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102 DALMATIANS

About The Production

The 1996 feature "101 Dalmatians" remains one of the most popular live action films from The Walt Disney Studios. It was therefore particularly important for producer Edward S. Feldman that as much artistic consideration be given to the production of the sequel.

"For the new movie we wanted to come up with an original idea and a great script," says Feldman. "We had the full support of the studio and wanted to make ‘102 Dalmatians' as good, if not better, than the first film."

The idea of a sequel first emerged about two years ago, but for Feldman, the key was securing the talents of Glenn Close in the role she so artfully made her own, Cruella De Vil. "I don't believe we could have made this film without Glenn," says Feldman.

Feldman met with Close, who was intrigued by the idea of playing Cruella once again. "I was attracted back by the idea of being able to revisit a character as iconic as Cruella and I knew the script was going to be good and that I'd be working with very talented people, many of whom had worked on ‘101 Dalmatians,'" says Close.

By the spring of 1999 and with Ms. Close definitely on board, attention then turned to choice of director.

Kevin Lima had been engrossed in the production of Disney's animated feature "Tarzan" when he first told the studio that he had his eye on directing a live action film. Lima had become one of Walt Disney Studios' most loyal and creative animation talents and had the staunch support of his then boss, Peter Schneider (currently chairman of The Walt Disney Studios).

Lima explains, "It just so happened that at the exact moment I finished working on ‘Tarzan,' Peter Schneider became president of The Walt Disney Studios. He knew of my desire to direct a live action film and when ‘102 Dalmatians' was searching for a director he gave me a call."

Feldman continues the story, "I met Kevin at the request of Peter Schneider. He put no pressure on me, he just asked me to see him. But, I was completely knocked out. Here was a young man of considerable creative talent. I thought ‘Tarzan' was one of the finest animated films I had ever seen and I had absolutely no hesitation about bringing him on board to direct ‘102 Dalmatians.'"

Glenn Close, who had worked extensively with Lima when she performed the voice of Kala in "Tarzan," equally shares his enthusiasm. Being one of the central characters of the film meant they had spent a great deal of time developing the character and as she explains, "I felt I could trust him. He was incredibly articulate and knew how to communicate his vision."

Close continues, "When his name came up for ‘102 Dalmatians,' I didn't hesitate in my support. He's a very talented man and was incredible in the way he rose to the challenge of directing a movie of this magnitude. From day one everyone on the production sensed his talent and totally supported him. He's done a wonderful job."

Directing animation and directing live action, do have their similarities, Lima says. "In animation, as in live action, the goal is to create living, breathing characters."

But, he does admit that the disciplines are worlds apart. "My knees were shaking when I first thought of directing Glenn Close in this role,&q

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