"Every Dog Has Her Day"
Disney’s live-action comedy, 102 DALMATIANS, is a sequel to the 1996 hit, 101 DALMATIANS. The top dog in the new story is a Dalmatian female puppy named “Oddball” who doesn’t have any spots. Although the new movie itself is not entirely spotless, it contains many of the same elements that made the previous movie such a hit.
Once again, Glenn Close plays Cruella De Vil, the fashion conscious villain in the first movie, as well as in the 1960s animated Disney classic of Dodie Smith’s original novel. Three years after she dognapped her way around London, Cruella seems a changed woman. Her passion for fur and her hatred for animals has apparently been cured by a behavioral psychologist named, of course, Dr. Pavlov. Cruella becomes the new savior of the animal kingdom and buys a failing dog shelter run by a young man named Kevin Shepherd. Ioan Gruffudd (pronounced “Yo-an Griffith”), the star of TV’s Captain Hornblower series running on many PBS stations, plays Kevin.
Cruella’s probation officer, Chloe Simon, however, doesn’t believe Cruella’s transformation for a minute. (American born and London raised Alice Evans, who has only played in French and Italian movies, plays Chloe.) The buying of Kevin’s dog shelter increases Chloe’s suspicions, until Kevin is arrested for the mysterious theft of several Dalmatian puppies. When, however, Chloe’s own Dalmatian puppies, Oddball, Little Dipper and Domino, turn up missing, Chloe and Kevin begin to smell a rat. Has Cruella changed back her spots? And, why has she taken up with French furrier Jean Pierre Le Pelt, played by Gerard Depardieu?
102 DALMATIANS has a mild Christian worldview with moral elements. As such, it shows that psychological re-programming, or behavior modification, cannot stop a person from sinning. The movie doesn’t show, however, that a renewed spiritual relationship with God and Jesus Christ can indeed transform people into better citizens. The movie’s positive worldview is also marred by some wacky environmentalist views. For example, at one point, Kevin tells Chloe, “Dogs are people too.” At another point in the story, Kevin’s daffy parrot Waddlesworth, who is voiced by Monty Python funnyman Eric Idle, encourages the dogs to cheat when Kevin seems to be winning a tug of war with one of the other dogs in the shelter. The movie fails to really rebuke this immoral message, although Waddlesworth’s cheating is meant more for comic effect than anything else. Finally, although there is, of course, no sex or nudity in this G-rated movie, the French furrier Le Pelt wears a furry tiger’s head on his crotch in one scene.
Children probably will enjoy watching the antics of Cruella De Vil and the animals in this movie just as much as they did in the previous one. The pacing of 102 DALMATIANS is a little slow and spotty, however (pardon the pun). It seems to be bogged down by too much story exposition and too much talkative dialogue. Despite this problem, the movie comes to a rousing slapstick finish. The true villains finally get their much-deserved comeuppance. In fact, the final shots of Cruella just may be worth the entire price of admission.
(C, BB, EE, V, Ho, A, M) Mild Christian worldview with moral elements showing that psychological re-programming cannot stop a person from sinning, marred by some wacky environmentalist views & some miscellaneous immorality that is not rebuked; no foul language but cat burps after implied eating of canary or parakeet; slapstick violence such as pratfalls, animals tug at clothes & woman falls into goop & machinery, plus other mild violence such as fighting; no sex; no nudity, but completely clothed fashion designer wears furry tiger’s head on his crotch in one scene; very mild homosexual innuendo; very mild alcohol reference in restaurant scene; no smoking; and, dognapping rebuked, villain frames man rebuked & psychological behavior modification rebuked, but parrot & dogs resort to cheating to win tug-of-war contest with man, which is a bad message to send to children &, in this day and age, election officials.
102 DALMATIANS, is a sequel to Disney’s 1996 hit, 101 DALMATIANS. The top dog in the new story is a Dalmatian puppy named “Oddball” who doesn’t have any spots. Once again, Glenn Close plays Cruella De Vil, the fashion conscious villain of the first movie. A behavioral psychologist apparently has modified Cruella’s nasty streak, but Cruella’s probation officer, Chloe Simon, has her suspicions. Her suspicions grow when Chloe’s three Dalmatian puppies, including Oddball, disappear. Has Cruella changed back her spots?
102 DALMATIANS has a mild Christian worldview with moral elements. As such, it shows that psychological re-programming, or behavior modification, cannot stop a person from sinning. The movie doesn’t show, however, that a renewed spiritual relationship with God and Jesus Christ can indeed transform people into better citizens. This positive worldview is also marred by wacky environmentalist ideas equating animals with humans, some unrebuked cheating and a crude outfit. Finally, although the movie’s pacing is spotty, children probably will enjoy watching the antics of Cruella and the animals just as much as they did in the previous movie. The final shots of Cruella may be worth the entire price of admission