101 Dalmations II:
Patch's London Adventure
Walt Disney Home Entertainment. 70 minutes
DVD: $29.99. VHS: $24.99.
For the family
Cruella De Vil's obsession with spotted puppy fur is a tad too creepy to be a giggle, but this new sequel to the animated Disney classic is enjoyable family viewing nonetheless, with a top-notch voice cast led by Barry Bostwick and appealing young Bobby Lockwood making the most of humor and sentiment.
The plot: Cruella tries substituting an interest in spotted art for her obsession with spotted fur coats, but she soon gets her hands on the real thing again -- all but puppy Patch. With his hero, TV star Thunderbolt the Wonder Dog, it's Patch to the rescue. DVD extras include glimpses of London's historic sites, a Thunderbolt dressing room tour and a dog's-eye view of the Disney studios.
Artisan Home Entertainment. 180 minutes
DVD: $19.98. VHS: $14.98
Ages 8 to adult
The Hans Christian Andersen saga of the Snow Queen's kidnapping of a little boy and of the little girl whose love saves him has been reshaped as a teen romance about an 18-year-old girl's trek through the seasons to rescue a hunky bellboy from the Snow Queen's clutches.
This expensive dud, originally a Hallmark Channel miniseries, takes forever to get to the uneven special effects, with a long setup laden with meaningful looks and limited dialogue between Gerda and bellboy Kai. Attractive leads Chelsea Hobbs and Jeremy Guilbaut are wincingly contemporary. There's some visual fun but not enough to bring enchantment to this fairy-tale fizzle.
-- Lynne Heffley