Lady and the Tramp (2019)

lady and the tramp poster 2019 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting : 7/10
Visuals: 6/10

Smooths out some of the problematic story parts

Talking dogs

 
Movie Info

Movie Name: Lady and the Tramp

Studio: Walt Disney Pictures

Genre(s): Family/Musical

Release Date(s): November 12, 2019

MPAA Rating: PG

lady and the tramp dinner spaghetti

I wish that they ate and fought over food like real dogs…

Darling Dear (Kiersey Clemons) and Jim Dear (Thomas Mann) have a new addition to their family…a puppy named Lady.  While Lady enjoys her freedom, the arrival of a baby means things are changing for her owners.  Lady is left with Aunt Sarah (Yvette Nicole Brown) and quickly finds herself lost on the streets where a dog named Tramp helps her survive.  Can a house dog like Lady learn to let herself go, and can a street dog like Tramp learn to trust humans again before it is too late?

Directed by Charlie Bean, Lady and the Tramp is a live action family musical.  The film adapts the Walt Disney animated 1955 classic Lady and the Tramp (which in turn adapted the 1945 story “Happy Dan, the Cynical Dog” by Ward Greene).  The film was part of the premiere of the Disney+ streaming service.

I have a real soft spot for Lady and the Tramp.  I liked the movie as a kid since it had a Scottie (and we had a Scottie), and I liked dogs in general.  The movie had some scary moments involving the rat and the dog catcher, but it was one of those teachable movies for kids.  The live action Lady and the Tramp poses some problems though it gets some things right.

lady and the tramp cats siamese

We are not Siamese…

Largely the story is the same as the original.  It expands a bit on both Lady’s life and Tramp’s life, and it is a movie about trust and change.  It is one of those films that kind kids can watch to understand what it is like to have a new brother or sister move into the house…and how parents have room for more than one person.  Overall, that is a good message and that message is intact in this version.

Lady in the Tramp had some modern PC problems however.  The film really gets you thinking about stereotypes.  The problematic Siamese cats are removed and replaced with basic tiger striped cats, and the Chihuahua is removed from the pound.  While this is good, it feels odd that stereotypes like the overly Scottish terrier Jock is ok…but is also a stereotype though without the negative connotations (ironically they changed Jock to a female which I can relate to because if you have a female Scottish terrier everyone always thinks it is male).  The movie also made the family a mixed race couple which I don’t know if it would have been socially acceptable in Savannah when the film was set…of course we’re dealing with a movie about talking dogs so realism isn’t necessary a factor.  At the end of the movie, it is kind of implied that Lady and Tramp are “just friends” with no puppies and rescue dogs are the way to go…it is a bit all too perfectly PC, but it is a positive message.

lady and the tramp vs rat

Pretty much rats terrified me after this (at least the animated version)

My biggest problem with the new Lady and the Tramp however is the talking dogs.  It feels like they could have been done better.  It is a slight step above something like all the talking dog movies of the early 2000s, but it still looks like someone stuck a mouth on the face of the dog…it is a bit unnerving and doesn’t always work.  It almost is better when you are looking away from the screen then watching the dogs and their weird faces.

Lady and the Tramp might have been a problem as a big screen release so the Disney decision to release it as a Disney+ launch day is probably a smart move.  I probably wouldn’t have seen the film if it wasn’t readily available and having seen the film, I’m much more apt to stick to the original (and better) version of the movie.  I do still commend Disney to sticking to a film that sounds like it could be a 1970s porn movie.

Related Links:

Lady and the Tramp (1955)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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