1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2002
This is one of the Disney Studios finest efforts. This film was something of a stretch for the studio, as the story was set in a more modern time period. As you know, they needn't have worried. This has proven to be one of the more enduring classics they produced, and it's so very easy to see why. The story is simple, yet effective. Lady is the family pet of a victorian-era husband and wife, who has to deal with the addition of a new baby into her home. As this unfolds, she encounters the Tramp, a mutt from the wrong side of the tracks, and they begin a courtship.Lady's owners take a small vacation, and an aunt watches over the household, bringing with her two siamese cats, and a lot of problems, for Lady. After escaping the house and the mis-understanding aunt for a while, Lady is caught by a dog-catcher and spends time behind bars in the pound. At this point we're presented one of Disney's best songs, He's A Tramp, sung by Peggy Lee. Now, I really don't want to go into detail after this, because I hate to give a movie's ending and twists away. I think one should experience the film's story oneself, and enjoy it as it unfolds. Sorry, but I'll go no further than this in the plot run-down, but really, this film has it all: wonderful songs, wonderful voice-acting, and fantastic animation work from the magicians at Disney. The film transfer to DVD is wonderful, with clear, clean sound coming from all speakers in my sound system. Get this film and enjoy a little slice of Disney heaven!
LADY AND THE TRAMP  [Diamond Edition] [Blu-ray] [French Import] Disney’s 15th Animated Classic!
Fall in love with Walt Disney’s Beloved Classic, ‘Lady and the Tramp’ — now unleashed in glorious high definition for the first time ever on Blu-ray. Experience like never before the thrilling adventures of Lady [Barbara Luddy], a lovingly pampered cocker spaniel, and Tramp [Larry Roberts], a freewheeling mutt with a heart of gold. This heart-warming tale now charms a new generation of families and fans with its exquisite animation, unforgettable songs brilliantly restored with high definition sound, and all-new bonus that reveals the extraordinary making of process behind one of the greatest love stories of all time.
Voice Cast: Barbara Luddy, Larry Roberts, Bill Thompson, Bill Baucom, Verna Felton, George Givot, Lee Millar, Peggy Lee, Stan Freberg, Alan Reed, Thurl Ravenscroft, Dallas McKennon and The Mellomen/Dog Chorus (Thurl Ravenscroft, Bill Lee, Max Smith, Bob Hamlin and Bob Stevens)
Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske and Wilfred Jackson
Producers: Erdman Penner and Walt Disney
Screenplay: Don DaGradi, Erdman Penner, Joe Rinaldi and Ralph Wright
Composer: Oliver Wallace
Video Resolution: 1080p [Technicolor]
Aspect Ratio: 2.55:1 [CinemaScope]
Audio: English: 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Digital Disney Enhanced Home Theater Mix, Portuguese: 5.1 Dolby Digital, Arabic: 5.1 Dolby Digital and Hindi: 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic
Running Time: 76 minutes
Number of discs: 1
Region: All Regions
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: Most of the earliest animated features by Walt Disney's studio were adapted from old European fairy tales or books that enough time had passed to establish as classics. Others drew their inspiration from different places. ‘Dumbo’ sprung from a story penned for a reading toy prototype. ‘Lady and the Tramp,’ the 1955 film that numbers 15th in the studio's canon, was born out of an uncredited original idea by Walt's trusted story man Joe Grant and "Happy Dan, The Whistling Dog" a short story by Ward Greene that appeared in a 1943 issue of Cosmopolitan, a literary magazine in between its family and women's phases.
‘Lady and the Tramp’ opens at Christmas, with a husband giving his wife what appears to be a hat. Inside the box, however, is one puppy, a cocker spaniel they name Lady. This is a pampered pooch, which despite plans to the contrary, spends every night in bed with her owners, "Jim Dear" and "Darling." Lady's comfortable existence is threatened when her owners begin expecting a baby. Tramp, a street-smart stray mongrel, warns Lady that humans put their babies before their pets and though she doubts it, she soon finds herself lacking attention and resigned to a doghouse.
Lady winds up seeing what life is like for unlicensed dogs, as Tramp saves her from trouble and the two enjoy a romantic night on the town, complete with cinema's most famous serving of spaghetti and meatballs. The two are separated, however, when Lady gets picked up by the vigilant dog catcher. At the pound, she gets a disheartening explanation for Tramp's name, learning that she is just one in a long line of girlfriends. Nonetheless, Tramp resurfaces to demonstrate that he feels more than just puppy love. In the process, both he and Lady prove heroic when a giant rat threatens Jim Dear and Darling's infant.
‘Lady and the Tramp’ is one of Disney's least timeless animated classics. I don't mean that the film isn't as enjoyable now as ever as and more enjoyable than the vast majority of 1950s cinema. It's just that, despite being set in the 1910s, the movie has a distinctly 1950s feel to it. The setting of small-town America was the most ordinary of any of the studio's animated features to date. Today, it conjures the feel of the first generation sitcoms for which the decade is remembered. There is the fact that the animation film was created in CinemaScope, the wider aspect ratio with which film responded to television, a screen format briefly very popular, mostly in the middle of the 1950s.
In addition to that, ‘Lady and the Tramp’ enlists a modern celebrity to a degree its full-length predecessors had not. Pop singer Peggy Lee wrote lyrics for all but one of the film's songs and voices four characters, one of them named Peg and modelled after her. Even the title carries 1950s connotations, as the familiar show tune "The Lady Is a Tramp" (written for the 1937 Rodgers and Hart musical Babes in Arms) would famously be covered by both Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald in the '50s, not long after Peggy Lee had the biggest hit of her career in her cover of "Fever." I would classify the film's 1950s Americana style as an asset, distinguishing ‘Lady and the Tramp’ from the talking animal cartoons that would follow and giving it some edge and distance from the opulent fantasies on which narrow definitions of "Disney Animation" focus.
Musically, ‘Lady and the Tramp’ is not one of Disney's strongest films. It does have a couple of memorable tunes, the romantic ballad "Bella Notte" and Peg's "He's a Tramp", an obvious star showcase for Lee. Beyond those, there isn't much of note: the original Christmas tune "Peace on Earth", the somewhat spoken "What Is a Baby?” More catchy than those is "The Siamese Cat Song", an Asian-flavored number by antagonist cats Si and Am (also voiced by Peggy Lee) that's about as offensive as anything in ‘Song of the South.’
The film makes up for its modest musicality with strong characters. Though just two leads comprise the title, there are many personalities in play here and each makes his or her mark quickly and indelibly. Trusty is an aging bloodhound losing his sense of smell. Small but spunky Jock, a Scottish Terrier, who speaks with a Scottish accent.
While humans are secondary and often obscured in the dog's point of view, they too are given presence, from Lady's comforting parents to Tony and Joe, the friendly Italian restaurateur and chef who feed the titular couple, to the unpleasant Aunt Sarah, who inadvertently creates much of the relatively minor conflict. Lady and Tramp are given the most personality of all and the contrasting lives they lead allow us to invest in them as more than just cute, energetic canines.
Whether you are judging it as just a 1950s romantic comedy or simply a Disney animated feature (the only of its kind released in between 1953 and 1959), Lady and the Tramp holds up nicely. This lean, funny adventure has broad appeal. It might even play better today to adults than to children, especially if the latter have been weaned on the irreverence and sarcasm of today's talking animal comedies like ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua’ and the ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’ films. ‘Lady and the Tramp’ is a much more sophisticated than such fare, its story surprisingly mature and its jokes fairly mild.
Blu-ray Video Quality – Like only one other Disney animated classic (its successor, Sleeping Beauty), ‘Lady and the Tramp’ appears in 2.55:1, one of the widest aspect ratios ever used. Given all the care the studio usually pours into its best-selling animated titles, the film looks excellent on Blu-ray. The handsome CinemaScope visuals are vibrant and pristine. If there's any complaint to be made, it might be that the movie looks too good for something made nearly sixty years ago. I don't know if I'd go that far. This looks like a brand-new computer file, and not 1950s film, but then who is to say what new films looked like in the 1950s? (Not me and probably not in great detail anyone who worked on this restoration.) The only imperfection I found was that a few brief, rare shots were lacking the sharpness and focus that the majority of the film maintained. That's only noticeable because almost all the time, the 1080p picture quality is stunning to such an unbelievable degree. This Blu-ray transfer boasted evident improvement over the Platinum Edition DVD, which itself seemed just about perfect six years ago.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – The default soundtrack option is the English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio Mix. Active, engulfing, and crisp, it is a delight, though probably not terribly true to the film's original soundtrack design. The other Audio outputs include Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Digital Disney Enhanced Home Theater Mix, Portuguese: 5.1 Dolby Digital, Arabic: 5.1 Dolby Digital and Hindi: 5.1 Dolby Digital.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Introduction with Diane Disney Miller [1080p] [1:00] A quick introduction from Walt Disney's daughter, that is half personal anecdotes and half pitch to come see the Walt Disney Museum in San Francisco and briefly touches on her father's work, his love of animals, and his love of ‘Lady and the Tramp;’ as Diana Disney Miller recalls, one of the legendary filmmaker's personal favourites.
Audio Description Commentary: Inside Walt's Story Meetings: This feature supplies dramatic recreation audio from real transcripts of Walt's meetings during the film's making. It's the closest thing we'll ever have to a Walt Disney commentary, but it's cooler than that since it gives us fly-on-the-wall access to real creative production discussions rather than the premature reflection and upbeat observations that most commentaries supply. It is amazing how many conversations pertaining to specific bits and gags are captured on record and tastefully brought to life here by actors. This is easily the highlight among the new additions and it can also be experienced as an ordinary audio commentary without the counter/subtitle-disabling Second Screen and its corner counter.
Backstage with Diane Disney Miller: Remembering Dad [1080p] [7:57] In this section we find Diane Disney Miller, discussing the family's experiences in the apartment above Disneyland's firehouse, its Victorian decor full of cranberry red and mechanical things. It has nothing to do with ‘Lady and the Tramp,’ but it's fascinating all the same and gives us a more personal side of Walt (down to how he liked his chili) than the reverence we usually get. The piece includes some stunning hi-definition vintage park footage.
Deleted Scenes [1080p] [19:11] Next, comes three all-new deleted scenes. They are presented via storyboard drawings with narrated stage directions. The long first bit has Russian pound dog Boris as a neighbour and potential love interest telling some tales about Hollywood and such. The brief second waits with Jim Dear for his baby's delivery. The third finds Lady and Tramp sneaking into a dog stage show and making a scene of the performance. These are not remotely worthy of making the animation film, but they are fun to see here and now.
Music & More: Never Recorded Song "I'm Free as the Breeze" [1080p] [1:26] While ‘Lady and the Tramp’ was released in 1955, development began as early as 1936. "I'm Free as the Breeze," written in 1946 by Ray Gilbert and composed by Eliot Daniel, features Tramp explaining his life philosophy. It was cut when it was decided Tramp wouldn't be a singing dog.
Classic DVD Bonus Features [480i] [157 minutes]
Lady's Pedigree: The Making of Lady and the Tramp [52:00] You can watch this as one big 52 minute, 35-second documentary or break it down into seven distinct topical features. Much of which is comprised of vintage feature with Walt Disney himself and includes “Return to Marceline;” “A Perfect Little Lady;” “The Story of Lady and the Tramp;” “Ruff Animation;” “Canine Chorus: The Music of Lady and the Tramp;” “Teaching A Dog To Talk: The Voices of Lady and the Tramp;” “Pretty As A Picture: Art and Design” and “Epilogue: Return Home.”
Finding Lady: The Art of the Storyboard [13:02] Modern animator/director Eric Goldberg explaining the form and how it has gone from a unique Disney technique to being used in all modes of cinema. This broad survey considers storyboards use in cinema at large, from Alfred Hitchcock (with comments from his late production designer Robert Boyle) to Kevin Costner, with quite a bit of attention going to ‘The Love Bug.’
Original 1943 Storyboard Version of the Film [12:00] Has Goldberg and legendary Disney story man Burny Mattinson animatedly performing the parts (even the barking) of an early, quite different visual outline for the film.
The Siamese Cat Song: Finding a Voice for the Cat [1:52] Some male outtakes set to concept art and storyboards of the lines that Peggy Lee would perform.
PuppyPedia: Going to the Dogs [9:22] Has comedy actor Fred Willard at a dog park talking with owners about their pets. Their witty exchanges are complemented by information on seven different kinds of dogs (sporting, toy, etc.) which feature many Disney movie clips and a bit of real canine video.
Music Video: Bella Notte Music Video [2:55] shows Steve Tyrell performing his 2006 standard take on the romantic song, with sets inspired by the film and some blurry VHS-quality film clips. Indeed, "Tyrell" rhymes with "swell."
Theatrical Trailers: 1955 Original Theatrical Trailer; 1972 Theatrical Reissue and 1986 Theatrical Reissue.
Excerpts from Disneyland TV Shows [480i] [4:3] [4:01] Penultimate listing Excerpts from "Disneyland" TV Shows is one of the disc's highlights. It serves up an introduction in which Eric Goldberg explains the weekly anthology program's foresight to shoot in colour and in the episodes' mixed quality here as patched together from the best available sources. They include “The Story of Dogs” (Excerpt); Promo Trailer for “The Story of Dogs” and “Cavalcade of Songs” (Excerpt) which aired in the previous week's episode.
Deleted Scenes [12:52] Last but not quite least is the DVD's deleted scenes section, consisting of two scenes and two introductions by Eric Goldberg. "Turning the Tables" imagines a world where the roles of dogs and humans are reversed, while "The Arrival of Baby" gives us temp track of an earlier, extended version of "What Is a Baby?."
Discover Blu-ray 3D with Timon & Pumbaa [The Lion King] Is a Promo for the 3D Blu-ray, but shown in a 2D format [1080p] [English: 5.1 Dolby Digital]
Sneak Peaks: Cinderella [Diamond Edition Blu-ray] and Secret of the Wings [Blu-ray]
Finally, 'Lady and the Tramp' is Walt Disney's nostalgic love letter to our furry, four legged friends and remains a charming, funny, and emotional love story. And while some of the ethnic stereotyping might not be appropriate today, it seems pretty harmless in its intent and nothing to be ashamed of, but I suppose that's up for you to decide. Personally, it was great to see this classic animation film again on Blu-ray because it looks brand new. This is a resplendent restoration, Blu-ray transfer, and multi-channel audio presentation. In terms of Bonus feature, you get most of what was on the original Platinum Edition DVD as well as all new exclusive material created with this One Blu-ray disc package. Overall, it's a great package, and a must own!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
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