102 Dalmations

This movie is a perfect example of a sequel that is not necessary, and that nobody is clamoring for. The only real purpose would be profit for Disney. 102 Dalmations is by no means a bad sequel, it just wallows in the shadow of the original (which itself is in the shadow of the original cartoon) and fails to expand on the story or do anything original. Why watch this movie when the original has basically the same story and is better? It is fine for family fare, although some scenes stretch the credulity of its G rating.

Cruella De Vil (Glenn Close, Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her, Tarzan) is out of jail and seemingly rehabilitated. She wants to go by 'Ella,' not Cruella, and she now loves puppies. She proves this by working at 2nd Chances, a dog rescue owned by Kevin (Ioan Gruffudd, Solomon & Gaenor, Titanic). Cloe (Alice Evans, 10 Things I Hate About You, The Abduction Club), Cruella's parole officer, is still wary. Cloe is right, since Ella quickly transforms back into Cruella, and now she wants 102 dalmation puppies, 101 to make her outfit and one more this time for the hood. She enlists the help of Le Pelt (Gerard Depardieu, Actors, All the Love There Is). Dipstick is back, and has his own family, including Oddball, a dalmation puppy with no spots. Rounding out the animal sidekicks is a parrot that thinks he is a dog.

There are four people credited with the story (Kristen Buckley, Brian Regan, Bob Tzudiker, and Noni White), and these people, along with director Kevin Lima (Tarzan, A Goofy Movie) all have Disney all over their resumes. There is nothing in 102 Dalmations that cannot be found in any other family movie; it is interchangeable with almost everything out there. Close and Depardieu are amusing as De Vil and Le Pelt, and they obviously enjoy their roles. These movies are the only place where overacting is a good thing. Close's garish nun-gone-berserk look is also amusingly bad. Everything else, from the standard story to the nondescript animal sidekicks leaves a small impression that soon fades from memory.

Haro Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 40 minutes, Rated G.

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