Friday, April 23, 2010

Plantation Dalmatian: Perdita (101 Dalmatians)

Plantation Dalmatian: Perdita (101 Dalmatians)

Name meaning: Latin, "Lost."

Perdita, the female half of the canine couple in 101 Dalmatians, is a classy and maternal dog. She cares deeply for her family, and her “extended” family of eight-four other Dalmatians. She is typically British, straitlaced, polite, and loyal. She knows not to trust Cruella, probably having met her before with Anita, and is understandably upset when Cruella arrives and offers to buy the puppies. She is quietly sad when the dogs are stolen, stoic, and like any mother, wishes with all her heart that her children are safe. In a funny scene, she is startled when Patch cusses, and gives Pongo a look—as if to say “you taught him that, didn’t you?” Perdy is sweet and sleek. In the original novel, she is named after a Shakespearean character. She and Pongo are an interesting match, echoing Roger and Anita in canine form—the calm, devoted wife and the fun-loving, slightly irresponsible husband.
Pongo: Perdita, darling, are you all right?
Perdita: Oh, of course, dear. After all, dogs were having puppies long before our time.

Perdita: Why, Patch, where did you ever hear such talk? Certainly not from your mother! [looks at Pongo suspiciously]

Pongo: Perdy?
Perdita: That witch. That devil woman. She wants our puppies. That's all she's after.
Pongo: Don't worry, Perdy. They're on to her. Nothing's going to happen to our puppies.
Perdita: But what does she want with them? She can't possibly love them. Oh, Pongo. I was so happy at first, but now I...Oh, I...I wish we weren't having any.

I love the style of this film. It is slightly mod, but still rather traditional, exactly apace with the period during which it was created—the late fifties and early sixties. The Dalmatians’ spots are the perfect pattern to coordinate the style—black and white on red.

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