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In 1909, in the bright Christmastime,
A man gives his wife a young pup in her prime.
They christen her Lady, this dog that they’ve gotten,
And pamper and love her and spoil her rotten.
She grows and receives a new collar as well,
Which every dog wants, so she runs off to tell
The terrier Jock and a bloodhound named Trusty,
Whose great sense of smell has become a bit rusty.
 
But Jim Dear and Darling, her folks who adore her,
Soon seem too distracted and start to ignore her.
Old Jock (who’s a Scottish, not Yorkshire or Cairn)
Thinks Darling’s expecting a wee little bairn.
A stray passing mutt called the Tramp overhears
And says things will change, making worse Lady’s fears.
Sure enough, months later, they have a boy,
But Lady protects him and thinks he’s a joy.
 
When Jim Dear and Darling leave home for a while,
Aunt Sarah takes over their quaint domicile.
Her Siamese cats, who are quick to lay claim,
Wreak havoc, and Lady receives all the blame.
When Aunt Sarah muzzles her, Lady escapes
And gets lost in places where she should not traipse.
Tramp comes to her rescue and frees Lady’s snout
And gives her a lovely, romantic night out.
 
The next day, however, while yet homeward bound,
His wild ways get Lady sent to the pound.
She meets the dogs there, whose lives are much colder;
When Lady gets home, she gives Tramp the cold shoulder…
Until a huge rat scurries past in the dark
To the dear baby’s room, causing Lady to bark.
The Tramp swoops right in to destroy the rat first,
But when Aunt Sarah sees him, the maid fears the worst.
 
To the pound with the Tramp, but when they find the rat,
They see he’s a hero who deserves a good pat.
Both Trusty and Jock stop the dog catcher’s cart,
And, though Trusty’s hurt, he does not yet depart.
The next Christmas, Tramp is a part of the home,
And Lady and he have some pups of their own.
_________________
 

Lady and the Tramp is among Disney’s great classics and one of his last impressively animated films (the artistic style seemed to suffer in future endeavors). It’s a classic love story retold countless times, the pampered princess falling for the lovable scoundrel, but it’s not only lovely to look at but also full of endearing characters and memorable moments. I also enjoy how Lady thinks her owners are named Jim Dear and Darling since that’s what they call each other; it has that same naïve misunderstanding as people being called “human beans” in The Borrowers.

Almost any pet owner can commiserate with Jim Dear and Darling in the beginning with Lady as a newborn puppy. Then later on, her banter with Jock and Trusty is downright charming. Yet we also get a glimpse of the darker possibilities of a dog’s life. Tramp has a good, carefree life for the most part, but that scene of adorable despair in the pound is more affecting than most SPCA ads.

We may be cat people, but my VC and I find the Siamese cats’ song positively grating, but Peggy Lee’s “He’s a Tramp” is a highlight of the film (though she sang both songs). And, of course, there is that iconic scene with the spaghetti and meatballs. I had forgotten how good this film was, so, if you haven’t seen this true classic recently, go remind yourself posthaste.

Best line: (Trusty) “Why, everybody knows a dog’s best friend is his human.”

 
Artistry: 7
Characters/Actors: 8
Entertainment: 7
Visual Effects: 8
Originality: 5
Watchability: 7
Other (those Siamese cats and the fact that I just like other films more): -5
 
TOTAL: 37 out of 60
 

Next: #245 – X-Men

© 2014 S. G. Liput

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