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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cruella De Vil And The DogHouse Of Horrors: Part 101

They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky. It's the Addams Family and Cruella De Vil, and if they don't scare you, no evil thing will.

On issues of Disney Adventures Magazine, it was not unusual to see Disney characters rubbing elbows with then-current stars of stage and screen. In November of 1993, Cruella posed with Wednesday Addams (Christina Ricci) and her brother Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) as seen in the movies "The Addams Family" (1991) and "Addams Family Values" (1993) for a frightfully fun cover. Inside this special 3D issue, one of the big stories was a feature on a brand new movie called The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The Addams Family was created by cartoonist Charles Addams and started appearing in The New Yorker back in 1938. The live action TV show debuted in 1964, starring John Astin as Gomez and Jackie Coogan as Uncle Fester (Coogan's grandson, Keith Mitchell, was the voice of Tod the Fox in Disney's 1981 film "The Fox and the Hound").

Disney's 101 Dalmatians, based on a story written by Dodie Smith, debuted in theaters in 1961. It's easy to imagine Cruella being friends with The Addams Family.

Fashion conscious Cruella likes things with flair. She even has special lamps in her house.

See the glass in this picture? I wonder what kind of beverage Cruella is drinking.

Cruella has a warm and inviting bedroom.

Here, Cruella chats on the phone to her gal pal about the wild night she just spent with Edgar the Butler from "The AristoCats."

Cruella goes shopping at estate sales for the furniture in her home. Much of her furniture is from The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Larger-than-life Cruella has her mind set on making a dalmatian coat. What a mean lady.

Appropriately, Cruella has a b*tchin' car.

When Cruella learns that her friend Anita's dalmatians are having puppies, she quickly pays them a visit.

Anita and her husband Roger met each other because of their dogs, Pongo and Perdita.

Scratch that. Pongo and Perdita make it clear in the movie that Roger and Anita are THEIR pets.

Pongo and Perdita have fifteen of their own puppies.

Roger and Anita are secretly known as "that crazy dalmatian couple" by their neighbors.

Over the years, The Disney Catalog has sold some great 101 Dalmatians items. Many of the items seen here were sold between 1989 and 2005.

These plush toys were sold during the late 1980s and early 1990s, and I think they're the best versions of Pongo and Perdita that I've seen.

Cruella (voiced by Betty Lou Gerson) shows up to buy Pongo and Perdita's puppies, but Roger and Anita insist that they aren't for sale.

Luckily for Cruella, she can still find all sorts of Dalmatian items for sale after all these years. You can frequently see the dalmatian pups grouped with other Disney dogs on pet merchandise at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

When Cruella can't get her way, she creates all kinds of problems, which is a good thing for a movie to be interesting.

Cruella was brought to life by legendary animator Marc Davis, who would later work at Walt Disney Imagineering. He helped to create amazing attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, The Country Bear Jamboree and America Sings for Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

In 1996, Glenn Close starred as Cruella in a live action version of 101 Dalmatians.

The dogs in the movie did not talk. So the film was basically silent dogs running across the screen for an hour. Luckily, Glenn Close did the talking, and the new version of 101 Dalmatians did well at the box office.

Glenn Close played Cruella again in "102 Dalmatians".

102 Dalmatians (released in 2000) was the first live action film directed by Kevin Lima, who had previously directed "A Goofy Movie" (1995) and "Tarzan" (1999).

Glenn Close was the voice of Kala, Tarzan's gorilla mother.

102 Dalmatians introduced some new characters. The Dalmatian parents were Dottie and Dipstick, and their offspring were Domino, Little Dipper and Oddball (who had no spots). Cruella was given a Chinese Crested Hairless named Fluffy. The characters were helped by shelter dogs named Digger, Drooler and Chomp, and their parrot pal, Waddlesworth.

102 Dalmatians had a big marketing push, but the film was not a big hit in theaters.

Kevin Lima went on to direct a great Disney movie called "Enchanted" (2007) starring Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey.

In 1997, Walt Disney Television Animation launched a 101 Dalmatians TV series. It was sort of an alternate universe version of the story that mixed elements from the original animated movie, the live action movie and the book by Dodie Smith.

Cruella De Vil (voiced by April Winchell) lived in the country next door to Roger and Anita. The three main dalmatians were Lucky (Pamela Segall Adlon), Rolly and Cadpig (both voiced by Kath Soucie). They were often joined by a new character named Spot the Chicken (Tara Charendoff Strong). The show aired in syndication and on the One Saturday Morning block on ABC.

In 2003, another sequel called "101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure" was released on video and DVD.

I never saw this movie, but I know Cruella was in it, and the story was about Thunderbolt the German Shepherd.

Cruella is in good company with the Disney Villains.

Look for these ladies to star in a new "Real Housewives" TV spin-off soon.

Cruella stands out among the Disney Villains to me because I feel like I've met Cruella in the real world twice! One of the Cruellas was a real estate agent, and the other was someone's mother-in-law. Scary, but hilarious and entertaining.

As for Ursula: I've had a co-worker tell me that they had Ursula as an English teacher in high school.

In 2002, Hasbro and Disney launched the Disney Wild Racers die cast car line. One of the first sets of cars was a Dalmatian and Cruella.

Yes, there is an ultra-rare black Dalmatian chaser car! The Wild Racer line eventually became Disney Racers, which have been sold in the Disney theme parks for years now. I don't think the Dalmatian Chaser has been available in the parks.

Cruella is not a morning person. Naturally, Disney Villains are night owls.

Ugly mugs like these can't help but make your mornings brighter. You drink will seem tastier when you sip between Cruella's hair curlers.

Cruella's job as a fashion designer wasn't really explored until the live action movie with Glenn Close, but she's been the subject of clothing for many years now.

Smart ladies know that wearing an oversized shirt with a picture of a haggard, old Cruella De Vil on it will attract handsome, rich men.

What is scarier than a bunch of Disney Villains? The fashion sense of people living in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Nice Tic-Toc Croc slippers! That gives Cruella an idea...

Yes, they actually made these slippers:

I think someone saw this movie and got the wrong message from it.

Over the years, they've also made fake dalmatian fur coats, and other misguided products.

Poor Lucky isn't so lucky after all.

Mr. Jones likes to dress up like a Dalmatian, and his wife likes to dress up like Cruella. Whatever floats your boat.

Mr. Jones really likes the fact that Mrs. Jones knows more than one way to skin a Dalmatian.

Mr. Jones and Mrs. Jones better get busy, because it looks like they need 98 more dalmatians.

Everyone has seen an ugly baby. Yet, you always hear people say "every baby is beautiful." Those people have not yet seen Baby Cruella.

Truly horrific!

Baby Cruella will forever haunt your dreams.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Party Like Cinderella! Cinderelly vs. Bridezilla

Walt Disney's Cinderella debuted in movie theaters on June 22, 1950. Happy Birthday, Cinderelly! What a good excuse to throw a party. Nobody attends a party quite like Cinderella.

Like so many Disney movies, Cinderella begins with a book.

In this case, the book is the Disney Catalog. Most of the items shown here were sold between 1989 and 2005.

So how do the Cinderella characters stack up against the test of time? Quite well! Cinderella is one of Disney's most popular movies.

The wooden Cinderella nesting dolls look like they are based on artist Mary Blair's concept artwork for the film.

Poor Cinderella had to work for her wicked Stepmother.

Cinderella shared a house with some animal friends and a one animal foe. A cat as a Disney villain? I know that is difficult to imagine.

Cindy dreamed of a better life. SPOILER ALERT: She got one.

Lonely Cinderella had some bird and mice friends to help her out and provide wacky comic relief and shenanigans.

Gus, Jaq, Perla and Suzy are among Disney's most popular mice.

Many women would scream and run if mice popped out of their sewing kit, but not our Cindy.

The mice and birds work hard to make a dress for Cinderelly.

If Cinderella had worn this dress to the ball, would she have offered up the fact to people that her dress was made by vermin?

The mice did a nice job.

What about the birds? Their work was a little spotty. White spotty. And kinda runny.

Cinderella loves her dress. Hooray!

Uh-oh! The Ugly Stepsisters don't like this one bit. They shrink Cinderella's dress in the dryer. Or something like that. I haven't seen the movie in a while, so I can't remember what happens here exactly.

Luckily, Cinderella is in a Disney movie, and has magic on her side.

With a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo, Cinderella gets an extreme makeover.

The dress made by rats? Gone.

Cinderella digs her new gown. Since Cinderella is a sweet lady, she equally loves her rodent-made dress.

Accordingly, Cindy spins around multiple times in her evening wear.

Cinderella can go to the Ball after all! Cindy is told not to accept any apples at the party (just in case).

Cinderella is warned that the magic will wear off at midnight.

Cinderella's Coach and Drivers are made up of magical produce and farm animals.

Cindy has a gourd-jus ride: A Pumpkin carriage.

A few of Cinderella's animals (including Gus the mouse) are transformed into humans for the night.

In addition to the Carriage, Cinderella gets some glass slippers to wear.

Glass slippers? Has anyone ever tried putting a mason jar on their feet? It's not comfy.

Cinderella is all dolled up for the party.

Midnight Romance Cinderella looks like she could be at a prom in the 1960s. Cindy was very much ahead of her time.

Cinderella meets the Prince and they dance.

The Prince and Cinderella are drawn to each other. They were drawn using a pencil. Boy, I sure do miss seeing new hand-drawn Disney animated features.

The Prince sweeps Cinderella off her feet.

Cinderella enjoys time away from her life of endless cleaning and putting up with her horrible family members.

As Cindy dances, she daydreams about life with the Prince.

She can't wait to hang out with other Princesses, like Sleeping Beauty.

Uh-oh! Cinderella, it's time to exit the building.

The Party is over, and the Prince goes on a search for the mystery woman with the glass slipper.

Back at the Wicked Stepmother's house, things look bad for Cindy. She gets locked up while an attempt is made to pawn off the Ugly Stepsisters on the Prince.

The mice are up against the cat, who ends up falling out of a window (but he lands on his feet off screen, and appears in two Cinderella sequels).

The mice help Cindy get her shoe back.

The mice get Cinderella her glass slipper just in time!

The shoe fits, Cinderella. Wear it.

Sorry b**ches, Cindy wins and you lose.

Cinderella gets the handsome Prince.

Cinderella also gets money and prizes.

Cindy can't wait to move in to her new house.

Cinderella even brought the mice with her. Cindy's final chore for her Stepmother was pest control.

So Cinderella gets a storybook ending.

Cinderella lives happily ever after. But the story does not end there.

Once Cinderella got married, she did not just sit around the castle. Cindy started getting involved in Weddings in a big way.

The Wicked Stepmother is nothing compared to some of the Bridezillas that Cinderella has encountered in her new Wedding Planning Business.

Cindy and her wacky Bridesmaids know how to have fun before a wedding, too.

Here we see Lifeguard Seducin' Pool Party Ariel, Slumber Party Tickle Fight Sleeping Beauty, Wedding Night Fun Cinderella and Gardener Needs Tendin' Tink.

The Bachelorette Party Tarzan and Jane Wild Adventure set includes stacks of tiny dollar bills.

Cinderella has thought of everything for her big weddings.

Cinderella insists that you throw birdseed and not rice at her events.

Cindy accessories will make anyone look like royalty.

Cindy tries not to upstage her clients, but sometimes it just happens.

Cinderella appreciates nice things.

Cinderella does not yet have a set of dishes, but she is working with Belle from Beauty and the Beast on those.

Make your house classy with a pumpkin carriage clock and Cinderella candles.

Funny story about this photo: Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast was off camera hitting on the Cinderella candlestick.

Cinderella even has an extensive collection of items newlyweds can enjoy in the bedroom. Like pillowcases. What did you think I meant? Get your mind out of the gutter.

Men will know they are whipped when they are sleeping on Princess Cinderella bedding.

The current voice of Cinderella is the multi-talented Jennifer Hale, who I recently learned used to live in Birmingham, Alabama (where I grew up). Actor Rob Paulsen (who has voiced Jaq the mouse, among many other famous characters) recently interviewed Jennifer on his podcast. Go check it out at RobPaulsenLive.com.

Look, it's a bottle of Cinderella perfume. Don't you dare call her "Mrs. Butterworth."

Because Cinderella is a busy woman, she set up her own office at home.

I gotta say, that tape dispenser is very clever.

Cinderella also has items that can be used in the kitchen.

Funny story about this photo: Off camera, Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast was flirting with the Prince.

Cinderella can cook a tasty breakfast. She had practice serving her Wicked Stepmother. When she serves her guests in her castle, Cinderella never "accidentally" spills coffee in anyone's lap like she might have with her stepsisters and stepmother.

When you finish using all the perfume in the Cinderella Perfume Bottle, you can fill it with syrup and use it when you make Cindy Waffles.

Cinderella loves living in a castle.

You can visit Cinderella Castle for yourself at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida and at Tokyo Disneyland in Japan.

Really, why would you want to walk around wearing shoes made out of glass? Isn't that like wearing sandpaper underpants?

Cinderella quickly developed a taste for the finer things in life.

Cindy can even be found on a stained glass lamp.

The Genie's lamp is not the only lamp that Aladdin would like to rub.

Ironically, Cinderella has an affection for clocks and watches.

People who live in crystal castles should not throw stones. Or forget to wear clothing.

For Walt Disney World's 25th Anniversary, Cinderella Castle was transformed into a giant Birthday Cake.

Barbie hopes to meet Tarzan while she is on vacation at Walt Disney World in Florida.

Fantasyland at Walt Disney World will soon have something close to a Parade of Castle Homes Tour.

Castles from Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid are now in Cinderella's neighborhood, which is very exciting.

Cinderella, you should never leave Fantasyland. Your Wicked Stepmother would never tell you this, but if you lived in the real world, there's a good chance that your handsome Prince could turn into a lazy, fat slob. He'd spend his days passing gas and his nights needing the help of a special blue pill. The mice in your kitchen wouldn't make you a dress, but they'd leave you presents you did not want all over your house.

Keep living the Fantasy, Cindy!