101 Dalmatians (1961)
Animal / Animation / Family
Narrated by Rod Taylor
Written by Dodie Smith and Bill Peet
Directed by Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske and Wolfgang Reitherman
Rod Taylor as Pongo
Cate Bauer as Perdita
Betty Lou Gerson as Cruella De Vil and Miss Birdwell
Ben Wright as Roger Radcliffe
Lisa Davis as Anita Radcliffe
Martha Wentworth as Nanny, Queenie, and Lucy
Frederick Worlock as Horace Badun and Inspector Craven
J. Pat O'Malley as Jasper Badun and Colonel
Thurl Ravenscroft as Captain
David Frankham as Sergeant Tibbs
Barbara Baird as Rolly
Mickey Maga as Patch
Sandra Abbott as Penny
Mimi Gibson as Lucky
Tom Conway as Collie and Quizmaster
Set in London, England, the animated Walt Disney feature One Hundred and One Dalmations" often abbreviated as “101 Dalmatians” (1961), follows songwriter Roger Radcliffe and his Dalmatian dog, Pongo. Roger is content living as a bachelor, but Pongo wants to find a mate. So one day, Pongo takes his owner on a walk through the park and stumbles upon Perdita, a female Dalmatian, and her owner, Anita. Pongo accidentally causes Roger and Anita to fall into a pond, but they end up falling in love. Both couples marry.
Later, after all four have moved in together, the dogs are expecting fifteen puppies. Anita’s old schoolmate, the wealthy and materialistic Cruella De Vil, visits the house and sees that Perdita is pregnant. She tells Anita to inform her when the puppies are born, secretly scheming to take them and turn their pelts into a fur coat. When she is told that the puppies will not be sold, she hires Jasper and Horace Budan to steal them.
After Perdita gives birth to her fifteen pups, the two thieves hired by Cruella dognap them. They then take them to an abandoned mansion, where 84 other Dalmatian puppies are being held captive. Roger and Anita become convinced that Cruella is the dog stealing bandit, but the police and Scotland Yard are unable to uncover any clues about the abduction. Pongo and Perdita decide to take matters into their own paws when the humans are unable to find their puppies. They use “The Twilight Bark”, normally a canine gossip line, to alert other dogs in London and across the countryside that their pups are missing.
In the town of Suffolk, a group of barn animals overhear the call. Colonel, an old sheep dog, leads Captain, a gray horse, and Sergeant Tibbs, a tabby cat, in a rescue mission to find the lost dogs. They find them in Cruella’s old and rundown family estate, along with a number of other Dalmatian puppies that had been bought from various pet stores. Tibbs discovers they will be turned into fur coats, and Colonel quickly sends a signal back to London. Pongo and Perdita hear the call, and set off to rescue their pups.
Meanwhile, Tibbs overhears a conversation between Cruella, Horace, and Jasper, in which she orders the Dalmatians be skinned by morning. In an effort to save their lives, the cat attempts to get the puppies to a shed where Colonel, Captain, and Tibbs live. At the same time, Pongo and Perdita arrive at the mansion, helping Tibbs successfully rescue all 99 pups.
The family travels across the snowy countryside, finding a Collie who offers to house them in his old dairy barn. The Collie then tells them they should head towards Hensford, where a Labrador will be waiting for them. After a night in the barn, they move on to Hensford, where the Lab informs them that they can hop aboard a truck heading to London. The dognappers and Cruella arrive in town, looking for their lost puppies. Pongo instructs the dogs to roll in soot, so that they can successfully make it into the truck, looking like Black Labradors. One dog is accidentally washed off by the snow, causing Cruella to follow their trail. While chasing the truck, however, she ends up crashing into a ravine.
Back in London, Roger and Anita prepare for Christmas while mourning the loss of their dogs. Suddenly, after a knock at the door, all 101 Dalmatians enter the house. The couple is delighted, and surprised at the large amount of canines that enter. They decided to keep all of the dogs, and move to a large house in the country where they start a Dalmatian Plantation.