Lady and the Tramp (1955)
Lady and the Tramp is a 1955 American animated musical romance film produced by Walt Disney and released to theaters on June 22, 1955 by Buena Vista Distribution.
The 15th Disney animated feature film, it was the first animated feature filmed in the CinemaScope widescreen film process.
This Disney animated classic follows a pampered cocker spaniel named Lady (Barbara Luddy) whose comfortable life slips away once her owners have a baby. When, after some tense circumstances, Lady finds herself on the loose and out on the street, she is befriended and protected by the tough stray mutt Tramp (Larry Roberts). A romance begins to blossom between the two dogs, but their many differences, along with more drama at Lady's household, threaten to keep them apart.
Why It Rocks
- This is the very first widescreen animated feature film.
- It doesn't use the "love at first sight" cliche, unlike many more critically-acclaimed romance films.
- Phenomenal animation quality, as it is Disney animation in its purest form. Note that this was the first animated film using the Cinemascope widescreen process.
- Many of the scenes are perfect, as this film shot in the widescreen progress.
- Memorable characters.
- Instantly lovable songs, especially the iconic and beautiful "Bella Notte".
- The iconic "spaghetti kiss" scene.
- We are Siamese if you please...
- Si and Am, the Siamese cats, have become controversial and been criticized in recent years by some viewers due to their racial stereotyping to Asians.
- Aunt Sarah could be an unlikable character at times due to her dislike of dogs.
During its initial release, the film was initially panned by critics. Bosley Crowther of The New York Times claimed the film was "not the best [Disney] has done in this line. The sentimentality is mighty, and the CinemaScope size does not make for any less aware of the thickness of the goo. It also magnifies the animation, so that the flaws and poor foreshortening are more plain. Unfortunately, and surprisingly, the artists' work is below par in this film."
However, the film has since gone on to become regarded as a classic. Dave Kehr, writing for The Chicago Tribune gave the film four stars. Animation historian Charles Solomon praised the film The sequence of Lady and Tramp sharing a plate of spaghetti — climaxed by an accidental kiss as they swallow opposite ends of the same strand of spaghetti — is considered an iconic scene in American film history. Rotten Tomatoes reported that the film received a 93% approval rating, with an average rating of 7.92/10, based on 41 reviews. The website's consensus states, "A nostalgic charmer, Lady and the Tramp's token sweetness is mighty but the songs and richly colored animation are technically superb and make for a memorable experience."