The Story of How “101 Dalmatians” Saved Disney

101 Dalmatians has been a recurring theme for a while now since the Disney property has spawned the Cruella project and has been imagined in a couple of different versions over the years from animation to live-action. But one thing that a lot of people might not know about is that it essentially saved the animation department at Disney. Some might be scratching their heads and wondering how that could possibly be, but the explanation is pretty simple. Back when Disney was still doing its best to provide the kind of animated entertainment that people wanted, the animation department was doing everything by hand, and the lengthy but impressive process took quite a bit from start to finish. Sleeping Beauty, one movie, took a million animation cels to complete, and the cost was enormous.

Unfortunately, Disney had to suffer a loss when it came to the movie, and as a result, things needed to change or the animation department would have been sunk. It was definitely appreciated that such great work and effort was put into their movies, but Disney had to find some way to make money instead of just spending it in order to thrive and push forward, so the xerox era was born. Xerox, which came about in the early part of the 20th century, was cost-effective and had a slightly jarring effect on the audience, but was definitely easier and allowed Disney to develop a new method of animation that wouldn’t ruin them financially. This way, Disney had a life-saving technique that allowed them to create movies in a manner that might not have paid as much attention to detail at all times but was at least able to deliver a great story and endearing characters that people could enjoy. By embracing this method, Disney managed to keep things working so that they could continue to entertain the audiences that were willing to pay into the business.

Things have changed a great deal over the decades since 101 Dalmatians, especially since CGI and live-action have taken over. Disney has focused so intently on so many different projects that the importance of such movies as 101 Dalmatians has kind of been left behind. It’s not entirely surprising since if left to simply acknowledge the hows and whys of this there would be no growth and little forward movement. Progress has to keep moving forward if a company is to grow, expand, and create new opportunities, and long ago Disney found at least one way to make life easier on themselves, and they took it. Since then it’s fair to say that a lot of people might quip that the Mouse House has been taking as many new routes as possible to revolutionize the studios and create opportunities for innovation whenever possible.

In terms of their animation department, Disney is by far one of the more impressive studios in the world since they’ve produced some of the biggest hits and have also managed to keep generations of fans happy with the material they produce. It’s not at all surprising that 101 Dalmatians has been kept close from time to time but hasn’t really been the huge feature that other movies and shows have been. One might think that the movie that helped to save the company in a way would be afforded a bit more status than it has, but when considering that it’s been given a good deal of attention at times it might be that Disney thinks this is enough when compared to the other projects it has ongoing at the moment.

Perhaps it’s enough to mention that the movie helped to save Disney since it’s likely that there are other stories about other movies and shows throughout Disney’s long history that might tell of other moments when the Mouse House was on its collective heels and needed help with something and found help in another movie or a new, innovative way of doing things. The Mouse House has become quite good at finding new ways to stay on top and to push onward when it might appear that they’re stuck in one gear or another, and to date, it’s been seen that they’ve done quite well since taking on new techniques and methods when needed. Crediting one movie for this isn’t exactly the whole story, since the truth is that 101 Dalmatians might not have been able to be made if not for Xeroxing, since the animation cost would have been insane given how many cels might have been needed to make the movie work. But while the effect might have been a little disconcerting to some moviegoers it was still a movie that went on to be remembered and inspire others to create new ideas that would continue to entertain the masses. It’s simply easier to credit the movie than the process sometimes.

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