to new Dalmatians DVD
101 Dalmatians has long had the status of being one of the Disney's most popular animated feature films although, in 1961, it seemed a radical departure, coming as it did only two years after the ornately decorative Sleeping Beauty.
Dalmatians was the first Disney feature to be animated using the revolutionary Xerox method of transferring the animator's pencil drawings directly onto the celluloid 'cels' that were then painted, placed over the backgrounds and photographed - a frame at a time - to make the moving picture. This process eliminated a costly stage in which every single animation drawing had to be traced by hand onto the cells using different colour inks.
Whilst much of the richness that had characterised the Disney look for twenty years was lost the gains were huge in that it captured of the energy and graphic style of the artists' original drawings and had a 'modern' feel for a contemporary audience.
The choice of Dodie Smith's 20th century children's classic, The One Hundred and One Dalmatians, as a subject was inspired and the new sense of liveliness about the human and canine characterisations combined with the illustrative backgrounds - created through sketchy lines and blocks of colour - made it instantly appealing to a 'sixties audience.
The film's appeal - rooted in its charm and wit, its driving story-line, its heroic doggy hero and heroine and its unforgettable villain, Cruella De Vil - shows no sign of aging and it is a welcome new addition to the Disney 'Platinum Edition' series.
This new two-disc release is an 'all-new digital restoration with enhanced picture and sound', and offers the kids an assortment of virtual games, music videos and pop-up trivia facts; while for the film fans, animation buff and movie history aficionados there are also deleted songs, and several documentary features.
Brian Sibley appears as one of the expert interviewees in 'Redefining the Line: The Making of 101 Dalmatians' and 'Cruella deVil: Drawn to be Bad', as well as narrating "Sincerely Yours, Walt Disney", a dramatised presentation that chronicles (for the first time) the correspondence between filmmaker Walt Disney and novelist Dodie Smith.
Read a review on TOON ZONE
Read Brian quoted in THE INDEPENDENT article, 'How Cruella became a De Vil woman'
101 Dalmatians Platinum Edition DVD - with free cuddly Dalmatian (just the one!) - is released on 3rd March...
See Brian on the 'extras' to these other Disney DVDs...
* Read my feature article:
Remembering the Bear Necessities
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