REVIEW: Lady and the Tramp
The 1950s was an interesting era for Walt Disney as they moved further away from movies with humans as the protagonist to ones featuring anthropomorphic animals. Although work had begun a decade earlier, 1955’s Lady and the Tramp is one example and one of the more charming stories, if lacking in the wonder of earlier efforts.
We’re given the chance to revisit this now that Disney has made it their latest Signature Collection release, offering it in a Multi-Screen Edition (we used to call them Combo Packs so you get the Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD code).
You mention Lady and the Tramp and the iconic image of the two dogs sharing a romantic spaghetti dinner springs to mind, usually accompanied with snatches of the memorable soundtrack. The story is an old one, opposites attract as you can tell by the character names of Lady (Barbara Luddy) and Tramp (Larry Roberts). One is cared for by Jim and Darling Dear (Lee Millar and Peggy Lee), and the other is out on his own, making his way. They meet, as Lady escapes from cat lover Aunt Sarah (Verna Felton), runs into Tramp; sparks fly, and romance ensues.
There’s plenty in Disney’s fifteenth full-length animated feature to amuse kiddies and engage whole families. The music is good; the animation is fluid and energetic, superior to the more contemporary analog, Oliver and Company.
The 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer is superb, one of the finest in their library. It is matched by the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track. This is, essentially, the Diamond Edition repackaged with some new extras and others relocated for digital-only access.
New to the Signature Blu-ray: Walt & His Dogs (8:27); Stories From Walt’s Office (6:02); How to Make a Meatball and Other Fun Facts About Lady and the Tramp (9:06); Song Selection (9:59), Sing-along versions of songs from the film include “Peace on Earth,” “What is a Baby/La La Lu,” “The Siamese Cat Song,” “Bella Notte,” and “He’s a Tramp” (also in Sing-Along Mode); and Classic Bonus Preview (0:48).
The following extras carry over from the Diamond Edition:
Diane Disney Miller: Remembering Dad (7:51), Deleted Scenes (19:11); Never Recorded Song -“I’m Free as the Breeze” (1:26): A song Tramp sang that was cut prior to the final version of the film; Audio Commentary: Inside Walt’s Story Meetings.
The following Diamond Edition extras do not appear on the Signature disc, nor do they appear to be in the digital collection archive: Disc Introduction by Diane Disney Miller and Disney Second Screen.
The following extras are listed as digital-only on the Classic Bonus Preview supplement: Diane Disney Miller: Remembering Dad; Lady’s Pedigree: The Making of Lady and the Tramp; Finding Lady: The Art of the Storyboard; Never Recorded Song “I’m Free as the Breeze”; 1955 Original Theatrical Trailer; 1972 Reissue Trailer; 1986 Theatrical Reissue Trailer; PuppyPedia: Going to the Dogs; Deleted Scenes – Introduction of Boris, Waiting for Baby, Dog Show, Turning the Tables, The Arrival of Baby, Baby Arrives, Lady’s Sweater; and Original 1943 Storyboard Version of the Film.
This sixth release in the Signature series has nice elements, but if you have the Diamond Edition, you’re good. The film is a charmer and worth adding to your library in one form or another.