Cute adventure and well executed!
Dave | San Diego, CA | 09/17/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This animated sequel to Disney's 101 Dalmatians (Two-Disc Platinum Edition) is a very cute movie; very much at home on a video release, the animation and vocals are definitely above what you'd expect for a direct to video film. This tale begins where the first movie left off; Cruella de Vil is out on parole while her two flunkies are stuck in the slammer. She hooks up with a beatnik artist, Lars (voiced by Martin Short), who also likes spots. She hires him to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece just for her. Meanwhile, Anita (voiced by Jodi Benson, best known as Ariel in The Little Mermaid (Two-Disc Platinum Edition)) & Roger are moving to the country. Patch accidentally gets left behind, which is just fine with him, as it allows him to go to London and audition for his TV Hero's show, the Thunderbolt Adventure Hour. When Lars is unable to satisfy Cruella with his art, she decides to go after the Dalmatians again and have Lars use their fur coats as a canvas!
There are some life lessons for the kids as you would expect; Thunderbolt's (voiced by Barry Bostwick) thirst for fame and vanity are not very admirable traits. Naturally, when he teams up with cute little Patch, he realizes (and hopefully the kids watching will too) that there are more important things in life.
Overall, this film is fine for children, other than some off-camera violence where Cruella knocks out a dog (who eventually wakes up unharmed) and the fact that Cruella actually does smoke in the film. The smoking shouldn't be a big deal as she is so over the top and nutty that it is obvious that she is not a person to be looked up to or imitated!
The backgrounds and animation style do a very good job of trying to follow the same stylings of the original. Although they lack the amazing artistry of animator Marc Davis & art director Ken Anderson, they are definitely better than most of the TV animation you find today.
This DVD also has some nice extras:
*A 7 minute behind-the-scenes "Dog-umentary," which is a look at how the movie was made, hosted by a group of dogs who are being given a tour of the Disney Studio. It shows Bostwick, Jason Alexander (voice of Lightning, Thunderbolt's sidekick), Susanne Blakeslee (Cruella), and Martin Short recording their parts. It's also interesting to see art director Bill Perkins create the backgrounds and how the unique hand-drawn/xerox style is achieved.
*"Try Again" & "You're The One" music videos
*3 games: "Patch's Twilight Adventure" in which the player looks for keys to help free the dalmatians from their cages; "Lost in London" is somewhat of a travelogue of London complete with footage of famous landmarks as players (once again) try to track down the dalmatian puppies; and "Thunderbolt: A Look Inside" lets you tour the canine star's trailer.
Specs for the movie are Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound with French & Spansih language tracks, and Widescreen (1.66:1). Approximately 71 minutes.
Overall, an enjoyable family film to watch with your children."
Fun movie to be enjoyed by family
K. Light | Kansas City, MO | 10/03/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie isn't quite up there with Disney classics (Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast or even the 1st 101 Dalmatians), but it is really cute and fun. The animation is fine, the story is charming, and my daughter loves it. I recommend this movie for families looking for a "new" movie to enjoy together.
We borrowed this DVD from our local library. I would not recommend paying over $10 (max) for it."