If you haven’t seen One Hundred and One Dalmatians in, well, a dog’s age, or if somehow you’ve never quite gotten around to watching this fun-filled canine caper, there’s no time like the present to sit down and view this beloved Disney animated film. The Diamond Edition has just become available for the first time on Digital HD, Blu-ray, and Disney Movies Anywhere and On-Demand.
Disney fans might be especially eager to check out The Further Adventures of Thunderbolt
The Diamond Edition includes several bonus features, including Cameron Boyce (who plays Cruella De Vil’s son Carlos in the upcoming Disney’s Descendants) giving “the 411 about 101” and “Lucky Dogs,” which profiles some of the artists involved in the making of the original film. But Disney fans might be especially eager to check out The Further Adventures of Thunderbolt. Owners of real pets already know that few things are cuter than watching their dog watch another dog on TV—and watching Pongo and Perdita’s puppies as they follow the Adventures of Thunderbolt is one of One Hundred and One Dalmatians‘ more adorable scenes. But the episode in the film ends with a cliffhanger, and for the Diamond Edition, Walt Disney Animation Studios created The Further Adventures of Thunderbolt, imagining how the sequence that so thrilled the puppies might have ended. This “extension” of the sequence was inspired by character drawings discovered at the Walt Disney Animation Research Library, and, in case you were wondering, the show is still brought to you by Kanine Krunchies!
Animator and Disney Legend Floyd Norman was involved in the making of The Further Adventures of Thunderbolt, and was an assistant animator at the time One Hundred and One Dalmatians was being produced. He says, “I can’t think of an artist here at Disney who wasn’t excited about what we were doing on Dalmatians, because it was such a break from the past, such a change from the European fairy tales we had been doing. Now all of a sudden, we have this new, bold contemporary look. And it was like a breath of fresh air here at the Disney Studios.”
The artists that Norman speaks of, by the way, include such Disney luminaries as “Nine Old Men” animators Milt Kahl, Marc Davis, Ollie Johnston, Frank Thomas, John Lounsbery, and Eric Larson; and the color styling was done by Walt Peregoy. According to Norman, “The use of color was bold and different from things we had done before. Walt Peregoy brought a new design sensibility to this film.”
Actress Mimi Gibson voiced the role of Lucky, the Dalmatian pup whose spots fall in the shape of a horseshoe. She explains that she and the other kids who voiced the puppies read the lines for multiple roles and were essentially “cast” later. “I didn’t know who I was [playing] and the others didn’t know who they were,” Gibson details. Gibson is happy to add the Diamond Edition to her collection of One Hundred and One Dalmatians-themed items, which already includes a beautiful Swarovski Crystal pin. “It’s always fun to see my friends tell their grandchildren that I was the voice of a puppy in One Hundred and One Dalmatians. And they look at you and they can’t quite figure out how I’m the voice of a puppy,” she says.
Lisa Davis, who provided the unmistakable voice of Anita, says of the new Diamond Edition, “This new Blu-ray version is beautiful. It’s absolutely beautiful. And I must tell you quite honestly, when I see it, it still makes me cry. As many times as I’ve seen it, when the puppies are out in the snow and lost and they’re trying to find their way home, I still worry that they’re not going to make it—and I know they are. I definitely know they are. Yes, what a wonderful experience to have had. I feel very fortunate.”
And we feel very fortunate for the opportunity to revisit this very special film.