Lady and the Tramp (2019)

Lady and the Tramp Review

by H. Creasey

*** 3 Stars

‘Overall, the Lady and The Tramp 2019 remake is a fine film to watch with the family, however, I can’t see myself ever choosing it over the original.’

Director: Charlie Bean (produced by Brigham Taylor)

Actors: Tessa Thompson, Justin Theroux, Adrian Martinez

Plot Synopsis: Set in 1909, a sheltered, upper-middle-class cocker spaniel named Lady (Tessa Thompson) must come to terms with the fact that she is no longer the centre of her people’s universe, now that they’ve had a baby. And a street-smart, stray mutt known as ‘The Tramp’ (Justin Theroux) claims to love his life as a street dog, but is constantly on the run from the dog-catcher (Adrian Martinez). The two meet each other in unlikely circumstances and embark on many romantic adventures together.

This film is a remake of one of Disney’s most iconic classics, so the bar has been set pretty high. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to the standard set by the original. I appreciate that it must be hard to please everyone when retelling such a beloved story, however many things could have been tweaked in order to help the film reach its full potential. For example, I felt that the writers were unable to truly capture Lady’s character in that, she wasn’t lady-like. Part of the beauty of the original is that Lady starts off as a fairly clueless dog that lives in in her own bubble, but develops into a more headstrong, independent one, with the help of The Tramp. In this adaptation, Lady’s development is far less obvious as she already begins as a very opinionated, almost aggressive character, who is more capable of defending herself than she first lets on. That being said, I believe that this new Lady will send a more positive message for young girls than the more submissive original.

With a more independent female lead, the film does feel as though it is trying to distance itself from the original by being more PC. Some examples of this include the character Darling (Kiersey Clemons) being a black woman in high society during 1909, the Scottish Terrier Jock (Ashley Jenson) is now a female, and the song ‘We are Siamese’ which is, for lack of a better word, racist, has been completely scraped and replaced with a brand new song called ‘What a Shame’.

Overall, the Lady and The Tramp 2019 remake is a fine film to watch with the family, however, I can’t see myself ever choosing it over the original. Some things are better left the way they are.

Lady and the Tramp is now available on Disney + and was rated U by the BBFC.

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