Friday, January 17, 2003

The Anal Film Critic

I thought I had the whole Disney Dalmatian movie nomenclature straight. The original 1961 animated movie was called “One Hundred and One Dalmatians.” The 1996 live-action version with Glenn Close was called “101 Dalmatians.” And, just to confirm the alphabetic v. numeric distinction, they made a live-action sequel called “102 Dalmatians.” I figured if they ever made an animated sequel, it would be called “One Hundred and Two Dalmatians.” But now Disney’s just released a straight-to-video animated flick called “101 Dalmatians II.” And after doing a little poking around, I discovered that they’ve given the original 1961 animated version an alternative title, “101 Dalmatians,” which is indistinguishable from the 1996 live-action title. (I haven’t figured out when this renaming took place.)

Am I the only one who’s bothered by this kind of inconsistency and confusion? Is anyone else still bothered by the fact there’s a movie called “Rambo III” when there was never a movie called “Rambo” or “Rambo II”? And am I myself being inconsistent when I grouse about Stephen Spielberg’s having renamed “Raiders of the Lost Ark” as “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” to achieve retroactive consistency with the subsequent Indiana Jones movies?

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