In the mid-90’s Disney had an animated television series based on the 101 Dalmatians movie. Personally, I think the 90’s animation is way less cute than the original 1961 animation. But anyways, in this episode Cruella De Vil is forced to stop smoking cold-turkey after she slowly sets every single room in her house on fire. Her insurance company gives her an ultimatum and refuses to let her live in her house again until she is a certified non-smoker. So she moves in with Anita and Roger temporarily. (This adaptation is a weird version of the story in which they appear to be neighbors and on rather cordial terms.)
In all seriousness, the amount of smoke coming from her house is sheer sweatshop level. It’s so bad it keeps the puppies awake at night. But the only thing worse than the constant air pollution is the possibility of endless cohabitation with the woman who is constantly trying to murder them for their fur.
Faced with a literal hellscape, the dogs decide to help Cruella with her smoking cessation plan if only so they can sleep a little better at night (a.k.a. without the constant threat of death). They spend a lot of time snatching cigarettes out of Cruella’s mouth and blowing out her matches. After realizing that this is a Sisyphean approach, they decide to lock her in the bathroom while they destroy her stash.
While Cruella is dazed and locked in the downstairs bathroom, these puppies create a literal assembly line to move several thousand boxes of cigarettes to the upstairs bathroom where they intend to flush them down the toilet. At this point, I have to ask where even are Pongo and Perdita?? It seems like these puppies could use some adult supervision!
As the puppies set about ruining the plumbing in this old house, Cruella breaks out of the downstairs bathroom. Just as she is rushing toward the stairs, the toilet over flows and floods the entire house. After that the puppies decide to try a different approach.
As it turns out, Roger stopped smoking his pipe by using a self-help tape in his sleep. That night, after Cruella returns home, the puppies break into her house with a boombox. Unfortunately, the puppies cannot read, so they accidentally play a puppy training tape for her instead of the anti-smoking tape. This somehow hypnotizes Cruella into a dog-like state. At one point it seems like Cruella is seriously considering urinating on a fire hydrant but opts to bite a delivery person’s leg instead. I never thought I would say this, but I am genuinely beginning to feel bad for Cruella De Vil.
Roger manages to snap Cruella out of her hypnosis, but it turns out this has all been for the better because she has finally hit rock bottom. Anita offers her a pack of gum to help with her craving.s And it turns out that’s all she needed! Except then she chews so much gum that she destroys her house with that too.
Very Special Lesson: Everything in moderation. Except for cigarettes. No cigarettes.
One thought on “101 Dalmatians: Smoke Detectors”
Most excellent special lesson: Everything in moderation. Except for cigarettes. No cigarettes.