Lady and the Tramp (1955)

“Remember this, Pigeon: a human heart has only so much room for love and affection. When a baby moves in, the dog moves out.”

Synopsis:
A beloved pet dog named Lady (Barbara Luddy) feels slighted by her owners (Peggy Lee and Lee Millar) when they have a baby, and embarks on a series of adventures of with a stray dog named Tramp (Larry Roberts).

Genres:

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary notes that while the animation in this “most likeable Disney animated feature” is “not that ambitious and there are few surprises in the storyline”, the “relationship between Lady and Tramp” — who make “an appealing couple” — is “sweet”, and the “ending is pretty suspenseful”. Peary’s review just about sums up my own sentiments about the film, which remains a modest yet enjoyable minor Disney classic, one sure to appeal to kids once they’re old enough to handle its one truly distressing scene (in which a likeable animal appears to be seriously hurt). Meanwhile, all film fanatics will surely be curious to see “one of the cinema’s most romantic courtship scenes”, as the lead characters “end up eating opposite ends of the same strand of spaghetti and their mouths draw closer together for their first kiss”. However, despite its historical relevance as Disney’s first animated feature based on an original story (and first Cinemascope feature), this one remains simply strongly recommended rather than must-see.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Fine animation
  • Peggy Lee’s creative songs
  • The well-known “spaghetti courtship” sequence

Must See?
No, but it’s certainly recommended.

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2 Responses to “Lady and the Tramp (1955)”

  1. Not a must – tho budding ffs may want to see it, I wouldn’t say it’s something the average adult ff would get a lot out of.

    The animation is certainly top-notch. But…well, I have small issues with the film:

    – In the first 8 minutes, I find ‘Jim dear’ kind of boorish. He has just given Lady to ‘Darling’ as a Christmas present (in a tied-up box without air-holes!) but I find his attitude toward the pup rather insensitive. (Note: He puts ‘training paper’ next to Lady’s bed and minutes later the paper is inexplicably gone; three directors on this film and no one caught that glaring error?) A BIG deal is made out of Lady not being allowed to sleep with the couple on her first night home. It’s a drawn-out sequence which, to me, gets the film off to a bumpy start.

    – Why does the couple leave their newborn alone “for just a few days”? Where are they going that the infant can’t go along? And they don’t know how crabby Aunt Sarah is likely to treat a dog?

    – A sprightly song is sung about Tramp being a heartbreaker and – well, what’s the dog equivalent of ‘womanizer’? The suggestion that Tramp is, well, over-sexed is a bit odd. Nowhere else in the film (thankfully) is any indication made of Tramp being anything other than an outsider (tho it’s shown, obviously, that he takes a romantic liking to Lady).

    – The rat sequence could also be a little terrifying for young ffs.

    I do like Tramp – as the most-developed character, he’s a bit fun to watch. (And the ‘We Are Siamese’ number by the Siamese cats has – oddly enough – some slight camp value as well; those cats are such bitches.) But I suppose I don’t really warm to this film overall.

    NOTE: For ‘Pee Wee’s Big Adventure’, composer Danny Elfman ‘borrowed’ a major musical motif from the early part of this film.

  2. I had the same concern about the couple leaving their baby for a few days — what in the world were they thinking??!! Dramatic license and all that, sure, and yes, it was a different era — but still… It remains disturbing.

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