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102 Dalmatians (2000)
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Review Date: November 20, 2000
Director: Kevin Lima
Writer: K. Buckley, B. Regan, B. Tzudiker, N. White
Producers: Edward S. Feldman
Actors:
Glenn Close as Cruella De Vil
Ioan Gruffudd as Kevin
Gerard Depardieu as Monsieur Le Pelt
Plot:
Cruella De Vil is getting out of jail, rehabilitated. She no longer loves fur, she no longer hates dogs, and she is no longer a mean and all-around nasty human being. That's until her good "spell" disappears and she returns to the cruelty by which we have all grown to love her. It's now up to her cohorts to round up 102 Dalmatian dogs, so that Cruella could make a nice fur jacket out of them.
Critique:
A slow start, a stringy romance and strong English accents shouldn't dissuade many children from loving this movie, due primarily to a scene-stealing parakeet and its last thirty minutes of uproarious fun. I can't really say whether or not this was a good movie or not, because you can only rate this type of film according to what it is trying to achieve. This movie wants to make kids ooooh and aaaaah, and most of the cute dogs and funny lines from the parrot work to do just that. Unfortunately, the first half of this film moves a little too slow. It concentrates a little too much on the dinky romance between the two leads, which will likely bore kids, and doesn't give us enough good ol' fashioned cruelty from Cruella! Thankfully, it is the film's final thirty minutes or so which pack all of its punch, with dogs being snatched, people getting hit in the head and Cruella going all out to get what she wants! You gotta hand it to Glenn Close on this one, she is absolutely perfect for the part. She looks the part, she acts the part and she obviously loves to play the part. Cruella wasn't necessarily as nasty as she could have been in this film, but despite that observation from big ol' adult me, I did still manage to hear a little kid bawling his eyes out during one of the final dog-catching scenes. So who knows...maybe she's a monster to these kids?!

On the whole, the film works mostly because of its use of cute dogs doing neat tricks, the talking parrot, who is absolutely hilarious (Go, Eric Idle!) and the last half of the film, which combines all the pratfalls from other kiddie movies, and a finale straight out of this summer's CHICKEN RUN (8/10). Just think: chicken pies. Wink-wink! So if you're looking for a film to bring your youngens, I don't think you can go too wrong with this flick. It's harmless and it doesn't necessarily "change" a modern American classical tale or give the reigns to a comedic genius who turns the lead role into something other than what the role was meant to be...uuuhm, but I digress. What movie were we talking about again? The Grinch? Oh no, 102 DALMATIANS. Either way, I don't think my little review or you, as a parent, trying to talk your kids out of seeing this movie is gonna work, so why bother. If your kid wants to see this movie, let 'em go see it...it certainly won't hurt. If you're an adult and you wanna see this movie, well...uuuhmmm, grow up! :)

Actually, it's more than likely that most adults will also appreciate the parrot and Glenn Close's performance. Mrs. JoBlo loved it! Scored it an 8/10. What's up with that? Do I hear 103 Dalmatians, anyone? Disney will definitely let us know after the weekend box-office tallies.
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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