When “101 Dalmatians” was released in 1961, it was the most modern of Disney’s animated films in many ways. With unique animation style and techniques bringing cars and even TVs to the big screen, the film showed that not all Disney films had to be set in worlds of castles and princesses.
The cherished classic holds strong today, with Cruella De Vil still among the baddest of Disney’s villains. On Blu-ray, “101 Dalmatians” looks sharp enough to showcase its uniquely rough animation style. Thick outlines of characters and city backgrounds come across clearly on the new release. And with the film presented in its original aspect ratio, nothing is lost to cropping. A “Disney View” option is available to fill the black areas of a 16×9 screen with themed graphics – somewhat distracting.
But it’s in the new bonus features that fans will find the most joy, particularly in two specific extras.
“The Further Adventures of Thunderbolt” is a new animated short that adds a bit more fun to the brief TV show seen in the feature film, complete with an ad for Kanine Krunchies.
“Lucky Dogs” offers great conversations with some of the film’s lead animators discussing their fascinating time working at Disney’s animation studio years ago. This is an excellent extra for Disney history buffs.
“Dalmatians 101” is a fast-paced bonus feature aimed younger viewers, heavily promoting the upcoming Disney Channel movie “Descendants” which will feature the children of Disney villains, Cruella included.
Included previews also show off a bit of the long-anticipated Blu-ray release of “Aladdin,” which no doubt will be a hot seller when it hits stores on October 6, 2015.
For big fans of “101 Dalmatians” will want to pick this release up for the “Thunderbolt” short alone. While it is extremely short, it’s a really fun addition to the legacy that this classic Disney film has left.
“101 Dalmatians” Diamond Edition is available now on Blu-ray from Amazon and all major retailers.