101 Dalmatians (USA, 1961)
Directed by Clyde Geronomi, Hamilton Luske & Wolfgang Reitherman
Starring Rod Taylor, Cate Bauer, Betty Lou Gerson, Ben Wright
As Walt Disney's direct involvement in the Disney Company declined, so too did the overall standard of their work. 101 Dalmatians came at a time when Disney was diversifying into live-action films, television and theme parks; after the box-office failure of Sleeping Beauty, there was even talk of shutting down the animation division. Through a combination of rudimentary technology and priorities being elsewhere, the film is not quite the children's classic it is made out to be. But even the weakest efforts from the Golden Age manage to keep us entertained, and the film comes through thanks to a riveting final act.
Dumbo into the four cows.
Vertigo. Not only are things brighter and more intense, but the pace begins to pick up. Having taken its sweet time to get the dogs to the countryside, it becomes a genuine race against time to get them back, and the obstacles keep coming to prevent their journey from being easy.
Verdict: A perfectly passable pantomime (with a good ending)