101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure: Special Edition (2002)
Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Thunderbolt's Dressing Room : Game for the tots (1.33:1)
Game-Lost In London : Another simple quiz game (1.33:1)
Featurette-Making Of-(7:00) Simple level, but some interest 1.33:1)
|Year Of Production||2002|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (54:39)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.66:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.66:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Disney had commercial and artistic success with the animated 101 Dalmatians in 1961. Forty-two years later a direct to video sequel appeared, 101 Dalmatians II : Patch's London Adventure. Now a "Special Edition" of that belated follow-up has appeared, although dropped from the local release is the only feature which was added to the initial line-up on the Region 1 release, a game entitled Patch's Twilight Adventure.
Based on Dodie Smith's novel The One Hundred and One Dalmatians, with a screenplay by Jim Kammerud and director Brian Smith, we rejoin the household of Roger (Tim Bentinck) and Anita (Jodi Benson - the voice of "Ariel") shortly after the defeat of Cruella De Vil in the original movie. Pongo (Samuel West) and his family of pups are flourishing, although Patch is feeling lost amidst the throng of siblings. He secretly longs to emulate his TV hero Thunderbolt (Barry Bostwick), a wonderdog icon to his millions of fans. However, all is not sunshine and light in the TV star's world. The envious Lightning (Jason Alexander) has planted seeds of self doubt which threaten Thunderbolt's ego. "They're writing me out of the show", he wails to the world. Patch hears that auditions are being held for a new star, but Jasper's household is planning a move to the country, to Cherry Tree Farm. When Patch is accidentally left behind in the deserted house, he decides to go to the TV auditions.
In the ensuing action Patch auditions and befriends his idol, Thunderbolt, joining him as he tries to re-establish his heroic image. Thunderbolt confesses to Patch "I'm not a real Wonderdog. I just acted like one ... once." Newspaper exposure brings Patch to the attention of Cruella (Susanne Blakeslee), who has met an artist, Lars (Martin Short), who specialises in drawing black dots. Cruella, concocting a cruel scheme to use the puppies as Lars' raw material, secures the release from prison of her bumbling henchmen, Horace (Maurice La Marche) and Jasper (Jeff Bennett) and plots to once again puppynap the dalmatians. Of course all is resolved in a climax which neatly unites all characters, and the dastardly are carted off to either prison or an insane asylum, while the virtuous are rewarded with love and/or fame.
The extremely short running time, sixty-four minutes to the beginning of the endtitles, is crammed with fun and excitement. Aimed at a very young audience, there is minimal violence. When Cruella whacks Thunderbolt with a paint bucket it occurs "off camera", while there is nothing on screen that will upset the tots. The plot is lively, if not inventive, and the large cast of characters is amusing. The standout is undoubtedly Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) who makes Thunderbolt an adorable and outrageously fractured star. The verbal interplay between him and Jason Alexander's Lightning is great fun. Also of note, as one would expect, is the contribution by the always clever Martin Short. Although the target audience is extremely young, there is more than enough to amuse and entertain any trapped adult. One such moment which should tickle any oldie watching occurs when Thunderbolt encounters Lars trussed up in a seemingly S&M situation. There is no dialogue, but the eyebrows say it all. Also of adult appeal is the attractive and varied jazz influenced score by Richard Gibbs (Cleaner). Very reminiscent of the early work of Henry Mancini, around Peter Gunn and Breakfast at Tiffany's time, the music is prominent and lifts the film with its vitality.
I have read some strange criticism of the "poor" standard of the art work in this feature. These comments show a total lack of understanding of the style of the animation employed. The "making of" featurette, though catering to the very young, does cover the artistic style of the film. The creators have faithfully retained the look of the original film, a look which differs greatly from the "three dimensional" strivings of most recent animated features. Colours are soft and most attractive, with some stronger bursts when Cruella is on hand.
While undeniably not up to the standard of the 1961 original, this direct to video sequel is sure to totally delight its target audience. This is a minor animated pleasure which targets its young audience expertly. Similarly aimed are the extras, which are disappointing for any adult buyer, but sure to briefly entertain the six-year olds ... until they ask to see the movie again, and again, and again. Don't miss the black and white tag which comes after the finals credits.
There are three audio streams : English Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded at 448 Kbps;
French Dolby Digital encoded at 384 Kbps and
Although there is a lack of dynamism compared to "adult" films, this gentler sounding disc has a full rich sound field which is very pleasing.
There is frequent directionality across the fronts, and the surrounds supply frequent action bursts, ambience and puppy sounds.
The subwoofer gives a moderate boost to many sequences, one being the auditions scene.
Dialogue is perfectly clear, beautifully recorded and balanced.
There were, as we should expect, no technical glitches of any sort.
Richard Gibbs score is a standout feature. The jazz influenced orchestrations are quite dazzling in their full surround reproduction, with the bass rhythms nicely reinforced by the subwoofer. This is one time I would really have appreciated an isolated music track.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
|DVD||Onkyo-SP500, using Component output|
|Display||Philips Plasma 42FD9954/69c. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.|
|Speakers||VAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)|