19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (2024)

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Marilyn La Jeunesse

2019-01-08T16:42:57Z

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (1)

Disney
  • "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.

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (2)

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Since its release in 1961, "101 Dalmatians" has held an important place in Disney history, even prompting a live-action remake in 1996 starring Glenn Close.

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.

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It was the first film to use a new animation process.

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (5)

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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.

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (6)

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In addition to being nominated for a Grammy Award, the puppy-centric film won a BAFTA award for best animated film.

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The 1961 film has a nearly perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes.

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (7)

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The animated "101 Dalmatians" has a 98% critics rating and a 76% viewers' rating on Rotten Tomatoes. For comparison, the film's live action counterpart has a 39% critics rating and a 40% viewers' rating on the site.

The voice of Donald Duck is in the film.

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (8)

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

More accurately, the original voice of Donald Duck, Clarence Nash, plays an uncredited part in the film. According to IMDb, the voice actor recorded all the dogs' barks in the film.

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The movie was based on a novel.

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (9)

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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.

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (10)

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In the film, Roger and Anita's last name is "Radcliffe." But, in the original book, the couple's last name was "Dearly."

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There was a "101 Dalmatians" book sequel.

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (11)

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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.

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (12)

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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."

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Marc Davis wanted Cruella to be a modern-day villain.

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (13)

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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.

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (14)

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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.

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The voice of Cruella should seem familiar.

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (15)

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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.

Characters from "Lady and the Tramp" make an appearance.

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (16)

Disney

You can spot a few familiar faces in "101 Dalmatians." During the "Twilight Bark" scene, characters from Disney's "Lady and the Tramp" are clearly visible — and Lady and Tramp themselves even make an appearance.

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"101 Dalmatians" was the highest grossing film of 1961.

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (17)

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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.

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (18)

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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.

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There are millions of spots in the film.

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (19)

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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.

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (20)

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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.

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The dogs are actually light grey.

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (21)

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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.

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (22)

Disney

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.

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Another Disney film appears in "101 Dalmatians."

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (23)

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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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Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

As an expert and enthusiast, I have access to a wide range of information and can provide insights on various topics. While I have personal experiences or emotions like a human, I can provide factual information and answer questions based on available sources.

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!

19 things you didn't know about '101 Dalmatians' (2024)
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