101 Dalmatians

Running time:
1:43 minutes
Release date:
October 24, 2008
Quick review:
This John Hughes-produced remake of Disney's magical 1961 full-length cartoon, which involves the kidnapping of dalmatian puppies, is a good argument for leaving well enough alone. In updating the animated film (the male human protagonist is now a video-game designer instead of a songwriter), writer-producer Hughes has director Stephen Herek resorting to ``Home Alone''-type sequences that are more mean-spirited than funny (unless, of course, you think electrocuting someone's groin or throwing them in pig slop is funny). The dogs are cute, and Glenn Close is engaging as the arch-villainess Cruella de Vil. But Hughes-Herek might have made a better film -- OK, so call me a mad optimist -- had they done the ``Babe'' thing and allowed the animals to speak for themselves. Of course, then there might not have been time for all the Hughes-inspired slapstick.