Back in 1961, Walt Disney got a little hip with 101 Dalmatians
, making use of that flat Saturday morning cartoon style that had become so popular. The result is a kitschy change in animation and story. Pongo and Perdita are two lonely Dalmatians who meet in a London park and arrange for their pet humans to marry so they can live together and raise a family. They become proud parents of 15 pups, who are stolen by the dastardly Cruella De Vil, who wants to make a fur coat out of them. Cruella has become the most popular villain in all of Disney--she is flamboyantly nasty and lots of fun. But it is the Dalmatians who shine in this endearing classic, particularly those precocious pups. Telling the story from the dogs' point of view is a clever conceit, a fundamental flaw of Disney's 1996 live-action remake. --Bill Desowitz
When the wicked Cruella de Vil and her henchmen kidnap dalmatian puppies for their cherished spotted fur, it is up to the puppies' parents, Pongo and Perdita, and some brave farm animals, to free the caged canines. A Walt Disney animated classic that spawned the 1996 live-action remake.