Lady and the Tramp
Release year: 1955
Director: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske
Screenwriter: Ward greene (story by), Erdman Penner, Joe Rinaldi, Ralph Wright, Don DaGradi, Joe Grant, Dick Huemer, Louis Pollock
Starring (voices): Peggy Lee, Larry Roberts, Bill Baucom, Verna Felton, George Givot, Stan Freberg, Lee Millar, Barbare Luddy
Moviegeek Sunday Classic #13, week 36 2014
Lady is an uptown Cocker Spaniel dog who lives a quiet and peaceful life. That is until Aunt Sarah comes to babysit the newly born baby and through misunderstandings Lady ends up in the street where she meets a streetwise downtown Mutt called Tramp. Tramp shows her his concrete paradise but can high class Lady ever fit in to his world?
This was Disney’s first self-penned story since Dumbo (1941) and their 15th animated feature. It is beautifully drawn with special care taken to the breathtaking scenery and surroundings, partly inspired by Walt Disney’s boyhood hometown of Marceline, Missouri, with snowclad houses, cobblestone streets glistening with rain, and romantic full moon views. Cleverly shown from the point of view of the dogs, the faces of Lady’s owners are really seen stating the fact that she is the leading lady, and what a leading Lady she is! Beautifully captured with stars in her big dark eyes, she not only steals the heart of the loose Mutt but also of every viewer as she shyly bats her eyes. Tramp is a perfect yang to her yin, a carefree and reckless stray dog that gets by on his enormous charm and an admirable ability to get out of trouble. The adorable couple is surrounded by excellent side characters in the likes of Lady’s neighbours Scott and Trusty and the foxy Peg who as Lady is voiced by the famous jazz singer Peggy Lee who also wrote most of the songs to the movie together with Sonny Burke, including the wonderful Bella Note from the famous spaghetti scene. The aforementioned romantic tune, the sassy He’s A Tramp, and all the other brilliant tunes help put heart into the movie, but the true heart of the movie is without doubt the doggy lovebirds, whose romance is so touching it has gone down in movie history as one of the greatest love stories ever told. The movie has plenty of aw-moments, nerve wrecking chase scenes, and scenes with more romance than most romantic movies starring humans manage. If you have never seen this animated pearl, then don’t waste anymore time, go see it now!
Walt Disney originally didn’t want to include the ‘Bella Note’ spaghetti-eating scene, now one of the most iconic moments in the whole Disney canon, as well as one of the most copied scenes.
Peggy Lee later sued Disney for breach of contract claiming that she still retained rights to the transcripts. She was awarded $2.3m, but not without a lengthy legal battle with the studio which was finally settled in 1991.
A dream sequence in which giant dogs take their owners for walks was scrapped because of adverse audience reactions.
Picture copyright: Disney