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Another classic Disney title gets the high-def treatment - and yes, you will need to buy it again....
Buena Vista / 76 Minutes / 1955 / Rated G / Street Date: February 7, 2012
Lady and the Tramp is one of Disney’s great cinematic achievements, and it’s also the animated feature film that, unfairly, quite often goes unnoticed compared to other classic Disney achievements. Eschewing the symbolic heft of Pinocchio or the visual provocation of Fantasia, Lady and the Tramp is often lambasted for being too cutesy and precious; detractors say it’s too cheesy and treacly for its own good.
But precocity suits Lady and the Tramp just fine, thank you very much. The doggy romance at the center of the picture is based on typical Hollywood fare - a debutante falls for a guy from the wrong side of the tracks. But seen through that miraculously endearing Disney kaleidoscope, Lady and the Tramp becomes far more than just another set of song-and-dance numbers about how groovy it is to be in love.
This is the story of Lady, the beautiful cocker spaniel (a Christmas present from “Jim Dear” to “Darling”), and Tramp, the mutt she meets purely by chance. Though their first meeting leaves something to be desired, when they next meet Tramp comes to Lady's rescue as she runs away after being muzzled by a nasty spinster aunt who has come to baby-sit Jim Dear and Darling's new infant. Tramp takes Lady on the town, and love blooms over a spaghetti dinner to the tune of the lovely "Bella Notte". At once comic, dramatic, and ultimately romantic, Lady And The Tramp has something to offer every family member.
Disney usually anthropomorphizes dogs and cats. This film has the distinction of presenting a rodent as a filthy, disgusting dangerous animal with no human attributes, which to me is preferable to giving it a pair of white gloves and a show of its own.
The Tramp’s uncouth and rebellious tendencies may play as even more egregious and antiquated than, say, Jimmy Dean’s punk ethos in Rebel Without a Cause, but between his chutzpah and Lady’s cutesy demeanor, Lady and the Tramp soars. It may not have the aesthetics to stand alongside Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but it manifests some damned good breeding, nonetheless.