The dogs are a howling, and that can only mean one thing, movie #15 in the Disney Animated Marathon!
Story By: Don DaGradi, Ward Greene, Erdman Penner, Joe Rinaldi & Ralph Wright
Directed By: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson & Hamilton Luske
I am a dog lover, I will not hide that fact. I have had a dog in my life at every stage of my existence and I couldn’t imagine my life without a dog by my side. I will not deny my open bias and sentimentality towards movies that strongly feature dogs. If you think I am looking past glaring flaws as you read this review, then keep that in mind, you may be right and I don’t care because dogs in film make me happy, it’s that simple.
The first fifteen or so minutes of Lady And The Tramp are stunningly realistic and touching at the same time. No doubt a lot of the credit goes to the wonderful animation in those opening minutes. There’s something about watching Lady display all the wonderful characteristics that puppies are so well known for. The baying for attention, being afraid of the closing door, and most of all the repeated attempts to worm her way up to her master’s bedroom. Whenever I procure a new dog I can’t remain anywhere near as resolute as Jock does, all my puppy need do is look at me and I know it won’t be sleeping in a secluded part of the house that night or at any point in the future. Lady And The Tramp captures the little things that dogs do that do make the time spent with them an absolute joy. The loyalty, the undying devotion, the playfulness, the mess, every little thing they do that we as owners end up loving about them is captured in Lady And The Tramp, and especially in the first fifteen minutes.
The love for a dog isn’t the only realistic touch in Lady And The Tramp, because without a second’s thought I can proclaim Aunt Sarah as the number one villain in this marathon so far. What cemented it for me was when she takes Lady to get a muzzle, my exact reaction was, “Listen bitch, that’s not your dog, who the fuck are you to buy her a muzzle?” Aunt Sarah never does anything that is really all that bad, yet by simply rebuking Lady she instantly incurred my wrath and I never forgave her. You don’t mess with another person’s dog, you just don’t do that, and for doing that Aunt Sarah, you are a major league villain.
I told you I was going to be biased, but even with that being the case I wasn’t a big fan of the middle portion of the film. I’m pretty sure that the love story in the middle is the favorite section of every living breathing human who has seen Lady And The Tramp. I don’t want to rock the boat, but that section left me with a decidedly “meh” feeling. I wanted to go back to seeing the interactions between dog and human through the eyes of a dog. I came around on the love story in its final moments, but that middle section still doesn’t do much for me.
I came, I saw, I was biased and I loved Lady And The Tramp. Despite its flaws I was engaged by Lady And The Tramp and its wonderful presentation of an animal I happen to be very fond of. There are some dark moments, the animation is well done, the presentation of seeing the world through the eyes of dogs works, and while sentimental it is the type of sentiment I can get behind. I don’t know if it is required that you be a dog lover to love this film, but I do know that Lady And The Tramp is a film I greatly enjoyed, but try to buy a muzzle for my dog and I’ll sock you in the face. Do you know what I am saying? (God, I love Butters!)