|Disney’s animated feature 101 Dalmatians was one of the studio’s most popular creations, brought back regularly in theaters and on home video. In the fall of 1996, the studio released a live-action version of the film, which also scored a major hit. Hoping to build the franchise even further, Disney created an animated series starring Pongo, Perdy, and their adorable, spotted litter.
In the animated series, Roger and Anita Dearly moved their enormous clan of puppies out to a country farm, where the dogs would have more room to romp. Unfortunately, the farm happened to sit next to Cruella DeVil’s mansion. Wicked and wealthy Cruella no longer wanted the dalmatians’ hides for a coat, but she couldn’t stand living next to them either. She hired Horace and Jasper Badum to run the Dearlys off the farm. Cruella’s pet ferret Scorch helped the cause by antagonizing the puppies whenever possible.
Three puppies took center stage: leader Lucky, tubby Rolly, and their runt sister Cadpig. Other featured puppies were three-legged Tripod, Duke, Two-Tone, and Wizzer (don’t ask). The show also featured a chicken named Spot who desperately wanted to be a dog. Other puppies from both feature films made occasional appearances.
101 Dalmatians: The Series debuted in syndication on September 1, 1997, running new episodes six days a week. Less than two weeks later, the show came to ABC's Saturday morning lineup, airing original episodes that could only be seen on the network. The two-pronged approach lasted only a single season, but the puppies returned for another feature film outing in Disney's 2000 live-action feature 102 Dalmatians.