Marilyn La Jeunesse
- "101 Dalmatians" was released in 1961.
- The film made over $102 million and was the highest grossing film of it's year.
- A live-action remake was made in 1996, with a spin-off about Cruella de Vil announced to be in the making.
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A spin-off movie has also been announced, currently titled "Cruella," with Emma Stone playing the fur-obsessed villain in the live-action prequel.
INSIDER takes a look back at the film that started it all, and some surprising facts about how it was made.
It was the first film to use a new animation process.
According to the Walt Disney Animation Studios archives, "101 Dalmatians" was the first Disney film to only use the Xerox process to animate drawings. This would greatly increase the production process for future feature films.
The film won a BAFTA award.
In addition to being nominated for a Grammy Award, the puppy-centric film won a BAFTA award for best animated film.
The movie was based on a novel.
Like most Disney films, "101 Dalmatians" was based on the 1956 novel by Dodie Smith. Based on the plot summary of the book, not much was changed from the book to the on-screen adaptation.
Disney renamed the main characters.
In the film, Roger and Anita's last name is "Radcliffe." But, in the original book, the couple's last name was "Dearly."
There was a "101 Dalmatians" book sequel.
Dodie Smith did write a follow-up to her popular book. Titled "The Starlight Barking,"the sequel is focused on one of Pongo and Perdita's pups, who is all grown up and searching to break an enchantment that threatens to eliminate dogs as man's best friend.
Pongo is based on a real dog.
Speaking of Pongo, the Dalmatian dad was inspired by Smith's own pup of the same name. She was gifted the spotted Dalmatian in 1934 by her husband. The dog would later inspire what many consider to be her greatest novel "101 Dalmatians."
Marc Davis wanted Cruella to be a modern-day villain.
Unlike his previous villain Maleficent, Davis wanted his animation of Cruella to give Disney a modern-day villain. As the sole animator assigned to bring this creation to life, Davis was said to have been inspired by a woman at a cocktail party, although he never revealed the name of the inspiration out of respect.
Tallulah Bankhead may have inspired some parts of Cruella.
Although the actual inspiration for the character remains a mystery, Davis once told the LA Times he wanted to mimic Cruella off the actress Tallulah Bankhead, the one woman he said he knew was "just a monster." It's said that many of Bankhead's quirks and eccentrics seem to be included in the film.
The voice of Cruella should seem familiar.
Voiced by Betty Lou Gerson, Cruella de Vil's voice should seem oddly familiar to loyal Disney fans. "101 Dalmatians" was Gerson's second film with the company. She had previously voiced the narrator in "Cinderella," which premiered 11 years prior.
"101 Dalmatians" was the highest grossing film of 1961.
Following the dismal performance of "Sleeping Beauty" in 1959, no one was quite expecting the financial success of "101 Dalmatians." Making over $102 million in 1961, the animated film was the top-grossing film of the year in the US, beating out "West Side Story," "The Parent Trap," and "Gone With the Wind."
There are lots of hidden Mickeys in the film.
If you look carefully at the spots on Pongo and the rest of his brood, there are plenty of hidden Mickeys to be found. There's a hidden Mickey in the opening scene of the film when Pongo is looking for a match for his human, as well as a hidden Mickey during the park scene with Pongo.
There are millions of spots in the film.
A dedicated fan took the time to count up all the spots in the film and found that there were a whopping 6,469,952 spots in the animated film. Pongo is said to have 72 spots, while Perdita has 68.
Tons of paint was used for the film.
You can't animate over six million spots without paint, which is why the animation studio used 800 gallons of paint for the film. In total, the special paint used to create the animated movie weighed five tons.
The dogs are actually light grey.
In reality, Dalmatian dogs are white with black spots, but in order for the color of the dogs to look good on camera, the animators used a light grey paint to create the dogs' coats. Animators have previously said that using white paint would have been too bright and made it difficult to spot the pups during the treacherous snow scenes.
Tons of colors were created for the film.
In total, 1,000 different shades of paint were mixed for the film, including 100 specially mixed for the film to create the perfect look. It’s no easy feat coloring a film with multiple seasons and over 100 dogs.
Another Disney film appears in "101 Dalmatians."
During the scene with Horace, Jasper, and the kidnapped puppies, Disney's black and white film "Springtime" can be seen playing on the TV. "Springtime" was originally released in 1929 and celebrates the coming of spring after a storm.
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Now, let's discuss the concepts mentioned in the article about "101 Dalmatians."
"101 Dalmatians" Facts:
- Release and Success: "101 Dalmatians" was released in 1961 and became the highest-grossing film of that year, earning over $102 million.
- Animation Process: The film was the first Disney film to use the Xerox process to animate drawings, which increased the production process for future feature films.
- Awards: "101 Dalmatians" won a BAFTA award for Best Animated Film.
- Rotten Tomatoes Ratings: The animated film has a 98% critics rating and a 76% viewers' rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while the live-action counterpart has a 39% critics rating and a 40% viewers' rating.
- Voice of Donald Duck: Clarence Nash, the original voice of Donald Duck, played an uncredited part in the film by recording all the dogs' barks.
- Based on a Novel: "101 Dalmatians" was based on the 1956 novel by Dodie Smith, and not much was changed from the book to the on-screen adaptation.
- Renaming of Characters: In the film, Roger and Anita's last name is "Radcliffe," while in the original book, their last name was "Dearly".
- Sequel: Dodie Smith wrote a follow-up to her book titled "The Starlight Barking," which focused on one of Pongo and Perdita's pups searching to break an enchantment that threatens to eliminate dogs as man's best friend.
- Inspiration for Cruella: The animator Marc Davis wanted Cruella to be a modern-day villain and may have been inspired by the actress Tallulah Bankhead, incorporating some of her quirks and eccentricities into the character.
- Voice of Cruella: Cruella de Vil's voice was provided by Betty Lou Gerson, who had previously voiced the narrator in Disney's "Cinderella".
- Crossover with "Lady and the Tramp": Characters from Disney's "Lady and the Tramp" make an appearance in "101 Dalmatians," and Lady and Tramp themselves also make an appearance during the "Twilight Bark" scene.
- Hidden Mickeys: There are hidden Mickeys to be found in the film, including in the spots on Pongo and the rest of the dogs.
- Spots and Paint: The film features a total of 6,469,952 spots, and the animation studio used 800 gallons of paint, weighing five tons, to create the animated movie.
- Coloring the Dogs: Dalmatian dogs are actually white with black spots, but in the film, the animators used light grey paint to make the dogs' coats look good on camera, especially during the snow scenes.
- Colors for the Film: A total of 1,000 different shades of paint were mixed for the film, including 100 specially mixed for the film to create the perfect look.
- Appearance of Another Disney Film: During a scene with Horace, Jasper, and the kidnapped puppies, Disney's black and white film "Springtime" can be seen playing on the TV.
These are some of the interesting facts about the film "101 Dalmatians" mentioned in the article. If you have any more questions or need further information, feel free to ask!