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DVD Review: 101 Dalmatians 2: Patch’s London Adventure (Special Edition)
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Week of Geek: Disney's 101 Dalmatians

101 Dalmatians101 Dalmatians 2: Patch’s London Adventure
Special Edition (2003)
Directed by Jim Kammerud, Brian Smith
Starring Jason Alexander, Jodi Benson, Barry Bostwick, Maurice LaMarche, Michael Lerner
Walt Disney Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: September 16, 2008

101 Dalmatians 2: Patch’s London Adventure takes place right before the epilogue of its 1961 predecessor with Roger and Anita Radcliffe and their 101 dalmatians getting ready to move from their London flat to a large farm in the country dubbed “Dalmatian Plantation” (the same as the tune from the first movie).

As with original animated 101 Dalmatians, the adult male dalmatian Pongo begins the narration of this 2003 direct-to-video sequel, which sees the Radcliffe clan accidentally leaving behind the adventure-seeking puppy Patch on moving day. Feeling like he’s nothing more than one out of 101, Patch decides not to find his family, but instead head into the city for an audition for his favorite TV show Thunderbolt Adventure Hour, which stars the title superhero German Shepherd who Patch idolizes.

Once at the audition, Patch mets Thunderbolt (voiced by Barry Bostwick) and his sidekick Lightning (voiced by Jason Alexander). Lightening tricks Thunderbolt into thinking he’s going to be replaced on the show, so the canine superhero heads out to the real world with Patch in tow to perform some real-life heroics. Thanks to Patch’s perfect memory of every episode, the duo is able to get out of dangerous situations by reenacting scenes from Thunderbolt’s show.

In the meantime, the evil Cruella De Vil, who was arrested at the end of the original movie, is out on parole and out for a “fur” fix that would violate her probation. Unable to acquire any furs, the wicked jailbird goes to an art gallery where she meets Lars (voiced by Martin Short), an eccentric artist with his own fixation for dalmatian-type spots. Feeling invigorated, Cruella hatches a plan to once again kidnap the 99 puppies so she can have a dalmatian fur coat made out of them.

This sequel is an adorable little tale that brings us back after four decades to the animated world of 101 Dalmatians and is faithful to the art as well as the storytelling of the original film. Though it’s not a tearjerker like the 1961 version, it’s still a fun adventure that any fan of the spotted Disney canines will love, and kids will definitely get a kick out of.

And what great fun to see the fur-draped black and white haired Cruella back on the scene. Her outrageousness is always great to watch and it was interesting to see her at rock bottom, driving her wrecked car, begging for any piece of fur. You almost feel story for her as she cries to the shop owner to give her anything, even one mitten, because she’s a junkie. But Cruella doesn’t give up that easily. When she meets the abstract artists Lars, you know she’s about to enact another wicked plan.

Comedian Martin Short does a fine job voicing the abstract artists, Lars, who sees Cruella as his new muse (Lars looks like a cross between Lucien from Sandman and Spocket from SNL). The scenes in the art gallery with Cruella fixating on Lars’s spotty paintings was one of the more adult scenarios in this film, which is obviously otherwise aimed at children.

DVD Bonus Features

Music & More
— Music videos for the film’s two songs: “You’re The One” by the boy band LMNT and “Try Again,” a swing tune by Will Young.

Games & Activities

— Thunderbolt: An Inside Look: Click on the items in Thunderbolt’s dressing room to hear Thunderbolt read his fan mail and watch blooper’s from the Thunderbolt Adventure Hour.
— Patch’s Twilight Adventure: You play as Patch, where you have to find clues throughout London to find a hidden key to help rescue your brothers and sisters.
— Lost in London: A trivia game where you choose the answer to help Patch and Thunderbolt find Patch’s 98 siblings throughout London and learn about London landmarks.

Backstage Disney

— Behind The Scenes “Dog-umentary”: A 7-minute “making of” featurette that shows the directors and animators working on the film, as well as the voice actors recording their lines, hosts by a groups of pooches.

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