GDR #15: Lady and the Tramp (1955)


I’m not really sure how I’m going to write a coherent review of this movie, because all of my notes are just, “I love this song!” and “This scene is so cute!” and “I love Peg!” This is the first full-length Disney movie about animals that I really, really love. There’s no random cloud dancing, no drunken elephant hallucinations, just a good old-fashioned story about a rich girl and a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. It’s a story that’s been told enough times, but this time, there are puppies!

I love the character designs in this movie. Disney is great at taking animals or plants or enchanted teacups and giving them a personality just from their design. Here, they take physical qualities from different dog breeds and translate them into a more human way of thinking. Lady’s a Cocker Spaniel, the perfect breed for her, because her ears look like long, flowing hair. Tramp has that scruffy mutt look, which makes him the quintessential bad-boy rogue type. And of course, Jock has that fabulous Scottish brogue.

Like I said, this is a simple story. It’s also the first Disney movie with a romance that I can believe in. Our romantic leads don’t just meet and fall in love instantly while expressing themselves in song. They’re opposites, and it takes a while to see them start to work together as a couple. One of my favorite little moments is when the couple is at the zoo, trying to get Lady’s muzzle off. Tramp sells the muzzle to the beaver as a log puller, and when the beaver asks how much, Lady chimes in with, “It’s a free sample,” playing along. The impressed look on the Tramp’s face is just about the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen.

And then there’s the spaghetti scene, of course. It doesn’t get old. It’s always so cute and so sweet and he rolls the meatball over to her with his nose! And then Lady’s demure look when they accidentally kiss. This movie turns me into a sappy romantic.

Awesomely, though, Tramp has the biggest change, rather than Lady. He sticks around to help fight off the GIGANTIC rat that has bypassed the kitchen in favor of…eating the baby, I guess, and he gets caught, just like the dogs in the pound predicted would happen. But then he’s rescued, of course, and he ends up living with Lady and her family, collar and all.

Have I mentioned my issues with the movie Grease? I am one of the, like, four people in the universe who doesn’t like that movie. I always hated that Sandy had to change who she was completely in order to be with her boyfriend. She was a nice girl, but she had to start dressing like a tart to get those chills multiplyin’, and that’s not cool with me. My point is that Lady doesn’t have to sacrifice a thing to be with the Tramp, and I LOVE THAT. She’s not okay going off to explore the world, because she has responsibilities (“But who’d watch over the baby?”), and the Tramp RESPECTS that (“You win”) and he settles down to be with her. Not to say that a dude should give up everything to be with his lady, but it always seems to go the other way around in these kinds of movies (wait till I rant about The Little Mermaid!), so it’s kind of satisfying to see Tramp have to change and become more responsible, because yeah, if he wants to be with his ladylove, he needs to respect her priorities.

Another awesome moment for the girls is Peg. I recently complained about the lack of female camaraderie in Disney, and now it seems that they already are making it up to me. When Lady’s getting picked on by the dogs in the pound for being so fancy, Peg jumps to her defense. They both have an interest the same dog, but the movie doesn’t exploit that by making Peg and Lady fight. We’ve got one female character looking out for another female character, and that always makes me happy.

I kind of can’t stop gushing about this movie. I mean, it begins and ends with Christmas and puppies, which are two of the best things in the world, so is it any wonder Lady and the Tramp is so perfect?

Favorite scene: He’s a Tramp

Because it’s such a great song! I mean, come on–Peggy Lee and the jazziness, and Peg’s overall awesomeness. And also, because the spaghetti scene would be too obvious.

Next time: Sleeping Beauty!




Filed under movies, The Great Disney Rewatchathon

2 responses to “GDR #15: Lady and the Tramp (1955)

  1. carmhelga

    Okay, I’ve got one for you:

    Lady=Peggy and Peg=Joan.

    This thought it brought to you by the completely awesome scene between Peggy and Joan in last night’s episode of Mad Men.

  2. carmhelga

    Also, I love this movie so very much. Even if that rat is an enormous shape-shifting monster that scared the crap out of me as a child.

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