Although having puppies is not exactly the same as having a baby, doesn’t it seem like their birth is almost secretive “One wild and stormy night in October”? The men quietly await the new arrivals as the women busily prepare for the delivery. Although Cruella De Vil (Betty Lou Gerson) know when they puppies are to arrive, they do seem hidden.
The puppies are stolen away even though their care-taker, Nanny (Martha Wentworth), tried to stop Horace (Frederick Worlock) and Jasper (J. Pat O’Malley). They are hauled off in a truck, resembling refugees being taken away.
Pongo (Rod Taylor) and Perdita (Cate Bauer) use “the Twilight Bark” as their way of sounding the alarm. They need their news and worries to get around the city quickly and that is their only means. It is like sending out a missing-persons ad.
If you need a blatant reference to war imagery, we have the Colonel (J. Pat O’Malley), Sargent Tibs (David Frankham), and Captain (Thurl Ravenscroft). They interact with each other with war jargon and an obvious superiority system.
Tibs ends up being sent on a mission to find out what is going on in “Hell Hall”. He finds the 15 stolen puppies and reports back to the Captain.
The request to “kill the little beasts” is quiet cruel, also reflective of war-time decisions. They could “poison them, drown them, [or] bash them on the head”. Cruella does not care how they puppies die; she just wants her “dog skin coats”. War is nothing if not violent.
After Pongo and Perdi come to save the day, Tibs urges the Colonel to “retreat, retreat” with the puppies back to barn.
The puppies and the parents end up having to walk on the ice to keep from “leav[ing] tracks” and stop the “bad-uns” from finding them. They have to be sneaky and quiet to get away from the enemy.
The dogs are even smart enough to use disguises to their advantage. They “roll in the soot” and become “Labradors”. How would Cruella know it was them without their spots? They “fool[ed] the old, mad lady!”
Although most war stories do not end with everyone returning home safe and sound, this story does have war elements. And a few years after World War II, how could you overlook these images all in one movie? Instead of sending all the new puppies away to strange homes, a “Dalmatian planation” is formed to save all of the stolen/orphaned puppies.
Ever wondered about the symbolism of numbers? Well, some interesting ideas have been brought up about the symbolism of the number 101.
Stereotypes are every present in any media. Some degrade the characters, but some complicate the characters in interesting ways.
Thanks for reading!!!