Whenever you think about Disney's adorable dogs with spots in the 1961 animated feature One Hundred and One Dalmatians, you never think about sci-fi. But the author who wrote the story that inspired the movie, Dodie Smith, created a sequel to her novel about a bunch of pups that try to escape the evil Cruella de Vil -- and it includes extraterrestrial dogs, a nuclear war plotline, and other strange touches.
Both film sequels to the '60's version and the 1996 live-action movie -- 101 Dalmatians II and 102 Dalmatians -- have no connection to Smith's 1967 children's novel The Starlight Barking. Perhaps if the Mickey Mouse studio had looked at the bizarre sci-fi tale, their follow-ups to the popular classic animated movie would have been more successful than a direct-to-video release and a subpar Glenn Close film.
The Starlight Barking picks up after the first novel, finding the Dalmatians waking up to a world where humans and animals have fallen into a deep sleep. The pooches travel to London to find out what's going on, but they don't hop a plane -- instead they "swoosh" or levitate. Weird. Eventually they meet up with an E.T. dog that tells them that they can hitch a ride to space with him in order to be safe from the dangers of nuclear war on Earth. It's a tough decision for Pongo -- who assumes the role as leader of the pack. Stay or go?
Would you buy a ticket to see a movie about alien canines and flying dogs, trading 60's nuclear paranoia for Middle East tensions?