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Disney lets dogs out

Animal experience frustrating, rewarding, Lima sez

He may not be Scorsese or Spielberg, but when Santa comes out to introduce the movie at a premiere even industry folk sit up.

At Disney’s “102 Dalmatians” preem Monday night at Radio City Music Hall, Kris Kringle did a song-and-dance routine following a Rockettes performance.

After the screening, guests were further entertained during an after-party held at Rockefeller Center where they could ice skate, dress up in Cruella’s costumes and pose for pics with a couple of Dalmatians.

Pic’s helmer, Kevin Lima, who knows a thing or two about the latter, said working with the animals was really, “a mixed blessing. It was at times incredibly frustrating and at other times completely rewarding.”

Glenn Close, who plays villainness Cruella DeVil in the pic, commented on the reaction she gets from children: “They get very scared and try to be brave and they don’t really believe that it is Cruella, but they don’t want to take a chance just in case. It is very funny.” Others enjoying the festivities included Disney topper Michael Eisner, and execs Peter Schneider, Dick Cook, Geoffrey Ammer and Oren Aviv; cast members Alice Evans and Ioan Gruffudd; scribes Kristen Buckley, Brian Regan, Bob Tzudiker and Noni White; and guests Harry Connick Jr., Hallie Kate Eisenberg, Bobby Kennedy Jr., John Ritter and Ivana Trump.

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