Art of Disney – Imagination
Issue Date: August 7, 2008
City: Anaheim, CA
“The One Hundred and One Dalmatians” was written in 1956 by English novelist Dodie Smith. She wrote the novel after a friend remarked that her dogs would make a lovely coat.
Pongo and Missis, a pair of Dalmatians, live with their human “pets,” the Dearly family. After Missis gives birth to 15 puppies, the Dearlys find another dog, Perdita (who plays Missis in the Disney film), to help care for the puppies. Perdita, a lost dog, tells the puppies about her lost love and how she was abandoned.
The Dearlys go to a dinner party at Cruella de Vil’s house, where the hostess tells of her great dislike of animals and her fondness of fur coats. After the Dearlys return home, they find the puppies have disappeared. Pongo and Missis track the puppies and find them in Cruella’s family home, along with 82 more puppies she intends to turn into a coat. After rescuing all of the puppies, the dogs return to the Dearlys and Cruella runs away. Perdita’s lost love, Prince, finds her, and all the Dalmatians remain with the Dearlys.
Walt Disney released “101 Dalmatians” in 1961. It was Disney’s 17th animated feature film and the highest-grossing film of 1961.
“101 Dalmatians” was honored on a 2008 U.S. postage stamp in part of the Art of Disney series.