Walt Disney's classic "101 Dalmatians," revolutionary for its introduction of the Xerox process in animation, came out on video this week.
The release came as no surprise after the 30-year-old film's astounding theatrical success last summer when it grossed $60.2 million, an animation record, topping such Disney classics as "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" on its 50th anniversary, "Peter Pan" and "Bambi."
It also set a new mark for the first week of re-release with $15 million, again topping "Snow White."
The video lists for $24.99 during its limited release, which runs through Aug. 15. The new print has been retimed from original color negatives and includes the movie's first-ever Dolby stereo soundtrack presentation.
This story about man's best friend encountering a canine's worst enemy, the diabolical dognapper Cruella De Ville, is unlike the classic fairy tales that Disney was famous for animating. Rather, "101 Dalmatians" features a contemporary setting instead of a magical kingdom in Fantasyland.
This movie pioneered the electromagnetic technique for transferring the animator's drawings onto celluloid -- more familiarly known as the photocopying process. It made feasible the film's title sequence in which dots evolve into 101 dogs.
Speaking of dalmatian dogs with lots of dots, here are some numbers (from Disney) worth a bark or two. There are exactly 6,469,952 spots on 101 dalmatian dogs and puppies as they appear in 113,760 frames of film. A spot check reveals that Pongo has 72 dots, Perdita has 68 and each puppy has 32.
Animator Frank Thomas recalled that dalmatians were "complicated to draw because of their sleek-haired bodies ... We brought lots of dogs to the studio and filmed their every movement so that we could study them frame by frame and make sketches as we went along."
Critics enjoyed "101 Dalmatians" and praised it highly. Last summer, the Los Angeles Times wrote: "Thirty years after its initial release, the film remains fresh, funny and thoroughly entertaining."
"Good Morning America" said of the video: "On a scale of 10, this film gets 101."