In the story of The 101 Dalmatians (from Disney Enchanted Tales) there are two sentences as follows:
Soon they found the what they were after. They found the puppies.
The word 'the' in the first sentence seems to be redundant. Is it a typo or should be there?
Thank you in advance.
I wouldn't say it's a typo. It's certainly not necessary to convey the meaning, but it seems to be there for emphasis.
I'd be interested to see the sentences that go before this. It could be something like:
They weren't sure what it was that they were looking for. But soon they found the what they were after.
If "what they were after" is considered a specific identifiable noun (personally I would have to hyphenate it in order to do so) then at a stretch I could contemplate it. However, I honestly find that extremely unlikely. In the original, in my opinion it's a typo or an error.