Making the Grades
What's black and white and the same thing all over? 102 Dalmatians -- sequel to the live action 101 Dalmatians that was a based on Disney's original 1960's animated feature.
After spending a few years behind bars where she has undergone extensive psychotherapy, we are led to believe Cruella DeVil (Glenn Close), a convicted dog-napper (and participant in the illegal fur trade), has had a significant change of heart and has become a raving dog-lover. But Cloe Simon (Alice Evans), her parole officer, is convinced the puppy poacher can't change her spots--probably because one of the dogs Cloe owns is a Dalmatian named Dipstick, who (coincidentally) was one of Cruella's captured canines in the last movie.
Yet even Cloe has to reassess her opinion of the eccentric woman when Cruella locks up her furs and makes a sizable donation to the struggling Second Chance animal shelter, giving it a new leash on life. Volunteering her time and efforts to the manager Kevin Shepherd (Ioan Gruffudd), Cruella applies her own unique style to everything from doggy hair doos to dressing up the establishment. In every way, Cruella seems perfectly rehabilitated--until the fateful day she meets Cloe's Dalmatians. Thrown into a psychotic state, Ms. DeVil begins seeing spots before her eyes and re-discovers the Cruella that still lurks within.
Between the decisions to tone down the cartoon-style violence (although the last half-hour has Cruella "shaked and baked" and her minion butler physically pummeled) and not let Glenn Close scream as often, I found this Dalmatian caper easier to sit through than the last. As well, I didn't detect a single profanity aside from Cruella's name calling. Sexual moments were limited to a fashion show featuring a brief shot of a model wearing a fur bikini, and Cruella's wardrobe throughout the film, that is as uptight as her character.
However, aside from a creative scene where we view Cloe and Kevin sharing a spaghetti dinner while the puppies watch the similar classic encounter from Lady and the Tramp, these Dalmatians are really the same dogs-- with rearranged spots.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about 102 Dalmatians.
Cloe has four dogs in her small flat. Are Dalmatians the type of animals that would typically enjoy being confined to a small area? For more information, check The Dalmatian Club of America at http://www.thedca.org/.
This movie does not show the rehabilitation of law offenders in a positive light. Do you believe that people who have broken the law are capable of changing their ways and improving their lives?