Lady and the Tramp Blu-ray Review
One of the most popular requests every Christmas must surely be a puppy. And that is precisely what is inside of the bouncy, yapping hatbox given from Jim to his wife Darling. Immediately the cocker spaniel is dubbed Lady (voiced by Barbara Luddy).
Lady (voiced by Larry Roberts) is a playful and proud pup. When she gets her first collar–the highest honor a dog can be bestowed–she boasts about the neighborhood, her eyes big and her license tag shining. She runs home and is treated with utmost respect from her humans. And literally on the other side of the tracks (an establishing shot sets this up cleverly) is a mutt named Tramp. Tramp, living on his own anywhere he can find shelter, is unlicensed and takes scraps from a local Italian restaurant.
Even those who have never seen LADY AND THE TRAMP know that the titular pooches will soon fall in love, sharing a candlelit dinner and meeting halfway on a piece of spaghetti, planting one of the most iconic kisses in cinematic history. That is undoubtedly the moment of LADY AND THE TRAMP, the 15th Disney animated feature, released in 1955 between PETER PAN and SLEEPING BEAUTY.
But there is, of course, much else to admire about the film. Like so many of the studio’s most beloved works, LADY AND THE TRAMP is brimming with a charm that can seldom be denied. For its short duration (the film runs just 75 minutes), the film stakes its place. Now, while it is undeniably not as boldly animated, gorgeously orchestrated or cleverly organized as, say, SNOW WHITE, PINOCCHIO and CINDERELLA, it is a wonderful film that encapsulates so much of what Disney animated films are.
LADY AND THE TRAMP is directed by Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson and Hamilton Luske, the trio whose collaborative credits include CINDERELLA (1950), ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1951), PETER PAN (1953) and SLEEPING BEAUTY (1959). They are an essential team to the history of animation, and, they do much with the story, which is far simpler than a number of its predecessors. Perhaps what is most remarkable about LADY AND THE TRAMP is what they and their team of animators (an expectedly extensive list) accomplish with so little. The film is set within simple locations (homes, streets, zoos) and nothing really has to be marvelous looking–yet it all is, and each frame is breathing with life, passion and art.
And so while there appears to be so little occurring–calling it merely a “star-crossed lovers” story would not be inaccurate–the team of Disney directors and animators do so much, ensuring LADY AND THE TRAMP is, more than six decades since its release, mentioned with the best.
LADY AND THE TRAMP is ranked 95th on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years…100 Passions list. It is just one of two animated films on the list.
Video: 2.55:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. As expected of any Blu-ray editions of classic Disney films, LADY AND THE TRAMP looks stunning, with popping colors, crisp details and an overall freshness that highlight the skills of the animation team.
Audio: English 7.1 DTS-HDMA; Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital; French 5.1 Dolby Digital. Subtitles in English, Spanish and French. Audio is also quite impressive, with crisp dialogue and wonderfully lively music numbers.
*-denotes a special feature new to this release
Three versions of LADY AND THE TRAMP: Original Theatrical Edition, Sing-Along Mode* and Inside Walt’s Story Meetings (an audio commentary of sorts).
*Walt & His Dogs (8:27): Interview snippets from 1956 accompany footage shot inside of the Walt Disney Family Museum.
*Stories from Walt’s Office (6:02): This featurette offers a look at Disney’s office as it is now, currently on view to visitors.
*How to Make a Meatball and Other Fun Facts about LADY AND THE TRAMP (9:06): Actress Alexys Gabrielle and teen chef Amber Kelley make some Italian cuisine while sporadically offering LADY AND THE TRAMP trivia.
*Song Selection (9:59): The following songs are available in sing-along style:“Peace on Earth”, “What Is a Baby/La La Lu”, “The Siamese Cat Song”, “Bella Notte” and “He’s a Tramp”.
Diane Disney Miller: Remembering Dad (7:51): Disney’s oldest daughter (who passed away in 2013) reflects on her father.
Deleted Scenes (19:11): There are three here (in storyboard format), which can be viewed separately or as a whole. They are: “Introduction of Boris”, “Waiting for Baby” and “Dog Show”.
Never Recorded Song – “I’m Free as the Breeze” (1:26): This song, originally meant for Tramp, was discarded because “it was ultimately decided that Tramp should not be a singing character.”
*Classic Bonus Preview (0:48) is a brief promo for digital-only special features.