60 years ago. Dang. And you know? It holds up. The action is solid and story aren’t overly complicated but enjoyable, the animation really works (despite/because of the limitations of the time), and the villains are unambiguous and scary but not overly so. Perhaps best of all, it’s the story of an absolute pile of talking dogs. What’s not to love?
A few more specific thoughts:
I really do love that the main (human) character is a struggling musician who inadvertantly takes from his life to make it big. And in such a way.
I especially love how it evolves throughout the movie, from just the melody (Melody first, my dear, and then the lyrics, hmmm?), to attack-brass from the attack, to exploration, to the final track.
It’s traditional Disney animation and they had to take a few shortcuts to make it work in a reasonable timeframe and cost and at times it shows.
Backgrounds tend to be static, with most of the focus on the moving characters drawn as overlays (the scene of Nanny running through the streets after the dognapping comes to mind in particular). But I think that it works to keep the focus on the characters while still keeping the amount of animation work under control.
One interesting tidbit is that they apparently used the relatively new Xerox technology to copy the dogs a number of times. Perhaps there’s a reason they went with black and white dogs? :) Fascinating.
Ranked: Disney Animated
Ranked: 2021 Movie Reviews
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Avengers: Endgame
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Captain America: Civil War
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Thor: Ragnarok
- Captain America: The First Avenger
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
- The Suicide Squad
- Black Panther
- Iron Man
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Finding Nemo
- The Avengers
- Captain Marvel
- Ant-Man and the Wasp
- Doctor Strange
- Black Widow
- Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
- One Hundred and One Dalmatians
- Palm Springs
- Knives Out
- The Rescuers Down Under
- Iron Man 3
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- A Clockwork Orange
- Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
- Godzilla vs Kong
- Stargate: Continuum
- Iron Man 2
- Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- The Incredible Hulk
- Thor: The Dark World
- Stargate: The Ark of Truth
- Space Jam: A New Legacy
- Mortal Kombat
- Bambi and the Great Prince of the Forest
Random interesting factoid (via IMDb):
The birth of the puppies actually happened to the author Dodie Smith. Her dalmatians had 15 puppies, one was born lifeless and her husband revived it. However, they sold most of them, and kept only a small number.