tobyaw: (Frogmarch 2002 - Whitby)
2012-11-11 07:53 pm

One Hundred and One Dalmatians

This afternoon I watched Disney’s One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) with Beth and [ profile] kateaw. It looks pretty good in HD on a big TV. I don’t think I’d seen it since a childhood cinema visit; I recall seeing various Disney animated films as rereleases in the late 1970s. Beth hadn’t seen it before either, although the 1990s live-action film 101 Dalmatians is one of her favourites, so she was familiar with the broad strokes of the story.

The film dates from a time when making animation was very expensive; as a result it has a concise running time of 79 minutes, and one feels that everything that appears on screen has been designed and animated with both deliberation and quality. At the same time the script feels gently witty, the action is exciting, and the couple of songs integrate well within the plot.

This is a Disney film that has no singing, dancing, inanimate objects. Which is good.

Of course it misses subplots and subtleties of the original novel, but it works within its own bounds, and will bear rewatching. This is an attribute we appreciate, as I expect it will be added to Beth’s roster of frequently watched films.

There is a joy in watching a film with an eight-year-old who is absorbed by it. She echoed the emotional journey of the film; there is real pleasure in seeing and feeling excitement, happiness, shock, sadness, and laughter expressed by the person sitting next to you. Once you have a high-definition screen and digital surround sound, I recommend your next home cinema upgrade be an enthusiastic child to watch films with.

I bought the film from iTunes in a two-for-one deal with The Lion King. I haven’t seen that yet, but Beth and Kate watched it a few weeks ago, and since then Beth has watched it multiple times. Using a cost-per-view metric, it was pretty good value.