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102 Dalmatians - family and children's DVD / concert DVD review
102 DALMATIANS Rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 2 1/2 stars
Actors: Glenn Close, Gerard Depardieu, Ioan Gruffudd, Alice Evans, Tim McInnerney, Eric Idle
Director: Kevin Lima   Distributor: Walt Disney Video
DVD release: 16 September 2008   Runtime: 100 min. (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
DVD features: Audio tracks (English - Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, DTS 5.1 Surround Sound; French; Spanish), Subtitles (English CC, Spanish), Audio commentary, Creating Cruella, Animal Actors, Designing Dalmatians, Visual Effects 102, Deleted scene ("Cruella's Release") w/ optional commentary, Puppy Overload, Dalmatians 101, Soundtrack promo, Theatrical trailer, DVD-Rom features, Fastplay

It's many years later, and Cruella De Vil (Glenn Close) is institutionalized. Dr. Pavlov (David Horovitch) has come up with a procedure or something to make natural enemies ignore their instincts and get on well. Cats get along with birds without eating them, ducks share a meal with a fox without becoming a course, dogs share quality time with a bunny that involves no bloodshed, and finally Cruella De Vil loves Dalmatian puppies without trying to wear their skin. Cruella's probation officer, Chloe Simon (Alice Evans), is skeptical about her recovery, however. She owns one of the original Dalmatians, Dipstick, once stolen for Cruella's wardrobe. Dipstick has just sired a litter of puppies (cue telling and ominous music).

Cruella is a model citizen to begin with. Her wardrobe contains no fur, and she donates time and money to the local animal shelter run by Kevin Sheperd (Ioan Gruffudd). Kevin's Second Chance Shelter, is full of seemingly un-fixable dogs who've been at least cared for if not reformed. Each of the dogs here has its own personality and a name that matches. Digger digs, Drooler drools, Chomp bites - you get the drift. Rounding out the cast of misfit dogs is a Scarlet Macaw (yes, parrot) named Waddlesworth who thinks he's a Rotweiler and speaks and understands English. He's fully conversational and believing himself to be a dog, obstinately refuses suggestions to the contrary.

Finally, something slips loose and Cruella goes bonkers again. She must have the Dalmatian dress designed for her in the last film created. She enlists the aid of fashion designer Jean-Pierre Le Pelt (Gérard Depardieu), who works primarily (and obnoxiously) with fur and has the facilities to produce such attire.

While 102 Dalmatians is somewhat entertaining, it fails to be too involving; the characters are likable and children will probably be entertained by it. The Dalmatian puppies are fun to watch, though they don't really seem to have been assigned personalities as in the last film. Glenn Close's Cruella is not quite as entertainingly evil as in the last film, though the bit where she changes her stripes from bad to good is amusing.

This DVD (unlike the last, at least) has some extra features to help round it out. Special effects are touched upon, and comparison shots are shown to explain how one pup, Oddball, had her spots removed electronically.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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