Fact Check

Does a Swastika Appear in Disney's '101 Dalmatians'?

This wouldn't have been the first time that a "hidden" image was spotted in a Disney film.

Published June 1, 2021

Image courtesy of Disney
A swastika can be seen in Perdita's fur pattern in the 1961 Disney movie "101 Dalmatians."

In May 2021, as a new live-action film about Disney's iconic antagonist Cruella de Vil hit theaters, an old image that supposedly showed a swastika in the dotted fur pattern of the canine character Perdita in the 1961 animated movie "101 Dalmatians" recirculated:

This is not a genuine still from the movie "101 Dalmatians." The swastika-like pattern shown above does not appear in the original film. This image was edited to make it look as if there is a dotted pattern on Perdita's fur resembling a swastika.

We viewed a copy of "101 Dalmatians" available via Disney Plus and can confirm that this swastika pattern does not appear in the official version of the film.

A clip of this scene is also available via YouTube. It's clear that Perdita, in the blue collar on the left, does not have dots shaped in the form of a swastika on her fur:

The fake "101 Dalmatians" swastika image has been circulating since at least 2015 when the website Hexjam included it in an article about "subliminal messages you never noticed in Disney movies." The images included in this article were all fakes, however, and featured far-fetched jokes such as a dwarf smoking a marijuana cigarette in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" and former U.S. President George W. Bush's face appearing in "Alice in Wonderland." Hexjam noted at the top of the article that viewers probably never noticed these images because they didn't actually appear in the Disney films.

This is not the first time a digitally edited still from a Disney movie has been created to make it seem as if the animators had secretly slipped a tasteless joke into a PG movie. "Toy Story 3," for example, does not feature a hidden image of oral sex, "The Lion King" doesn't feature a hidden image of breasts, and "Monsters Inc." does not feature a drawing of sex. For a few brief seconds in VHS copies of the 1977 movie "The Rescuers," however, a topless woman truly did make an appearance.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.