I have some pretty fond memories of classic Disney animated films, as me and my family would always watch them and collect them back in the day and still continue to do so. I was more than thrilled when the company decided to give the high definition treatment to one of my personal favorites with the 101 Dalmatians: Diamond Edition Blu-ray. Looking better than it ever has along with some cool special features make this title a doggone good time for the family.
The story starts off in London with our Dalmatian stars named Pongo and Perdita who meet each other when their masters Roger and Anita bring them to the local park. It doesn’t take long before sparks fly between both the dogs and their masters who eventually get married. After settling into a new home and having fifteen lovable Dalmatian puppies, things couldn’t be more perfect for the family. But of course that’s never the case in these films as Anita’s old (and twisted) schoolmate named Cruella De Vil comes around for a visit and stirs up trouble when she wants to make a fur coat out of every Dalmatian puppy in the city starting with their fifteen. After being kicked out of their home by Roger and Anita, Cruella has two henchmen named Horace and Jasper kidnap the puppies along with every other Dalmatian puppy they can find and lock them away at her estate until she has enough to make a coat out of. It’s up to Pongo, Perdita, the puppies and some animal friends they make along the way to escape and put a stop to Cruella and her thugs for good.
I enjoyed seeing this classic again as I do with all of the Disney films, as they always bring back that feeling of a time when things were simple. Watching this gem filled with fun and a few great songs was made even better by the fantastic high definition treatment Disney has given the film. Every detail and frame of animation has never looked or moved better, while the audio brings in all the sounds and music perfectly. It also enhances the performances of Rod Taylor and Cate Bauer voicing Pongo and Perdita while Betty Lou Gerson brings Cruella De Vil to evil life, easily earning her spot as one of the greatest Disney film villains ever.
Adding to the fun is a litter (pun intended) of special features and extras that are sure to make viewers bark with delight. One that I got a kick out of was “The Further Adventures of Thunderbolt” which has a full episode of the Thunderbolt TV show that the dogs were watching during the movie. I thought it was a nice little treat the Disney animators came up with for this release. “Lucky Dogs” has some of the crew who worked on the film sharing their thoughts and memories from when the movie was created. One of the best extras on here is “Walt Disney Presents: The Best Doggoned Dog in the World” which was recorded back in 1961. It helped served as a promotion of sorts for the film that features clips of it while also showcasing some of the many things people love about dogs and what makes them special from all over the world. There’s also plenty of other extras such as more behind the scenes stuff, trailers and more that’s sure to keep viewers busy for quite some time.
101 Dalmatians: Diamond Edition is a Disney classic that should easily bark its way up anyone’s tree. A great cast of actors and characters along with great music, songs and extras make this a treat that you should “spot” at your local store and add to your collection.