With Disney’s attention to detail and the care with which they create these Special Editions, it isn’t surprising that they are the leaders of the "kidvid" field.
Lady and the Tramp is one of those films that rises above just being a cartoon. It is a movie whose picture of two dogs sharing a plate of spaghetti presents a picture that still resonates. None of this is lost on the folks at Disney, who have created one of the nicest and most elaborate 2-disc sets I have ever had the pleasure of reviewing.
In telling the tale of Lady and the Tramp, these two star-crossed canines both learn a lot about life from one another. The best lesson being that you can never judge a book by it’s cover. Sure, this movie is populated with other animated characters and sidekicks like Trusty, Jock, Si and Am, but Lady and the Tramp is very much a film about humanity. While this kind of story has now become somewhat well worn within the circles of Hollywood, it is nice to have this movie come out and show us just how special and pleasant one of the original versions of it was.
It’s early in the year but Lady and the Tramp might very well be the best DVD that is going to be released.
The titles of the excised scenes are “Turning the Tables” and “The Arrival of the Baby.” These are interesting scenes that have been put together with the same tender loving care as the rest of this Special Edition. “Turning the Tables” has Tramp describing what the world might be like if dogs ran the show, and “The Arrival of Baby” shows us a different version of things being put together for baby’s eventual arrival.
Music and More
Presented in a montage-like fashion of the 2 cats this gives us two guys singing the song before the job eventually became Peggy Lee’s. This is is the kind of bonus feature that is going to make fan’s very happy to own this set. People who have been keeping up with the film over the years will especially enjoy this feature.
Games and Activities
There are 4 games and activities in this set. While I think I am a little old to be playing them, they are “Disney Dogs Trivia: A Virtual Board Game ” in which players test how much they know about Disney Dogs. “Puppypedia” is a fun history piece on dogs that is hosted by Fred Willard. “Disney’s Virtual Puppy” requires users to have a DVD Rom player, but people can own a “virtual” version of Lady, Tramp or any of the other dogs in the film. Lastly, I think “Your Inner Bark: Personality Profile” is pretty self explanatory. Which character are you most like?
Truthfully, the three featurettes they have here “Lady’s Pedigree: The Making of Lady and the Tramp,” “Finding Lady: The Art of Storyboards” and “Original 1943 Storyboard Version Of The Film,” could have been cut together to make one giant “making of” piece. What I find interesting, is that none of these are typical by any stretch of the imagination. While the storyboard featurettes look at how the boards were employed for this and other Disney films, “Lady’s Pedigree: The Making of Lady and the Tramp” does things a bit differently. It allows Walt Disney himself to take a stroll down memory lane and give us an insight into his process of creation.
Excerpts from “Disneyland” TV Shows
This is some older archival footage that includes an introduction as well as excerpts from “The Story of Dogs” and “Cavalcade of Song.” These are basically promotional pieces that were used to promote all things related to Disneyland and the movie. A pretty interesting look at the past.
These are very put together galleries that show us production art, concepts, designs, posters for the movie, etc.. You can easily scroll through these with your DVD player’s remote. The best part about these galleries is how good everything looks. Even with something such as this, which is essentially buried on the DVD, they have given it the treatment and made it just as top notch as the rest of the bonus material.
Widescreen Cinemascope. I may not be the biggest proponent of watching movies on the big screen, and I might not even have a home theater system. However, I do love the look of Cinemascope and this film looks truly spectacular in it. I know that some people don’t like 2D animation compared to the 3D option, but I think this movie in this DVD set completely negates that argument. The transfer is crystal clear and as a result a certain level of depth is added to all the characters.
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. French and Spanish Audio. While at times the music got to be a bit much for my tastes, that shouldn’t surprise people that follow my reviews. I am a dialogue person and I think that the way the screenplay for this film was written was pure poetry. I love how much the audio employed in this movie really sweeps up the viewer. The assets and everything else used to get this movie prepared for it’s release are nothing short of stunning. This may be an old film but it certainly doesn’t sound that way.
This 2 Disc set is very economically constructed. The front cover gives us Lady and the Tramp ing their now famous spaghetti meal. Other characters from the movie are featured on it as well, and the clearness of this front image should be enough to let people know that this movie has been well preserved. That back cover gives us more shots from the film, a description of the movie, a listing of the “Bonus Features” and the technical specs of the discs. Inside, both discs are safely housed so they don’t hit against one another, and there is also some extra hardcopy material so owners of the set can learn a bit more about the movie and this 50th Anniversary Edition.
What really struck me was how terrific this movie looked. Considering that this 2-disc set is showcasing a movie that is 50 years old, I am amazed with how well the look of this movie has been kept up. I think looking at a film like Lady and the Tramp completely obliterates the 2D and 3D argument. I say this because this movie, while being 2D, looks as amazing and rich as anything that could be made today. While the look of this film certainly accounts for a lot of it’s charm, I think we would all be missing the point if we didn’t acknowledge the story. It is such a heartfelt tale and one that proves that if something is written well, it doesn’t matter how it’s presented because it’s richness will still be at the forefront.
This new version of Lady and the Tramp would make a fine addition to any DVD collection.