In the Dodie Smith novel, Lucky was one of the original 15 puppies of Pongo and Missis.
He is easily recognizable because the spots on his back form an inverted horseshoe. He is terrifically energetic, and it shows from the beginning that he is going to be the ring leader of his brothers and sisters. In the book, he actively took part in the escape as the leader of the puppies and helping the Colonel, his parents by training the pups to obey orders. The Colonel gave him the rank of Sergeant.
In the sequel novel, The Starlight Barking, Lucky is now portrayed as an adult. He still plays a bit of a ringleader role towards his now-older siblings, and it is shown that he now has a mate named Gay (though Disney did not make this into an adaptation sequel to their original one).
In One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Lucky was also one of the original 15 puppies, but he is the son of Pongo and Perdita (Missis' name being changed to Perdita for the movie; in the original book, Perdita was a different character). His active personality was transferred to Patch, while Lucky seems to get more of Cadpig's traits from the novel, and he was usually one of the followers, not the leaders. He is also one of the weakest puppies in the movie. When he was born, he died shortly after, only to be revived by Roger Radcliffe which may explain his weakness and how he got his name. Lucky was the one who gave Pongo the idea to cover themselves in soot to hide from Cruella after he was arguing with Patch and both of them fell in the soot. Despite his name, he is probably the most unlucky puppy of all his brothers and sisters because he was close to dying in the march back home. His soot disguise also got washed away in front of Cruella de Vil. In the 1961 movie, he is voiced by Mimi Gibson. In 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure, the 1961 movie's direct-to-video sequel, Lucky was a minor character. He is voiced by Ben Tibber.
According to the "novelization" of the live-action movie, Lucky had a black ring around his eye at birth too, which is shown in promotional clipart along with an odd wishbone shape between his eyes. Other tie-in merchandise claims Lucky is anything but his namesake, usually being the last one up the stairs or turning left when everyone turns right.
When Kipper helps the Dalmatians escape De Vil Manor, Lucky was sleeping in the study, where the pups were being held, almost being left behind. He later wakes up and tries to escape; however, he is unable to make it out the door. Soon after, Skinner, Cruella's furrier, arrives and attempts to grab Lucky; however, Kipper arrives (limping having been pushed off the roof by Jasper) and attacks Skinner, saving Lucky.
When the police find the Dalmatians, they count up as one hundred overall; however, when Perdita barks, notifying them of Kipper arriving with Lucky, they mark it as "one hundred and one Dalmatians."
101 Dalmatians: The Series
Lucky was once again featured in the animated series based on the movies and the book, this time as a main character. Lucky retains many characteristics from the book such as the horseshoe on the back, black ears and a love for television from the movie and the active personality from the book. In many ways, this Lucky has the closest resemblance to the Lucky in Dodie Smith's book. Lucky is headstrong, stubborn, brave (sometimes to the point of foolishness), loyal, fearless (except when it comes to getting shots from the veterinarian, though in "Spot's Fairy God-Chicken", he doesn't seem to mind it) and the favorite puppy of Roger Dearly and often takes his position as favourite puppy for granted and gets very jealous when he feels that any of them are trying to pry this coveted position from him, especially Tripod.
Lucky can always be seen hanging out with Cadpig, Rolly and Spot plus he has ongoing rivalries with Mooch and Tripod. He particularly despises Cruella and is also a TV and computer game addict.
The 101 Dalmatians: The Series show bible describes him as a Dalmatian form of Tom Sawyer.
On a more favorable note, he is quick thinking and can be just as fast in getting out of trouble as he is in getting into trouble, a trait that has saved him and his friends on more than one occasion. He has also proven himself to be a very loyal and faithful friend and is willing to put his friends before his own gain, as can be seen in several episodes.
He is voiced by Pamela Adlon and Debi Mae West.
Disney Junior Shorts
Currently, Lucky and Freckles star in little shorts that play in between shows on the Disney Junior block on Disney Channel and the actual channel itself. These scenes feature non-speaking Dalmatians and are often accompanied by musical narration.
The two are often seen playing hide-and-seek together; however, they are able to use a visual clue to help them find each other. One case could be Lucky hiding in an alley, with Freckles being able to find him by following some muddy paw prints. Another possible case is that when Freckles attempts to hide within a bunch of other Dalmatian pups, Lucky is able to use a photograph to recognize which pup is Freckles.
The two are also seen playing the piano together, working together to make harmony.
In the sequel to the novel Starlight Barking, Lucky seems to be married to a female Dalmatian called Gay. It is also said that Gay is as clever as Lucky.
In "Love 'Em and Flea 'Em", he invites his sister Two-tone to the Four Legged Fall Ball; he compliments Two-Tone to be the nicest pooch on the Farm and is willing to take her when Mooch turns her away. Later, Mooch tried to sabotage Lucky's date by covering him with fleas and dyeing his fur pink, but Two-Tone expresses that she finds Lucky cool any colour.
A number of fans set this episode as a possible pairing between the two.
In "Prima Doggy", however, Two-Tone showed feelings for Lucky after Lucky was chosen to be the spokesdog for Cecil B. de Vil's Kanine Krunchies commercial (which he's later fired for getting sick from eating too much kibble due to constant retakes).
In "DeVil-Age Elder", Lucky becomes friendly with Rebecca, a medievel dalmatian who is a carriage hound, although she is still under the effects of the town's curse. When Spot breaks the curse on them, Lucky does however still show some genuine affection and feeling to Rebecca and asks her to come back to the present time with him. Rebecca turns down the offer, saying it's up to "us dalmatians to keep the evil De Vils in check. Now go on with ye. Ye have to protect yur world, and I have t' protect mine."
In Disney's 365 Bedtime Stories book, it is claimed that Lucky (most likely the "animated" movie form) has a good liking to fruit. When the Dalmatians go to an orchard and lose Lucky, after some searching they soon find him under a fruit tree with dozens of Peach Stones by his nose.
In Disney's My Side of the Story, Lucky narrates what the events of the "animated" adaptation were like for him. One item which is stated was who started the soot fight, which led to the discovery of Pongo's Labrador disguise. Whilst Pongo and Perdita were trying to think of a plan to sneak by Cruella, Patch and Lucky had a play fight, only for Lucky to blow soot in Patch's face In retaliation, Patch pushed Lucky into the fireplace. The following soot fight gets them covered in the stuff as Pongo and Perdita stop the fight and get the idea. In My Side of the Story, Lucky's collar is blue rather than red.
In the storybook Disney Adventures story Lucky's Busy Afternoon has Lucky getting into various mischief after chasing a butterfly and jumping over a wall onto the hood of a firetruck, Lucky watched as the firefighters rescued a kitten from a tree before returning to the playground where his adventure started only to be grabbed by a little girl and dressed as a baby and put into a carriage, Lucky managed to escape the girl when she was distracted by a button on the ground and ran back to where his family was at. Unfortinately Lucky got hit by a spray of mud covering his coat and making him dirty, Nanny didn't recognize Lucky due to the mud on his fur, Lucky following the voices of children spotted a nearby fountain and jumped in cleaning the mud off his fur and soon rushed back home where he curled up in the dog bed and fell right to sleep as Pongo and Perdita returned home. This story is also featured in Disney Bedtime Stories with an extra picture of the little girl who dresses up Lucky as a baby.
In Disney's story book 101 Dalmatians: A Christmas "For-Giving", Lucky briefly appears on page 15, opening a present and finds a perfume. And when his brother Patch finds a satin night gown, he realizes that the presents weren't meant for them.
Lucky appears with the Dalmatians in the Disney Cruise "Midship Detective Agency."
As Pongo, Roger, Mickey and the guest investigate the Disney ship to find the Dalmatian puppies, they come across a number of balloons. The guest uses their detective badges to browse some of the balloons, showing Lucky on top of Freckles as he tries to reach a large cake on a table.
Lucky is able to grab the tablecloth and the cake falls on top of him and Freckles, but they lick the cake on them. This helps the detectives on the trail of who the possible culprit could be.
In Disney Th!nk Fast in the "Regents Park" setting, Lucky acts as one of the guest hosts in which he appears in one round to ask the players questions on One Hundred and One Dalmatians.
Lucky, along with several of the movie pups, appear in Kingdom Hearts on Playstation 2. Although the pups in the chests scattered throughout the game are generic looking, pictures of the pups (and Pongo and Perdita) can be seen in the Dalmatian house in Traverse Town.
Lucky appears in 101 Dalmatians: The Animated Storybook playing as one of the narrators to the story. He takes over as narrator on page 5 (of course, his mother appears first, but he tells her off-screen he wants to narrate that part) and for the rest of the story starting on page 7. He also does the off-screen poems of certain vocabulary terms on every page, including any he doesn't narrate.
Lucky (or possibly a Dalmatian who looks similar to Lucky) makes a cameo appearance in Issue #13 of the Kaboom Studios! Darkwing Duck comic.
Changes in Appearance
In most cases, Lucky is portrayed with two black ears and a horseshoe of spots on his back.
In the novel, Lucky's horseshoe pattern is shown to be pointing downwards, but in the animated adaptation, the horseshoe is shown to point up.
However, in Patch's London Adventure, Lucky is portrayed without the black ears (this could have been done to emphasize Patch as the main character). Also, in some related merchandise made for the 1996 remake, he is shown to have a lucky wishbone shape on his face, and a patch instead of a horseshoe (though said patch on his eye does resemble a horseshoe).
In 101 Dalmatians The Series, Lucky's ears are still black, however his horseshoe is made up of four larger spots rather than a collection of smaller spots, and he lacks any other spots to speak of besides the trademark horseshoe shape. He also has blue sclera.
In the book Rolly's Special Spots (based on his "animated film" appearance), it is said that Lucky has a spot under his ear, which looks like a flower.
Lucky is the only character in the series to be voiced by two voice actresses: Pamela Adlon (who was also the voice of Ashley Spinelli on Recess and the voice of Vidia of the Disney Fairies) for the most part, and Debi Mae West whenever Pamela Aldon was unavailable.
The film version of Lucky also possesses a horseshoe-shaped spot pattern on his back; however, it is more subtle than his television counterpart, and is only obvious in a few scenes.