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12 Black-and-White Facts About 101 Dalmatians

Disney Wikia
Disney Wikia

101 Dalmatians turns 55 years old today. Grab a bag of Kanine Krunchies and celebrate more than a half-century of spots with 12 facts about Disney's classic canine caper.

1. ROGER AND ANITA'S LAST NAME WAS "DEARLY."

In the original novel by Dodie Smith (also famous for I Capture the Castle), Roger and Anita’s last name was Dearly, not Radcliffe. Presumably, Disney changed it since they already had two similarly named couples: Jim Dear and Darling from Lady and the Tramp, and George and Mary Darling from Peter Pan. Also, in the book, Roger is a “financial wizard”—not a struggling musician.

2. DODIE SMITH HAD A DALMATIAN NAMED PONGO.

Dodie Smith named her main male canine after a Dalmatian puppy her husband bought her as a gift in 1934: Pongo.

Disney

3. THERE ARE MORE THAN SIX MILLION SPOTS IN THE MOVIE.

Of course you’re seeing spots—there are a lot of them in this movie: 6,469,952 over 113,760 frames, to be exact. Pongo has 72 spots, while Perdita has just 68. The rest belong to the puppies.

4. IT WAS THE FIRST FILM TO USE XEROX TECHNOLOGY.

You don’t have to worry that the animators all developed carpal tunnel after the movie was inked:101 Dalmatians was the first feature to use Xerox technology to transfer drawings to cels, saving a lot of time, money, and hands.

Disney

5. WALT DISNEY DIDN'T LIKE THE VISUAL EFFECT OF THAT XEROX TECHNOLOGY.

The Xerox style is what gives the film that sketched look as opposed to the crisp lines seen in earlier Disney features. Walt Disney reportedly disliked the scratchy aesthetic.

6. CRUELLA DE VIL NARRATED CINDERELLA.

Although she’s known as one of the most evil villains in Disney history, Cruella De Vil shares her voice with a much more benign character: the narrator of Cinderella. Radio star Betty Lou Gerson was the actress behind both.

7. THE DOGS ARE GREY, NOT WHITE.

The dogs aren’t actually white—they’re very light grey. White would have been too bright on screen, and wouldn’t have worked well in the snowy scenes.

8. LADY AND THE TRAMP MAKE A CAMEO.

If you look closely during the Twilight Bark scene, you’ll spot a few canines from Lady and the Tramp: Jock, Peg, Bull, Lady, and the Tramp (in silhouette).

9. "THE TWILIGHT BARK" BECAME THE COMPANY'S NEWSLETTER.

Disney Feature Animation later adopted “The Twilight Bark” as the name of their internal newsletter.

10. THE MOVIE WAS INTENDED TO BE MORE MUSICAL.

There are only three songs in the entire movie—but more were written, including a cockney chant called “Don’t Buy a Parrot from a Sailor,” set to be performed by Horace and Jasper. You can check the words out here.

11. ZSA ZSA GABOR INSPIRED CRUELLA DE VIL'S LOOK.

According to voice actress Lisa Davis, Walt Disney took Cruella’s look from a certain famous Hungarian. “Zsa Zsa Gabor was very popular at the time and famous for loving fur coats and wearing fur, he thought that maybe he might give her a Zsa Zsa Gabor touch,” Davis said. Though Davis made use of her exceptional Zsa Zsa impression to read for Cruella, she felt that she was better suited to the role of Anita. Walt listened to her read some of Anita’s lines and ultimately agreed that it was a perfect fit.

12. THERE'S A NOD TO DISNEY'S "SILLY SYMPHONIES."

There’s a little nod to an early “Silly Symphony” cartoon called “Springtime.” You’ll find it on the TV when Jasper and Horace are pupysitting.

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MGM Home Entertainment
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The Beatles’s Yellow Submarine Is Returning to Theaters for Its 50th Anniversary
MGM Home Entertainment
MGM Home Entertainment

The Beatles are coming! The Beatles are coming!

In early 1968, at the height of Beatlemania, The Fab Four lent their voices—and visages—to Yellow Submarine, a somewhat strange and slightly surreal animated film, purportedly for children, which saw the band travel to Pepperland aboard the titular watercraft in order to save the land from the music-hating Blue Meanies. (Hey, we said it was strange.)

Though it would be another year before the film’s iconic soundtrack was released, 2018 marks the film’s 50th anniversary. To celebrate the occasion, Pitchfork reports that the psychedelic cartoon will be making its way back into theaters in July with a brand-new 4K digital restoration and a surround sound remix, to have it looking—and sounding—pristine.

To find out where it will be screening near you, visit the film’s website, where you can sign up for updates.

[h/t: Pitchfork]

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DESIREE MARTIN, AFP/Getty Images
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science
Stephen Hawking's Big Ideas, Made Simple
DESIREE MARTIN, AFP/Getty Images
DESIREE MARTIN, AFP/Getty Images

On March 14, 2018, visionary physicist Stephen Hawking passed away at the age of 76. You know his name, and may have even watched a biopic or two about him. But if you've ever wondered what specifically Hawking's big contributions to science were, and you have two and a half minutes to spare, the animation below is for you. It's brief, easy to understand, and gets to the point with nice narration by Alok Jha. So here, in a very brief and simple way, are some of Stephen Hawking's big ideas:

If you have more than a few minutes, we heartily recommend Hawking's classic book A Brief History of Time. It's easy to read, and it's truly brief.

[h/t: Open Culture]

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