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Movie Review

102 Dalmatians

Reviewed by: Charity Bishop

Better than Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Family Comedy
1 hr. 40 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
Featuring: Glenn Close, Gérard Depardieu, Ioan Gruffudd, Alice Evans, Robert Guédiguian
Director: Kevin Lima
Producer: Edward S. Feldman
John Hughes
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures

Glenn Close returns to the silver screen and her role as the devious dognapping Dalmatian-loathing Cruella deVil in this all-new action flick that picks up three years after the fashion designer’s incarceration for her crimes against 101 spotted puppies, bringing in an entire host of all-new characters and a fascinating new storyline.

This time, Cruella’s been released on parole, due to the extensive shock treatments of Dr. Palvov, who has clinically proven that a cruel nature can be reversed. And so far, it’s seemed to work. The proverbial lion sleeping beside the lamb has come into play, as Cruella proves her hatred for furs and adoration for the dogs. But the judge isn’t completely convinced, and announces that if she breaks parole, her entire fortune of eight million will go literally to the dogs.

Cruella’s parole officer, Chloe, as well as the well-meaning and oftentimes silly Kevan, owner of a second-rate dog shelter downtown, form a humorous and romantic side plot as they battle one another for belief in the “lady devil”—is she or is she not sincere, while the dogs play an important factor into the storyline, especially a self-conscious, spotless pup named Oddball.

But when the experiment goes array, and Cruella goes haywire, the Dalmatians are once again running for their lives. And this time, the game’s much more complex, with no bumbling Jasper and Horace to gum up the works.

Oddball the Puppy in “102 Dalmatians” This sequel is somewhat more “adult-oriented” than the first. The storyline may prove difficult for little kids to follow, but I think ages nine and up will get the drift. It has plenty of the same comic slapstick and the dogs literally steal the show, but the side characters are more personable and engaging than Roger and Anita were. A far cry from rewashed copies of the original, “102 Dalmatians” is a humorous ride into the world of Cruella, with plenty of faux fur and spots to go around.

There’s a moderate amount of violence, but nothing particularly graphic, and the most offensive thing in the whole movie is one of her cronies falling face-first into a toilet. Cruella shows some cleavage on several occasions, a woman appears in a *modest* fur bikini, and a side player wears a pair of tight fur shorts with a lion’s head in the front, but other than that, you’re home free. There’s no suggestive material, no bad language, and the lines between good and evil are clearly defined. All in all, a family-friendly flick that comes recommended.

Viewer Comments
Well, consider that I am a MOM and took my husband and 17 yr old son to see it and WE had a great time! For any women who enjoy fashion and make up and fun hair I would highly recommended. I would give it a n A+ for artistic content. It pokes fun at fashion and psychology and behavior modification, and for a Mom who does sewing and dress design for fun it was great to have the “evil seamstresses” and the crazy fun when Cruella changes right before your eyes into her zany self. Hair pops out and fingernails poke through the gloves… reminded me of Clark Kent turning into Superman in Superman part II. I went out and bought me some spotted fabric right away!! have FUN with this one. My Ratings: [Excellent / 5]
Joni Kiker, age 45
Nothing objectionable for the kiddos. This sequel is very similar to the original; if you liked the first one, you’ll like this one. My kids understood that “good” prevailed over “evil,” so it’s more moral than most movies these days. My Ratings: [Good / 4]
GK, age 39
After 101 DALMATIANS, thousands of people adopted adorable Dalmatian pups, only to find that once they grew up, they were smart, stubborn, demanding, and required a TON of exercise. A recent estimate that I read was that over 75% of the pups purchased after the movie were abandoned or placed in shelters. Keep in mind that approximately 20,000 cats and dogs are euthanized EACH DAY due to being placed in over crowded shelters.
Unfortunately, Disney fails to take any responsiblity for the problem their original movie caused… 102 Dalmatians is indeed a delightful sequel to the original movie.

However, before you rush out to buy an adorable spotted pup, be aware that Dalmatians are considered high maintenance dogs, even by those who own them. Dalmatians require obedience training and extensive exercise daily. Prior to adopting any animal, please research the breed that you are interested in. Then, contact your local shelter or find a local rescue league on the Internet, and work with them to find the dog of your dreams. Check out for a great article about Dalmatians.
Nancy Almann
This was a pretty good movie. There wasn’t really anything offensive, and there were several fun scenes to enjoy. However, let me forewarn you that the dognapping scenes may be a little much for younger viewers. At the viewing I attended several children began to loudly bawl during these scenes, and were escorted out of the theatre. Other than that, this is a fun movie that the entire family can enjoy. My Ratings: [Good / 3½]
Dustin Foree, age 13
Nothing offensive in this movie! It wasn’t quite as good as the first one, but sequels rarely are. It did drag now and then, but for the most part, it was a fun movie. Kids and adults were laughing in my theater. My three kids (8, 6 and 4) enjoyed themselves. My Ratings: [4/3½]
Kevin Thompson, age 34
I was very disappointed in this movie. The adult themes were out of place in a G rated movie… the runway model scenes, Cruella in a very low cut dress, the premise of the movie involving parole. There were some cute animal scenes, but they were over shadowed by the confusing plot… my kids couldn’t follow why things were happening. The dialogue was hard to understand at times, not that it would have helped anyway. I would not recommend this movie! My Ratings: [2/1½]
Teri, age 45
My family and I were disappointed in this movie. We had liked the first live-action remake, but this one is so concerned with being politically correct that there was no magic. It almost seemed as though the director couldn’t decide if this movie was to be a fantasy or a social commentary. One minute we are supposed to feel sorry for Cruella and then in the next scene we are supposed to laugh at her for falling in the cake-making machine.

No one in the theater laughed throughout the whole movie. I didn’t even hear kids laughing! As a matter of fact the small girl in front of us was bored. I would not recommend this movie. My Ratings: [3/2½]
Julie Myers, age 45
The hero and heroine are great looking. Glenn Close enjoys herself as Cruella. The bird is entertaining. That’s about it. Don’t expect too much and you’ll probably enjoy it. My Ratings: [4/3]
Mark L. Gilliam, age 39
Movie Critics
…A treat for the whole family…
Preview Family Movie and TV Review
…better than the first live-action version, though still not as good as the original animated classic… includes a lot of comic peril and slapstick humor…
Nell Minnow, The Movie Mom
…(1) the movie itself ends with a request that puppies be adopted only by owners prepared to be responsible and committed, and (2) if a movie hasn’t yet driven you to acquire a Dalmatian, 102 Dalmations is unlikely to do the trick…
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
…plays like a pale reworking of its predecessor…
Todd McCarthy, Variety