Spring is in the air and Pongo (voiced by Rod Taylor), a handsome Dalmatian, is tired of leading a boring and lonely bachelor's life. When he spots a gorgeous female Dalmatian called Perdita (voiced by Cate Bauer), along with her beautiful owner Anita (voiced by Lisa Davis), he takes matters into his own paws. He tries to make sure that he and his owner, Roger (voiced by Ben Wright), get the attractive pair's attention. But his efforts lead to everyone ending up in the pond!
Despite this, Pongo's dream comes true and Roger and Anita fall in love and get married. A few months later, Pongo and Perdita are exhilarated at the arrival of 15 adorable puppies.
Everything would be perfect if it wasn't for Anita's vicious old school friend, Cruella de Vil (voiced by Betty Lou Gerson). Cruella – for mysterious reasons – insists on buying the entire litter of puppies. Roger, who doesn’t trust Cruella, refuses to sell the puppies to her, much to everyone's relief. But ruthless Cruella doesn’t take no for an answer and she sends her 2 henchmen Horace and Jasper to dognap the puppies. It turns out that she wants to use their fur to make a Dalmatian fur coat!
When the police have no success locating the puppies, Pongo and Perdita decide to use the ‘Twilight Bark’ animal network in and around London to find and save their babies.
Disney classic; the life of pets; family; action and adventure; crime-solving; teamwork.
One Hundred and One Dalmatians has some violent themes and scenes. For example:
- Cruella De Vil is as cruel and remorseless as the Devil she is named after. She wants to have the puppies killed and skinned, and then use their skins to make a fur coat. She comes up with lots of ways to kill them – ‘shoot them, drown them, poison them, bash them’.
- Cruella’s henchmen, Horace and Jasper, force their way into Roger and Anita's home. They violently push and ridicule the elderly maid.
- Horace and Jasper suffer a range of painful accidents – for example, things fall on their heads and they crush into walls, fall into a fireplace, get kicked by a horse, and get bitten in the backside.
- Horace and Jasper try to bash an escaping puppy with a crowbar. They also try to hit Pongo and Perdita.
- In her blind rage, Cruella crashes her car into the van where the puppies are hiding, nearly pushing it over a steep edge.
There are no sexual references in One Hundred and One Dalmatians.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
One Hundred and One Dalmatians shows some use of substances. For example:
- Cruella almost always holds a cigarette, which releases massive clouds of green smoke.
- Roger often smokes a pipe. In a stressful situation he frantically sucks on his pipe, suggesting that smoking is a coping strategy.
- Horace and Jasper drink wine straight from a bottle.
Nudity and sexual activity
There is no nudity and sexual activity in One Hundred and One Dalmatians.
There is no product placement in One Hundred and One Dalmatians.
One Hundred and One Dalmatians has some coarse language. For example, Cruella often says ‘idiot’ and ‘idiots’.
Ideas to discuss with your children
One Hundred and One Dalmatians is one of Disney's animated classics. Over 60 years after the film's first release, its four-legged heroes are as adorable as ever and their adventures just as captivating. There’s also a fair amount of tongue-in-cheek humour which will provide fun family entertainment. However, One Hundred and One Dalmatians contains references to animal cruelty, slapstick violence, and one of Disney's scariest and most iconic villains. It’s therefore not suitable for children under 4 years and we recommend parental guidance for children aged 4-5 and/or a sensitive audience.
The main messages from One Hundred and One Dalmatians are that sometimes in life it’s important to take initiative, and that you can achieve more as part of a team and when you work together.
Values in One Hundred and One Dalmatians that you could reinforce with your children include the importance of family sticking together, teamwork, taking initiative, being inventive and smart, and courage.
One Hundred and One Dalmatians could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues. For example, is it ever ethical or justified to kill animals for fashion?