Seems like Disney is running 50/50 on about everything these days. Disney has churned out quite a few live action remakes, but only half seem to make the grade. Disney+ just launched, and while their new content is still coming together, it, too, runs about 50/50 so far. Of it’s two biggest titles upon launch, The Mandalorian receives great response, but can the same be said for the live action remake? Here is my review of Lady and the Tramp.
Lady and the Tramp: Cute Start Fades Fast
Lady and the Tramp starts out well enough. The opening scene where Lady is given to Darling is cute enough, but then again that’s easy with young pups. They set up the house and Lady’s favored status, but then the movie transitions very quickly into the baby era. From this point on, fans of the original will be disappointed. Following this, everything becomes shallow lip service.
Voicing and Casting Fall Flat
To me there was not a single performance that stood out for me in this movie. Jim and Darling had zero chemistry, but they are mostly background anyway. Tessa Thompson did okay as Lady as long as she was alone. When Tramp shows up, not only is there zero chemistry but both characters fail to show any charm at all. They are forced together way too fast.
Trusty and Jockette (that’s right he’s a she now) are stuck into the movie because they were in the cartoon. Other than that their parts are worthless. Sam Elliott should have been a great choice for Trusty, but the part is written so bad he loses all the charm the cartoon Trusty held. The running gag about his sense of smell only works if you know the original and even that falls flat. He is also denied his heroic final scene as well.
After that, no character sticks out or serves any real purpose at all. The beaver in the cartoon is now a statue. The Jail dogs are horrendously uninspiring, and the few live action cast members aren’t given a chance. Ken Jeong wants to be funny, but that’s hard to do in 15 seconds.
Lady and the Tramp: The Cats and Key Scenes get Neutered
Every movie contains key scenes that become hallmark to the movie. Lady and the Tramp fails at every key scene. The first of the two big scenes belongs to the cats. Viewers cannot forget their singing ‘We Are Siamese If You Please’. The sassiness in which they tear up the house and their ongoing feud with Lady are cornerstone to the cartoon. In the remake, they get out of their basket, tear up the house….and that’s it. Not only do they not sing their song – THEY AREN’T EVEN SIAMESE!
The second iconic scene of course is the Meatball scene with the song ‘This Is the Night’. The scene is there. The song is there, but both are totally devoid of any romance or chemistry what-so-ever. For those unlucky enough to have watched it, the chemistry belongs on the same level as Jupiter Ascending. It just ain’t there.
An Inaccurate Era Via Political Correctness
The biggest no-no if you are going to make a period piece is to portray that era falsley. If you are going to do that, remake the film in an era that is more comfortable or fitting for the story one wishes to tell. Let us just say racial relations for the era Lady and the Tramp is set in, was completely rewritten to make the film politically correct for today’s thoughts.
Disney is going out of its way to rewrite history or apologize for movies that were fine when they were made. Again, if one does not like the truth of an era, stay away from it. Honestly, I think very few even care and would think nothing of it until Disney blows it out of proportion. It’s a frakking cartoon!
Final Thoughts: Lady and the Tramp
I wish I could be more positive about this movie. I love the original cartoon, but this in no way does it justice. It glosses over the heart and soul of the original, hoping that is enough for viewers. In the end this movie just falls flat on every level.