Dolly Dalmatian (101 Dalmatian Street)
Dolly Dalmatian is the female protagonist of the animated Disney Channel series 101 Dalmatian Street. She is one of the eldest of Doug and Delilah's puppies, is very tomboyish and loves to come up with insane ideas. Her adventurous attitude contrasts with the pedantic personality of her stepbrother Dylan, and they look after their younger siblings while their parents are busy at work.
Why She's A "Bark-Breath"
- The way she is written is all over the place. While sometimes she can be a likable tomboy who likes to come up with insane ideas and has a sibling rivalry with Dylan but does genuinely care for her family and friends, she is mostly portrayed as an absolutely obnoxious and insufferable jerk who basically bullies her poor brother Dylan for her own amusement (and sometimes to get attention).
- It is also worth noting that Dolly was gradually flanderized over a single season, which is extemely rare for a television show. As of "Balancing Act", she is now a reckless jerk who always wants to be cool and hip with the puppies and barely learns from her mistakes.
- Throughout the course of the show, Dolly has done many terrible deeds not just to Dylan, but to her whole family as well. These include, but are not limited to:
- Snubbing Delgado in order to hang out with Sid Squirrel and not listening to Dylan's protests against the squirrel in "May Contain Nuts".
- Attacking Dylan and her best friend Roxy with a high-pressure garden hose in "Perfect Match".
- Getting Dylan's beloved Poodlewolf killed by deliberately sabotaging the game to go to the park in "Poodlefall!".
- Hurting the feelings of her family by insulting her mother Delilah in "Girls Day Out".
- Blaming Dylan for tearing Doug's face off the family portrait in "Balancing Act".
- Pushing Da Vinci into painting T-shirts against her will in "Doggy Da Vinci" (granted, Dylan did it too).
- Insulting Dylan, Dawkins and Triple D by calling them "ruff-raff" - as well as shoving away and abandoning Dizzy and Dee Dee - in "My Fair Dolly".
- Essentially brainwashing Dylan by elongating his timer for his Poodlewolf VR game so that she can hang out with Hansel in "Poodlewolf".
- She rarely gets any punishment for her actions, making her a Karma Houdini.
- A good example of this is the aforementioned "Balancing Act". In it, it is Dylan who gets into trouble for the family portrait incident instead of Dolly - and Dolly still refuses to own up for her actions in the final scene of the episode (see the infobox quote).
- She also gets away with helping Sid to steal nuts from the local corner shop, as well as snubbing Delgado, in "May Contain Nuts" (although depending on your view, her nearly falling to her death could be seen as comeuppance for her actions in that episode).
- In "Girls' Day Out", Dolly gets no onscreen punishment for insulting her mother and hurting the feelings of her family (although she does apologize to Delilah towards the end).
- She is extremely impulsive, and because of that she comes up with many insane ideas that constantly end up backfiring. A good example of this is "Power to the Puppies", where she causes a kibble shortage by allowing her siblings to eat as much kibble as they want.
- She gets way too much screentime in the show, since she appears in every single episode (even when she isn't the main character). This is to the point where pups such as Delgado, DJ and Da Vinci are usually either in minor background roles or absent altogether.
- Depending on your view, Dolly even overshadows Dylan despite the fact that they are supposed to the co-protagonists of the show. It was Dolly who got to hang out with both her parents as well as Pearl the Police Horse, while Dylan never got to spend much time with his parents or Pearl onscreen. Additionally, Dolly has far more episodes devoted to her than Dylan does.
- Due to the show's egregious lack of character development, she never changes her behaviour and stays the same insufferable jerk throughout the series - even if she does learn her lesson, she will forget it one episode later.
- A particularly bad example of this is the aforementioned "Balancing Act". At the end of that episode, Dolly refuses to accept responsiblity for tearing up the family portrait and runs off even though she admitted she did it to Dylan and apologized to him beforehand.
- While otherwise a decent episode, "Yappily Ever After" fails to make Dolly learn her lesson about being so reckless and irresponsible despite the fact that she was punished for her actions by being Clarissa's servant for the day. In fact, she gets what she wants rather than realize that if she hadn't been so careless, she wouldn't have been punished.
- Although Michela Dietz mostly does a great job voicing her (see RQ #3), her voice can be quite annoying at times, particularly her screams in episodes such as "The Wow of Miaow" and "Balancing Act". Not helping matters is that some of her screams are reused in certain episodes. For example, her scream in "May Contain Nuts" is reused in "Don't Push Your Luck".
- Not helping matters is that Dietz also voices Amethyst, another carefree character who loves to have fun and has a big-sisterly role to a younger character (in this case, Steven Universe). While both Dolly and Amethyst are similar in terms in personality, Dolly lacks the character development that made Amethyst likable in later episodes - in fact, Dolly can be considered the canine equivalent of Amethyst without her likablity and development.
- Sometimes, she outright refuses to accept responsibility for her actions (and not just in "Balancing Act", either). In "Perfect Match", for example, she gets jealous over her best friend Roxy Rottweiller spending time with Dylan despite the fact that Dolly was the one who set them up in the first place.
- She is very egotistical and wants things to go her way, even if it is at the expense of others' wants. A good example of this is in "Poodlefall!", where she intentionally sabotages the game of Poodlewolf that she was playing with Dylan, Hansel and Dawkins.... just so she could go to the freaking park! Geez, what a terrible sister!
- In some episodes, she is shown to have a rather poor judge of character. This is evident in both "May Contain Nuts" and "Don't Push Your Luck", where she trusts Sid and Big Fee, respectively, despite the fact that they were clearly using her for their own personal gains.
- At times, she can have sweet and likable moments (both to her family and to her friends).
- Time and time again, she will realize the error of her ways and do her best to put things right again. For example, she ditches her Camilla alter-ego and drops out of the Pooch Petiquette Cup to make her family happy again in "My Fair Dolly".
- At times, she can be quite sympathetic. A good example of this is "Poetry Scam", where she is forced to decide whether to keep her promise to Dylan - which was pretending his poetry was hers to Hansel - or come clean and admit that the poems weren't hers (she does the latter at the end).
- Despite how badly she treats Dylan, she does genuinely care for him and will try her best to make it up to him. A good example of this is "Poodlefall!", where she (along with Dawkins and, later, Hansel) try to find the Resurrection Bone in order to revive Poodlewolf for Dylan - and when they find out it is missing, Dolly retrieves the bone from her other neighbour Constantin's house. After that, Dolly uses the bone to revive Poodlewolf to Dylan's joy.
- She is also a great big sister to Delgado and the twins Dizzy and Dee Dee (for the most part, anyway), and will do anything to make them happy. In "Don't Push Your Luck", for example, she isn't happy when she finds out that Big Fee sold their tickets to the Board Dogs competition, and gives Big Fee her comeuppance afterward.
- Additionally, she genuinely respects her parents despite being insensitive to them at times. In "Girls' Day Out", for example, she comes to respect Delilah after she defends her from Clarissa.
- Her character design is admittedly pretty cool, and the many elements of it (e.g. the legwarmer markings on her legs) suit her tomboyish personality perfectly. Not to mention, she is actually quite cute like most dogs are.
- The design of her show dog alter-ego, Camilla, is also good and manages to be both adorable and beautiful at the same time.
- Her "black Labrador" disguise in "Yappily Ever After" is also very clever and is a nice nod to the original 101 Dalmatians film.
- Michaela Dietz, who also voiced Riff in Barney & Friends and Amethyst in Steven Universe, was a perfect pick for Dolly and does an awesome job voicing her (aside from the annoying screaming). This is also apparent in her singing and rapping skills (e.g. "Poetry Scam").
- Sometimes, she gets her comeuppance for her awful deeds (e.g. "Poodlewolf!" and "Poodlefall!"), but that still doesn't remove her from the Karma Houdini category.
- Depending on your view, getting trapped on top of a crate in "Balancing Act" could be seen as karma for her blaming Dylan at the beginning of the episode.
- She does have her funny moments here and there. For example, her freestyle rap about her bragging that she and Destiny will win the "best birthday party bet" in "It's my Party" is quite hilarious.
- Her dislike for Clarissa Corgi is very reasonable, since the latter is a very obnoxious and snobby neighbour who has attempted to get rid of her family for the pettiest of reasons (e.g. Flea-Mageddon and The Dog House).
- 101 Dalmatian Street would not be the same without her since she is the show's female protagonist and many fans still like her and root for her despite her flaws.
- Some fans do actually prefer her over Dylan, on the basis that she is a rather cool and carefree character. On the flipside, the show at least acknowledges her flaws rather than claim that she's perfect.
Dolly has proven to be one of the most controversial characters on 101 Dalmatian Street since the show started, with many viewers criticizing her for her jerkish behaviour - especially how she treats Dylan - and the lack of realistic consequences that she faces for it. While some have disliked her as early as "Perfect Match" due to her poor treatment of Roxy and Dylan, "Balancing Act" was the episode which escalated her hatedom. Her Flanderization in that episode, which continued two episodes later in "Poodlefall", made many viewers see her as nothing more than a reckless jerk who bullies others for her own amusement and rarely learns from her mistakes. Some people even hate the entirety of the show because of this character.
Despite all the aforementioned criticism, however, Dolly does have a sizeable amount of fans. These fans like her for being a good foil to Dylan, being able to be a great big sister when times are tough, her rivalry with Clarissa and the fact that she is always willing to fix her mistakes. Some are even willing to give her constant screentime in the show a pass, due to her role as its female protagonist. Despite her increasing hatedom, these fans have prevented Dolly from being a fully-hated character.