Review: Lady and the Tramp

Lady and the Tramp (2019) 1h 43min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama | 12 November 2019 (USA) Summary: CGI and live-action re-imagining of the 1955 Disney classic.
Countries: USALanguages: English

A house dog finds love with a stray in Lady and the Tramp. Lady (Tessa Thompson) is a Cocker Spaniel living a happy life with her owners Jim Dear (Thomas Mann) and Darling (Kiersey Clemons) and neighbouring dogs Bloodhound Trusty (Sam Elliott) and Scottish Terrier Jock (Ashley Jensen). However, Lady’s idyllic life changes with the arrival of a new baby and Darling’s mean cat-loving Aunt Sarah (Yvette Nicole Brown). Lady finds herself lost on the street and joins a Schnauzer Tramp (Justin Theroux) to find her way home. Despite their different upbringings, Lady and the Tramp begin to develop a meaningful connection with each other.

Lady and the Tramp is the latest classic Disney animated film to receive a live-action reboot, with this film directed by animator-turned-filmmaker Charlie Bean (The Lego Ninjago Movie) also being one of the first original films produced for the Disney+ streaming service. The plot of Lady and the Tramp sticks relatively close to the original 1955 film, with the biggest expansion being the antagonistic dog catcher Elliot (Adrian Martinez), who is obsessed with catching the Tramp and sending him to the pound. It should also be noted that the film cast many rescue dogs in the central roles, with the addition of animated lip-syncing.

Lady and the Tramp

Lady and the Tramp proves that there is no film is Disney’s library of classic animated films that is immune to getting the live-action reboot treatment. However, as a launch title of the new Disney+ streaming service, Lady and the Tramp creates a new subcategory of live-action reboot that would have been unlikely to have been made in the first place, if it wasn’t to create original content for Disney+. While I’m not saying that Lady and the Tramp is a poor quality film, I will say that it is more comparable to the direct-to-video features Disney was churning out in the 1990s, than anything I can see playing theatrically.

If you want to see Lady and the Tramp, except in a live-action setting, this film does just that in an incredibly generic and by-the-numbers way. With the exception of the always recognizable Sam Elliot as Trusty, there was never anything particularly notable about the voice cast of the film, despite including names such as Tessa Thompson, Justin Theroux, Ashley Jensen, Janelle Monáe, Benedict Wong. and Clancy Brown. On the live-action side of things, Thomas Mann and Kiersey Clemons are barely figured in the background, Yvette Nicole Brown and Adrian Martinez are very cartoonish villains, and F. Murray Abraham is wasted in a cameo as serenading restauranteur Tony, in a recreation of the original’s most famous scene.

Since you already need to subscribe to Disney+ in order to watch this live-action reboot, I would better recommend you skip this new Lady and the Tramp and just watch the original.

Lady and the Tramp is now streaming

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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).