100 Facts About 101 Dalmatians

Aloha my wonderful merfolk!

Another one of my favourite films this week: 101 Dalmatians. This was definitely one of the Disney movies that I watched over and over. I remember watching it at home and at my cousins house. All the time. I knew the movie word for word.

I loved this film as a child and I love it now too.

12. 101 Dalmatians.jpg

  1. 101 Dalmatians was released on January 25th, 1961.
  2. It is the 17th Disney animated feature film.
  3. The film premiered at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
  4. It was distributed by Buena Vista Distribution
  5. The movie maintains a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
  6. 101 Dalmatians became the 10th highest grossing film of 1961.
  7. It earned $6.4million domestically that year.
  8. The film was re-released in theatres in January 1969, June 1979, December 1985 an July 1991.
  9. The 1991 re-release brought in $60million and was the 20th highest-grossing movie of the year.
  10. Over all of its theatrical re-releases, 101 Dalmatians has amassed a worldwide box office take of $215,880,014.
  11. The official title is One Hundred and One Dalmatians but it gets shortened to 101 Dalmatians for ease.
  12. Roger and Anita’s original last name was Dearly.
  13. It’s thought Disney changed the name so it wasn’t too like Jim Dear and Darling and George and Mary Darling.
  14. 101 Dalmatians took inspiration from the novel of the same name by Dodie Smith.
  15. Walt Disney read the book in 1956 and immediately bought the rights; something author Dodie Smith had hoped for.
  16. Dodie herself was the owner of nine Dalmatians, one of which was called Pongo.
  17. The real Pongo did have a litter of 15 puppies, one being still born and revived by Smiths husband.
  18. Smith was inspired to write the novel after a friend of hers said ‘Those dogs would make a lovely fur coat’.
  19. In the original book, Pongo and Perdita are not the parents of the puppies.
  20. Perdita was a stray who had her puppies taken away and she becomes a wet nurse for Missis Pongo’s puppies.
  21. There are more than 6 million spots in the movie.
  22. There are over 113,760 frames in this movie.
  23. Pongo has 72 spots and Perdita has just 68.
  24. Each puppy has 32 spots.
  25. 101 Dalmatians was the first Disney movie to use Xerox Technology meaning animators could transfer drawings to cels using technology to save time.
  26. Walt didn’t like the sketched effects created by Xerox Technology, he preferred crisp lines.
  27. Betty Lou Gerson voiced Cruella, having been the narrator for Cinderella.
  28. She was honoured as a Disney legend in 1996.
  29. The dogs in the movie are a shade of light-grey, not white.
  30. White would have been too bright on screen and wouldn’t have worked in the snowy scenes.
  31. Jock, Peg, Bull, Lady and Tramp make a cameo appearance in the Twilight Bark sequence.
  32. The Twilight Bark became the company’s internal newsletter.
  33. Zsa Zsa Gabor inspired Cruella De Vils look.
  34. The Silly Symphony, ‘Springtime’ is on the TV when Jasper and Horace are puppy sitting.
  35. All of the dogs barks were recorded by humans and specifically, Clarence Nash, the voice actor famous for playing Donald Duck.
  36. Only 6 of the 15 puppies have names.
  37. Mary Wickes provided the live action reference for Cruella De Vil.
  38. Barbara Luddy was the live action reference for the Nanny.
  39. 800 gallons of special paint were used for production which weight over 5 tons overall.
  40. This was enough paint to cover 15 American football fields or 185 average sized houses.
  41. 1000 different shades of colour were created.
  42. Cruella was animated by on one artist; Marc Davis.
  43. Cardboard cars were used as reference during production so animators could nail the designs.
  44. They were painted black with white outlines so they could be properly Xeroxed onto animation cells and recoloured.
  45. 101 Dalmatians is the first animated Disney film to take place in a contemporary setting.
  46. Prior to the production of the movie, Disney’s animation staff was cut from over 500 animators to less than 100.
  47. For the movement of dogs in the background, animators created a handful of animations and Xeroxed them in differing sizes and directions.
  48. In the final scene, there are over 150 spotted dogs in the background due to an animation goof.
  49. Th Nine Old Men teamed up on characters for this movie instead of animating their own.
  50. 7 out of the 9 animated Perdita.
  51. Cruella De Vils look was also inspired by Tallulah Bankhead.
  52. Cruella was ranked 31st on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Greatest On-Screen Heroes and Villains
  53. The thunder that claps when Cruella first appears us an effect from Bambi,
  54. Synth metal band Deadsy wrote a tribute song to Cruella.
  55. In Italy, Cruella is known as ‘Crudelia De Mon’ is a play off the word Demon.
  56. In France, she is known as ‘Cruella D’Enfer’ meaning From Hell.
  57. There were many songs composed for the movie by Mel Leven but they have never been heard.
  58. 101 Dalmatians featured only three songs which was different from previous Disney films.
  59. Cruella’s theme song was the only one performed in its entirety.
  60. Captain the Horse is voiced by Thurl Ravenscroft.
  61. Pat O’Malley provides the voices for both Colonel and Jasper meaning when they come face to face, O’Malley is talking to himself.
  62. This is the first Disney movie to be credited to one writer: Bill Peet.
  63. Roger and Pongo make a cameo in Oliver and Company.
  64. The film was released on VHS on April 10th 1992 as part of the Walt Disney Classics video series.
  65. During this release, a large number of tie-in merchandise was sold to the public with the spelling of Dalmations.
  66. It was re-released on VHS on March 9th 1999 as part of the Walt Disney masterpiece Collection series.
  67. It was released on DVD as part of the Disneys Limited Issue series on December 19th, 1999.
  68. It was released again as part of the Disney Platinum Edition two-disc DVD series on March 4th
  69. A straight to video sequel entitled Patches London Adventure was released on January 21st
  70. In 1996, a live action remake was released.
  71. A spin off tv series called 101 Dalmatians: The Animated Series was launched in September of 1997.
  72. A total of 1,218,750 pencils were used in creating the artwork for the movie.
  73. More than 300 artists worked on 101 Dalmatians.
  74. It was estimated that if one artist had animated the entire movie within reasonable hours, it would have taken 186 years to complete.
  75. Lisa Davis who provided the voice for Anita spent an hour a day for several weeks playing with Dalmatian puppies so she could get into her role.
  76. She only provided half of the voicework for Anita as she got married and moved to New York, making her unable to complete the project.
  77. Cate Bauer took over the voice of Anita.
  78. There was a team of artists whose sole job was to draw spots on the dogs.
  79. Rod Taylor provided the voice of Pongo.
  80. According to the headline seen in the paper the morning after the puppies go missing, most the film takes place in 1959.
  81. One of the spots on Lucky’s back is in the shape of a horse shoe which symbolises good luck.
  82. The scene where the puppies drink milk from a cows’ udder was deemed inappropriate for a children’s movie and received some criticism.
  83. The boy puppies have red collars and the girls have blue collars, mirroring their parents.
  84. There is a hidden Mickey on almost all the Dalmatians.
  85. Dodie Smith said her favourite cel from the movie is one of Pongo stretching while lying on a window sill near the beginning of the movie.
  86. Cruella’s car is based on a Rolls-Royce Phantom.
  87. Lucille Bliss, who voiced Anastasia in Cinderella, sings the song from the Kanine Krunchies advert.
  88. Bill Peet kept in close contact with Dodie Smith whilst creating the story including sending her character sketches.
  89. 101 Dalmatians was the final film in which Marc Davis was an animator.
  90. This was also the final Disney animated feature film that Les Clark worked on before he retired.
  91. The dogs have deeper voices than their owners to symbolise them having more power.
  92. Cruella’s telephone reflects her mood; the face changing every time her mood does.
  93. Rod Taylor was one of the first voice actors to be cast
  94. 101 Dalmatians was the directing debut for Wolfgang Reitherman
  95. Lisa Davis originally read for the role of Cruella but she didn’t think she was right for the part, so tried reading for the role of Anita.
  96. This film is only one of two in the Disney canon to show characters smoking.
  97. When Roger revives Lucky, his hand is moving to the pace of the background clock.
  98. The stained-glass window during Roger and Anita’s wedding has Hidden mickeys in it.
  99. Dodie Smith wrote a sequel to 101 Dalmatians purely because Walt wanted more stories to adapt.
  100. The movie is officially out of the Disney Vault, for now.

a mermaid be waiting for you, in mysterious fathoms below.


6 thoughts on “100 Facts About 101 Dalmatians

  1. It’s amazing how many facts and stats you’ve plucked about this film – I never would’ve known how over 1 million pencils were used in the production… that’s crazy!


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