While watching the classic Disney film 101 Dalmatians with my children, I started picking up on similarities between the family on the screen and my own family. Albeit my family walks on two legs and most days are spot free, we seem to share the same dynamic as Pongo and Perdita and their litter of pups. We laugh, eat, play, spend quality time together, fight with each other… a lot, and like the parents in this movie, my husband and I would go to any length to save our babies from danger!
In the movie 101 Dalmatians, Pongo and Perdita meet and fall in love like most non-furry couples and like the old playground song goes “First comes love, then comes marriage and then comes Pongo pushing a baby carriage” they have their first litter of pups! Along with the excitement they share comes the fear of the terrifying Cruella De Vil. Cruella is a very pushy lady with an agenda. She wants to buy the puppies from Pongo and Perdita’s people for questionable reasons. When she is told to get lost because the pups aren’t for sale, she devises a plan to kidnap the adorable puppies. Pongo and Perdita are thrown into action when Cruella successfully steals all of their fur-babies. These parents come up with a plan and enlist the help of other neighborhood pets, while the pups have to learn to stick together in the face of danger and lean on each other for courage. But what happens when an adventure to save their pups turns into an adventure to save 101 puppies?
I believe this classic tale is a true testament to the love that binds families together; the courage that we don’t know we have until we need it and the unspoken commitment we have to our children and the children of others to protect them from harm. The courage I am speaking of is not only the courage parents need to stare danger in the eyes but also the courage to welcome orphaned children into your life and commit to love and care for them like your own. It’s funny how life experience changes the way you watch movies! A movie I once watched as a kid because I really wanted a dalmatian turned into a movie I respect as a parent because of the strong message it conveys of love, courage and family commitment.