Starring: Tessa Thompson, Justin Theroux, Sam Elliott
Director: Charlie Bean
Running Time: 111 mins
Lady And The Tramp is an American film about an uptown dog and a streetwise mutt who form an unlikely romance as they spend a night together on the streets of the city.
These live-action remakes of Disney’s animated classics have started to become more and more unnecessary by the year. Cinderella was a pleasant blend of traditional Disney and modern sensibilities, The Jungle Book was visually spectacular, and Beauty And The Beast was a delightful fairytale. But since then, the likes of Dumbo, The Lion King and Aladdin have offered very little different or worthwhile compared with their animated counterparts.
So, I expected the trend towards a lack of originality to continue with Lady And The Tramp, but I’m delighted to report that isn’t the case. While it isn’t a spectacular film, nor an immense improvement on the animated original, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable family adventure, with enough new content to make it feel unique to the original, but equally enough familiarity to bring up a pleasant sense of nostalgia.
The premise is simple, an uptown dog and a streetwise mutt fall in love over the course of a magical night on the town. Throw in an animal control employee chasing them and a bit of family peril, and you’ve got all the ingredients of a Disney classic.
In all honesty, of all the live-action Disney remakes, this is maybe the one that rekindles the magic of the classic film while also standing out on its own. Much like the original Lady And The Tramp, this film is wonderfully simple, with a lightweight, fluffy and smiley tale about an unlikely romance.
What’s more, with yet more spectacular production values from Disney and even CGI that doesn’t make animals moving their mouths look too uncanny, there’s a lot about this film that works, even managing to extend the runtime by over 40 minutes compared to the original, without much unnecessary detail.
The story does arguably drag a little in its final act, taking too many cues from predictable blockbuster finales, but at the film’s height – which is the first act and the beginnings of the two dogs’ love story – it really is a lovely watch.
Finally, the voice performances are fantastic across the board. The live-action performances take a back seat to an A-list cast of voice performers, with Sam Elliott, Justin Theroux and more delighting, while Tessa Thompson in particular gives a fantastic turn as Lady, brilliantly embodying what makes this remake great with her blend of fiery passion and light, fluffy personality.
Overall, I really enjoyed Lady And The Tramp. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable watch for all the family that uses the best of Disney’s bottomless pockets and a classic story to delight from beginning to end. It is simple, and it’s not a spectacular reimagining of the original, but it’s really worth the watch – which can’t be said for all Disney remakes. So, that’s why I’m giving it 7.5.