Friday, December 23, 2016

Foreign Print Oddity: '101 Dalmatians' in Spanish

101 Dalmatians...

Here in North America, Walt Disney's 1961 classic was released on videocassette only on April 10, 1992 as a title in the Classics line. Despite being one of the most popular animated films in the Disney library and an iconic picture, it never received a LaserDisc release at this time. It would only receive one in the late 1990s, when the film returned to home video in the form of a Masterpiece Collection edition.

As we all know, Disney films were normally given minor updates when re-released. Updates concerning logos and whatnot...

In 1961, 101 Dalmatians opened up - the usual with any Disney release from the mid-50s up until the early 80s - with a stylized version of the Buena Vista title card, complete with a few bars of music that are part of the overture that plays during the entirety of the credits.

The 1992 VHS of 101 Dalmatians removes that and replaces it with the 1990 Walt Disney Pictures castle logo, using that logo's particular music as well. This indicates that the tape's print was struck from the version played in movie theaters during the film's 1991 theatrical re-release. After the film ends, you see the Buena Vista logo fade in. If you have a particular printing of this tape, you'll see the BV card with music and announcer Mark Elliot's voice, which cross-fades into a bumper that tells you when the next classic hits video.

Around this time, Disney seemed to move Buena Vista cards to the end of films when they re-released them. Probably done to strut their then-new logo, most of the home video editions made during this time eliminated the BVs altogether, though some releases - such as Dalmatians - indicate that they appeared at the end of the films during these re-releases.

This is evident on the 1990 LaserDisc of Peter Pan, which clearly uses the 1989 theatrical re-release print of the film, which opens with the 1985 Walt Disney Pictures castle logo. After that movie ends, you see a 50s Buena Vista card fade in.

It's also evident on the 1999 VHS of The Rescuers, which uses that film's 1989 re-release print as well. That opens with the Walt Disney Pictures castle, which is silent. No thunderclap, which was what you heard when you saw the Buena Vista card in the original release version.

My friend Andrew tracked down the Spanish-language, US VHS of 101 Dalmatians... 101 Dalmatas! Now, like the post-80s re-release prints, the film print used on the VHS doesn't open with the Buena Vista logo. It doesn't open with the 1990 WDP logo, either. It uses the 1985 WDP logo!

Now, it also ends with a Buena Vista card... But not the stylized one made for the movie... But rather...

Yes, the very weird-looking Buena Vista card that Disney used from 1979 to 1984. With that and the WDP logo, it looks like a print used from the mid-to-late 80s was used here. I couldn't find any information on a Spanish theatrical re-release or a re-release in a Spanish-speaking territory, but I'm going to assume this print was prepared sometime between 1985 and 1990. The BV card must've been attached to this at least the early 1980s.

This is no different from various home media editions of Blackbeard's Ghost, a 1968 film, having the 1979 BV logo before the start of the credits. YouTuber 8to16to33 presented this version and the correct 1968 version, which he had got from an early 90s Disney Channel recording. You can also see the right logo on the 1992 UK VHS. The logo must've been attached to a foreign re-release that occurred from between 1979 and 1984. IMDb has two post-1979 re-releases listed: One in Australia in 1980, and another in the Netherlands in 1981.

Reader attmay once told me about a print of Cinderella he found that opens with the 1985 WDP logo, and ends with the 1979 BV card. Must've been the 1987 re-release print.

Back to Dalmatians.

Sometimes these particular editions preserve some cool little things...


  1. I have the 2004 U.S. Spanish VHS of Aladdin from 2004.

  2. In the case of those 1980s re-releases of the studio's animated films, Disney also used to completely jettison the 1985 Walt Disney Pictures logo when the studio presented their official animated films on home video and Disney Channel, until the 1988 VHS/Beta/LaserDisc release of "Cinderella" changed all that. I used to have this theory it could've been because Disney thought it was a little weird looking. But no that can't be because they've used the logo moreso for live action films on home video (the original 1986 release of "The Journey of Natty Gann", the original 1985 VHS release of "Baby Secret of the Lost Legend" [the logo was seen after the warning screens but before the 1984-1986 static print logo Touchstone Home Video], and "One Magic Christmas" among others, each had the 1985 WDP logo)