Sunday, February 5, 2012

Puppy Bowl and Dog-related conspiracies

Happy Puppy Bowl Sunday!

This is always a joyous day. I mean, puppies! PUPPIES!!

But of course this got me thinking about various dog-related media that I love. Particularly the 1961 animated Disney film 101 Dalmatians.

This movie always put a smile on my face. I loved that it was set in England, that the dogs had established a barking-across-the-country telegraph system, all those spots, and that the puppies watched TV quiz shows. I cheered for the goodies and hissed at the baddies.

What I didn't do was math.

Let's backtrack. In the film, Pongo and Perdita, a [married] dalmatian couple have 15 puppies! Excessive, but as Pongo's owner Roger reminds us, Pongo is an "old rascal," which I can only assume means he has a high sperm count. At about the same time as the puppies are born, Roger's wife Anita invites her old school friend Cruella De Vil to visit.

Let's just ignore the fact that Anita would no way in hell actually be "old school friends" with Cruella De Vil who is clearly 30 years older than Anita and made of pure oozing hatred. Anita is a very mild-mannered dog lover who fell for a musician. Not the type to be buddies with rich, evil, 60+ year old fur collectors.

IMPORTANT: Since I have become a dog owner myself, I've had the luck to meet many a dalmatian puppy. In case you didn't know, dalmatians are mid-sized to large-ish dogs. Mature ones can weigh more than 55 pounds.

In a scene right after the puppies are born, Cruella calls the newborns "horrid little mongrels" because they have no spots. Roger and Anita laughingly let their nefarious friend know that dalmatians don't show their spots right away, but that the spots become visible over time. They don't give her exact dates, but it's usually 8-10 weeks before the spots are showing. So, at least 2 months.

Anyway, Cruella sends two goons to steal the puppies in the night. The goons take the puppies back to a creepy old house that apparently only has enough electricity to run a TV, but not the overhead lights. At the house are a ton of pet-store-bought puppies. All the puppies are the same size, except for one fat one, who is fatter than the others. Fat. So, the puppies are also, we can assume, fully weaned as pet stores aren't going to sell you a dog you have to bottle-feed. Therefore, even if they all miraculously got their spots early, they're at least 6 weeks old.

Margot Tennenbaum's coat
But let's say these puppies are 8 weeks old, k? An average 8 week old dalmatian puppy weighs around 14 pounds. The average fully grown red fox weighs 10 to 12 pounds.

Who cares about red foxes? Well, apart from PeTA, I do at the moment, because I'm being logical!

It takes about 18 red foxes to make a coat. Red foxes weigh LESS than 8 week old dalmatian puppies.


But the drama doesn't end there. NO!

Because it's not 101 Dalmatians, my dear dorks. It's 116!

In 1997 Tim Whyte wrote this blog post in which he analyzes the film that his child forced him to watch on repeat. When an ugly cat arrives to rescue the puppies, he meets one who tell him that the majority of the puppies were "bought and paid for" from pet stores. This puppy continues on, informing the cat that there are 99 of them.

I know you're thinking 99 plus Pongo and Perdita. 101.


There are 99 puppies from the pet store. The puppy then points to the fifteen stolen puppies wearing collars and watching TV. Puppy lets the cat know that they "never counted them."

Well, Perdita definitely counted them as she shoved them from her womb. There's 15 of them. Plus your 99 pet store puppies. Plus Pongo and Perdita. 116 Dalmatians.

Sadly when Roger counts all the dogs at the end of the film, we're back to 101, which of course means that 15 puppies were not rescued. So Cruella still got her coat.

1 comment:

Zack H. said...

Motherf*&!@n' Veronica Mars right here! Or is it Miss Cora Strayer? I love this analysis.