- Directed by Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, and Hamilton Luske
- June 22, 1955
- Based on the 1945 Cosmopolitan story “Happy Dan, The Cynical Dog” by Ward Greene
- Lady-Barbara Luddy
- Tramp-Larry Roberts
- Jim Dear, Dog Catcher-Lee Millar
- Darling, Si, Am, Peg-Peggy Lee
- Trusty-Bill Baucom
- Aunt Sarah-Verna Felton
- Tony-George Givot
- Jock, Bull – the Bull Terrier, Policeman at Zoo, Dachsie, Joe, Jim’s Friend-Bill Thompson
- Beaver-Stan Freeberg)
- Boris-Alan Reed
- Toughy, Professor, Pedro, Hyena-Dallas McKennon
- Dog Chorus-Thurl Ravenscroft, Bill Lee, Max Smith, Bob Hamlin and Bob Stevens
A female American Cocker Spaniel named Lady who lives with an upper-middle-class family and a male stray mutt called Tramp meet and embark on a romantic adventure and fall in love.
The story of two people (or dogs in this case) from different sides of the tracks falling in love has been done numerous times in film before and since Lady and the Tramp. Honestly what makes the standout from all the others is that it was done by Disney. If this had been done by any other animation studio (not there were many around back then) it probably wouldn’t stand out. It’s that old Disney magic which gives this version of the story a little something special.
I’m not calling the story terrible but I’m also not calling it anything amazing. It’s okay. It’s okay AND re-watchable. It is a nostalgic trip through your childhood. It is cinematic dessert rather than a nutritious intellectual dinner.
Such a statement may be heresy to some but there’s really not much story here. There’s enough for a short film but not a theatrical release. Tramp takes Lady on an evening around the city and then stops a rat from attacking the baby. They just padded it out with a few extra characters and some extraneous scenes.
All the trappings are here. Jock is the wise friend. Trusty is the elderly father figure. Lady is intrigued of Tramp but hesitant. Tramp denies his feelings at first until he no longer can. All that’s missing is the sleepy Colorado town for it to happen in and it would be a romcom on Lifetime.
Lady and the Tramp is the story of one dog of a date. I mean a date between two dogs. After the initial setup of how Lady came to the darlings and the birth of their baby, we get a date. While the initial presentation of the story is that Lady would have a better life living the unattached existence of Tramp, the ultimate message of the story is that the attachments that come from love and family are important and rewarding.
If you haven’t seen this in years or perhaps even decades and decide to revisit it as an adult, you will definitely enjoy yourself. Animation done by hand is art so you’ll be looking at a visual masterpiece. It’s a pleasant and sweet story but it won’t hit you the same as it did when you were a child and watched it. That’s not to say it’s bad. That is to say it had a specific audience.
Lady and the Tramp is a fine film but it’s a fine film that’s more for kids than it is for adults. It’s definitely a masterpiece of what it is and should be enjoyed for that but don’t go in it expecting the same feelings as an adult that you had for it as a kid because they will not be there. Instead watch it as an adult getting back in touch with that long ago child.