Monday, March 17, 2014

Lady and the Tramp {1955}

{Animated Disney Film #15 of 52}

The next film on my Disney list is one that I grew up watching, so I have very fond memories of it: Lady and the Tramp. I'm actually a little surprised that I like this one so much because 1) I don't typically enjoy "animal movies." Because animal movies have a tendency to be sad. And not just sad like regular movies, but a special kind of sad that only animal movies can be, and I don't like that. And 2) it's a movie completely about dogs. And I'm much more of a cat person than a dog person, to be honest.

Lady and the Tramp is just such a charming movie. Somehow it reminds me a bit of Dumbo, except more cheerful and in a more ordinary setting (as opposed to a circus).

I love the cozy feeling of that first scene...the snowy village of Victorian houses with stained glass windows. So lovely. I also love the fact that the husband and wife are known in the story as Jim Dear and Darling. :) I don't think I had watched this film since I started knitting, because this time I was like, Darling knits! On double pointed needles! Knitters tend to notice when characters in stories also knit. :)


There seems to be less of a focus on songs in this movie than in other classic Disney movies. There are a couple of really famous ones, of course: Bella Notte and The Siamese Cat Song. As a cat lover I'm a little disappointed that the only two cats in this whole movie are Aunt Sarah's awful Siamese cats. Their song is really addictive, though...one of those that has a tendency to get stuck in your head! And who doesn't love the famous Bella Notte scene with Lady and Tramp sharing a plate of spaghetti?

Of course I have to mention the voices behind the characters, because I'm the Disney geek who is fascinated with that sort of thing. :) The voice of Aunt Sarah was done by Verna Felton. I've mentioned her before because this was her fourth time voicing a pretty dominant character in Disney movies (two elephants in Dumbo, Fairy Godmother, Queen of Hearts, and now Aunt Sarah), and she would go on to do two more. Then there's Bill Thompson, who was the voice of Smee in Peter Pan. I instantly recognized him as the voice of the English bulldog here, but I had no idea that he actually voiced five characters in this movie! He was Jock, Joe (the chef at the Italian restaurant), the bulldog, the dachshund, and a policeman. It wasn't just five different characters...it was five different accents: Scottish, Italian, English, German, and Irish. And Thompson himself was American. :) Pretty amazing.

And then there's Peggy Lee. She was the voice of Darling, the Siamese cats, and Peg (the female dog in the pound). She also sang four songs for the film: most noticeably "He's a Tramp" as Peg. I'm pretty sure this is the first time that a popular singer of the day was so involved in a Disney film. I think that's interesting because in more recent years (as in the 90s to present day), it seems like popular entertainers are often used as voices in Disney movies. Or at the very least they're stuck in at the end, singing a song during the credits. :)


Okay, enough about the voices. My favorite scene in the film is the one at the zoo with the beaver. I've always loved that scene and it still makes me laugh. :) I love it when the beaver says in his whistling voice, "Say, it works swell!" (Also, because of the scene before this one, I always remember thinking as a kid that a muzzle must be a terrible thing for a dog. Sort of like the ultimate shame, ha. I guess it is that way for Lady in the movie!)

My least favorite scene would be the one at the dog pound. All of those pitiful dogs with tears (very unrealistically) dripping down their noses. Remember what I said about animal films being their own brand of sad? Thankfully things cheer up soon when you meet the quirky group of dogs living in the pound. Boris the Russian philosopher is my favorite of those characters. :)

And then we come to the rat scene. As a kid, I had no problem seeing that awful rat as the villain in the movie. After all, a rat in a baby's room? That is pretty disgusting. But watching it now, it just seems a little silly and unrealistic. :) I do love how shadows and darkness are used in the animation of that scene, though...it's amazing. What I want to know is, what kind of monster rat is this thing? It looks average-sized at the beginning, but in some parts of the fight it looks like it's half the size of Tramp! What in the world? It's like a ROUS or something.


Two more random little things from the end of the movie. The baby, as an eight month old around Christmas time, looks remarkably like Michael from Peter Pan! I can't believe I never noticed this before. It's probably because Peter Pan was the last Disney movie I watched and it's still fresh in my mind. But his hair is almost identical, especially the color of it, and he's wearing the same light pink footsie pajamas set. Michael is basically just a slightly older version of the baby in Lady and the Tramp (Michael and the baby...see what I mean?). Also, no matter how many times I watch it, and even though I know what happens, I still get a bit teary when I see Trusty coming through the gate with his leg bandaged up at the end. :) Maybe animal stories aren't so bad after all...

Basically, Lady and the Tramp isn't my favorite Disney movie by any means. But it's still really charming and sweet, and since I have fond memories of watching it as a child, it will always make me feel nostalgic. :)

Next on the list is Sleeping Beauty, another childhood favorite!

Do you like Lady and the Tramp? How do you feel about animal movies in general?

6 comments:

  1. This was one we never really watched all that much when I was younger ( I guess everybody has their repertoire of Disney movies they watched over and over as kids, and Lady and the Tramp just wasn't one of mine.) although I saw it once or twice even if I didn't remember much about it. However, last year my little brother wanted to watch it because he had never seen it before...and I was surprised by how much I liked it! I'm no animal lover, so I normally dislike animal movies, but this one was really cute and enjoyable (and happy;)

    Really looking forward to your review of Sleeping Beauty! It's one of my favorite Disney movies in general, and probably my favorite of the old Disney classics.

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    1. It is cute, and a lot happier than most animal stories. :) I'm excited to watch Sleeping Beauty again! It's such a beautiful film.

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  2. I'm don't typically like animal movies, either. But this one is just some homey and comforting and adorable! I love it to pieces. <3

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    1. There is something homey about it! Maybe it's because instead of being about princesses and dragons and such, it takes place in a real (though historical) setting. And I guess most people either have dogs as pets, or have in the past, or know someone who does. :) So it does have a really familiar, everyday sort of quality.

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  3. It's been YEARS since I saw this one. Because of that, honestly, I don't think I remember much about it but I had completely forgotten about those Siamese cats! ;)

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    1. The Siamese cats are pretty awful! :)

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