Reviewed by: Don Bates
DALMANIA! One of the most enjoyable Disney classics is back, but this time as a full length live-action feature film. Fortunately, it retains the charm and simplicity that made the animated original so much fun.
The casting is excellent, and all the characters are surprisingly similar to the cartoon counterparts that we have loved and despised these many years. From Roger and Anita to the villainous Cruella herself, each is portrayed in an uncomplicated, child-friendly manner that is appropriate for most young children, yet still enjoyable for adults. Unlike the animated version, the animals do not speak (a slight disappointment to a few in our family). Roger and Anita are lovely and in love. Cruella (Glenn Close) is sooooooooo evil. The bad guys are bumbling buffoons and the puppies are cute cute cute!
Roger’s vocation was updated cleverly for the 90’s, and Cruella’s evil plans involve the loving couple, not just their puppies. But goodness triumphs over evil. Children are recognized as the blessing that they are, and the commited, loving family is stronger than the worldly dangers that confront it.
Cruella’s primary evil is a coveteousness that could lead her to harm puppies. The threat is never realistic or unnerving for the little ones, but it is quite an adequate evil to picture the conflict between a world that is dangerous and the family that will protect you.