Reviewed by: Brett Willis
|Featuring:||voices of Cate Bauer, Barbara Beaird, Tom Conway, Lisa Davis, Betty Lou Gerson, Martha Wentworth|
|Director:||Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, Wolfgang Reithermann|
This Disney film, which uses the same drawing style as “Lady and the Tramp”, belongs somewhere in the all-time animated favorites although it has some questionable material.
Pongo the Dalmatian and his bachelor master Roger manage to “accidentally” meet Perdita and her mistress Anita in a London park, resulting in a “double wedding.” When 15 puppies are born, Anita’s old school friend Cruella deVil wants to buy them as soon as they get their spots, but Roger and Anita aren’t selling. So, Cruella’s henchmen Jasper and Horace simply steal the puppies instead. She’s also bought many other Dalmatian puppies, intending to make them into fur coats when they’re big enough. Even Scotland Yard can’t solve this one, so the animals must rescue the puppies themselves.
The story line itself requires a certain amount of depicted or implied violence, and to that is added a lot of general meanness and gratuitous slapstick. And while there’s no profane language in the usual sense, Cruella constantly calls people “fools,” “idiots,” etc. (see what Jesus says in Matthew 5:21-22 about calling people hateful names). Cruella and her two lackeys could almost be the Three Stooges. Also, there’s a TV show called “What’s My Crime?” in the background.
The positives, of course, include the Dalmatian parents doing whatever is necessary to rescue their children, and other humanized animals helping them all along their journey back home.
(I made it clear to my young daughter that if she began to imitate the way Cruella talks, I’d have to put this and some other tapes away for awhile. So far, I’ve had no problem.)