Lady And The Tramp

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Details At A Glance

Category Family Theatrical Trailer(s) None
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1955 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 72:54 minutes Other Extras Film Recommendations
RSDL/Flipper RSDL (47:48)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 2,4 Director Hamilton Luske
Clyde Geronimi
Wilfred Jackson
Walt Disney Pictures
Warner Home Video
Starring Peggy Lee
Larry Roberts
Barbara Luddy
Bill Thompson
Bill Baucon
Lee Millar
Case Transparent Amaray
RRP $39.95 Music Oliver Wallace

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Pan and Scan MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio No Dolby Digital 5.0
16x9 Enhancement
Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 5.0, 384 Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 5.0, 384 Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 5.0, 384 Kb/s)
Dutch (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Polish (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Czech (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Hebrew (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Greek (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Macrovision ? Smoking No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    And so we move onto the third instalment of the recent batch of Disney animations, the 15th animated feature and what I have always considered to be one of the weaker efforts amongst the "big" name titles. Obviously we are talking a far older film than the previous two reviewed, and this highlights a lot of the changes that have happened in animation over the past forty five years. It also to some extent demonstrates the fact that there has been an amazing consistency in the way stories have been presented by Disney over those years too. This is set squarely in upper middle class society and just about everything in the film represents those values to the hilt.

    Lady (vocalized by the wonderful Peggy Lee) is the latest addition to the household of Jim Dear (Lee Millar) and Darling (Peggy Lee again), a little bundle of cocker spaniel puppy joy for Christmas. Now we all know who really is the lord and master of any house containing a dog, right? The dog, and so it is here that Lady rapidly asserts her dog-given right to rule the roost. Along the way we get to meet her friends Jock (Bill Thompson) and Trusty (Bill Baucon) in this idyllic little neighbourhood. But idyllic little neighbourhoods are boring, especially after a new baby turns up, and Lady is tempted to the wrong side of the tracks by a loveable mutt going by the name of Tramp (Larry Roberts). Discovering a whole different level of existence than what she has known, Lady starts to experience life with Tramp, and a collection of his acquaintances. Okay, since this is basically another variation on the girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy story, you can probably guess where this is leading- and it does.

    This is really a fairly simple and somewhat trite variation of the girl meets boy story, and it is not an especially distinctive one, even by Disney standards. Made famous for perhaps one scene, the infamous Bella Notte sequence (come on, you know it - the doggie meal when Lady and Tramp suck the same piece of spaghetti), the rest of the film has not suffered well at the hands of time and I find this to be one of the least pleasing Disney animated features upon repeated viewings.

Transfer Quality


    What, no widescreen?!!!! Good grief. And compounding this is the fact that this is a very tired-looking transfer that really looks its age.

    The transfer is presented in a Pan and Scan format. This was originally presented upon theatrical release in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and it is criminal that we have been forced to endure a Pan and Scan version of the film - especially as the Region 1 release boasted the widescreen transfer.

    This is a fairly typical representation of "traditional" animation, and looks and feels very flat, with minimal depth to the picture. It is not an especially sharp transfer throughout and in general suffers somewhat from a lack of inherent definition. The transfer is not at all clear, and it almost looks at times as if you are watching it through a pane of unwashed glass from a colliery workshed. Thankfully, this does not have much impact on detail, as there is simply not much detail to start with. There do not appear to be any problems with low level noise in the transfer.

    The colours are quite muted throughout the transfer and this is a little disappointing, especially as it gives the whole feel of the film a certain blandness. There was an overall lack of depth to the colours to my mind which really hampers the contrast, especially between foreground and background. There was no real hint of any oversaturation of the colours at all. There did not appear to be any colour bleed in the transfer.

   There were no apparent MPEG artefacts in the transfer. Film-to-video artefacts were comprised of some minor shimmer, but nothing really significant to distract from the viewing experience, and some minor wobble in the credits that some may find less distracting than I did. Note that this is also a problem on the Region 1 release, so it may be an inherent fault in the original print. Film artefacts were a little more present than the previously reviewed (and younger) releases, but even those that were present hardly detracted from the transfer at all.

   This is an RSDL format disc, with the layer change coming at 47:48. This is quite well-handled and is not too noticeable. It is not disruptive to the film at all. It seems most unusual to adopt RSDL formatting for such a short film, but it is welcome in view of the high transfer rate achieved - which must certainly give the film every chance to look its best.


   The audio transfer suits the video transfer well, as it lacks any real distinction.

   There are eight audio tracks on the DVD: the English, French and Italian audio tracks are Dolby Digital 5.0 tracks whilst the Hebrew, Czech, Polish, Dutch and Greek audio tracks are Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded tracks. I listened to the English default.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times.

    The usual animation sync "problems" exist but who really cares about it?

    The musical score comes from Oliver Wallace, and this really sounds like a "music by numbers" approach to film scores. It simply lacks any real distinction and on a number of occasions the derivation of the music becomes a little too present in the brain. Still, it gives the film reasonable support.

    This is claimed to be a 5.0 soundtrack, but you would be hard-pressed to really notice the surround channel use at all. This really sounds like a fairly decent stereo effort and nothing more. Obviously the subwoofer gets no use at all during this film. I felt that the sound was a little constricted at times and really needed to be opened up to let some presence into the sound. For instance, the dog quartet at the dog pound just lacked a little in presence and sounded quite flat. Certainly the surround channels could have been given a lot more work, but I suppose that for what it is the soundtrack is not too bad at all.


    The same boring film recommendations already is your lot here. Where is the "Making of" featurette that graced the most recent incarnation of this film on VHS?


    See Mulan.

Film Recommendations

    See Mulan.

R4 vs R1

    This has already had one release in Region 1, a "Limited Issue" release that was supposed to be on sale for 60 days, then placed on moratorium for years. However, there is another release in the form of a "Gold Collection" release and it would appear that the two releases are little different in content. The details quoted below are in relation to the "Limited Issue" release.

    The Region 4 release misses out on:

    Okay, so neither release is 16x9 enhanced and are impoverished as far as extras go, but at least Region 1 has a widescreen presentation. Region 1 therefore would be the region of choice before considering anything else. A direct comparison with the Region 1 release indicates that the Region 4 transfer is a lot murkier and far less clean that the Region 1 release. The colours are distinctly brighter and cleaner in the Region 1 release than here, and it really does make the film shine a lot more. I would almost suggest that the Region 1 release has used a restored version of the film, whereas the Region 4 release has not: there really is that much difference.


    Whilst it will still keep the children amused, this is not a Disney animated feature that I have ever wanted to return to on a regular basis. Aside from the asking price here of $39.95 (for 73 minutes of DVD without any real extras), in comparison to the VHS tape ($24.95 including the featurette), the transfer itself does not make this a DVD that should immediately jump onto a "must buy" list.

    A decidedly average video transfer.

    A reasonable audio transfer.

    An extras package of minimal worth.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris (have a laugh, check out the bio)
22nd May 2000

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-515; S-video output
Display Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Built in
Amplification Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Speakers Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL