Do Over: Lady and The Tramp
Unless you have children, it would be safe to assume that it has been quite some time since you have seen Lady & the Tramp. To jog your memory, it is the 1955 Disney classic about talking dogs who enjoy pasta.
As I’ve been feeling quite nostalgic in recent weeks, I have been slowly revisiting the films I used to rent as a child. To my innocent eyes, Lady & the Tramp was a heart-warming tale about a dog who feels abandoned after her owners pop a sprog. Along comes Tramp to teach her about the streets and spaghetti. There was something in the middle about cats and then a zoo and then BAM it’s Christmas and everyone is happy and surrounded by puppies.
As an adult, Lady & the Tramp is a different watch altogether.
It begins with ‘Jim Dear’ surprising his wife ‘Darling’ with a new Cocker Spaniel puppy. Avoiding the poor message about giving loved ones dogs at Christmas, this is so far so innocent. Lady is adorable and life is absolutely perfect until Darling gets pregnant. This sends Lady into a mid-life crisis because she doesn’t understand what the hell is going on. The baby arrives but Lady decides she actually likes him and will protect him because dogs are brilliant that way. Eventually Jim Dear & Darling take a holiday from their exhausting fortnight of parenthood and then dog hating ultra bitch Aunt Sarah and her incredibly racist cats arrive to house sit.
Si & Am, the Siamese Cats, are conniving, malicious and evil. They destroy the house, attempt to murder the goldfish and hatch a plan to steal milk from the new-born baby. Jesus. Stealing milk from a baby? Even the worst of the Disney villains wouldn’t go that far. Have a look at these lyrics from the ‘Siamese Cat Song’:
Do you see that thing swimming round and round?
Maybe we can reach on in and make it drown
If we sneaking up upon it carefully
There will be head for you and a tail for me
Good God. Those cats are cruel bastards. They have absolutely no redeeming qualities and remain unrepentant throughout the entire film. They move like snakes in unison to oriental style music and commit various acts of domestic terrorism. Speaking in broken English, they portray what was once an acceptable Asian caricature that today is so shamelessly racist it’s a wonder the film didn’t get banished to the vault alongside Song of the South.
Meanwhile we are introduced to Tramp who is, to put it bluntly, a slut. This untamed, womanising male dog takes a fancy to Lady (and who wouldn’t – she’s a catch) and decides shows her how to have a good time. You can’t really fault poor naïve Lady for falling hard for Tramp. He’s charming. He’s brave. He’s funny. He finds out a way to rescue her from the muzzle that aul bitch Aunt Sarah has put on her. However despite all his charms, Tramp is really just after Lady’s cookies.
Lady and Tramp have a night on the town and a candlelit dinner at their local Italian restaurant. They are serenaded by restaurant staff who, one assumes, have no customers to serve because of a health warning, they kiss, they wander through a moonlit park and it’s romantic as can be until BAM. It’s morning. Lady and Tramp are sleeping on a cliff in the park. Did they…wait…are we to assume?…hold the bloody phone. Did they just had a dirty one night stand?
Yes. That’s exactly what they just did.
Apparently all you need to do to get into Lady’s doggy pants is to give her some meatballs. She’s a classy bird that Lady.
Am I simply filthy in the mind? Well later in the film Lady is moping in her kennel when her friends Jock and Trusty come to visit her. It is here when we learn that Lady has already been knocked up because Jock and Trusty propose in order to make an honest pup out of her. To quote:
Trusty: “Why I never even considered matrimony”
Jock: “Now remember… not a word about her unfortunate experience. We don’t want to hurt her feelings. [To Lady] We’ve come with a proposition for helping you”
Why else would they both be proposing to her in order to ‘help’ her if she wasn’t already pregnant? Also we know that Tramp is a bit of a hoorbeg because when Lady is incarcerated in the local dog pound, Peg, presumed to be an ex of Tramp, breaks Lady’s heart by telling her she’s not the only one Tramp has…erm… ‘taken to the park’.
And this is supposed to be a children’s film.
Ignoring the obvious connotations of the name ‘Tramp’; the aforementioned puppymaker later arrives at Lady’s kennel carrying a bone (!) to apologise for not rescuing her from the pound. Lady, quite rightly, gives him an ear bashing and tells him how the whole experience made her embarrassed and frightened. Was she really just annoyed about him leaving her in the pound or is she annoyed that he made her the scandal of canine society? This was the 50s after all.
After this scene, lots of dramatic things happen. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Now we’re at the end of the film. Tramp has been adopted by the family and Lady has had her puppies. Who is to say those puppies weren’t conceived after Tramp moved in? WELL. Aunt Sarah visited in ‘The Fall’ (around October/November) which is around the time Lady and Tramp had their dirty stop off. How long to puppies take to gestate? 58-68 days?
I may have thought about this film a bit too much.
In conclusion - Lady & the Tramp. Slutty dogs. Racism. Pasta. I give it 10/10.