101 Dalmatians Diamond Edition Blu-ray is Packed Full of History

Image credit: Disney Animation Studios
Image credit: Disney Animation Studios.

My sons love dogs. I can’t put it any more plainly. We’ve always had wonderful family dogs, and both of my sons enjoy learning all they can about the assorted breeds, as well as about wolves, foxes, and other members of the family canis. Couple my sons’ love of dogs with our family’s love of Disney, and you have a match made in heaven for getting the chance to check out Disney Animation’s 101 Dalmatians Diamond Edition Blu-ray set, due for release on February 10.

We received a review copy of the Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD combo pack. For our family, this means we can play the Blu-ray in our house, use the DVD in the vehicle, and use the digital download code to have a copy of the movie available through Disney Movies Anywhere, which is connected with our iTunes account for play on our family’s Apple TV or iPad.

There will be many other places where you can find reviews of the movie itself, which I’m sure is well-known to many of our readers. For those who are completely unaware, I will tell you it’s a darling tale of two “newlywed” dalmatians who have a litter of several puppies. The family embarks on an adventure to rescue themselves… and dozens of other dalmatian puppies… from the terrible fate of Cruella de Vil.

Our family sat down and not only watched all of 101 Dalmatians, but also the fantastic bonus features. Seeing the film on Blu-ray was breathtakingly beautiful, and the uninitiated will find it hard to believe it’s a 1961 film.

We thoroughly enjoyed the shorts on the Blu-ray set. “Dalmatians 101” is a short hosted by Cameron Boyce, a young actor who I first saw in the 2010 film Grown Ups as the hilarious spoiled-rotten son of Adam Sandler’s character. Boyce is going to be playing Carlos de Vil, son of Cruella, in the upcoming Disney Channel movie The Descendants, which will be telling the stories of several offspring of Disney villains. 

“Lucky Dogs” takes you back in time with interviews with the Disney artists and writers. The stories are a fun journey through what life was like in the Disney studios in the early 1960s. Plenty of laughter, friendship, and hard work. I especially enjoy these types of interviews, such as those being done through StoryCorps and the National Archives.

“The Further Adventures of Thunderbolt” was the short that our sons were most looking forward to. It finishes the story being told in the television shows that the puppies are watching in the original movie. See the clip below, if you aren’t sure what scene I’m talking about. Our sons actually started this short first out of the numerous ones on the Blu-ray. And in less than two minutes, it was over. They were quite disappointed. Does it finish the story that started in the film? Yes. Could they have done more? I’m not sure. You don’t see much of the Thunderbolt program in the original 1961 film, so the continuation was a very creative effort as it was.

101 Dalmatians on Disney Video

My favorite of all the shorts was “Walt Disney Presents ‘The Best Doggoned Dog in the World.'” This is the complete one-hour episode of Walt Disney Presents from 1961, which most of us may have more recently remembered as The Wonderful World of Disney or The Magical World of Disney. “The Best Doggoned Dog in the World” features the feats of numerous dog breeds from St. Bernards to Siberian huskies, and about midway through the program, Mr. Disney takes a moment to discuss their latest upcoming film, 101 Dalmatians. He introduces viewers to the real dog used to model Pongo, as well as the new xerography technology being incorporated into the animation process. My sons really enjoyed this program, and I felt as if we had just opened a time capsule, seeing Mr. Disney doing what he did best, sharing his love and passions with the world.

If you have a 101 Dalmatians fan in your life, don’t hesitate to pick up a copy of the film’s Diamond Edition Blu-ray combo pack. The film is rated G; the Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD combination will be retailing for $36.99 starting February 10. Act fast, though, since you never know when one of these Blu-rays will be disappearing into the so-called Disney Vault!

GeekMom received this item for review purposes.

Patricia Vollmer is a geeky meteorologist mother of two emerging geek sons, ages 11 & 14. Patricia blogs about her family's nomadic military life at Ground Control to Major Mom. Home is always where the Air Force sends her family, which for now is in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Hobbies include running, despite no one chasing her, and exploring the world with her boys. Ask her why the sky is blue at your own risk.