Lady and the Tramp (1955)
“… and NOW his Happiest Motion Picture!”
Director: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske
Cast: Barbara Luddy, Larry Roberts, Peggy Lee
Synopsis: The romantic tale of a sheltered uptown Cocker Spaniel dog and a streetwise downtown Mutt.
Lady and the Tramp is the type of Disney cartoon designed to appeal to small girls. As with most of the studio’s stories, the plot is light, with the film relying on the adorability of its characters to captivate its audience. The storyline sees the posh cocker spaniel Lady successfully negotiating the tricky move of welcoming her owners’ new-born child to the home without succumbing to jealousy, only to find herself banished to the garden when Aunt Sarah comes to babysit for a few days. She falls in with the cocky but charismatic Tramp, who shows her another side to life, but her adventures with him result in her being caught by the local dog catcher and placed in the pound.
Lady and the Tramp has a very feminine feel about it, and the entire movie feels just a little too romanticised for my liking. Tramp, and Jock and Trusty, the ostensible comedy sidekicks, are all a little too refined, and there are no real villains to hiss. The artwork, while demonstrating Disney’s usual high standards, is nothing outstanding, although some late shots of rain-swept sheets are impressive. Perhaps the film’s best moment is the mournful — but tuneful — howling of the dogs incarcerated in the dog pound, but otherwise there’s little to justify Lady and the Tramp’s mysteriously exalted status amongst the Disney canon.
(Reviewed 6th December 2013)