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OF, BY AND FOR CHILDREN

Every child's favorite spotted-dog tale shows how good conquers evil

April 11, 1993|N.F. MENDOZA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Some movies seem to go directly from theaters to television. Others seem to take forever. Finally, after 32 years, Disney's classic 101 Dalmatians makes its world television premiere.

Featuring the voices of Rod Taylor and J. Pat O'Malley, the animated romance-comedy-adventure follows Pongo and Perdita and their search for their puppies, who are dognaped by one of Disney's nastiest villains: Cruella De Vil. The dastardly De Vil plans to make a puppy fur coat, and she intends to fashion it with Dalmatians.

It's up to Pongo and Perdita and their pals to stop her and rescue not only their own brood but other victims as well. The elder Dalmatians are aided by a canine colonel and his animal army--a cat, a horse and a goose.

Although Cruella is a frightening foe, the film makes clear that love of parents and loyalty of friendships, both animal and human, are invaluable.

"101 Dalmatians" airs on Saturday, 7-8:30 p.m. on the Disney Channel. For ages 4 and up.

MORE FAMILY SHOWS

The Animated Haggadah (Sunday 11:30 a.m.-noon Disney) is the story of the children of Israel's liberation from slavery in Egypt. The Pharaoh's court, the burning bush and the 10 plagues are all explained through a dream journey in clay animation. The evolution of the Seder, the Jewish ceremonial dinner held on the first evening of Passover is described, as well as how each person participates in the service. For ages 6 to 12.

After 1976's Bugsy Malone (Wednesday 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. AMC), Alan Parker claimed he would never work with an all-kid cast again. The gangster musical spoof stars Scott Baio as the nice guy caught up in Prohibition-era antics and Jodie Foster as a fabulous kid femme fatale. Guns in this flick use whipped cream instead of bullets. Costumes and sets are lush, offering amusing and unique fare for the whole family. Paul Williams provides a catchy score. For ages 6 and up.

The animated 1983 version of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels (Thursday 1-2:30 p.m. Disney) tells how shipwrecked Samuel Gulliver washes ashore and finds himself in a land of giants. Gulliver is sold to a circus, owned by a prince and befriended by a giant girl before being dropped back in the ocean by a friendly bird. For ages 4 and up.

Heart of Courage (Thursday 7:30-8 p.m. Discovery), which often focuses on the remarkable feats of young people, follows the rescue of two children this week. Anna Lang saves a friend and her small son after a giant tanker slams into the back of their car, causing the car to crash through the guardrail of the bridge and plunge into the river below. Two onlookers, Jackie Chaisson and Eric Sparks, assisted in the rescue. Anna was awarded the Cross of Valour; Eric and Jackie were awarded the Star of Courage. Then Jean Schlitz saves a little girl who is unconscious and has fallen onto train tracks in the path of an oncoming train. For ages 10 and up.

Since young people are increasingly interested in politics, it would make sense for Roundhouse (Saturday 8:30-9 p.m. Nickelodeon), Nick's comedy-musical sketch show, to devote an episode to political parodies. Including are the sketches "Lifestyles of the Poor and Relatively Obscure," "The State of Family Address" with President Dat, "The American Depressed Card" and the songs "World of Pork" and "Still Waiting for Love." For ages 7 and up.

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