Friday, April 4, 2014

What is it, old girl?

As much as I often envy my dog, Dodger, sometimes I feel really bad for him, too. Sure, he gets to lie around in the sun all day, which is a pretty sweet gig if you ask me, but what about everything else? The poor pup was likely taken away from his family when he was young, and will never get the chance to see them again. He has us, and we love him, but as our own family has grown, he gets less and less attention. As depressing as that is, I'm pretty sure the same thing will eventually happen to me, too.

As a rule, I never post about movies I've already seen. And I'm 99% sure I'd somehow managed to never lay eyes upon Disney's Lady and the Tramp. Like everyone, the spaghetti incident was familiar to me, as were those creepy Siamese cats (and their awful, awful song). Otherwise, I knew almost nothing about the Lady, and even less about the Tramp. In fact, as a kid, I thought the lady was a tramp, and that the title foreshadowed the duality of the protagonist. Yeah. I was a pretty smart kid.

Lame (mostly) jokes aside, I found this to be an enjoyable flick. Almost sixty years later, it hardly qualifies as a children's movie anymore, but that's not a knock. For what the film lacks in hyperactivity and bright colors, it makes up for with a compelling look at what it's like to be a dog. A regular dog, at that. Not some time-traveling, wise-cracking undercover abomination.

For the other person alive who doesn't know this story by heart, let me break it down real quick. Some guy pulls the super-clutch move of getting his lady-friend a puppy for Christmas. Sweet, right? Of course it is. Over time, the dog goes from family focal point to that dog! as the couple eventually welcomes a baby. Their lovable Cocker Spaniel notices the changes (with the help of some neighborhood dogs), but maintains her 'good girl' status anyway. Aww...

One night, the couple heads out for an evening among adults and leaves some awful cat-lady in charge. Lady is wrongly fingered in the resulting calamity, and from there, a series of unfortunate events end up changing Lady's once idyllic life forever. But it's not all bad, though. In the chaos, she meets and falls for Tramp, the right dog from the wrong side of the tracks. It's not all back-alley pasta dishes, either, as these two get caught up in some dicey situations.

At seventy-five minutes, this flick doesn't mess around. Sure, the pace is deliberate (it should be, people had attention spans in 1955), but what little that does happen, happens so fast that it's all over before you know it. A nice little romance, embedded in a nice little adventure, makes for a nice little movie. I probably don't ever need to see it again (I bought it for my wife...two years ago), but I enjoyed it regardless.

You know, it was nice to see a talking-animal flick completely void of fart jokes, contemporary tunes nor the dreaded end-credits dance sequence. Whether the Yays and Boos will omit those as well...I'm not making any promises.

  • Ah, credits before the movie, I love you so much.
  • Gigantic Italian Chef Guy. Sure, he's really talking to animals (um, and preparing meals for them) which is insane, but he's an Italian greaseball, so it's totally okay.
  • Tramp is a pretty smart dog. Letting his friends out of the dog-catcher mobile was slick, but his antics at the zoo were even better.
  • Lady thinks their names are Jim Dear and Darling? Oh, dogs
  • If there's something cooler than an old school dog fight, it's when old school dogs fight in silhouette! Actually made Dodger's ears perk up.
  • There's not a lot of singing, which is a huge plus, but the one song we get is pretty good. Not a huge fan of the slutty dame (can I say bitch here?) that croons it, but a solid tune anyhow.
  • Vindication! I thought for a minute Tramp was gonna take the fall on that one.
  • And finally, the ending. Oh man, sixty years later and they almost got me. I thought that maybe back in the day it was okay for something really bad to happen to one of the animals. 
  • As much as I enjoyed the flick, once the popcorn was done, I was the only one in the living room still watching it.
  • Damn (lovable) dogs. Always finding a way into your bed, even if you intended to never, ever let that happen.
  • There's a dog that lost his sense of smell. I feel you, bro. I feel you.
  • As they sort of belabored the fact that Lady wasn't really that special anymore, I felt increasingly bad for my dog. I looked over and he was eating popcorn off the couch while not even bothering to fully get up. I felt slightly less bad for him. Sort of.
  • Pregnant wife cravings. In movies. They are always so dumb. Watermelon and chop suey? That sounds like a horribly racist after-school special.
  • Speaking of being um, culturally insensitive, nothing like the awful Siamese cats and their me-speaka-Chinee accents to make everybody in the room avert their eyes for a minute. 
  • Aunt Sarah. Man, this lady is the worst. I was hoping somehow she'd fall down the stairs and snap her spine, but instead we have to settle for her getting knocked over at the muzzle store. Weak.
  • No offense, but Lady is pretty easy. I mean, one date? That's it. Tramp didn't even buy her dinner.
  • And finally, that damn rat. Not only is this thing impossibly ugly, but the Hell does it want in the baby's room? 
As much as I felt that Don Jon [review] was a story about all men, I feel that Lady and the Tramp is a story about all dogs. Well, outside of the dogs whose owner's never go on to have kids, anyway. 

Just the other day, I took this lone picture of Dodger, in an attempt to remind him of the days where we showered him with all our love and attention. The days where we took dozens of photos of him. I was trying to let him know he's still important to us. 

Then I took another twenty five pictures of the kids.


  1. I just love reading your reviews. That closing statement about your dog and the pictures was just hilariously insightful and honest.

    I also love how you note that you were the only one still watching this when the popcorn was through. I've had that experience a few times and I had to ask myself, why AM I still watching this?

    1. Thanks, man. I thought that most parents would be able to relate to that. Poor pup.

      As for the popcorn thing, I find that more often than not, I am always the last man standing. Usually everyone falls asleep, which is fine. But when they simply physically vacate the area? That's just rude. Yet...quiet.

  2. Aw, your dog is adorable! Great review, it's been years since I've seen this, I don't even remember much of it. I wish I could get my kid to watch another Disney movie other than Cinderella. (Which I swear we watch at least once a day)

    1. Ha. I'm not sure Dodge is adorable (someone at the dog park once asked what is that? in reference to him), but we love the goofy bastard.

      Cinderella? Whoa. I'm not even sure I've ever watched that one.