July 08, 2021

#08-106: One Hundred and One Dalmatians

a pair of cartoon dalmatians gaze lovingly at each other, with many puppies sprinkled in the background; a man and woman are suspended on their tangled leashes, also looking romantic
Detail of a poster from the film

Note: With the help of her comical henchmen, Cruella de Vil wants a coat made of the fur of Dalmatian puppies--but a network of dogs (and one cat) spoil her plans!

Get Ready: Do you think dogs (and cats) can communicate with each other in ways that we don't understand?

The recent release of Disney's Cruella reminds us of the film that started it all, the 1961 animated movie One Hundred and One Dalmatians (itself based on a 1956 children's book by English novelist Dodie Smith).

Roger and Anita meet one day while walking their Dalmatian dogs, Pongo and Perdita (called "Perdy"). Both couples, human and canine, fall in love, and the humans get married. While Perdita is pregnant, Anita's annoying schoolmate, Cruella de Vil, comes to visit. (After she leaves Roger writes a mocking song about her: "Cruella De Vil! Cruella De Vil! If she doesn't scare you, No evil thing will!")

After the puppies are born, Cruella returns, demanding to buy the whole litter. When she's refused, she hires two comical burglars, Horace and Jasper Baddun, to steal the puppies. Scotland Yard suspects Cruella is behind the theft, but can't prove it.

So Pongo and Perdy activate a network of barking dogs, and the news reaches a sheepdog named Colonel and his feline friend Sergeant Tibbs. They find the puppies at the De Vil Place, and send word back to London. When the news reaches Pongo and Perdy, they escape from home and set out to rescue the pups.

Cruella learns the police are onto them, and orders the Badduns to kill and skin all the dogs she has collected so she can make a coat to feed her obsession with unusual furs. But Tibbs helps the puppies escape, with the Badduns in pursuit. Pongo and Perdy attack them, and the puppies--15 of theirs, plus 84 more--get away.

The two adult Dalmatians take the 99 puppies home to London, chased all the way. They're almost caught at a blacksmith shop, but they roll in soot so they're all black--and look like the Black Labrador who lives there! Unfortunately, snow falls on one of the pups--misnamed "Lucky"--and the bad guys are after them again!

However, while chasing the van the dogs are in, the Badduns run their car into Cruella's, and the dogs make it to London just in time to ensure that Roger and Anita have a very merry Christmas.

Meanwhile, Roger has sold his song about Cruella, and it has become a hit. The family now has enough money to buy a big country house, a "Dalmatian Plantation."


Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Hundred_and_One_Dalmatians

Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. activate
  2. Badduns
  3. blacksmith
  4. burglars
  5. canine
  6. feline
  7. litter
  8. misnamed
  9. obsession
  10. soot

  1. criminals who break into buildings
  2. sounds like "bad ones"
  3. a group of animals born together
  4. of dogs
  5. named incorrectly
  6. having the mind completely filled with one thought
  7. of cats
  8. black powder in a fireplace
  9. one who works iron
  10. put into action

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for July 8, 2021

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. j; 2. b; 3. i; 4. a; 5. d; 6. g; 7. c; 8. e; 9. f; 10. h