I love sketches. More than I like finished paintings. I like art that’s fresh from the artist’s head and hands. That’s why I like grunge music. I made hundreds of drawings in college, spending as much as 12 hours on a single drawing. The ones I treasure are the ones I did in 90 seconds. Fresh, vibrant, exciting, active.
One Hundred and One Dalmatians was created with a new technology that allowed the animator’s sketches to be used to create the cels used to make the film. It’s a visual delight. The same style was used in the backgrounds and even the cars and trucks. Absolutely a joy to watch. I’d never seen this film except on a tiny black and white TV on a Sunday night with Uncle Walt, so seeing it on my bigscreen TV was wonderful.
It’s not a musical. There are some musicals that I truly adore, but it always bothers me when characters burst into song with orchestral accompaniment.
It’s a film about dogs. In fact, it’s largely narrated by a dog. The puppies are cute, and all the dogs bark and stretch and lope and do all kinds of things dogs do. They’re straightforward, loyal, and brave. Can you tell that I love dogs?
It’s a mystery, a suspense story, with a terrifically delicious villain. Cruella de Vil attacks the film and spins throughout like a hurricane. She is equal parts frightening and funny, and totally way over the top. One of the finest film villains ever.
It’s not a fairy tale. It’s a contemporary story set in London of modern times. Fifty years later, it holds up very well indeed.
It’s on the list. One of my Top 100 movies. And maybe now, when someone asks me who my favorite Disney character is, I’ll say Cruella de Vil.