LADY AND THE TRAMP – Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital HD Review

LADY AND THE TRAMP – Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital HD Review
John Strange
The Disney Signature Collection is a special series of films that were created or inspired by the mind of Walt Disney.  These films are stories and characters have made an impression on generations children and adults.  Last year I brought you reviews of Pinocchio and The Lion King.  The newest entry in this collection is Lady and the Tramp which premiered on the big screen on June 22, 1955.
Lady and the Tramp is the story of a sweet Cocker Spaniel, Lady (Barbara Luddy), who is given to Darling (Peggy Lee) by her husband, Jim Dear (Lee Millar) one Christmas morning, hidden in a hat box.  Lady lives a very pampered life as the only "child" of the couple until the arrival of their first child.  Though Lady is fond of the new addition to the family, Darling and Jim Dear begin treating Lady differently.  Not bad, just differently.  Why, because they are up to their ears in learning to be the parents their new son deserves.
This is a sweet story with everything we need to make it a classic.  The heroes, obviously, are Lady and the stray scamp, the Tramp (Larry Roberts) who find each other and fall in love over a plate of Tony's best spaghetti and meatballs eaten as Tony serenades them with "Bella Notte".
The bad guys?  Aunt Sarah (Verna Felton) and her two Siamese cats.  Is she all that bad?  Not really, but as a dedicated cat person, she sees Lady in a different light than the young parents.  When she comes to take care of the baby so that the new parents can catch their breath from the strain of the pregnancy and childbirth, Aunt Sarah and her two Siamese cats (portrayed as very amoral/evil little feline demons) come to live in the house.  Lady is treated very poorly by the aunt, like she is a danger to the baby.
And of course all heroes have a set of helpers/companions to assist them.  For Lady, these are the dogs who live on her block, Jock (a Scottish Terrier voiced by Bill Thompson) and Trusty (the bloodhound voiced by Bill Baucom).  These two are leery of Tramp at first as any good friend would be of a suitor for their friend.
Another major character in the film is the music.  All of the great classic Disney films have soundtracks that we all recognize and admire.  This soundtrack from the fifties has some excellent ballads, some sung in a jazz style (like Peggy Lee's rendition of "What a Dog / He's a Tramp".
I had a great time re-watching this classic which came out a few months before I was born in 1955.  Over the years, I have seen it on TV, VHS, DVD, and now Blu-ray.  Each time I watch it, I fall in love with Lady and the Tramp all over again.
But watching the movie is only a part of this experience.  One of my favorite things about watching these old films are the extras given to us on the disks and Digital HD on Movies Anywhere!  Each release has featurettes showing us how Walt Disney and his team of writers and illustrators brought each story to life.
For both the Blu-ray and the Digital HD releases, we have been given the deleted scenes from the film.  Many times I find one or two scenes I wish had made the film but this time I have to agree with the filmmakers.  The scenes were OK but the film was better without them.
Also on both versions, we are also given a featurette starring Diane Disney Miller as she talks about her dad, Walt Disney.  She shows us a brief glimpse behind the scenes of the family man who loved his kids and grandkids.  This is one of the bonus extras I have come to look forward to.  With each release we get a new window into the man who founded and masterminded so many of the films we have loved over the years.
Only on the Digital HD release, we are given a featurette starring Fred Willard that talks about the different types of dogs.  It was a nice piece to watch.
The blu-ray version is loaded to the gills with great extras.  As I talked about above, one of the things I look for are glimpses into the life of Walt Disney.  The featurette, Walt and His Dogs, was another excellent view of the person behind the man.  I loved this one, too.
You can see the list of extras below.  I enjoyed all of them.  My favorite one is related to my other two favorites.  Under the Play option, we are given three ways to watch the film.  First is the unmodified film.  (Loved watching it).  Next is the Sing Along Version where the lyrics of selected songs are displayed for us.  The last version is called "Inside Walt's Story Meetings" where dramatic readings of the extensive notes taken at every planning meeting as the film was developed are given to us as the film plays out.  It was the equivalent of the directors track on modern films allowing the director and producers to discuss their reasons behind decisions made during film development.
All-in-all, this has been a great time for me.  Watching one of my favorite animated films and all of these wonderful bonus extras made for an delightful afternoon and evening. 
Directed By:
  • Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske
  • Peggy Lee, Larry Roberts, Bill Baucom, Verna Felton, George Givot, Stan Freberg, Lee Millar, Barbara Luddy, Bill Thompson, Dal McKennon, Alan Reed, The Mellomen (as The Mello Men), Mel Blanc
  • Puppypedia: Going to the Dogs (Featurette)
  • Diane Disney Miller: Remembering Dad (Featurette)
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Walt & His Dogs
  • Three Ways to Watch
  • How to Make a Meatball & Other Fun Facts
  • Song Selection:
    • "Peace on Earth"
    • " What Is a Baby / La La Lu"
    • "The Siamese Cat Song"
    • " Bella Notte"
    • " He's a Tramp"
  • Diane Disney Miller: Remembering Dad (Featurette)
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Never Recorded Song "I'm Free as the Breeze"
  • Stories from Walt’s Office
  • Classic Bonus Preview
  • Three Ways to Watch:
    • Original Theatrical Edition
    • Sing-Along Mode
    • Inside Walt's Story Meetings
  • 76 Minutes
  • Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date:
  • 02/20/2018 (Digital and on Movie Anywhere)
  • 02/27/2018 (Multi-Screen Edition (formerly the Blu-ray Combo Pack))
Original Theatrical Release Date:
  • 06/22/1955
  • 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
MPAA Rating:
  • G
Selig Rating:
Selig Rating Scale:
BRAND NEW: Should add to your DVD collection at any cost
SALE ITEM: Worth owning, but try to catch it a sale
SECOND HAND: Plan to get it, but wait to buy it used
RENTAL: Worth taking a look at, but not owning
COASTER: Pick it up at a garage sale and use it for drinks
PULL!: Makes a great Trap Shooting target
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