Lady and the Tramp 2019: Can This Old Movie Learn Some New Tricks?

Ashtyn Britt
abritt@lc.edu

 

“Lady and the Tramp” was a classic Disney film that originally made the big-screen on June 16, 1955, that has now been remade into a live-action film for Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+. 

The story follows the tale of Lady, a cocker spaniel whose home life becomes complicated when her owners have a new baby. She meets Tramp, a stray dog who shows her a more carefree way for a dog to live beyond a white picket fence. Personally, I very much enjoyed this movie and would recommend people to purchase a month of Disney+ to give the film a watch for themselves! With that being said, now I will get to the spoilers.

I found it to be an interesting choice that they changed Jim Dear and Darling, Lady’s owners, to be an interracial couple. I found it very brave, since, during the 1950s in real life, interracial couples were seen as very taboo and, in certain places, not even legal yet. It was a wonderful display of inclusion and diversity that I highly celebrate this movie for, as well as changing the sex of the baby from a boy in the original to a girl who in this version is actually given a name. (The baby’s name is Lulu, and she is super adorable.)

As for the story itself, not too much else is that different from the original. Jock is a female dog now, and we see that her owner is an artist, but she has the same Scottish fighting spirit as the original Jock did in the 1950s!

We do see more from Tramp in this movie, too, such as how exactly he interacts more frequently with the other dogs and other people in the community, as well as a particularly heartbreaking backstory. We see in a flashback, that’s almost too true-to-life, that he at one point had belonged to a family who decided to abandon him in a park after they had a child. It is the result of that trauma that made Tramp untrusting of humans and never want another family again.

This changes later on when he is about to be impounded by the vile local dogcatcher, and Lady’s owners insist on adopting him into their own home, where he then later lives happily with Lady and a new collar. It is also worth noting that they don’t seem to have puppies together in this version, but Jock’s owner does take in two new puppies!

We also see Peg and Bull, who had been shown earlier escaping the dogcatcher and again in the pound to see the classic “He’s a Tramp” song, are also adopted and live a very happy life with their owner who gives them plenty of bones from the local butcher shop. The ending, as expected from Disney, is a very happy and loving one.

What I think I love most about this remake, though, is the message, which was shown a few times, which is that people should seriously consider adopting animals to make them a part of their happy homes. Too many animals are abandoned or left to starve- or worse- in the streets, when the truth is they want to be loved just as much as people do. It is even better to know that all the dogs involved in this movie were rescue dogs who now not only starred in a movie, but who have a home to go to, whether it be from the crew or the actors. I not only highly recommend this adorable movie for your next date night, but also to take into serious consideration adopting a new furry friend from a local shelter or pound for your own home to love.

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