Although it came out decades ago, 101 Dalmatians still has loyal fans. Using the MBTI®, let’s figure out each character’s personality type.
Even though it sometimes falls through the cracks of the Disney canon, 101 Dalmatians still has the ability to charm. Part of this stems from the animation, which managed to capture some of the hipness of the 1960s. More than that, though, it also features some truly splendid characters. Whether it’s the kind but independent Anita, the malevolent Cruella, or the sensible Pongo, these are people and dogs that almost leap off of the screen.
The Meyers Briggs personality types provide a new way of looking at them, allowing for a deeper appreciation of these characters and the film as a whole.
Pongo is the primary dog character, the one whose narration outlines the beginning of the film. He’s a very loyal sort of canine, faithful to his master Roger and looking out for his romantic interests.
However, as an ESTJ he is also very determined to protect his puppies and Perdita, and it is he who helps to spearhead the effort to rescue them after they’ve been kidnapped by Cruella’s henchmen. His practicality ultimately saves the day.
Perdita, Pongo’s mate, is a bit more soft-spoken than he is, more likely to take a conciliatory approach to matters. Like him, she is faithful to her owner Anita, and she seems to actually care for her and her well-being.
It probably goes without saying that she is also very caring and loving toward her puppies which, given the fact that more than a few of them are rather irritating and demanding, is no small thing indeed.
As Pongo’s owner, Roger likes to think that he has control of their relationship (even though the opposite is true). He has an implacable dislike of Cruella since he sees beneath her friendly exterior to the malice that lies beneath.
As an ENTJ, he’s a very bold sort of character, and this manifests as both his willingness to call Cruella out, as well as his ability to write a song pillorying her as exactly the sort of monster that she is.
Anita is, in many ways, Roger’s better half. Whereas he’s more than a bit cynical, as an INFJ Anita is an idealist, always trying to see the best in everyone, even when they clearly don’t deserve it. It’s for this reason that, at least at first, she seems unwilling to see beneath Cruella’s friendly exterior to the monster that’s there in plain view.
Ultimately, however, she does come to realize this, revealing her own inner strength.
Cruella De Vil: ESTJ
Say what you will about Cruella, but she is definitely a woman who knows what she wants and is willing to do almost anything, no reprehensible, to accomplish her goals. She’s clearly quite an adept administrator (as most ESTJs are) since she is able to take charge of the situation with the puppies.
She also has a notoriously short fuse, and she has almost no patience with incompetence in others (including, as it turns out, her henchmen Jasper and Horace).
Jasper, the taller and lankier of Cruella’s henchman, appears at the outset to be the smart one. Like most ENTJs, he’s a forceful type of personality, always trying to forge a way forward, even when one isn’t immediately available.
Obviously, since he is one of the villains of the film, he also displays most of the notable weaknesses of this personality type, including arrogance, stubbornness, and intolerance (particularly for his brother, Horace).
The thing that is so amusing about the character of Horace is that, contrary to what appears to be the case, he might actually be the smart brother. It’s just unfortunate that his brother is so frustratingly unwilling to listen to him. Throughout the film, Horace repeatedly shows that he is the perceptive one, the one that is able to see into the heart of things.
Alas, he tends to miss the forest for the trees (a typically ESTP trait).
Though she only appears sporadically in the film, Nanny makes quite an impression. As the woman hired to take care of the puppies, she exhibits many of the traits that are often associated with the ISFJ.
Most importantly, like almost all ISFJs, she’s a fierce defender of everything that she loves, and she puts up a spirited defense of the puppies when Jasper and Horace set out to kidnap them. While they succeed, you have to give Nanny credit for trying.
The Colonel: ENTJ
A sheepdog that lives on the farm next to the old De Vil mansion, the Colonel is one of the film’s sources of comic relief. Like some of the other characters in the film, he is very much an ENTJ, always willing to charge ahead and take command of the situation, in this case attempting to save the puppies from Jasper and Horace.
Unfortunately, it’s precisely his headstrong approach to life that sometimes gets him into trouble (which is why he has the more practical Tibbs as an assistant).
Sergeant Tibbs: ESTP
Sergeant Tibbs, the cat who is charged with implementing the Colonel’s plans to save the puppies from certain death at Jasper and Horace’s hands, is a good assistant to the rather impetuous old sheepdog. As an ESTP he is very bold and perceptive, and without him, it’s almost certain that the puppies would have met a very gruesome fate indeed.
It’s his careful eye that allows him to get the puppies out of the mansion.