Said slapstick comes from the live-action version of 101 Dalmatians, a movie that I quite frankly didn't even know had Hugh Laurie in it. But the wife has been looking forward to this post for a while. She wanted me to start with this one, actually, but my strict work ethic demanded that I stick to posting clips based on chronological order. Except for the couple of times that I didn't feel like it. Anyway, here's a montage of Hugh Laurie's turn as Jasper.
So, I realize this is an odd thing to think when watching clips from a movie for children, but Hugh Laurie doesn't look well. His eyes have dark circles. His hair is disheveled. His teeth are dirty and crooked. And I know what your thinking. Of course he looks unwell...he's English. But I think it goes beyond that. I strongly believe that Jasper was a heroin addict.
Here me out here. Let's look at the facts. Jasper is often irritable, even violent with his associate. This is surely the attitude of a man who badly needs a fix. Which is why he's willing to work for a woman who kills cuddly puppies just to make a coat. He's even comfortable with accosting an "old bird" if it means he can finally catch that dragon. For those who need visual evidence, I've produced a couple of pictures for comparison.
One of these men seems to be doing everything he can to look like a crazed drug addict. The other one is Leonardo DiCaprio.
So next time you think you're just watching some harmless fluff about cute puppy dogs, keep in mind that you are really watching a study on a man whose habit has taken total control of his life. It's tragic, but it's important for children and parents to watch it together so that they can talk candidly about the pitfalls of drug addiction. I would like to thank the creators of 101 Dalmatians for being so bold when they could have just made Hugh Laurie into a silly, one-note buffoon.