Lady and the Tramp has long been one of my favorite Disney animated features. I love the animation, I love the music, I love the voice acting, and I love the characters. The film is simply heartwarming.
At the beginning of the film, Jim Dear gives Darling (we never find out her real name) a cocker spaniel for Christmas, and Lady becomes an integral part of their lives. When Darling finds out she is expecting a baby, Lady feels neglected until the baby is born and she finds she loves the baby.
The story is pretty basic in Lady and the Tramp. There are really no surprises, and that’s fine. If you want action, or adventure, there isn’t a lot of that here. This is one of those mostly relaxing films, and it’s a good one to watch with a romantic interest or with your family. The only even slightly objectionable part of the film is pretty short and is a product of the time when the film was made. It is pretty accurate, though, in portraying how many cats view the world.
The musical and voice-over talents of Peggy Lee had a huge impact on this film. She voiced Darling, Peg (one of the dogs in the pound), as well as Aunt Sarah’s two Siamese cats, Si and Am. Each of the voices was different and added to the atmosphere of the film wonderfully. She also sang a number of the songs in the film, including the most well-known song from the film, “He’s a Tramp”. I can’t imagine Lady and the Tramp without her.
The animation and background work in this film are beautiful. I love the architectural styles featured in the neighborhood surrounding Lady’s house. Tramp poking fun at a number of those features was also pretty fun.
I enjoyed the scene in the pound because it presented a difficult situation in a way even young children can understand. Seeing the situation from the point of view of animals in the pound, without becoming graphic or overly preachy, helps ease into the subject of death.
Lady and the Tramp is a film to enjoy sharing with all kids regardless of age. It is short and sweet and to the point, and doesn’t try to be more than what it is: a wonderful, colorful, gentle film that exudes “classic” in all ways. At 61 years old, it stands the tests of time as a true animated gem.
Release Date: June 22, 1955 (USA)
MPAA Rating: G
Nudity: 0 (all the dogs wear furs)
Sexuality: 1 (brief mention of Tramp’s philandering history)
Violence: 1 (some scary scenes, dog fights, rat attack, apparent death)