Personal Overview: I think I have seen this, but couldn’t really remember. Again I knew the story very well from a book I had of it. It’s something that the company didn’t use an already written work for really. The idea came from an experience one of Disney’s writers had when his English Springer Spaniel was pushed aside for a new baby. The scene where Lady is given to her mistress in a hat box was actually something Walt Disney did with his wife and a chow puppy.
What I love about this is the way the dogs act like real dogs a lot of the time. The way they move and some of the things they do. The scene where Lady won’t stay in the laundry and cries until the Dears relent and let her sleep in their room is exactly what happened with my parents and their Cavalier King Charles. I know Lady is meant to be an American Cocker Spaniel, but the docked tail and the colouring aside she looks exactly like a Cavalier, and I adore them, so this was always going to hit me hard.
Essentially Lady and the Tramp is the old rough around the edges streetwise guy meets pampered princess from the upper side of town and they click story. It ticks nearly every cliché in the book, including not actually letting Trusty die when he gets run over by the horse and cart. I got another pang at the end where the mischievous member of Lady and Tramp's pups is called Scamp. I had a little mongrel called Scamp too as a kid and he was every bit as much a rascal as the puppy is.
Hero/es: Lady is the focus, but Tramp is a hero too. In fact all the dogs are. Even the likes of Boris and Peg down at the pound. Largely they do what dogs do and that makes them heroes. They have all the heroic qualities. Lady is loyal and fiercely protective of her family, including the human members. While Tramp appears initially to have an issue with humans, he does what he has to when the lives of Lady and her family are at stake, even though it may come at a personal cost to him, the loss of his freedom.
Villain/s: I guess you could say the rat is, but it’s really just doing what rats do. Oh, spaniels can be good ratters too. My parent’s Cavalier was. Aunt Sarah is also a villain to an extent, but that’s largely because being a cat person she doesn’t understand dogs. She does send Lady a packet of dog biscuits for Christmas by way of an apology. Sarah’s cats Si and Am take the honour for mine. Nasty, sneaky, deceitful, vile creatures. I’m not a cat person and these ones are definitely unpleasant cats. The behaviour is real too. My uncle had cats; a mother and daughter. We housesat for him once and the cats ganged up on Scamp and attacked him. Dogs will lose most fights with cats. We had to let Scamp stay with my grandmother who lived nearby for the duration of the holiday.
Cuteness Factor: these are dogs that talk and fall in love, they eat spaghetti and meatballs and accidentally kiss while eating a strand of spaghetti! Does anymore need to be said, really?
Animation: although the backgrounds are kind of flat and look like 2D sets, it kind of works for the setting, which I think is early 20th century and Walt Disney said it was based on his hometown, so that works. The achievement here is how real the dogs look and how doglike they act.
Final Words: I loved this! I didn’t really think I would, but getting Lady so spot on sold me on it. Probably up to this point my favourite.