Classics Review: Lady And The Tramp (1955)

After “Peter Pan” was released in 1953, Walt Disney commenced his next production titled, “Lady and the Tramp.”

Lady and the Tramp was released in 1955. (exact same year Tylenol was created) Back then, it received mixed to negative reviews from critics. Despite backlash, it made enough money at the box office. Overtime, Lady and the Tramp earned critical acclaim from critics and families alike. A live action remake streamed on Disney Plus in 2019. Unlike the original, it earned mixed reviews from critics.

An origin story focusing on Cruella De Vil from “101 Dalmatians” starring Emma Stone (one of my favorite actresses) will be released on May 28th. To prepare for “Cruella,” I’ve decided to look back at Lady and the Tramp, because it’s a dog related movie made by Disney.

Today’s review contains SPOILERS. If you’ve never ever ever seen the original or remake, read at your own risk. Does Lady and the Tramp still holds up? Let’s find out, shall we?

Beautiful & Ugly Aspects

Beautiful: Voice Actors did a good job for their respective voiceover performances.

Bill Thompson (voice of Smee from Peter Pan) voices a bulldog. Every time I hear his voice, I think of Captain Hook fleeing away from The Crocodile who ate his hand.

Animation brought character models, environmental locations, fluid movement among a few details to life. You can’t forget the infamous accidental spaghetti kiss between the pair.

Lady’s collar predates Scooby-Doo’s signature collar.

The only good part I like is Tramp fighting a rat. I would’ve preferred The Siamese Cats.

Ugly: Walt Disney made some boo boos. Scroll down which ones I’ve listed.

Ho boy. Where do I begin about my thoughts on The Siamese Cats? They are perhaps the worst thing in the film. They’re racist depictions of Asian people. Like Dumbo’s crows, The Siamese Cats did not age well. When I was a kid, I never had a heart attack. I thought they were quirky like any animated character. Now that I’m older, I’m utterly disgusted. Not because they’re offensively bad, but they lack redeeming qualities. Those a-holes are the ones who frame Lady, yet they never get their comeuppance. What if Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Calvin Candie from “Django Unchained” never got what he deserved for mistreating Django’s wife? Gonna have to Triple Down this con for Disney who’ll never live it down. Three reasons why they suck. One, they’re obviously racist. Two, they lack characterization. Three, they lack redeeming qualities. Disney Plus has a disclaimer what was wrong then and it’s wrong now. My condolences to The Asian Community. You’ve come a long way enduring discrimination. Thank goodness times have changed.

A “we are done” trope occurred when Lady doesn’t want Tramp around with him. In most romantic comedies or buddy cop films, you know two people will put aside their differences and eventually reconcile. I find this temporary break-up painfully predictable.

Besides the titular duo, the characters are forgettable. That’s bad folks! I did not care for every single one.

The First Act doesn’t actually kickstart the plot, until Lady’s owners’ newborn baby enters the picture. After half an hour in for the film’s total runtime of 1 hour & 18 minutes, you’re basically watching little to no plot point pushing forward. The problem with Lady and the Tramp’s pacing is lacking a “Three Act Structure.” If you’re gonna make movie, construct a character/story driven arc so the audience can follow along. I on the other hand, wasn’t invested with the titular characters.

I’m gonna be brutally honest. I didn’t cry when the dogs are locked up in their cages. Animated Disney films never got me crying. Only movies that made me cry are, “Logan,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Interstellar,” “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows” & “Boys Don’t Cry.” I was never invested with Lady and The Tramp’s chemistry, over the fact they instantly hook up.

I know they’re dogs, but an early romance with Lady & The Tramp occurred. I’m able to understand their dialogue in English. How come they instantly hook up instead of slowly building up before they become an official couple. In real life, it’ll take a week or two for a pair to get to know one another, until a relationship is fully established. Disney is known for “early hookups.” Ugh! I hate this excessively forced trope.

The Final Verdict: D-

As a kid I used to like Lady and The Tramp. Now that I’m older, it didn’t age so well. Most of the stuff listed on the negative section, indicates why I don’t think it’s a masterpiece. If you want to watch a legit animated movie about dogs. Watch the original animated “101 Dalmatians,” “Bolt” or “The Secret Life of Pets.” I hope Emma Stone does a good job as Cruella De Vil. I’m counting on her.

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