A live-action update of Disney’s classic animated tale 101 Dalmations. Glenn Close is deliriously over the top as ultimate screen villainess Cruella De Vil, the rich bitch who wants to turn lots of adorable little spotted dalmatian puppies into her latest fur coat.
Joely Richardson and Jeff Daniels (in a role reportedly first offered to Hugh Grant) are more bland as the couple trying to stop her, but there is some amusement to be had from the slapstick events along the way.
Those sentimental for the animated original may miss the cartoon doggy expressions since live dogs are used here (and, unlike their animated counterparts, they had to be tempted to ‘act’ – in one scene actors who were meant to be licked by the canines had to have steak juice rubbed on their skin), but the puppies are very cute to watch and there’s fun support from Hugh Laurie, Joan Plowright and Tim McInnerny.
Is 101 Dalmatians suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Small children may be scared by Glenn Close’s wild-eyed (and wild-haired) performance as Cruella.