Cruella and unusual punishment

Disney's new Dalmatians ain't the puppy chow it could have been

Still, I would like to have seen a less sanitized pupdom. Disney has always been squeamish about implying that critters--animated or otherwise--have bodily functions or sex organs. (The same could be said for their treatment of humans.) In the '50s, the studio actually got in trouble with the New York State Board of Censors for its nature documentary The Vanishing Prairie, in which a buffalo was shown giving birth.

We don't actually see Perdy giving birth in Dalmatians--OK, I can live without that. But it might have helped if the dogs in this film actually did what dogs do. It's one thing for Disney to hold back. But John Hughes too? Why no sniffing and peeing and dry-humping? This is the '90s, guys. Kids don't like their video games squeaky clean.

101 Dalmatians. Glenn Close, Jeff Daniels, Joely Richardson, Joan Plowright. Written by John Hughes, based on the book The One Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith. Directed by Stephen Herek. Now showing.

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