LADY AND THE TRAMP
Review by Michael Jacobson
Barbara Luddy, Larry Roberts, Peggy Lee
Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske
Audio: DTS HD7.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.55:1
Studio: Walt Disney
Features: See Review
Length: 76 Minutes
Release Date: February 7, 2012
"What a dog!"
It’s odd, but as many times as I’ve seen Lady
and the Tramp, I never realized until now that there are actually no
villains in the film. Maybe
that’s what sets the film apart from other Disney animated classics.
The story is not driven by conflict, but rather, by likable and
It also takes one of cinema’s most used themes…the
rich, pampered girl meeting up with the poor boy from the wrong side of the
tracks…and makes it seem fresh and new, by the fact that the protagonists are
dogs. And aside from their
dialogue, they are very real dogs in every sense of the imagination, from the
way they move, to the way they interact with humans, to the range of emotion
from happily playful to fiercely protective.
Disney found a successful formula here, one that it would try to
duplicate with cats later on in The
Aristocats, but by then, it was an idea past its expiration date.
Lady is a sweet natured cocker spaniel who seems to have
everything a dog could want…loving owners, a good home, friends…until the
arrival of an unexpected new family member in their lives.
And Lady has no idea what a “baby” is, or what it might mean to her
cozy home (the way the movie constantly shows aspects of life we
understand from a dog’s point of view is just one of the film’s many
winning touches). And things get
even more complicated when Aunt Sarah, a cat lover, shows up to run the house
for a few days. In a
misunderstanding, Lady runs away, and finds herself in the harsh real world for
the first time in her life.
Luckily, the Tramp appears on the scene, and this charming
mongrel shows Lady what life can be like for a free dog…a world with no fences
or collars, and nobody to answer to. As
a couple, they are perfect opposites, and as such, their chemistry is genuine
and appealing, but naturally, the time will come when one or the other might
have to change the way he or she lives if their story is to continue toward a
It feels strange describing a film about dogs as romantic,
but really, there’s no other word for it.
Lady and the Tramp is a classic
love story, warm and delightful to its fuzzy heart.
The voice characterizations are all wonderful, and the bevy of songs
co-written by Peggy Lee add to the experience (I think “Bella Notte” is the
prettiest Disney song not to have achieved the kind of popularity some of their
other tunes have enjoyed over the years).
And I guess the fact that there are no real ‘bad guys’
in the film keeps anything ugly from shattering the pure, enjoyable spell the
picture casts. The blend of
romance, adventure, and even a touch of well placed melodrama in the margins
keep the film buoyant and charming throughout.
Incidentally, this was the first Disney animated feature to
use the CinemaScope widescreen ratio, which they would abandon again after Sleeping
Beauty. Having never seen the picture in letterbox before, I
found it interesting to study how animators went about their business with more
space to play with.
Put it all together, and Lady and the Tramp is just as magical and enchanting today as it first was 55 years ago. That's what I call the true mark of a classic.
What a stunner...as usual, Disney delivers the goods with their Diamond Edition Blu-rays! From the end of the first song, when I saw the Christmas tree, I was floored by the rich colors. The restoration effort for this animated feature is nothing short of breathtaking. I've seen this movie in various home video incarnations, and it's never been like this. The detail level is striking, as is the cleanness of the print. But the tones of those colors are really something else...many of the images have a near 3D quality to them. Superb!
You can select either widescreen (in its original intended CinemaScope 55 ratio at last!) or pan & scan, but trust me, with this visual cornucopia, you're doing yourself a disservice if you don't go widescreen.
This 7.1 DTS HD mix is very good, and quite tasteful...the rear channels don't overwhelm, but they come in handy, such as when thunder rumbles or there is off-screen activity. The music and songs sound full and terrific, and the overall track is clean, rich and detailed.
The disc is Blu, but the carpet is red for the extras. This Blu-ray includes Disney Second Screen, which will allow you to see some of Walt Disney's story meetings on your laptop or tablet while watching the movie...very cool. There are three sketchy deleted scenes, and a never used musical number. Diane Disney Miller introduces the film, and speaks about her father in a short featurette, while giving us a look at the Disney Family Museum.
The original DVD features are here , and they start
with a new 52 minute featurette on the making of the movie. You can watch
it all at once or use the menu to go to your favorite part (mine was the voice
casting). There are a pair of deleted scenes with introductions (mostly
storyboarded sequences), three trailers, excerpts from Disneyland TV shows, plus
original storyboard and other galleries.
, and they start with a new 52 minute featurette on the making of the movie. You can watch it all at once or use the menu to go to your favorite part (mine was the voice casting). There are a pair of deleted scenes with introductions (mostly storyboarded sequences), three trailers, excerpts from Disneyland TV shows, plus original storyboard and other galleries.
There is also a music video for "Bella Notte" by
Steve Tyrell, a look at the Siamese Cat song, the Disneypedia for dogs, and some
games for the kids, including a personality match and a trivia test. A DVD
disc of the movie is also included.
a music video for "Bella Notte" by Steve Tyrell, a look at the Siamese Cat song, the Disneypedia for dogs, and some games for the kids, including a personality match and a trivia test. A DVD disc of the movie is also included.
Lady and the Tramp is a sweet, winning picture with appealing characters and storyline. This Diamond Edition Blu-ray is also a visual stunner and well packaged with goodies, and is sure to please all fans, be they ladies or tramps!