Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure (2000)

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Released 17-Apr-2001

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary
Featurette-Making Of-From Tramp To Scamp
Game-Tramp's Hide & Seek Game
Featurette-Cartoon: Pluto Junior
Featurette-Cartoon: Pluto's Kid Brother
Featurette-Cartoon: Bone Trouble
Trailer-Monsters, Inc.
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 66:13
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Darrell Rooney
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Scott Wolf
Alyssa Milano
Chazz Palminteri
Jeff Bennett
Jodi Benson
Mickey Rooney
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $36.95 Music Danny Troob


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Norwegian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Danish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Norwegian
Danish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Scamp's Adventure is the direct-to-video sequel to one of Disney's classics, The Lady and the Tramp. Scamp's Adventure combines mainly traditional Disney animation with some CGI work to create a warm-hearted and well-animated movie. Scamp's Adventure will entertain kids, and provide a nostalgic experience for anyone who enjoyed the original movie.

    Considering that the original movie is now almost fifty years old, as sequels go, that's a long time to wait. The Lady and the Tramp was Disney's 15th animated feature film, and it was originally released in 1955. You may recall that the story concerns Lady (Barbara Luddy), a well-bred, golden cocker spaniel, who falls in love with a rough-and-tumble street dog, Tramp (Larry Roberts).

    We meet these characters again in Scamp's Adventure, and in fact a number of the characters (both canine and human) from the first movie return (having not aged a day), although with new actors voicing their characters of course. The story is set in New England shortly after the first movie, in 1910, and Lady (Jodi Benson) and Tramp (Jeff Bennett), have four puppies, including the naive and mischievous Scamp (Scott Wolf). The story takes place over the US Independence Day Weekend, which cleverly symbolises one of the main themes of the story.

    Scamp is in his pre-teens (by human standards), and longs to be independent. He pines for a 'world without fences'. Scamp escapes from the backyard and embarks on his adventure. He meets a gang of street dogs, the 'Junkyard Dogs', and Scamp begins to idolise their street-smart leader, Buster (Chazz Palminteri). Scamp also meets the feminine but tough Angel (Alyssa Milano), and 'puppy love' ensues. Soon Scamp must choose between his new independent life of reckless behaviour or his former family life of rules and responsibility.

    Ultimately, this is a story about the value of family. While Scamp's Adventure mirrors some of the themes from the first movie, such as love and acceptance, Scamp's story is a little more 'urban' and broaches the sad problem of teenage runaways. Like almost all of Disney's scripts, the story may be simplistic, but it is well-paced and very tight. It also has the usual moral tale of good versus evil, and while the movie could be accused of being a little predictable, it is a kid's movie after all.

    Something worth noting is that while the pre-production and post-production was handled by Disney in Los Angeles, most of the animation for this movie was done in Sydney, by Aussies. This included the layouts, backgrounds, and CGI work. Originally Walt Disney Animation Australia was only to produce Disney's animated television series such as Winnie The Pooh, Dark Wing Duck, Aladdin, and Timon And Pumbaa, but the quality of their work and local talent allowed Disney Australia to expand. They have since taken on the feature-length direct-to-video sequels of Aladdin and The Lion King, and also worked on An Extremely Goofy Movie. Disney Australia has moved its focus from television to the very, very lucrative direct-to-video market.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This transfer features very smooth animation. The characters all have very natural movements, and were obviously closely modelled on real people and real animals.

    Interestingly, many of the original backgrounds, character designs, and colour schemes have been adopted to present a movie that closely matches the art direction of the original movie. In fact, some of the original layouts and backgrounds from the 1955 movie were accessed from the Disney Archive library, and were used to create a stronger link between the two movies.

    While the movie retains much of the visual style of the 1955 original, the use of CGI has created a real depth to the image, as evidenced by the scene at 6:10 which looked like it was a room that I could walk into. Many indoor scenes feature intricate patterns on the walls and/or floor, and as the characters move, the CGI work perfectly renders every angle into perspective, creating a realistic feeling of depth. Other Disney movies such as Beauty And The Beast have also used CGI to achieve this immersive effect.

    Like some of Disney Australia's other direct-to-video titles, such as The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Scamp's Adventure is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1. It is 16x9 enhanced with the entire 1.78:1 frame height occupied by picture and very thin black bars on either side of the image. These bars are hidden by overscan on most, if not all, widescreen television sets, so what we see is a full widescreen image. This is the preferred way of presenting 1.66:1 material, as it is higher in resolution than if it is not 16x9 enhanced and letterboxed. I must say that the image looks glorious on a widescreen television.

    The foregrounds and characters are very sharp and contain a lot of detail, but some of the backgrounds appear soft. I imagine that this was done intentionally to focus one's attention on the characters against the 'busy' backgrounds. It also helps create a sense of depth and realism by pulling items in and out of focus, a technique used very successfully in the Toy Story movies. Some of the scenes are dark, but the detail is not lost. For example, consider the scene in the dark alleyway at 13:33.

    The colour in this movie is simply magnificent, and very appropriate. As with most animated features, colour is used very subtly to manipulate the audience's feelings.

    There are no MPEG artefacts, film-to-video artefacts or film artefacts to complain of.

    There are four sets of subtitles present on this DVD, and the English subtitles are accurate.

    This is a dual layered disc, but as no layer change was apparent, I suspect that the extras have been placed on the second layer.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are four audio tracks on this DVD. There are English, Norwegian, and Danish Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks and an English Dolby Digital 2.0 Audio Commentary track.

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are generally up to the usual excellent quality of a Disney animated feature. Very, very rarely there were a few audio sync problems, such as when Aunt Sarah is speaking at 42:25.

    The musical score is credited to Danny Troob, and the songwriting team of Melissa Manchester and Norman Gimbel have provided all the original songs that appear in the movie. The scoring is good, and it pays homage to the classic 1940s and 1950s scores from Disney animated movies with sentimental themes to tug at the heartstrings. The songs have clever lyrics that advance the plot, and include Always There, World Without Fences and Junkyard Society Rag.

    The surround presence and activity is not overwhelming, but then again, considering that this was a direct-to-video release, I was expected Dolby Stereo only. There are some subtle surround effects, such as the car at 49:59. The score also subtly drifts through the rear speakers on occasion, for example at 15:01. There are also a few great split-rear effects, such as the fireworks at 54:32.

    The subwoofer is very quiet for most of the movie, but it does get utilised on occasion for sound effects, such as the barrel breaking at 8:58, and the train rumbling past at 33:31.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    While the main feature is relatively short, the disc has been packed with extras which will probably delight animation fans more than kids.

Audio Commentary

    Darrell Rooney (the Director), Jeannine Roussel (the Co-Director and Producer), and Aussie Steve Trenbirth (the Director of Animation) collaborate to provide an interesting commentary on the movie. While a lot of it falls into the trap of narrating or explaining what's happening on-screen, they also provide lots of valuable insights into the making of the movie, and a few anecdotes. The use of digital animation gets discussed at length, which I found quite interesting.

Making of the film: From Tramp to Scamp (14:24)

    This repeats some of what was covered in the audio commentary, but we can now see their faces. I found the inclusion of archival Disney footage, including of the big man Walt himself, very interesting. This extra is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo audio.

Tramp's hide and seek game

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo audio, I still haven't found all the dogs!

Cartoon: Pluto Junior (6:52)

    A nice touch, this is a 1942 Disney cartoon that complements the main feature. This extra is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo audio.

Cartoon: Pluto's Kid Brother (6:36)

    Another classic Disney cartoon (1946) with more puppy hijinks. This extra is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo audio.

Cartoon: Bone Trouble (8:23)

    Made in 1940, Pluto's misadventures continue, this time with his quest for a bone. This extra is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo audio.

Trailer: Monsters Inc (1:50)

    When it comes to animation, there's only one thing I love more than Disney, and that's when Disney and Pixar unite (A Bug's Life, Toy Story 1 & 2). This is a highly anticipated DVD release for me, and I'm chomping at the bit to get hold of it. This extra is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital surround-encoded stereo audio.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Scamp's Adventure was released on DVD in Region 1 in February 2001.

    The Region 4 DVD misses out on:

    The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

    I cannot imagine that the DTS track could add any real value to this movie, therefore I see both discs as being fairly even. For my money I would favour the local release for its affordability, and superior PAL image.

Summary

    Scamp's Adventure is an entertaining family movie, but it is not destined to become a Disney classic. To be fair, as a direct-to-video release, it was never going to be in the same class as Disney's features such as Aladdin, The Lion King, or Beauty and the Beast. That aside, it remains a well-made animated movie, on a good DVD, which showcases what very talented Aussie animators are capable of with a limited budget (compared to major Disney features). I only hope they get to make a Disney feature here one day.

    The video quality is very good, and it is a pleasure to watch.

    The audio quality is very good for a direct-to-video movie.

    The extras are plentiful, and complement the main feature.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Tuesday, March 26, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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