101 Dalmatians Movie Ranked Worst to Best

 

101 dalmatians movie

Hey guys!. In this post, I’ll be discussing about 101 Dalmatians Movie Ranked Worst to Best. 101 Dalmatians is kind of an interesting franchise because it’s both quite varied and also incredibly homogenous. 

This franchise spans 60 years and has animated films, live action films, theatrically released films, direct to video films, sequels, prequels and more dalmatians than you could wag a tail at. 

But despite those differences, there’s certainly common threads through all of these films including the absurdity of the repeated attempts to steal a huge number of dalmatians to make a coat. 

But all of these films also share one of the most maniacal, campy, and (aptly) cruel Disney villains of all time: Cruella De Vil. So let’s get started.

5. 101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure. 

So, I realize it’s probably not the most surprising thing to put a direct-to-video sequel in the lowest spot on the list, but this film is undoubtedly the weakest of the bunch. That said, I don’t think it’s horrible. It’s not good comparably within the franchise, but it’s honestly a fairly average Disney DTV movie. 

Picking up shortly after the events of the original animated film, it’s technically a sequel but since it doesn’t really focus on any of the original main characters, it feels more like a spin-off puppy side adventure with a bit of plot rehashing in the second half. 

The story’s certainly the weakest element of this movie and although it has some decent ideas, the actual execution of those ideas is fairly underwhelming. I realize that the puppies are supposed to be the focus of these movies, but for me, the most interesting character in this franchise has always been Cruella De Vil. 

And I can say that this is the only 101 Dalmatians movie where her character just isn’t very good. It takes a more slapsticky approach to her and essentially defangs the character to produce the most kid-aimed story of the franchise. 

But like I said, this movie isn’t all bad. It’s clear that the filmmakers had some deference for the original film, so there’s a lot of callbacks and emulation here, including a pretty solid animation style. 

4. 102 Dalmatians. 

I know, I know - not much love for the official sequels on this list. This time though, the sequel was not only live action, but also theatrically released. It’s also the only Oscar nominee on the list. 

This movie is kind of unique because of the circumstances of its creation. It came out several years before the animated sequel, so it’s not a live-action version of an existing sequel. Instead, it’s a wholly original sequel to a live-action remake. 

Okay, maybe wholly original is a little too far, but there was certainly a lot of creative freedom with the story... and it shows, with a whacky combination of far too many plot threads. Similar to the other sequel in the franchise, isn’t a good movie. 

But, it’s not downright awful either and was actually quite a bit more entertaining than I remembered it being - at least in the first half. 

The third act turns into a dull, messy rehash of the same puppy plot we had already seen twice before (and would see yet again in the animated sequel), but the stuff that comes before that is this wild blend of bizarre. And luckily, unlike the animated sequel, this movie has some really good and unique Cruella. 

Glenn Close reprises her role from the 1996 remake and seems to have even more fun this time around. She’s a little less sinister here, but it works with the storyline they have for her character and is surprisingly entertaining. 

3. 101 Dalmatians, the 1996 remake. 

We now live in a world seemingly overrun with Disney live-action remakes. So, it’s interesting to go back and rewatch one of the earliest - before it became a trend. 101 Dalmatians was only the second theatrically released Disney live action remake and bears little resemblance to the current era’s cohort of such remakes.

This movie came out when I was pretty young, so I certainly have some nostalgia for it. In fact, as a kid, I watched this just as much (if not more than) the animated original. It doesn’t hold up quite as well as I remembered, but it’s still a fun little dog-centric family movie. 

The original film is a mere 79 minutes long, so this remake expands on certain things. It really fleshes out the initial set-up and the relationships among the human characters. 

There’s some nice romantic comedy elements between Roger and Anita, we have a more reasonable explanation as to why Cruella gets involved in their lives. And yet, even with these character expansions, the story still stays true to the original. 

We may lose the charm of the animation and of the dogs talking to one another, but we’re treated to some adorable puppies and some really good canine acting from Pongo and Perdita. And of course I can’t forget to mention Glenn Close as Cruella who absolutely steals the show and is easily the best part of the film. 

She’s so over-the-top and theatrical in her villainy, but it works incredibly well and she manages to come across as even more evil and despicable than her animated counterpart. 

2. One Hundred and One Dalmatians, the 1961 animated original. 

I may have grown up during the Disney Renaissance era, but as kid, I watched the whole gamut of Disney movies. The animal movies were among my favorites, so my VHS of One Hundred and One Dalmatians got more than its share of plays. 

Like I mentioned before, I was pretty young when the remake came out and watched both movies a lot during the same time period. And so, as I’ve gotten older and revisited the movies, I realize how much I actually conflated the two film. 

And even though I had slightly more positive memories of the remake, I’ve found that I actually slightly prefer the animated original as an adult. This was and still is a groundbreaking film for Disney. 

It was a turning point for the studio and served as a guinea pig of sorts for some experimental changes to the then-standard Disney film structure. Unlike nearly every Disney film before it, it wasn’t a musical and rather than having a classic sweeping orchestral score, it had a very contemporary and evocative jazzy score. 

It was also contemporary in its setting - rather than being set in some once upon a time fantasy world, it was set in then-current day London. 

The tone and story were unique in their mystery and suspense, and of course Cruella was evil in a real world monster kind of way not seen before, but perhaps the most groundbreaking thing about this movie was actually the result of time and money limitations, rather than a creative choice: the Xerox animation style. 

Some people, including Walt Disney himself, view this as a lesser form of animation, but personally, I find the sketchy warmth of the style to be one of the most charming things about the movie. 

1. 101 Dalmatians movie is Cruella. 

Yeah, I definitely did not expect that either. I never would’ve thought that a Disney live-action adaptation prequel was ever gonna top a list for me, but here we are. 

It’s kind of funny actually that a franchise that began with an animated film in 1961 ends up having more live-action movies than animated ones and in fact is the Disney franchise with the most live-action remakes... slash sequels slash prequels. 

I know how this one sounds on paper: an origin story for the crazy villain who wants to kill puppies to make a coat? But this film does a really good job of crafting a compelling caper and providing interesting and informative backstory, without making Cruella an overly sympathetic character. 

Emma Stone does a great job here, portraying a likably unlikeable character and giving us some interesting insight into the relationships and events that shaped who Cruella would become. The whole movie just has this wonderfully cool, stylish quality to it. It’s very playful, but rebellious and punky too. 

It’s the longest film in the franchise by far, but I didn’t feel the length at all. The fun editing style kept this moving and made for a surprisingly breezy film. The amazing soundtrack didn’t hurt with that either, giving us fitting and relevant music ranging from The Zombies to Blondie to The Clash. 

And since this film focuses on fashion designers, I can’t forget to mention the costume design here, which is yet another one of the standout aspects of this film. 

I didn’t expect to like this movie nearly as much as I did, but this was such a fun, pleasant surprise that stands as probably the strongest Disney live-action adaptation we’ve had. 

Five movies, one maniacal villain, and more than 400 Dalmatians. What does your ranking look like? 

That is it from today’s post on 101 Dalmatians Movie Ranked Worst to Best. If you do not agree with the points in the post and have some of your own opinions, share them with us in the comments section down below. 

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Chandan is the writer of “101 Dalmatians Movie Ranked Worst to Best”. Also, Connect with me on Facebook.

Chandan

Hey there! I'm Chandan and I'm from India. I'm a writer and youtuber. You can contact me at: dailykage@gmail.com pinterest

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