Saturday, February 1, 2014

MCS #1: 101 Dalmatians

101 Dalmatians (1961)

When a litter of dalmatian puppies are abducted by the minions of Cruella De Vil, the parents must find them before she uses them for a diabolical fashion statement.


Lots of puppies.

And I really want to know what kind of sick woman thinks skinning dogs is okay.

Apparently Cruella De Vil (cruel devil, for anyone who’s slow like me and didn’t figure this out until years later. Don’t look at me like that. I never gave it much thought) does.

This movie is adorable. There really isn’t any other way to describe it. There are a bunch of lost pups trying to find their way home. It’s a journey plotline. (My MFA tuition at work, there.)

Seriously, I learned quite a bit from this movie. Aside from not to trust strange men who show up at your door with a sign that misspells electric, there’s a lot of family-oriented stuff in this movie. Take care of your own and they’ll take care of you. Sitting in your house all day makes for a lonely existence. I gest, but don’t let people into your home. Don’t trust everyone who has a semi-convincing story to tell. (Not that Jasper and Horace were semi-convincing, but you know what I mean.)

It’s these kinds of classic films that remind me what Disney is all about. I’m glad this one came first in the lineup. It’s a good place to start. It’s the perfect mix of old and newer Disney, and it has 101 built-in reasons to smile.

Moment of Digression – Did anyone else own the play-along-with-the-movie computer game? I had it on Windows 98, I believe. Talk about the Stone Age. Anyway, I need to mention the segment where the Dalmatians all roll in the soot to disguise themselves as black labs. This was my favorite scene in the movie. It was great. After forever of traipsing through the snow, hiding, and generally being exhausted, the puppies get to play. And not only do they get to play, but they have mom and dad’s approval to get dirty. Every kid’s dream.

This segment in the game, however, was far from entertaining. For those who don’t know, the puppies got disguised through the following method. Player clicked on the pile of soot, and the mouse turned into a smaller pile of soot. The puppies then came on screen (one at a time, mind you), and you clicked on each of them with the soot pile. It colored the puppy black, and said puppy ran to the truck.

This had to be done for 99 puppies.

That’s 99 times.

I was five (eight at the oldest). What five, six, seven, or eight-year-old has that kind of attention span? I didn’t, but I did color all 99 puppies once. I was curious. I was rewarded with the following exchange set to a black screen.

One puppy: “Are we all here? Guys, count off.”

All the other puppies in unison: “One.”

WTF Smiley Sign

Writer’s Lockbox

I started this a while ago, and it sort of died. Well, I’m bringing it back for MCS because I’m a writer, and I blog about writing. Disney movies can be related to writing. So each Saturday I will end with one thing the given movie can teach us about the craft.

For 101 Dalmatians, it is suspense and action. This movie moves. Puppies are kidnapped (boom). Search begins (boom). Puppies try to escape (boom). Mom and dad come in at the right moment—in an awesome scene—I might add (boom).

And on and on. This movie hits all the beats. You’re sitting on the edge of your seat till the very end. You want these dogs to get home, and you want to see that wanna-be-dog-skinner-woman lose.

That’s what I’m talking about, people.

Join me next week for A Goofy Movie.

Thanks for reading.

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