101 Dalmatians (1961)

101 Dalmatians DVD

Walt Disney Productions
 Rod Taylor, Betty Lou Gerson, David Frankham
Directed by: Wolfgang Reitherman, Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton S. Luske

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: Based on the novel by Dodie Smith.  Dalmatian Pongo (voiced by Rod Taylor) and his pet human Roger (Ben Wright) find love in London.  When Pongo and his mate Perdita (voiced by Cate Bauer) have their litter of fifteen puppies stolen they suspect the nasty Cruella De Vil (voiced by Betty Lou Gerson) and take matters into their own paws to rescue their children.

Featured Feline: The first step the Pongos take when trying to find their puppies is to put out an alert over the Twilight Bark, a chain of messaging that takes place between dogs by barking over long distances.  The word spreads all the way to the countryside outside London where eventually it reaches the farmyard ruled by an old English Sheepdog named The Colonel (voiced by J. Pat O’Malley.)  Acting under the Colonel is Captain, a horse, and Sgt. Tibs, a cat (voiced by David Frankham).

101 Dalmatians - Captain, Colonel and Sgt. Tibs cat listen to Twilight Bark message

It is Sgt. Tibs who informs the Colonel that he has heard puppies barking at the old De Vil residence, Hell Hall.  Sgt. Tibs and the Colonel go to investigate.

101 Dalmatians - Sgt. Tibs cat looks through window at Hell Hall

Later Sgt. Tibs is pivotal in interacting with the puppies inside the hall and eventually leading them in an escape attempt when he finds out that they are about to be skinned for fur coats.

101 Dalmatians - Sgt. Tibs cat leads puppies in escape attempt

This leads to some exciting moments when Sgt. Tibs leads the puppies to hide from Cruella’s henchmen, Horace (Frederick Worlock) and Jasper (also voiced by J. Pat O’Malley).

101 Dalmatians - Sgt. Tibs cat and puppies hide under staircase

Sgt. Tibs even puts himself between the bad guys and the puppies in a true act of bravery.  Fortunately the Pongos arrive in time.

101 Dalmatians - Sgt. Tibs cat tries to protect puppies

In the original novel there is a cat which belong to Cruella, but many changes were made between the book and the film.  So in a movie about dogs it is terrific to see a cat given such a pivotal role!

Final Mewsings: We hope Sgt. Tibs received a promotion for his valor!

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