One Hundred and One Dalmatians
It was always fun for me as a child to try and spot references to Disney films within other Disney films. Watching them in order, One Hundred and One Dalmatians is the first time I’ve noticed it. There are quite a few cameos in this one that come from Lady and the Tramp which makes this feel almost like a sequel or at least a story taken from the same neighborhood.
The film is based on the 1956 novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith. It hit theatres in January of 1961. It sparked a sequel and a couple live action films. Cruella Deville is an iconic Disney villain and often is seen in Disney villain themed parties and parades.
Disney was on quite a roll at this point. The film is well developed and has great and lasting characters. They manage to develop a real sense of emotion between the pets and owners in this one. Luckily, the villain, Cruella, has a real motive to do the dastardly things she does which is a nice departure from Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.
The animation is decent, but doesn’t stand out like Sleeping Beauty did. The music is good and there is a memorable song, but it doesn’t have a soundtrack that is going to be on repeat.
In all this is a good film although not a spectacular one. It was somewhat of a safe bet for Disney at the time that paid off. It is surprising that this story was from the sixties as animal rights is something that had a deeper support later in the twentieth century which could explain its live action film about that time.
It is a bit of surprise that this one wasn’t recognized by the Academy because it seems like a better developed film than Alice in Wonderland, Three Caballeros, and Saludos Amigos. But, as we get closer to the end of the Golden Age of the DAC this will become a bit more common.
Run Time – 79 Minutes
34th Academy Awards – 0 Nominations – 0 Wins
Disney Animated Canon so far in order of Quality
1. Lady and the Tramp 6-22-1955
2. Peter Pan 2-5-1953
3. One Hundred and One Dalmatians 1-25-1961
4. Dumbo 10-23-1941
5. Cinderella 2-15-1950
6. Pinocchio 2-7-1940
7. Sleeping Beauty 1-29-1959
8. The Adventure of Ichabod and Mr. Toad 10-5-1949
9. Make Mine Music 4-20-1946
10. Fun and Fancy Free 9-27-1947
11. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 12-21-1937
12. Saludos Amigos 8-24-1942
13. Alice in Wonderland 7-26-1951
14. Melody Time 5-27-1948
15. Bambi 8-13-1942
16. Fantasia 11-13-1940
17. The Three Caballeros 12-21-1944