He convinces Thunderbolt not to use Patch's stealth plan, but to openly attack. The puppies board a double-decker bus, but Cruella, Jasper, and Horace discover the escape and pursue them in their stolen truck, racing through the streets of London, and crashing through the filming of Lil' Lightning's new show. In the end, Jasper and Horace are arrested again. A veritable reference book to Thunderbolt's many adventures, Patch provides the perfect guide for the television star in his attempts at real-life heroics. He quickly befriends Thunderbolt, the famous television wonder-dog whom he adores, and later meets Lil' Lightning, the famous sidekick of Thunderbolt only to be betrayed by him later on.
Lightning is horrified when he discovers Thunderbolt might actually become a hero and hurries to the warehouse where the puppies are being held. While watching the Thunderbolt Adventure Hour, Patch hears about a chance to appear on the show while it's filming in London. As for Cruella DeVil - she's back and more obsessed with Dalmatians than ever. This makes her revolt and go back to her original plan of kidnapping the dogs for a coat. Thunderbolt is a and his sidekick, Lil' Lightning, is a. Elsewhere in London, attempts to soothe her fixation on spots with the helping of Lars, a French artist.
Disney re-released the film on September 16, 2008. After a newspaper montage reveals the fates of the characters, a shows Thunderbolt in his television show with Patch as his new sidekick and the other puppies as , chasing the villain away into the sunset. They are in jail when the film starts, but are bailed out by Cruella, who rehires them to finish the job of killing and skinning the Dalmatian puppies, though they doubt her as they do not want to be made fools of again. In the end, she is defeated and sent to a psychiatric hospital. The police arrest Lil' Lightning, Jasper, and Horace, while Cruella, now driven completely insane, is sent to a mental institution. At first, she's able to calm her frenzy through an affiliation with a spot-fixated artist. Initially, Thunderbolt considers Lightning his best friend, despite being rude to him and pushing him aside.
Cruella appears, knocks Thunderbolt out, and locks Patch and Thunderbolt in a cage. Surprisingly, however, they part ways with Cruella after this second arrest, opening a shop in London instead of continuing their past occupation as incompetent criminals. To retaliate, Lightning tricks Thunderbolt into running away, then plots to manipulate the director into re-writing the show slanted towards Lightning. She sends them in a stolen truck to steal the remaining puppies. They succeed after dealing with Nanny, and they take them to Lars.
Patch heads for the audition to meet his hero. Patch is deeply hurt that Thunderbolt would lie, but soon realizes that their current situation was covered in one of The Thunderbolt Adventure Hour episodes, and manages to escape. Pongo, Perdita, The Radcliffes, and Nanny arrive, and Patch's parents tell him they are proud of him. Angered, she has him bound and gagged and returns to her original plan of making a Dalmatian. However, the family move will interfere with Patch's opportunity - until he's accidentally left behind in the commotion.
Patch puts the bus into reverse, sending Cruella, Jasper, Horace, and Lil' Lightning scrambling into the , along with their stolen truck. As the film opens, it is shown that Thunderbolt is not exactly bright, and very self-centered and rude to his sidekick, Lil' Lightning, which eventually provokes the Corgi to revolt. Lightning sneaks in and reveals to Patch that Thunderbolt is a fraud. He feels lonely and left-out oftentimes with his family, thinking that he is just one of the famous 101 Dalmatians, and longs for a chance to become separate and leave the shadow of his brothers and sisters. Luckily, Thunderbolt arrives, having been driven to the scene by Lars, and fakes a heart attack, distracting Cruella and causing her to knock out Jasper and Horace and incapacitate herself.
When Cruella requests she be made a masterpiece from their fur, Lars angrily refuses, not wanting them to be harmed. Cruella bails her former henchmen, Jasper and Horace, out of prison. While watching The Thunderbolt Adventure Hour, Patch hears about a chance to appear on the show. Patch tries to hold them off while the others escape, but they are undaunted. While watching the Thunderbolt Adventure Hour, Patch hears about a chance to appear on the show while it's filming in London. However, the family move will interfere with Patch's opportunity - until he's accidentally left behind in the commotion. Roger, Anita and their canine clan are packing for the big move to Dalmatian Plantation, a home in the country with plenty of room for the 101 pups and far from the clutches of Cruella DeVil.
Patch's family finally becomes aware that he is missing and go back to London to find him. Patch manages to trick Cruella, Jasper, and Horace into going downstairs, while the puppies escape through the building's roof. In the end, he is freed by Thunderbolt and sends him to defend Patch from Cruella, Jasper, and Horace. In order to save his job, Thunderbolt decides he will go into the real world and perform an act of true heroism to prove himself. The imprisoned puppies use the to send a distress signal, which is picked up by Patch and Thunderbolt, and they set out to save Patch's family.