HTF REVIEW: "101 Dalmations II: Patch's London Adventure (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Jan 19, 2003.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    [​IMG]

    101 Dalmatians II
    Patch's London Adventure




    Studio: Disney
    Year: 2002
    Rated: G
    Film Length: 70 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.66:1)
    Subtitles: English



    I am sure that the most loyal enthusiasts of
    Disney animation must cringe when they learn
    about these direct-to-video sequels of classic
    animated titles. What is with these direct-to-
    video films anyway? Were they intended to be
    a low-budget means of releasing new titles to
    the market, or were they theatrical projects
    that just weren't up to snuff? It's easy to
    sell just about anything to a kids market, but
    when it comes to adults, the animation and the
    story better be good.
    Rest assured adults of all ages, 101 Dalmatians II:
    Patch's London Adventure is going to please
    the most discriminating audiences.
    [​IMG]
    Our fun-filled adventure begins in London where
    Anita and Roger are packing up to move themselves
    and their clan of 101 dalmatians out to Dalmatian
    Plantation, a farm in the country big enough for
    the dogs to romp and play. It's also far enough
    out of the way where Cruella De Vil won't easily
    find them.
    [​IMG]
    On the night before the big move we find Patch,
    the smallest of the Dalmatians, watching his
    favorite TV hero, Thunderbolt, save the day. Patch
    dreams of becoming a "one-of-a-kind" hero like
    Thunderbolt, and when the family accidently leaves
    him behind the next morning, Patch goes out to
    find his favorite TV star.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Meanwhile, we find Cruella De Vil hanging out at
    a local art gallery with a spot-fixated artist who
    she hires to inspire. When the artist fails to
    calm her "spotty" frenzy, she decides another attempt
    to kidnap the dalmatian pups.
    There are many positive things going for this
    new 101 Dalmatians adventure. Firstly, the
    story is fun and lively enough to be entertaining
    to both kids and adults alike. The meat of this
    story involves young Patch meeting his favorite
    TV hero, Thunderbolt. I promise you'll particularly
    enjoy watching the film's most memorable musical
    number, Try Again, as our canine pair
    humorously go in search of partaking in heroic deeds
    in order to attract the Press. It's moments like
    this that you can really sit back and be entertained
    by the sheer wit of what you are watching. In fact,
    the entire story is so cleverly written and
    beautifully animated that it's easy to lose yourself
    within it all.
    How is the transfer?
    Here is where I appeal to the Disney animation
    enthusiasts....
    101 Dalmatians II may not be on par with the
    quality animation you expect out of the studio's
    mainstream theatrical releases, but you'd be surprised
    how well animated this film is and how stunning it
    looks on DVD. As most people have realized,
    nothing makes better DVD demo material than
    beautifully animated films. This transfer stands
    up to the best of them. Image is absolutely razor
    sharp with vivid neon-like colors that illuminate
    just about every frame. Just a terrific looking
    picture with so much detail and rock solid black
    levels.
    [​IMG]
    The DTS 5.1 mix is quite good. This punchy
    and bright soundtrack manages to be just as
    entertaining as the film itself thanks to a
    fairly active mix with excellent sound direction.
    The film's jazzy big-band orchestration is well
    divided amongst the 5 channels -- so much so, you
    may find your feet tapping along with it from time
    to time. This mix is also notable, particularly
    for the fact that it gives so much support to the
    various effects sounds heard throughout. From
    dalmatian pups that seem to emanate from any given
    channel at any given time, to the outrageously
    funny noises of Cruella De Vil's car, you'll be
    quite pleased with the way effects noises are
    brought to life. The sound people really did a
    nice job here creating a clever environment that
    highly compliments the film.
    Special Features
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    This DVD is totally geared for kids which makes me hard
    pressed to figure out why Disney chose an anamorphic
    transfer here. Isn't this the same Disney that
    colorizes classic B&W films for DVD and believes
    that kids hate those nasty black bars? While I could
    knock myself out silly trying to figure out their
    logic, I am most thankful that this film got the
    beautiful anamorphic transfer it deserves.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Behind the scenes Dog-umentary is the perfect
    treat for young kids. The entire featurette is
    hosted by a group of real-life canines who take us
    inside the Disney animation studios. There we
    meet directors Brian Smith and Jim Kammerudto who
    give us a brief overview of the animation process --
    from story pitch to actual animation to voice. Kids
    will enjoy watching Bobby Lockwood voice their
    favorite dalmatian pup, and adults will enjoy
    watching veteran comic Martin Short show off his
    voice talents. An enjoyable little featurette for
    the fact that it cleverly teaches kids about the
    animation process.
    (length: approx. 7 minutes)
    Thunderbolt: An Inside Look is interactive
    fun at its best! Welcome to Thunderbolt's personal
    trailer. Take a look around at all the stuff that
    line the shelves of his dressing room Go ahead --
    use your remote to click on various items to see
    commercials, still pictures and even a funny
    blooper reel that shows Thunderbolt blowing his
    lines.
    Lost In London Game is a trivia game with
    multiple-choice questions based on the various
    sites of London seen in the film. As you guess
    the correct answer to these fairly easy questions,
    you get a little history of the London locales
    such as Buckingham Palace, the Tower Of London
    and Big Ben. A lot of effort was put into this
    game, because in addition to learning all these
    cool facts about London locales, kids get to rescue
    their favorite pups.
    There are two Music Videos here. The first
    is Try Again by "British Pop Idol" winner
    Neil Young. The second, You're The One is
    sung by LMNT.
    You'll also find the usual cavalcade of Disney
    promotional trailers for upcoming theatrical and
    DVD releases.
    Final Thoughts
    [​IMG]
    If Disney chose to cut corners with this direct-
    to-video release, you would be hard pressed to see
    how they did it. This DVD is definitely worth a
    purchase, and worthy of being placed next to other
    Disney animated fare in your colletion. While I am
    recommending a purchase, I strongly caution you
    to find the best deal possible on it. For a feature
    that runs just over an hour, the $29 price tag is
    highway robbery. You can find this on-line for just
    under $23, and hopefully cheaper than that elsewhere.
    Disney fans don't miss this!
    Release Date: January 14, 2003
    All screen captures have been further compressed.
    They are for illustrative purposes only and do not
    represent actual picture quality
     
  2. Kenneth Cummings

    Kenneth Cummings Supporting Actor

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    Hehe, that was a good review Ron, even so I have to admit 101 Dalmation is my least favorite of the classic Disney movies, but this review makes me want to watch the sequel.
     
  3. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Supporting Actor

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    As a Disney animation enthusiast, I'm opting to not bother with this. Disney's sequels have insulted me one too many times that the good ones arem't any redemption. I'll just try and find the original on ebay or wait until it gets reissued in 2010 (long time [​IMG]!) As for the sequel, I'll pass.
    Ron, I know there's a Lion King trailer on the disc that mentions new footage and a new song "The Morning Report." I've seen some screenshots, but nothing really new; I really want to see the preview in its entirety. Is there any way you can rip it off of the DVD and post it? Thanks.
    And, as always, a great review.
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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  5. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the review Ron. I'm looking forward to this, the Stitch Movie and Inspector Gadget 2 - all Disney DTV movies this year.

     
  6. Louis C

    Louis C Supporting Actor

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    Thanks James. My my hey hey, I too was confused.
     
  7. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    I'll be picking this one up. My daughter will love it.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  8. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    I've bought several of these direct-to-video Disney animated sequels for my daughter. Some are pretty good (Little Mermaid II, Lady and the Tramp II) and others are awful (Hunchback II).

    Since 101 Dalmatians II seems pretty good, I'd like to get it, but the price sure is daunting. These things really should have an MSRP of $19.99, not $29.99. I may just rent it, or wait awhile and watch for a good sale price (like one of those Disney Store $10 sales or something).

    Thanks for the review.
     
  9. Matt Wallace

    Matt Wallace Second Unit

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    My only take on Disney's logic is maybe they think this sequel will only sell to an older crowd. While movies like the Lion King and Little Mermaid came out to a different crowd, the age of people who grew up with 101 Dalmations and Lady and the Tramp date a little older. Then again, that doesn't explain Mr. Limpett or the full frame stuff... Oh well. They DID do, however, an excellent job on Lady and the Tramp 2 ( the only direct to video sequel I could recommend from Disney without hesitation). It's my hope that the better sales of LatTramp 2 maybe influenced their decision to tackle this one in almost the exact same nature rathe than some of the other more recent sequels. I'll be adding this one tomorrow. Thanks, Ron.

    Matt
     
  10. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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  11. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    I just think it's sad when one of their DTV releases has more extras than the DVDs of some of their theatrical movies.
     
  12. JosephMoore

    JosephMoore Stunt Coordinator

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    Concerning Disney sequels:

    - The theatrical release of a Disney movie is basically expensive marketing for the beginning of a franchise. Traditionally, there has been very little incentive to *not* take sequels straight to video as this is an almost guaranteed money maker. (Read below for a caveat.)

    - The way Disney scheduling works, sometimes top notch people are on "down-time" from a feature and can contribute to a video release. Also, the direct-to-video teams are staffed by better talent and have better budgets than in the past, again because these things make money (though none of the animators want to do video, everybody wants to do "features.") Even the quality of their TV animation keeps getting better and better.

    - Disney has been suffering from a string of duds and a real dirth of ideas in story development, so you are going to see a lot more sequels green lighted for the theater. "Jungle Book 2" is the first of many. Everything being pitched is a sequel, or a prequel, or whatever. If there's already been a sequal, do a third, is the prevailing thought process.

    - Look for stories developed out of the Orlando studio. These guys brought you "Mulan" and "Lilo & Stitch." These days they're surpassing the Burbank studio in almost every regard.
     
  13. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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  14. Alex S

    Alex S Second Unit

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    Thanks for the review Ron.
    I wasn't going to pick this one because of some of the other Disney direct to video sequels I bought like Cinderella II were terrible.

    But now I will.
    My 2 daughters will love it.
     
  15. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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  16. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    I was talking MSRP, not selling price. If it had a $19.95 MSRP it would be selling for a more reasonable $14 to $15, and probably cheaper if you looked hard enough.

    As it is, I'll wait until the inevitable price reduction.
     
  17. Bob Black

    Bob Black Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm glad to hear this release has better animation than the usual Disney direct-to-video sequel (and an anamorphic transfer), but I simply don't support these low-budget catastrophes. Disney's animation studio has hit the same low point as it did through the seventies and early eighties, as far as I'm concerned. If it weren't for its deal with Pixar, heads would probably have rolled by now!

    They certainly miss Howard Ashman's great musical work on their theatrical releases. Beyond this, however, they simply seem to have no good ideas for stories. "Lilo & Stitch" and "Treasure Island" just don't have the magic of the long string of recent animated hits through the late eighties and nineties (Lion King, Aladdin, Little Mermaid, Beauty & The Beast). It seems the only animated hits these days are CGI animation such as "Toy Story", "Shrek", "Monsters, Inc." or "Ice Age"! I think Dreamworks' animation department has released better animated titles than Disney in the last few years. Just my opinion, of course!
     
  18. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

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    I think LILO & STITCH is as good an animated feature as Disney has ever done. [​IMG]
     
  19. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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  20. Erwin

    Erwin Stunt Coordinator

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    I have to agree with Ron, this is a great looking animated film. I rented it the other night for my daughter and it looks like we'll end up purchasing it. I have only seen some of the scenes, but it looks worthy enough to have deserved a theatrical release. Personally, I am all for these Disney Sequels if they are done right, and most of them are. I actually liked The Lion King II, Lady and the Tramp 2, and The Little Mermaid II. I have Beauty and Beast: Encanted Christmas, but it's kind of corny. I remember Beauty & The Beast: EC being the very first Disney animated title back in 1998 before Disney opened the door to several of their movies in 1999. Lets see how The Jungle Book 2 turns out. John Goodman was a good choice, I think, for Baloo(sp?), the bear.
     

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