[box cover]

Lady and the Tramp: 50th Anniversary Edition

Uptown cocker spaniel Lady enjoys her contented life with her owners, as well as her fellow canine pals Jock and Trusty, but her world is turned upside down when a new baby arrives in the household, along with a dog-hating aunt and her two diabolical Siamese cats. Lost on the streets with a muzzle and no safe harbor, Lady turns to Tramp, a freewheeling mongrel who lives day-to-day but has a soft spot for damsels in distress — and especially the genteel Lady, who needs help avoiding the dogcatcher and getting back home. Walt Disney's 1955 Lady and the Tramp provides ample evidence of the self-described 'Magic of Disney,' as the movie's superb, delicate animation and careful attention to character transforms a very pedestrian story into an affectionately remembered minor classic. There are very few memorable sequences in Lady and the Tramp; the delightful introduction of cats Si and Am, and the romantic canine candlelight spaghetti dinner virtually exhaust the film's narrative inspiration. The rest, adapted from a Disney-developed story by Ward Greene, is, at best, surprisingly unimaginative compared to other classic Disney features of the period (with a heavy reliance on bland ethnic stereotypes), and yet the studio's amazing animation team is so skilled at drawing character, that the largely irrelevant plot likewise fails to mar the film's pleasing artistry. While every canine in the film speaks (at least when not amongst humans), Disney constrained the more anthropomorphic qualities of this one to get the dogs right — every jump, run, frolic, and tail-wiggle will strike a note of recognition with mutt-owners (and mutt-lovers) everywhere. Directed by Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, and Hamilton Luske, with vocal performances by Peggy Lee, Barbara Luddy, Larry Roberts, Stan Freberg, Verna Felton and Alan Reed. Lady and the Tramp has been wonderfully captured for Disney's two-disc "50th Anniversary Edition" in a new, digitally restored 2.55:1 anamorphic transfer, while a 1.33:1 transfer is also included for an indication of how the movie was originally drawn before its cells were expanded to exploit the popularity of CinemaScope. Audio is presented in both a new Dolby Digital 5.1 home theater mix as well as a restored original monaural soundtrack. Disc Two features a rich palette of supplemental materials, including never-before-seen deleted sequences "Turning the Tables" and "La La Loo," a 1943 storyboard version of the film, "Finding Lady: The Art of the Storyboard," "Lady's Pedigree: The Making of Lady and the Tramp," "The Siamese Cat Song: Finding a Voice for the Cats," an all-new "Bella Notte" music video with Steve Tyrell, excerpts from vintage Disney TV shows, and some games for the kids. Trailers, dual-DVD slimline keep-case with paperboard sleeve.
——Gregory P. Dorr



Back to Quick Reviews Index: [A-F] [G-L] [M-R] [S-Z]

Back to Main Page