to have come straight from Kevin McCallister’s neighborhood (note that both Home Alone and 101 Dalmatians were penned by John Hughes).

And that’s it. For 102 minutes, Cruella de Vil lives up to her name, the burglars bumble, and the dogs are dogs. Some kids are bound to find the antics absolutely out-of-the-chair hysterical. Good for them, I guess, but why waste their afternoon with this sloppy remake they never knew existed, when the original is still on shelves (in a newly-released ‘Platinum Edition’) waiting to be discovered by their generation?
THE EXTRAS
Theatrical Trailer and Sneak Peeks.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
1961's One Hundred and One Dalmatians saw its 2008 Disney Platinum Edition release back in March. So what was the point of this September re-release of the 1996 version? Where's the tie-in? Find it and you just won your very own copy of 101 Dalmatians on DVD.
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