Monday, February 22, 2010

Walt Disney Animation Studios Part 15: Lady And The Tramp

Series Intro: Here's Part 14 of this multi-part retrospective of Walt Disney Animation Studios' endeavors. They'll mostly be in release date order, save for those that aren't available on DVD at Netflix. (Numbers will be skipped to note missing movies)

Some background info (compiled from Wikipedia and imdb and my own knowledge of the movie).

Official Title: Lady and the Tramp
Release: June 22, 1955
Running Time: 75 minutes
Estimated Cost: $4 million (1955) ($32,351,910.11 (2010))
Estimated Revenue: $93,602,326 (1955) ($757,053,509.26 (2010))
Overall Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Plot Summary:
Jim Dear and his wife Darling (could she be an American relative of the Darlings from Peter Pan?) celebrate an earlier Christmas in their marriage, during the Victorian era. Jim gives Darling a Cocker Spaniel whom she names Lady. Lady goes through an adorable puppy phase, but quickly gets ousted as the family favorite when the new baby comes. Soon she and the baby earn their fair share of attention, but Jim Dear and Darling need to take a break, so they go away for a weekend, leaving Lady and the Baby with Darling's Aunt Sarah.

Sarah's an old busy body who loves her Siamese cats and doesn't like Lady being friends with the baby. Lady escapes Aunt Sarah after being placed in a muzzle. Lady runs into Tramp, who we've seen gallivanting through the town with his stray dog friends. Tramp takes Lady to the zoo to remove the muzzle, takes her to all of this "homes," takes her to dinner at Tony's for the famous meatball scene, and he takes her on other misadventures, until finally she is caught by the dog catcher and is placed in the pound.

While in the pound, she learns that Tramp is more than a one woman man. Luckily, Lady had recently received her license and was promptly returned to Aunt Sarah. Sent into a depression because the man she loves has a sordid past, Lady refuses to see her old friends, the Scottie dog: Jock and the old bloodhound: Trusty (who believe that they should propose marriage to Lady to get her out of this funk!).

While still tied to her outside dog house, Tramp visits Lady, but after an argument, he leaves very disappointed; only to quickly return to help save the baby from a menacing rat. Aunt Sarah is at it again, and has Tramp taken to the pound to be but to sleep. But Jim Dear and Darling return just in time for Lady to show them the rat. Jock and Trusty chase after the car with Tramp (proving that old-Trusty is still very viable and can really smell) and knock it over, almost killing Trusty.

Later that year, at Christmas, Tramp has been adopted by Jim Dear and Darling; and Lady and Tramp have had several puppies. Jock and Trusty come to visit, to show that Trusty is still alive, but a little worse for wear.


La La Loo
The Siamese Cat Song
He's A Tramp
Bella Notte

Bella Notte, although nothing particularly special about the themes in this song, has become the big romantic number in the Disney cannon.

Plot Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Here we go! One Movie! As can be seen from my summary above, we have one plot line that runs through the whole story. Everything in the movie helps move the major plot (the romance between Lady and Tramp).

It was great how throughout most of the movie, everything was from the perspective from Lady/the dogs. Even the names of the owners were from the perspective of Lady. She would only hear the owners call each other their pet names for each other. So that leaves us with Jim Dear and Darling.

Animation Rating: 4 out of 5

This was the first WDAS movie drawn in CinemaScope. It is the widest film too! This presented new problems for the animators at WDAS. They had to fill more space left to right. So many opportunities for close ups were removed, considering how large the dog's face would have had to been.

I think the background art was decent, by this point WDAS is using the multipane camera so they can easily move the characters without redrawing the background, but because of the extra wide screen, a lot of the background art seemed to be second to characters.

The best part was how great the dogs emoted! Without having human faces to base the emotions off of, I'm happy with how WDAS has given rise to the animal emotions. Speaking about human faces. I love how we rarely see the humans' faces! This again adds to the perspective of the dogs.

The quality of the colors, was that of a bit darker pallet, reminding me of Pinocchio, where the darkness wasn't just reserved for night time.

The Test of Time:

Lady and the Tramp is one of those much loved movies that doesn't get much air time. In Florida's Disney World, there is just one mention of it, with Tony's Ristorante on Main Street. The dogs aren't overly commercialized; it has spawned on Direct-to-Video sequel about Lady and Tramp's puppies; and has been re-released in theatres many times.

Through the Modern Lens

The Siamese Cat song! When I watched it the other day, I couldn't believe how racist it was. The cats had slanted eyes and speak in incomplete sentences. This is one song that can be written out and rewritten to make it more friendly in our Post "Post-War" mentality, now that Asian people are feared!

I was happy to see how independant Lady was. Unlike Wendy (Peter Pan), Lady, although relying on Tramp to help save the day many times, becomes more self-sufficient by the end, and even takes it upon herself to discipline one of the puppies, instead of waiting for Tramp to do it.

Next Up:
Should be Sleeping Beauty (But I've done that, so now onto 101 Dalmatians, the next domestic animal tale).

1 comment:

Davenz said...

celebrate an earlier Christmas in their marriage, during the Victorian era.

custom metal furniture