101 Dalmatians (1961) – Was Anita in on the Puppy Heist?
Ah, the enigmatic and elusive Anita Radcliffe! The Disney movie “101 Dalmatians” is full of colorful characters, but this lady takes the cake for being one of the most mysterious and ambiguous of them all. Sure, we know that she has a Dalmatian and likes to read in the park, but beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess as to what’s going on in her mind. But don’t be fooled by her lack of dialogue and actions – Anita’s character is displayed through the things she doesn’t say or do.
According to reddit user u/gascanfiasco‘s fantheory Anita my be hiding a dark secret. Was she wealthy, maybe from a family with money? And could she have actually been in cahoots with her evil friend from school, Cuella da Vil? This theory suggests she could have been.
First of all, let’s talk about Anita’s background. We’re first introduced to Roger, who’s living in a run-down apartment. But once he marries Anita, they move into a spacious townhouse with multiple rooms, a nanny, and all the bells and whistles! Pongo describes it as a “modest little place”, but it’s a far cry from where Roger and he used to live. Now, let’s consider that Roger’s songs are yet to be recognized, so it’s not like he’s making a ton of money just yet. So, one might wonder, where did they get all the funds to live in such a lavish lifestyle? That money must have come from Anita somehow. Cruella obviously comes from money and if her and Anita attended the same school it’s safe to assume they both come from affluent families.
Later on in the movie, when Roger’s songs become a hit, Anita mentions how the money brought in was more than they could ever imagine. But there’s not a single change in their house, clothing, or lifestyle. It seems like they were doing just fine without all the extra cash.
Now, let’s talk about Anita’s indifference. Right before Cruella makes her grand entrance, Perdita freaks out and hides. As a pet owner, you would expect Anita to notice, but nope! Cruella walks in, smoking a smelly cigarette that Anita obviously dislikes, and even extinguishes it in a cupcake when Anita offers her tea– but still, not a peep from Anita. It’s like she doesn’t even care. And when Cruella mocks her home, social status, and husband, she still doesn’t say a word. It’s almost as if she’s indifferent to the whole situation.
But wait, it gets even more interesting! After Pongo’s conversation with Perdita about being pregnant, Cruella just shows up, asking to see the puppies. How in the world did she know about them? And why didn’t Anita seem concerned that Cruella, known for her love of fur coats, was asking about the puppies? This should have been a red flag but Anita acts as if this behavior is expected.
When the puppies are born, Cruella shows up again right on cue and tries to buy them. She bullies Anita and belittles Roger, and for a moment, it seems like Anita is standing up for the puppies. But then, something strange happens. Right before Roger stands up to Cruella, she accidentally splashes ink all over him and Pongo, making them covered in spots, just like a Dalmatian. But Anita? Not a single spot on her. Even when Cruella pulls out her checkbook, Anita doesn’t say a word. It’s almost like she’s in on the whole thing.
Fast-forward to when the puppies are stolen, Roger is sure it was Cruella, but Anita tells him that Cruella isn’t a thief. But, come on now, we all know what she’s capable of. She runs a business that kills and skins furry animals and Cruella is openly passionate about her love of furs. And why did Anita inform Cruella of Perdita’s pregnancy and the puppies’ delivery? Why did she go silent when the checkbook came out? The answer to these questions remains a mystery, but one thing’s for sure – Anita’s loyalties are definitely questionable. She could be in on the whole thing. Or at the very least she could be happy to be rid of the puppies. Either way, we have our eye on you Anita!
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