UltimateDisney.com | Review Index | Animated Classics Page | Out-of-Print List | Lady and the Tramp Countdown Page

Lady and the Tramp DVD Review

Lady and the Tramp

Theatrical Release: June 16, 1955 / Running Time: 76 Minutes / Rating: G

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson

Voice Cast: Peggy Lee (Darling/Si/Am/Peg), Barbara Luddy (Lady), Larry Roberts (Tramp), Bill Thompson (Jock/Bull/Dachsie/Joe), Bill Baucon (Trusty), Stan Freberg (Beaver)

Songs: "Bella Notte", "He's a Tramp", "The Siamese Cat Song", "What is a Baby?", "Peace on Earth", "La La Lu"

Click to order "Lady and the Tramp: Platinum Edition", coming to Disney DVD February 28, 2006.

Disney will re-issue Lady and the Tramp as a 2-disc Platinum Edition on February 28, 2006. You can now read our review of this DVD. This new release boasts remastered picture (in both 2.55:1 widescreen and 1.33:1 full screen) and sound (including a Dolby Digital 5.1 Disney Enhanced Home Theater Mix). Among the many bonus features are two never-before-seen deleted sequences, a newly-discovered storyboard version of the film from 1943, the featurette "Finding Lady: The Art of the Storyboard", the documentary "Lady's Pedigree: The Making of Lady and the Tramp", "PuppyPedia" (a piece on the real-life dog breeds that inspired the film), the virtual board game "Disney Dog Trivia", a music video, and a Disney Virtual Puppy DVD-ROM feature.
Click here to buy Lady and the Tramp: Platinum Edition from Amazon.com.
Click here to read our Lady and the Tramp: Platinum Edition DVD Review.



Review by James Reader

Lady is a pampered cocker spaniel, who due to the scheme of two cruel Siamese cats finds herself muzzled. After running away she meets Tramp, a self-assured stray dog, who obviously comes from the "wrong side of the tracks". The two share adventures and a candle-lit Italian dinner, and love blooms. But will Tramp's carefree lifestyle and the consequences that go with it spoil their romance?

If Lady and the Tramp was made and marketed today, it would be pigeonholed as a "romantic comedy." While this would be a rather simplistic categorisation of the film, it wouldn't be that far off.

Like most of the romantic comedy films made today, the film throws up no strong villains for the protagonists to defeat. There's no battle against ultimate evil, no quest for justice and no battle against temptation. Instead, a series of obstacles presented which the couple must overcome if they are to find themselves together by the film's climax. Some of the obstacles are minor; some are major and much more memorable. But none of the threats are that perilous and perhaps more importantly, none of them seem unfeasible. In short, Lady and the Tramp is a love story that follows the established formula for the genre, with the exception being it is told from the point of view of dogs.

The decision to create the film in widescreen pays off. The expansive long compositions combined with the exquisite backgrounds increase the illusion of seeing the world from a low-down, dog's point of view.

Buy Lady and the Tramp from Amazon.com Marketplace DVD Details

2.35:1 Non-anamorphic Widescreen
Dolby Digital 5.1 (English, French, Spanish)
Subtitles: English
Closed Captioned
Release Date: November 23, 1999
Single-sided, single-layered disc (DVD-5)
Out of Print
White Keepcase

VIDEO and AUDIO

Lady and the Tramp was the first Disney film to be filmed in the wider Cinemascope aspect ratio, and is presented in the proper aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1. In this Limited Issue release, the image has not been enhanced for widescreen televisions. Nevertheless, I find the image to be sharp and film grain and other artefacts are virtually non-existent. The colours are vivid throughout the whole film and I can only assume it is a clear and accurate reproduction of the intended presentation.

Unlike some of the other initial Limited Issue DVDs the soundtrack for Lady and the Tramp is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. It seems likely that this is a newly created remix of the original soundtrack (perhaps made for one of the more recent theatrical re-releases). The soundtrack lacks the distortion and hissing that is often found on soundtracks of this age.

(Special Note: International releases of this disc presented the film in a full screen aspect ratio. While it has been reported that Lady and the Trap was filmed twice, once in the Cinemascope ratio and once in the standard Academy ratio, it appears the full screen presentation on DVD is a cropped and panned copy of the widescreen film.)

EXTRAS

The only supplement on the disc is a couple of screens of film recommendations. I would imagine this feature is totally useless for almost everybody. Not only are the recommendations now dated and reference long out of print discs, but everybody who visits this site must know what Disney films they are interested in seeing.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Lady and the Tramp may be one of Disney's most beloved animated classics and there's a great charm to this romantic comedy about dogs. The movie is the reason that this long out-of-print Limited Issue DVD is in such high demand these days, because this disc is mostly subpar. The best thing about the DVD is it allows you to see the film in its very wide original ratio, which is infinitely preferrable to a pan & scan transfer.

Still, as with just about all of the original Limited Issue releases, there's a 2-disc Platinum Edition coming down the line. The wait for a better DVD will not be brief, the current schedule calls for Lady and the Tramp to be reissued in the spring of 2006. If that's too long for you, then beware the bootlegs when you buy from online sellers, your best bet to find this disc.

Buy Lady and the Tramp on DVD from Amazon.com Marketplace
Buy from Amazon.com Marketplace

Click to order "Lady and the Tramp: Platinum Edition", coming to Disney DVD February 28, 2006.

Disney will re-issue Lady and the Tramp as a 2-disc Platinum Edition on February 28, 2006. You can now read our review of this DVD. This new release boasts remastered picture (in both 2.55:1 widescreen and 1.33:1 full screen) and sound (including a Dolby Digital 5.1 Disney Enhanced Home Theater Mix). Among the many bonus features are two never-before-seen deleted sequences, a newly-discovered storyboard version of the film from 1943, the featurette "Finding Lady: The Art of the Storyboard", the documentary "Lady's Pedigree: The Making of Lady and the Tramp", "PuppyPedia" (a piece on the real-life dog breeds that inspired the film), the virtual board game "Disney Dog Trivia", a music video, and a Disney Virtual Puppy DVD-ROM feature.
Click here to buy Lady and the Tramp: Platinum Edition from Amazon.com.
Click here to read our Lady and the Tramp: Platinum Edition DVD Review.

UltimateDisney.com | Review Index | Animated Classics Page | Out-of-Print List | Lady and the Tramp Countdown Page

Related Reviews
101 Dalmatians (1961) | Sleeping Beauty (1959) | The Lion King (1994)
Oliver & Company (1988) | The Jungle Book (1967) | The Sword in the Stone (1963)
Peter Pan (1953) | Alice in Wonderland (1951) | The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)

Reviewed May 19, 2004.