101 DALMATIANS II: PATCH’S LONDON ADVENTURE – SPECIAL EDITION
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
Barry Bostwick as THUNDERBOLT
Jason Alexander as LIGHTNING
Martin Short as LARS
Bobby Lockwood as PATCH
Susan Blakeslee as CRUELLE DE VIL
Directed by: Jim Kammerud & Brian Smith
BY KEVIN CARR
About five years ago, the Disney company was in full swing with their animated direct-to-video sequels. The ones I have enjoyed most have been the ones that don’t come from their fairy tale repertoire. This is mainly because it’s a struggle to find out what happens after “Happily ever after.”
While “101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure” wasn’t the best animated sequel to come down the pike, it’s really not that bad. And that says a lot coming from me, who counts the original “101 Dalmatians” in my top five Disney animated films.
This film comes from the point of view of Patch, one of the 101 pups. While Roger and Anita are moving to a better life (and a bigger home), the puppies struggle with keeping their individuality in a sea of conformity. Patch is having particular problems, and he longs for a life of adventure like his favorite TV character, Thunderbolt.
When Patch is left behind on the move, he teams up with the dog who plays Thunderbolt who is in town for publicity, and together they try to become heroes. However, Cruella De Vil rears her ugly head and plans to kidnap the gaggle of puppies once again. It’s up to Patch and Thunderbolt to thwart her plans.
The return of the mass Dalmatian kidnapping is a bit overused after the original and two live-action films. However, you can’t discount a classic Disney villain like Cruella De Vil. It wouldn’t be a Dalmatian movie without her. Still, this leads to some scenes that seem to be completely imitated from the classic film.
Ultimately, though, “101 Dalmatians: Patch’s London Adventure” is a great little film for kids. Everyone seems to love the Disney dogs, and another adventure that is loaded with puppies will always be a winner for family viewing. If you’re familiar with the Disney direct-to-DVD sequels, you can compare this to “Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure.”
The DVD comes with the features that were included in the previous 2003 release. There are music videos for “Try Again” and “You’re the One,” a look at Thunderbolt, a behind-the-scenes “Dog-umentary” and a “Lost in London” set-top game. Aside from its emergence from the Disney vault, this release is a special edition for including a new, and quite fun but somewhat complex set-top game “Patch’s Twilight Adventure.”