Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Hundred Dalmatians

The Hundred Dalmatians
The Hundred and One Dalmatians, or the Great Dog Robbery is a 1956 children's novel by Dodie Smith. The plot revolves around a woman who steals 97 dalmatian puppies in order to make a fur coat out of them. The protagonists of the novel are three adult dalmatians who set out to rescue their own puppies and wind up rescuing the whole lot. (The hundred-and-first dalmatian is part of a subplot unrelated to the puppy-snatching, and plays only a small part in the story.)

In the novel, after being invited to a dinner party by the Dearly couple, where Cruella de Vil expresses her dislike for animals, the family's new Dalmatian puppies disappear. The Dearly dogs are added to 82 puppies who are kidnapped or legally purchased from various owners, all of which have been gathered with the intent of skinning them for their fur, to make a coat. Through a fellowship of animals and the "Twilight Barking," the dogs are identified as being in Suffolk, and a rescue ensues.

The novel was made into a Disney animated film in 1961, under the title One Hundred and One Dalmatians. In the animated film the four adult dalmatians were merged into two characters, with Missis renamed "Perdita" and the original Perdita and Prince omitted entirely. There is only one Nanny, who in personality and appearance resembles Nanny Cook. Patch and Lucky are present, but the Cadpig is not by name, though she is included in the Disney Channel TV series. Mr. Dearly, here named Roger Radcliffe, is a musician and composer, rather than a financial wizard like in the book. Saul Baddun is renamed Horace, and Cruella appears to be single. The villains discover the Dalmatians have stowed away on the moving truck, leading to a climactic car chase.

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