102 Dalmatians

2000, Movie, G, 101 mins

Review

102 DALMATIANS
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Is there anything cuter than a tangle of spotted puppies? This sequel to Disney's 1996 live-action remake of their classic cartoon is predicated on the notion that 'no, there isn't.' It's a good thing the dogs are as adorable as they are, because there's not much going on around them. After three years in prison under the care of Dr. Pavlov (David Horovitch), who's successfully taught foxes to cohabit with geese and cats to love canaries in a non-culinary manner, Cruella De Vil (Glenn Close) has been cured of her dog-hating ways. Granted parole on the condition if she ever even thinks of harming a pooch, her fortune will be given to a deserving dog shelter, Cruella reinvents herself as an animal activist, funds a slapdash little animal rescue operation run by the self-effacing Kevin (Ioan Gruffudd) that's facing financial doom, and does her best to charm her parole officer, Chloe (Alice Evans). As the doting owner of a fine pack of Dalmations, including an all-white puppy named Oddball, Chloe isn't convinced that Cruella has truly changed her spots. Chloe's fears are well grounded. The chimes of Big Ben undo Cruella's conditioning, and soon she's conspiring with Parisian furrier Jean Pierre Le Pelt (Gerard Depardieu, making a world class ass of himself) to skin 102 little Dalmatian poopies (as Jean Pierre pronounces it) and make a fine speckled ensemble. Meanwhile Kevin, guardian of a motley pack of hounds and a deluded parrot (voiced by Eric Idle), is making puppy eyes at Chloe. All but the smallest children will know from the outset that no puppies will come to grief, and Cruella and Le Pelt will get their comeuppance. This knowledge will reassure them, while adults — even the die-hard dog lovers — will just have to resign themselves to being bored silly whenever the cartoonish Cruella is absent from the screen. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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102 Dalmatians
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