During the initial months of 1961, 101 Dalmatians was the top-grossing film of the year. The title would fall as Guns of Navarone out-paced Dalmatians at the box office but would remain the top-grossing animated film of 1961. That initial run has helped 101 Dalmatians remain a family favorite, and now families watch 101 Dalmatians online. The film, based on the novel by Dodie Smith, follows Pongo and Perdita as they search for their puppies, stolen by the evil Cruella De Vil to be used to make a fur coat.
It starred Rod Taylor and Cate Bauer and would be the first film directed by Disney legend Wolfgang Reitherman. In fact, all 9 of ‘Disney’s Nine Old Men’ would work on animation or directing for the film, which released January 25, 1961.
The film has remained popular, pushing Disney to release a live-action remake in 1996, starring Glenn Close as Cruella, a live-action sequel, 102 Dalmatians, and an animated TV series. A direct-to-video sequel of the original animated classic, 101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure, was released in 2003, and Disney has announced plans for another live-action spin-off, but no firm details are known about its release.
With the launch of Disney +, audiences can enjoy 101 Dalmatians streaming. The film, made on a strict budget and under the hopes of turning Disney’s tide, has earned more than $215 million, adjusted for inflation, to date, and remains a key property for the company. 101 Dalmatians is listed at number 14 of the top-grossing, traditionally animated films. Here’s how to stream 101 Dalmatians right now:
How to Stream 101 Dalmatians – Exclusively on Disney+
101 Dalmations is one of the fan-favorite Disney original movies that will be streaming exclusively on Disney’s new subscription streaming service, Disney+.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial of Disney+ HERE, which will allow you to stream 101 Dalmations and hundreds of other movies and shows on your computer, phone, tablet, smart TV or streaming device. If you extend past the free trial, the service costs $6.99/month. You may also opt for this discount bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99/month.
- 1. Sign up for Disney+ here
- 2. Go to Disneyplus.com or download the Disney+ app on your device
- 3. Log in using your information
- 4. Search for “101 Dalmations”
- 5. Tap on “101 Dalmations”
- 6. Tap the PLAY button
Disney+ also boasts a vast library of Disney-owned movies and series — plus several new original series coming soon. The service includes unlimited downloads so you can watch offline whenever and wherever you want. The list of compatible devices and smart TVs includes iPads, Apple TV, Amazon devices, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Chromecast, Roku, PS4, and Xbox One.
101 Dalmatians: Overview
Release Date: January 25, 1961
Creators: Dodie Smith, Bill Peet
Director: Wolfgang Reitherman, Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi
Starring: Rod Taylor, Cate Bauer, Betty Lou Gerson, Ben Wright
Synopsis: Pongo and Perdita must save their puppies from kidnappers who would make them into a fur coat for the evil Cruella De Vil.
How Long Is 101 Dalmatians?
101 Dalmatians has a running time of 79 minutes.
101 Dalmatians Plot
Pongo lives with his human owner, a songwriter named Roger, but longs to find a wife for both of them. He spots Anita, along with her Dalmatian Perdita, in the park and drags Roger out. Roger and Anita, and Pongo and Perdita fall in love and the a few months later Perdita gives birth to a litter of 15 Dalmatian pups. That night Anita’s old friend, Cruella De Vil, visits and offers to buy the whole litter. Roger objects, angering Cruella. She plots with her henchmen Jasper and Horace to steal the litter. Scotland Yard begins investigating but can’t find the puppies, so Pongo and Perdita take action. They use the ‘twilight bark’, a dog gossip line, to get help from other London dogs. They find the pups in Hell Hall, Cruella’s dilapidated family estate along with 84 other Dalmatian pups. Tibbs, a tabby cat, the Colonel, an Old English Sheepdog, and Captain, a horse, learn the puppies are going to be used to make Cruella a fur coat. They get word to Pongo and Perdita, but it’s now winter in England, and the dogs have to cross the Stout River to get to them. They become caught in the current. Tibbs, meanwhile, overhears that Cruella and her men are going to kill the puppies that night, and he hurries to save them. As they are about to get out of the house, Pongo and Perdita get there and attack Cruella’s henchmen while Colonel and Tibbs get the puppies outside. Once the puppies are safe, Pongo and Perdita decide to adopt all of the puppies and start back for home. Cruella spots them hiding in the moving van and tries to run them off the road. Her plot backfires and her car wrecks in a ravine, leaving her stranded. Back home, Roger and Anita are missing Pongo and Perdita, and they hear barking. The dogs have returned, all 101 of them, and Roger and Anita decide to keep them all. Roger buys a country home and decides to raise their new family there.
101 Dalmatians Cast
Hollywood veterans Martha Wentworth, Tom Conway, Queenie Leonard, and Marjorie Bennett all lent their voices to the 101 Dalmatians cast. Here are the main actors for the film.
Rod Taylor as Pongo
Pongo is a bachelor Dalmatian who wants to find a wife; when their pups are stolen, he races across England to save them. Rod Taylor is an award-winning actor, writer, and producer with 92 films and TV series to his credit. His best-known roles include Inglourious Basterds, Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, and 101 Dalmatians.
Cate Bauer as Perdita
Perdita, the puppies mother, goes with Pongo to save them, and is convinced their humans will also want the 84 ‘extra’ Dalmatians. Cate Bauer is best known as the voice of Perdita in 101 Dalmatians.
Betty Lou Gerson as Cruella De Vil
Cruella is an evil woman who wants to turn the Dalmatian puppies into a fur coat. Betty Lou Gershon was a well-known Hollywood veteran best known for her voice work. In addition to 101 Dalmatians, she was the narrator for Disney’s Cinderella and appeared in the animated film Cats Don’t Dance.
Ben Wright as Roger
Roger is married to Anita and is Pongo’s owner; he contacts Scotland Yard about the missing pups. Ben Wright was a Hollywood veteran who appeared in 205 films and TV shows during his career. His most notable roles include Herr Zeller in The Sound of Music. He would appear in several of Disney’s animated classics including The Jungle Book, 101 Dalmatians, and The Little Mermaid.
Lisa Davis as Anita
Anita is Roger’s wife and the owner of Perdita. She misses her dogs terribly when they are taken. Lisa Davis is a Hollywood veteran best known as the secretary in the TV series Perry Mason. Other notable roles include 101 Dalmatians, The Beverly Hillbillies, and The George Burns Show.
101 Dalmatians Songs and Soundtrack
The original soundtrack for 101 Dalmatians was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Recording for children. Mel Leven composed the songs for the film while George Bruns scored it. The soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy for Best Recording for Children.
101 Dalmatians at the Box Office
101 Dalmatians was a hit for Disney out of the gate; it was the top-grossing film for all time for a short while and remains the top-grossing animated film for 1961, it’s release year. Dalmatians is also on the all-time highest-grossing animated films. Made on a strict budget, on the hopes that a good showing could help reverse Disney’s budget crunch following the lackluster release of Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians would net $14 million during the initial box office run. Since 1961, with re-releases and a host of sequels and re-boots, the film has a worldwide gross of $215 million.
101 Dalmatians Reviews – What the Critics Said
Critics loved 101 Dalmatians, calling it Disney’s best release since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, although many panned the lack of sing-a-long type songs in the film. Still, the film remains popular and has an approval rating of 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Where 101 Dalmatians Fits in the Disney Movie Pantheon
101 Dalmatians was nominated for two awards after its release, a Grammy for Best Recording for Children and a BAFTA award for Best Animated Film; it would win the BAFTA award. The Platinum Edition DVD, released in 2008, was also nominated for a Satellite Award for Best Youth DVD. The Dalmatian parents, Pongo and Perdita, are listed on Ultimate Disney’s Top 25 Disney Heroes. Cruella, the villainess, is listed on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Heroes and Villains list; she ranks at number 34 on the list of villains, and was also included with Disney’s ‘Villains’ stamp collection, released in collaboration with the USPS. Another Disney favorite, the remake of The Parent Trap, has the twins, played by Lindsay Lohan, referring to their future step-mother as Cruella throughout the film. 101 Dalmatians remains a popular Disney title, and a live-action remake is in production now; to date, the film has brought in more than $200 million.
101 Dalmatians Trailer
101 Dalmatians Trivia: 5 Fast Facts
Disney needed 101 Dalmatians not only to be a success but to be brought in on a budget because Sleeping Beauty had a lackluster performance at the box office. The film would be a success and remains a top Disney film. Here are five fast facts about the movie:
1. Dalmatians Author had 15 Puppies
Fifteen may seem like too large a number for a litter of puppies, but the author of the original book actually had a litter of 15 puppies. Dodie Smith has said that her Dalmatians had a litter of 15 puppies, one of which was born lifeless; her husband was able to revive the pup. They gave most of the puppies away.
2. Dalmatians Stay in the Present
While many of the original Disney animated features were historical in nature, or true to the time period of their fairy tale base, not all of them were. 101 Dalmatians would the be the second Disney animated film to be set in the modern time period. Dumbo was the first to stay away from a historical setting.
3. Smith Said Friend’s Comment Sparked Story Idea
Dodie Smith, who wrote the book upon which the film was based, has said she got the idea for the book from a friend who, upon seeing her new Dalmatian pups, said, “They would make a lovely fur coat!”
4. Some Dalmatians were Xeroxed
Disney was intent on keeping 101 Dalmatians on a budget, as the company was in a financial bind following the lackluster performance of Sleeping Beauty. They got a little help from Xerox, the copy company. Using their technology, Disney was able to save quite a bit of money by making copies of the dog’s spots which could then be used in the animation. Ken Anderson, who was the art director at the time, would overlay animation cels of line drawings on the painted backgrounds which would then match the Xeroxed cels of the dogs/characters. Walt Disney is said to have disliked this process, but it did help keep the budget for the film low.
5. Dalmation Parents Makes Disney’s Best Heroes list
Ultimate Disney has released the 25 best heroes from Disney films. Pongo, the pup’s father, made the list at number 24. Perdita, the pup’s mother, ranks at number 22.