20 June 2019

One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)

One Hundred and One Dalmatians (Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, 1961), often abbreviated as 101 Dalmatians, is an American animated adventure film  based on the 1956 novel 'The Hundred and One Dalmatians' by Dodie Smith. It's the 17th Disney animated feature film.

101 Dalmatians (1961)
Italian postcard by Grafiche Biondetti S.R.L., Verona. Illustration: Disney. Publicity still for One Hundred and One Dalmatians (Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, 1961).

101 Dalmatians (1961)
Italian postcard by JC, no. 3318. Image: Walt Disney Productions. Publicity still for One Hundred and One Dalmatians (Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, 1961).

101 Dalmatians (1961)
French postcard by Editions Kroma, Caissargues, no. B. 75. Image: Walt Disney Productions. Publicity still for One Hundred and One Dalmatians (Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, 1961).

101 Dalmatians (1961)
French postcard by Kroma, Caissargues, no. B. 86. Publicity still for One Hundred and One Dalmatians (Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, 1961).

101 Dalmatians (1961)
French postcard in the 'Le Monde Merveilleux de Walt Disney' by Editions Kroma, Caissargues, no. 97. Illustration: Walt Disney Productions. Publicity still for One Hundred and One Dalmatians (Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, 1961).

When Walt Disney read it, it immediately grabbed his attention


Dodie Smith wrote the book 'The Hundred and One Dalmatians' in 1956. When Walt Disney read it in 1957, it immediately grabbed his attention, and he promptly obtained the rights. Smith had always secretly hoped that Disney would make it into a film.

The 17th Disney animated feature film tells the story of a litter of Dalmatian puppies who are kidnapped by the villainous Cruella de Vil, who wants to use their fur to make into coats.

Their parents, Pongo and Perdita, set out to save their children from Cruella, all the while rescuing 84 additional puppies that were bought in pet shops, bringing the total of Dalmatians to 101.

Originally released to theatres on 25 January 1961, by Buena Vista Distribution, One Hundred and One Dalmatians (Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, 1961) was a box office success, pulling the studio out of the financial slump caused by Sleeping Beauty, a costlier production released two years prior.

Aside from its box office revenue, its commercial success was due to the employment of inexpensive animation techniques — such as using xerography during the process of inking and painting traditional animation cells — that kept production costs down.

101 Dalmatians (1961)
Italian postcard by Grafiche Biondetti, Verona, no. 110/1. Photo: Disney. Publicity still for One Hundred and One Dalmatians (Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, 1961).

101 Dalmatians (1961)
French postcard by Les Presses de Belville, Paris, no. 221, 1964. Publicity still for One Hundred and One Dalmatians (Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, 1961). Caption: The evasion from Devil's Castle.

101 Dalmatians (1961)
French postcard by Editions Krõma, Paris in the Le monde merveuilleux de Walt Disney series, no. B 83. Sent by mail in 1973. Illustration: Walt Disney Productions. Publicity still for One Hundred and One Dalmatians (Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, 1961).

One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
French postcard by Editions Krõma, Paris in the Le monde merveuilleux de Walt Disney series. Illustration: Walt Disney Productions. Publicity still for One Hundred and One Dalmatians (Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, 1961).

One of the greatest movie villains - cartoon or real - of all time


One Hundred and One Dalmatians was re-released theatrically in 1969, 1979, 1985, and 1991. The film's total domestic lifetime gross is $145 million, and its total worldwide gross is $215 million.

One Hundred and One Dalmatians was first released on VHS in 1992, as part of the Walt Disney Classics video series. Two months later, it had sold 11.1 million copies. At the time, it was the sixth best-selling video of all time.

In 1996, it was remade into a live-action film, 101 Dalmatians (Stephen Herek, 1996), starring Jeff Daniels, Joely Richardson and Glenn Close as Cruella de Vil. It grossed $136.2 million in North America and $320.7 million worldwide.

Disney has announced that another live-action film is in development, but this film will focus on the origin of Cruella de Vil. The prequel is titled Cruella and will be directed by Alex Timbers. Marc Platt and Andrew Gunn will produce. Glenn Close is executive producer. Emma Stone is set to play Cruella.

Hal Erickson at AllMovie: "101 Dalmatians represents the Disney animation staff at its very best, and as a bonus introduces the world to Cruella De Vil, one of the greatest movie villains - cartoon or "real" - of all time."

101 Dalmatians (1961)
Spanish postcard by Ediciones Beascoa, S.A., Barcelona. Illustration: Disney. Publicity still for One Hundred and One Dalmatians (Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, 1961).

101 Dalmatians (1961)
Italian postcard by Nuova Arti Grafiche Ricordi, Milano, no. 1603. Illustration: Disney. Publicity still for One Hundred and One Dalmatians (Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, 1961).

101 Dalmatians (1961)
French postcard. Image: Walt Disney Productions. Publicity still for One Hundred and One Dalmatians (Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, 1961).

101 Dalmatians (1961)
Russian postcard by Chromovogue, no. 850-4, 1998. Illustration: Disney. Publicity still for One Hundred and One Dalmatians (Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, 1961).

Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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