← Back to Reviews
\

Lady and the Tramp


Lady and the Tramp (1955) https://letterboxd.com/smudgeefc1985...and-the-tramp/


The Big Disney Challenge 15/56

This is one of the old time Disney films I actually owned on video, so saw many many times, but again like many, I havent seen it in full in well over 20 years. It manages to maintain everything I did love about it though, as it was a personal favourite. It is definitely a film for dog lovers, the whole film is seen from a dog perspective. The way we see very little of the human characters' faces because they are above the dogs' eye level most of the time, but even just with their voices, the humans are secondary characters in the story, but a fantastic exponential backdrop to the world of the dogs. The storyline here isn't the greatest, it's pretty simple actually. But all of the characters have charm and chemistry and they make it work. Even minor characters like the dogs in the pound all add to it. The growing romance between our two title characters feels real, with Lady completely torn between her new beau and his freedom, and her family that she loves.

The fact this is all done from a dog point of view stands out especially when it comes to the baby. Tramp's opinion on babies is clearly very low, alluding to the fact he possibly previously had a family, who then abandoned him when the baby came along. Meanwhile Jim Dear and Darling (again, I always loved that the dogs refer to them by their pet names for each other, because that's all they've ever heard them call each other!) are understandably distracted by Darling's pregnancy, but we feel Lady's sense of abandonment. Which makes that scene when she finally meets the baby and her owners physically show they still love her more important.

Best Song: He's a Tramp
I love Peggy Lee. I love her voice, and while she plays a small role in this film, she steals the show with the best song. This film doesnt feature songs quite as heavily as a lot of Disney films of the era, but this one is still one of the best of the era.

Best Scene:
The scene towards the end when Tramp kills the rat in the baby's room, and Lady, Trusty and Jock save him from the pound gets me every time. It's the moment this is one of the most equal Disney romances ever, as it's not just about Tramp saving Lady, but she saves him too.

As An Adult:
More than any of the others previously, there is so much in this one that went completely over my head as a kid. The scene with the baby shower/ party has a lot of humour that probably meant nothing to kids, but every adult watching got it at the time! Also, Trusty and Jock talking about proposing to Lady when she comes back? Obviously I got the reference at the end when she has had puppies, but there is a lot of subtle 'morning after' stuff going on here! So much of the bit in the pound too when the other dogs discuss Tramp's past with a great many ladies...yeah, all that completely went over my head!

Oh, and more racism of course. Them cats...Im now doing a bit of a racismwatch, as Im curious now as to when this kind of racial stereotyping just stopped being a thing in Disney. In fact, Im adding racism-watch as a category from my next film on the list!

Did I Cry? When the cart falls on Trusty... *blub*