101 Dalmatians

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101 Dalmatians

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101 Dalmatians

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Not much reason to see this one, because in 1961 Disney made an animated version called 101 Dalmatians, which is better. The live-action film borrows heavily from its cartoon predecessor—from the cozy chic of the dog-owning couple's apartment to the blue-tinted night-time countryside of the puppies' hideout. Except for the action sequences; those are shot in disorienting, swiftly cutting close-ups a la Home Alone. If nothing else, 101 Dalmatians continues an intriguing tradition in family entertainment—evisceration. Several well-known films in this genre, good and bad, feature it prominently: Kermit The Frog in The Muppet Movie is pursued for his succulent legs, Babe is in danger of being chopped into cutlets, Woody and Buzz from Toy Story risk becoming surgically altered freak playthings, Pinocchio is threatened with the wood-ax, and cute fuzzy dalmatians face being skinned for haute couture. Not that parents should keep their kids in a closet; this may actually prove a positive phenomenon, especially if Precious Moments: The Movie is ever made.

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