A rollicking adventure that is also exuberant fun, Dodie Smith´s 101Dalmatians has become a modern classic for children and families.The alarming premise is that Dalmatian puppies have begun to vanishall over England. Behind this dastardly crime is a villain whoseviciousness is matched only by her style, the one and only Cruella deVil. Who will save them? The fate of their fellow canines is left toPongo and his Missis, aided by their masters Mr. and Mrs. Dearly,who rally dogs all over England to save the Dalmatian pups.
It is not surprising to learn that the English-born author Dodie Smithlived and traveled with Dalmatians. In fact, when she and herhusband lived in the U.S., they traveled across the country six timesaccompanied by their dogs. Her affection for Dalmatians inspired herto write the story "The Great Dog Robbery," first published inWoman´s Day magazine, which she expanded into the novel 101Dalmatians, published to critical acclaim in 1956. The book´spopularity took off when Walt Disney made it into an animated featurefilm in 1959. Disney produced a live-action remake in 1996 and asequel (102 Dalmatians) four years later. At the heart of thephenomenon is Dodie Smith´s charming novel, which the ChicagoTribune called "a tale full to overflowing with those prime requisites of a good story - warmth and humor, imagination and suspense - and a fascinating array of characters."