A whole new direction! What do you think of THAT, Thunderbolt, ol pal? Finally, I'll be able to step out of your shadow, you overrated, overacting ham! "The Lil' Lightning Adventure Hour!" Has a nice ring, doesn't it? What do you think? (chuckles)
~ Lightning talking to a Thunderbolt plush toy after the Corgi tricks the director into making a rewrite of himself
Lil' Lightning is the secondary antagonist of Disney's 2003 animated film 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure. He is Thunderbolt's former buddy and sidekick of The Thunderbolt Adventure Hour. He is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi who is severely unappreciated and eventually becomes jealous, as he is constantly ignored in favor of Thunderbolt.
He was voiced by Jason Alexander, who also played Boris Badenov in Rocky & Bullwinkle, and Abis Mal from Disney's The Return of Jafar.
Lil' Lightning is a slightly obese light orange Pembroke Welsh Corgi with creamy peach fur. He has cream-colored paws and a blue leather collar with a license of a lightning bolt.
He is perhaps a trusted ally at first, but he eventually became jealous of Thunderbolt's fame and attention from ladies, and later schemed to get rid of Thunderbolt so he could take his place on the show, not to mention the fact that Thunderbolt condescended Lightning as the "sidekick" and hogged all the attention. Whilst he can seem sweet and trusty, he actually has an intelligent, scheming mind behind that. Even though he plotted against him, Lightning still does show a bit of remorse and genuine feeling when Thunderbolt fakes his death towards the climax of the film.
101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure
Lil' Lightning starts off being a neutral character in the film. Eventually, Lightning becomes jealous of always simply crawling in Thunderbolt's shadow and tricks the German Shepherd into running away by convincing him that the executives planned to replace Thunderbolt with a younger dog. Afterwards, Lightning manipulates the director into re-writing the show slanted towards the Welsh Corgi.
When news of Thunderbolt and Patch planning to rescue 98 Dalmatian puppies from Cruella De Vil reaches Lightning, he realizes that the deed will endanger his chance at fame. He reaches Thunderbolt and Patch in Cruella's hideout and convinced Thunderbolt not to use Patch's stealth plan but to openly attack, which resulted in both Thunderbolt and Patch getting locked up. Lightning reveals himself to be the traitor he is, angrily declaring that he is not Thunderbolt's "little buddy" and reveals to Patch that Thunderbolt is a "fraud" and doesn't care about Patch or his family; he just wanted "his name back in the papers." The corgi then told Thunderbolt that what he said about the German Shepherd being replaced was a lie to get Thunderbolt out of the way and finally be out of his shadow by taking Thunderbolt's place in the show. With his plan carried out, Lightning escapes while laughing evilly, leaving Patch, Thunderbolt, and the Dalmatian puppies locked away.
As soon as the television filming of The Lil' Lightning Show began, Lightning was caught on the driving window of a double-decker bus ridden by Patch during his escape from Cruella, Jasper, and Horace. After the chase, Lightning was overpowered, and taken away by the pound, all while trying to convince the police dogs that he was "helping" Thunderbolt, to no avail. His popularity is lost as well, with a newspaper heading in the credits mentioning his arrest and regarding him as "the unkindest cut of all."
Lil Lighnting Thunderbolt closeup
"A whole, new direction!"
"What do you think of that, Thunderbolt, ol' pal?"
"The Lil' Lightning Adventure Hour!" Has a nice ring, doesn't it? What do you think?" (snickers evilly)
Lightning horrified upon hearing Thunderbolt gaining fame and on a real heroic mission.
"What if 'Blunder-bolt' gets lucky and succeeds?! If the press got into that, I'd... I'd..."
"I'd never be rid of him!"
Lightning pretending to join forces with Thunderbolt and Patch
"Stealthy. Good plan. But we don't need any of that!"
"What we need is a full frontal assault! How hard can it be?"
"Oh, I'm right behind ya, pal!" Lil Lightning's evil smirk
(Thunderbolt: Lightning, little buddy!) "I am NOT your "little buddy!" And YOU are no Wonder Dog!" Lightning showing his true nature to Thunderbolt.
"He's been lying to you all day, kid."
"He doesn't care about you, or your family."
"He was just trying to get his name in the papers and save his job. ASK HIM!"
"But, but, but. HEY, GENIUS! You're no hero! You're a FRAUD!"
"And by the way, there never was a plan to recast you. I just had to get you out of the way!"
"Now, I'm gonna take your place on the show; MY show!"
"Please, I was trying to help Thunderbolt! We're a team!"
Although Cruella De Vil is the main antagonist throughout the franchise, Lil' Lightning serves as a Bigger Bad in this film since he has bigger plans than anyone else.
Lil' Lightning is somewhat similar to Steele from Balto. They are both canine fame seekers and want to get their rival out of the way so they can keep the fame to themselves (Balto for Steele; Thunderbolt for Lil' Lightning).