Spots, I see spots everywhere – review of the comic book “101 Dalmatians”

A journey to childhood

For me, it is a title full of sentiment. I imagine this rewound VHS tape, I did it so many times that the tape was broken – oh those characteristic stripes on the TV screen. Nochal and Baryła (Cruella’s helpers) went to steal the puppies practically every day at the same hours. And then it came to watching more productions with Dalmatians, be it acting films or animations.

Cruelli was and will be many

In 1956 Dodie Smith published a novel for children 101 Dalmatians (org. The Hundred and One Dalmatians). On its basis, in 1961 Disney created a movie with the same title – the comic book is its adaptation. Film adaptation is one of the better productions of the studio – especially when we look at those debuting until 1989 – up to the Little Mermaid. Here, Cruella is ruthless and dangerous, she does not take the opinions of others into account and pursues her goal over the corpses. When you recall individual scenes, you can assume that she was crazy. We met a different version of the character in the latest animated production, i.e. 101 Dalmatians Street from 2019. The antagonist is crazier, this time it is followed by cunning, experience and an excellent sense of planning. In addition, she applies strange specifics to keep her in “good shape” .. In the latest Disney production – Cruell, Emma Stone played the title role, showing a completely different person on the screen – questioning being a negative character. Cruella from the comic is theoretically still the same person, yet she has lost her “sinister”. She disregards others, her plans are pointless, she is not an intriguer, you actually know what she means right away. She becomes a shadow of herself.

In Dodie Smith published a novel for children Dalmatians org

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The differences in the names of the heroes

When you compare the pages of the comic and the scenes from the animated film, you can immediately notice that the comic is based on it, trying to faithfully reproduce it. However, there are already some differences in terms of the names that the characters bear. The main characters in the novel are Pongo and Mimi, in English Pongo and Missis, although the book also features a bitch named Perdita (literally lost, lost). In the original version of the animated film, the canine parents were called Pongo and Perdita. In the Polish dubbing, as in the comic book, the heroine’s name was changed – Czika. And the name of the owner of the dogs was Roger – in our native speech Robert. Moreover, Polish Nochal and Baryła are Jasper and Horacy. The comic book is therefore based, in terms of the names of the characters, on the Polish version of the animated film.

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What was not there?

So I take the animated film 101 Dalmatians from 1961 by Walt Disney as a point of reference here. Compared to the animation, a lot of scenes have been deleted in the comic.He seems to have died, but manages to survive. A very sad moment, but it all ends well. Robert does not give up and manages to save a dog named Lucky. The second important scene that was not in the comic – Nochal and Baryła breaking into the house, overpowering Nanny and locking her in a shed, and then despair – after the dogs and owners return home. Cruella’s pursuit of the puppies has also been significantly cut short – the lack of “close-up” to her crazy expression and color-changing eyes.

So I take the animated film Dalmatians from by Walt

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And I completely understand this procedure. Watching a movie not so long ago, I thought to myself that for a young child it is so sad, brutal and not very colorful. It is possible that these elements were not included in the comic for this reason.

Overall impression – I’m like that

Looking through the prism of cut scenes, it is certainly a title aimed at younger readers. What is further emphasized in the lines spoken by the characters – the dialogues are simple, there are no difficult words in them, and the insults have been significantly reduced. The older comic book lover, the one who would like to feel a hint of nostalgia, will be disturbed by many things, especially if he remembers the plot of the film well. The panels largely coincide with the scenes from the animation. In the comic we have much more color frames, the colors themselves are also more expressive, sharp contours have also been introduced – especially visible on the characters’ faces. Meanwhile, the production from 1961 was characterized by a light, even blurred line at times, as if it had been painted with watercolors, and the colors were dim. The comic was published in a thin cover. In addition to the story itself, we get descriptions of the characters and a photo gallery. I got the impression that the panels are quite stiff and tightly focused.

Looking through the prism of cut scenes it is certainly

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I judge the story as consistent and consistent with the one contained in the animated film. The illustrations are nice and well done. Although it was not released in a hardcover, it is stiff, easy to read and looks nice on a shelf.

Readers who want to refresh this classic story or have contact with it for the first time should decide to read it, but prefer more joyful versions of events and faster action. The film is a bit depressing production, especially for younger children.