Talk about a canine conundrum. The Dalmatian clubs of both the U.S. and Britain have decided they will not supply pooches for the live-action version of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians. That could leave the fall 1996 movie (with Glenn Close, as Cruella De Vil, and Jeff Daniels in a John Hughes script) in the doghouse, though the film is ready to begin shooting in London. Other kennel clubs understand the concern: ”It’s not a humane situation,” says Martha Galuszka of the Giant Schnauzer Club of America. While Disney rounds up pups from independent breeders (and invests in animatronics), we contacted a few other dog clubs to see if they’d grab the bone.
101 Australian cattle dogs: ”I can’t even imagine the damage they would do unless you had 505 cows to go along with them,” says Patricia Piazza, a former member of the Australian Cattle Dog Club. ”It sounds bizarre and stupid to me, but who knows?”
101 Giant Schnauzers: ”They tend to have a mind of their own, so they would probably drive a director crazy,” says Galuszka of the Giant Schnauzer Club of America. ”Also, being solid black — with none of those polka dots — doesn’t make them that photogenic.”
101 Chesapeake Bay Retrievers: ”One hundred and one of them would eat you out of house and home,” says Dyane Baldwin of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever Sporting Group. ”They’re also very territorial; they would protect each part of the set they perceive as theirs.”
101 Pugs: ”They’re never really going to be movie-star dogs because they just like lying around in people’s laps all day,” says James Cavallaro of the Pug Dog Club of America. ”And Disney doesn’t have the best track record with us.” Pocahontas, which featured a dastardly pug, Percy, ”was the worst thing that ever happened to pugs. Now everyone wants one.”