Credit: Disney

Credit: Disney

Disney’s 101 Dalmations Diamond Edition Blu-Ray+DVD+Digital HD is out. It’s Disney’s latest classic movie redone in a dazzling HD DVD.

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It’s one of my favorite Disney movies because of the fun plot, the dogs (who doesn’t love puppies?) and of course, Cruella De Vil. Admittedly she used to scare me as a child, not only for her brashness and loud, overbearing nature, but that she actually wanted to skin dogs and make them into coats. Now that I’m grown, she stands out in my mind as probably the most sinister and memorable villains. Disney always knew how to make villains so bad they could scare the pants off kids, and the company still does today, which it chose not to do in “Frozen”, interestingly enough.

Disney included several bonus features that appeal to fans of all ages in this edition. First off, you have “The Further Adventures of Thunderbolt”. He’s the hero dog the puppies love to watch on TV. You never get to see the end of the episode they’re watching in the movie…until now. It’s everything you’d expect to see in a 50s serial. It’s campy and fun, an obvious parody of cartoons of the time. Even kids will get a chuckle out of the final line uttered by Thunderbolt’s human sidekick: “It wasn’t me who brought you to justice Dawson. It was Thunderbolt the wonder dog.”

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New to this edition is “Lucky Dogs” in which you hear from the artists who worked on various aspects of 101 Dalmations. They share their fond memories of working at Disney, and in particular, reminisce about taking part in making this film. I didn’t know that the same time this movie was being made, Disney was facing huge cutbacks. They were so big that layoffs following “Sleeping Beauty”, which was created with 600 animators, reduced the number for animators used in 101 Dalmations to only 300. Rumors were flying that animated features might have to be stopped altogether because of their high production costs. But a device came along at just the right time and cut costs while increasing Disney’s output: The Xerox photocopier. It allowed them to transfer artwork to acetate sheets without having to be traced.

There’s also a feature that the kids will like called “The 411 On The 101”, hosted by actor Cameron Boyce. It’s a short YouTube-style feature all about Dalmations trivia on kid’s level. I thought he was a little goofy and he tried a little too hard to be funny.

I recommend picking up a copy. It’s another well-done classic Disney edition that can’t be missed.

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  • Actors: Rod Taylor, Betty Lou Gerson, Cate Bauer, Ben Wright, Frederick Worlock
  • Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, Wolfgang Reitherman
  • Writers: Bill Peet
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Animated, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (DTS-HD High Res Audio), French (Dolby Digital
  • 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish, English
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios
  • DVD Release Date: February 10, 2015
  • Run Time: 79 minutes