Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske
If there’s one thing Disney animation does right, it’s drawing cute and lovable animals. And the best part of LADY AND THE TRAMP is its cast of characters—not just the two titular stars, but the supporting “actors” as well, from the literally Scottish terrier Jock to the scene stealing (and mildly racist) Siamese cats. Each character, regardless of screen time, is unique and memorable, thanks to some great voice work and animation. The scene where Lady meets the other dogs in the pound is a great example of getting the most out of the lively format; we meet roughly ten new characters in the span of two minutes, but they’re each given their own personality and style that makes them live on long after they’ve left the screen.
I found myself truly laughing at the movie a lot more than I expected. (I dare you to not at least giggle at the moaning dog pound quartet!) There was even a spot or two where I was getting all emotionally gooey over the fate of a certain character. So, I can personally attest that LADY AND THE TRAMP is a movie you can watch with your kids, parents or friends and it’ll leave you all with a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. (Unless, of course, your heart is hollow and dead.)
The two versions of the movie, as well as Sneak Peeks at upcoming Disney theatrical and DVD releases (BROTHER BEAR 2…are you serious?! Was anybody in the world asking for this?) and a Preview of Disc 2 (in case actually putting in the second disc is too much trouble for you).
Ladies Pedigree: The Making of LADY AND THE TRAMP (52:25): A detailed documentary broken up into different segments covering the animation process, voices, music, and the film’s legacy. Lots of interviews with animators, analysis of the film’s themes and ideas, and even footage of Walt Disney himself talking about it. A very exhaustive and illuminating feature—check it out if you like the movie.
Deleted Scenes (12:55): There are only two excised scenes, presented as animated storyboards with the original voice recordings intact, but both are definitely worth your time. The best one is a fantasy segment where the “tables are reversed” and dogs are in charge of all the humans in the world. A little too out there for the 1950’s, but still funny stuff. Make sure you watch each with the introduction, as it will show you some cool behind-the-scenes footage from the animation studio back in the day.
Finding Lady: The Art of the Storyboard (13:02): Thanks to DVDs, most film fans are familiar with what storyboards are and why they’re important. This feature shows how Disney specifically innovated the process and how storyboarding changed through each of their major films. If you care about this kind of stuff, you’ll enjoy this extra.
Original 1943 Storyboards: The movie changed quite a bit between its conception in the mid 1940’s and the final 1955 version. Here, they’ve taken all the original storyboards and animated them so you can basically “watch” that entire first version in sketch format, complete with voices and narration. A fun piece (and rare to see such rough stuff released).
Excerpts from “Disneyland” TV Shows (44:15): A couple of restored episodes of Walt Disney’s old program, which essentially is the 1950’s version of an HBO First Look or E! Making Of show—just a half hour of behind the scenes stuff. A little hokey, but worth a viewing for the curious (or the baby boomers who actually remember the show).
The Siamese Cat Song (4:20): Various “development ideas” of the Siamese cat sequence (more of poor Lady getting tormented), as well as different takes on the voices by numerous actors.
Games and Activities: Four different diversions to entertain the children (and keep them busy). You can adopt a Virtual Puppy, test your knowledge of Disney Dog Trivia, see which Disney canine matches your personality, or learn about the breeds of dogs featured in the movie. That last “activity” features the hilarious Fred Willard interviewing dog owners and is actually really funny. (Watch as he tells a horrified lady he wants to eat her dachshund like a hot dog.)
Finally, there’s also Theatrical Trailers, a Gallery and a terrible, terrible Music Video.