The Best Disney Man Isn’t Who You Think


by Angela Dahl

As little  girls, we often dreamt of our Prince Charmings. These dream men, and  our Halloween costume ideas, generally depended on which Disney princess  we chose to emulate that year. I never got to be Ariel for Halloween,  but I loved Prince Eric so much that I named my cat after him – the  greatest gesture of love I’ve ever done for a cartoon man.

Though I  have, what can only be called, an obsession with Disney movies, my search  for “the prince” has been somewhat of a letdown.  Disney  princes, along with Jane Austen novels and Hollywood endings, have resulted  in some very high expectations. I once expected my prince to be able  to steer a sunken ship through a typhoon into a giant octopus drag queen’s  heart. Was that really asking for too much? … I guess so.  Even  sans octopi killings, to also expect a man to wield a sword and sing  and know how to waltz is just unrealistic.

It’s not  asking too much, however, for our “prince” to make us laugh.  Or to be successful doing the thing he loves. Or to commit to us, love  us, and be kind to animals. Sound familiar yet?

Roger Radcliffe  from 101 Dalmatians has been severely  overlooked and underloved.

At first glance, he lacks the stereotypical good looks of the standard  Disney man; but, if you look closely, he’s got a bit of a John Krasinski  kind of appeal. Roger even makes the goofy Jim Halpert-type faces periodically  throughout the movie – especially in the scenes with Cruella. And maybe  this is only a selling point for nerdy girls, but a tall lanky man in  a sweater vest is pretty hot. The pipe smoking, though now potentially  off-putting, was considered gentlemanly and cool at the time, and Roger  is undoubtedly an English gentleman. Who else but a gentleman would,  as a reflex, offer a woman a hanky?  Pulled from his own pocket,  no less?

Roger is a musician who clearly works hard. His work ethic is shown  by the unkempt nature of his bachelor’s pad and the shenanigans Pongo,  his dog, has to perform to get him to stop working and find a girl.  Roger takes Pongo for a walk in the park where he meets Anita, and in  the very next scene, marries her. Unlike the Disney prince stories,  we really get to see their lives together, and they’re happy.

Roger does sing for his lady, but it’s to a) piss Cruella off (another  comparison to John Krasinski’s Jim can be drawn here), and b) make Anita  laugh. Roger in the “Cruella de Vil” song scene is so playful  and so funny, from playing obnoxiously loud to using his sweater as  a prop.  The sweetest moment between him and Anita is at the end  of that scene – after he dips her, of course (And have you ever noticed  all the instruments Roger’s able to play in that scene? He’s got skillz).

If all that weren’t enough, he later brings a newborn puppy back to  life. I mean, come on!   That’s swoonworthy.

By the end of the movie, the Radcliffes are wealthy beyond their dreams,  thanks to the success of Roger’s song. When Pongo and Perdy return with  eighty-four more puppies, Roger, without hesitation, decides to keep  them all and buy a “Dalmatian Plantation.”  That’s love  and kindness beyond belief.  Imagine being responsible for 101  dogs!  I could barely handle one cat.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think it’s quite clear: Roger Radcliffe is  the best man Disney has to offer us. Give me a man in a sweater vest  with a hanky over one in tights with a sword any day.

Preferably without the 101 dogs, though.


  1. Michele SinopoliJanuary 22nd, 2013 at 10:39 am

    I loved all the Disney movies since I was kid and 101 Dalmatians one of my favorite, romantic, hero, good and evil and great action. Great movie.

  2. KathleenJanuary 22nd, 2013 at 11:27 am

    I adore Roger – he’s one of the few men in the Disney oeuvre that’s not portrayed as either an interchangeable cardboard cutout (early Disney princess movies) or a lying, conniving or rage-prone goon who’s redeemed by the ‘power of love’. He’s not someone that needs to be fixed, he’s already awesome as he is, and THAT is what everyone should aspire to in a relationship.

    Not that I think too much about Disney movies 😉

  3. NoraJanuary 22nd, 2013 at 11:31 am

    I love 101 Dalmations! Like Michele I love all the Disney movies. I can never pick a favorite because they are all my favorite, lol 🙂

  4. CailinJanuary 22nd, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I LOVE ROGER. Thank goodness someone else gets it!!!

  5. Mattie KornetaJanuary 22nd, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Absolutely love this movie, and Roger. He’s such a lovable character, but because he’s a prince, he often gets overlooked, as you said. It’s a travesty! Now I want to watch 101 Dalmatians. I might just do that. Fantastic article and series. Absolutely marvelous! (had to throw a Disney quote in there somewhere!)

  6. JeanneJanuary 22nd, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    I Love Disney movies there so Great 🙂 they allways have A message in them 🙂

  7. CatJanuary 22nd, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    I think this movie *might* have influenced me a bit too much as a kid…
    I’m married to an IT nerd/musician who plays about 5 instruments & have 3 pitbulls. The biggest difference is that I have 2 kids. Where is Nanny when I need her???

  8. KevinJanuary 22nd, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Interesting article….I still think women secretly desire Sebastian the crab from The Little Mermaid.

  9. EricaJanuary 22nd, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Awww. I always loved Roger. But I haven’t thought about it quite this way. Wonderful post.

  10. Kevin RigdonJanuary 22nd, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Excellent article! I do think we tend to overlook the hidden heroes throughout our mythologies.

  11. MeganJanuary 22nd, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Brilliant post, thank you for the wonderful insite on such a sweet and average joe. I can deff relate to Anita.

  12. AlisonJanuary 22nd, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Absolutely! What a great piece, and what a great hero. Roger’s always been tops in my book too. Clever, talented, charming, brave, and a heart of gold. What more can a gal wish on a star for?

  13. NizaJanuary 22nd, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Wow! I never realized how hot Roger was! Now I have to go tell my husband that his competition is a cartoon character. Lol.

  14. ShawnJanuary 22nd, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    While Rodger is great, I think Pongo is very overlooked as a prince in his own right. He is nothing but loving and kind to Perdita. And he is not only the perfect wingman to Rodger his is also his best friend. When he was looking for his love he made sure that the human was perfect for Rodger too. With out Pongo’s decisive action his brilliant thinking, and his cunning 101 would never have been. Pongo was the one that put the whole ball in motion. So that being said is it possible that 101 Dalmatians is the first Disney movie with two hero princes?

  15. Alyx MorganJanuary 23rd, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I couldn’t agree more, Angela. Yes, the technical Princes of Disney’s movies might have the huge castle & money that most girls think they want, but Roger is wonderful! Were all the Disney men to be found in “real” life, Roger would be the one I’d fall for, in a heartbeat.

    But then . . . I’ve ALWAYS gone for the geeks/nerds.

  16. MandersJanuary 24th, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I NEVER thought of it that way before. But I also never found the other Disney princes very attractive, either. But now that you mention it, Roger is,. indeed, swoonworthy 🙂

  17. JamieNovember 19th, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    101 Dalmatians is one of my favorite movies of all time. Roger is the best

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