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Lady And The Tramp: The Signature Collection (Blu-ray Review)

The Disney Signature Collection has set its sites on the perfect release for the month that houses Valentine’s Day; Lady and the Tramp. Including new bonus materials as well as the classic features, this new release also allows you to watch the film in three different ways. One thing notable here (And maybe its just the first time I’ve noticed), but Disney has changed from calling this a “combo pack” to naming it “multi-screen edition”. A little, but very interesting change in terms of verbiage for the packaging. We’ll see if any other studios begin to follow suit. This second release of the film on Blu-ray will be seeing your store shelves, physical and virtual, on February 27th. Pre-order links through Amazon have been off and on, so check back if one doesn’t appear here when you’re reading.

Film 

This Disney animated classic follows a pampered cocker spaniel named Lady whose comfortable life slips away once her owners have a baby. When, after some tense circumstances, Lady finds herself on the loose and out on the street, she is befriended and protected by the tough stray mutt Tramp. A romance begins to blossom between the two dogs, but their many differences, along with more drama at Lady’s household, threaten to keep them apart.

Lady and the Tramp features many iconic Disney moments within in a little bitty romantic story between two dogs. Who doesn’t immediately conjure up the spaghetti kiss scene instantly upon hearing or seeing the title of the film. Or how about the “We are Siamese If You Please” song by those two really mean cats. There are a lot more of those moments in this film that gives you laughs, charm and some good sobs along the way.

In the heart of Lady and the Tramp is the core or blueprint of a lot of young love stories we’ve seen in film, books and real life. This is probably the most cute and innocent of them all, making said footprint tougher to see for a younger person. But, this film very much shares the same kind of characters, types, events and overall story archetype of that of a Bonnie and Clyde, Badland’s or Natural Born Killers to name some. Its all very present in this young girl runs away with bad boy and gets into some bigger trouble blinded by their youth. I hadn’t really sat down and revisited this film in many years and this aspect of it gave it a whole new light and provided much more fun.

Like a lot of these Disney animated classics, its a very short film, but manages to showcase a lot and tell a pretty big story to great satisfaction by the end. While not one of my all time favorites, I still like it quite a bit and was really entranced by this new take I was able to pull from it. For kids, especially animal loving ones like my daughter, I was happy to see mine glued to the screen and really taking to these characters in the 63 year old film. To add, I’d never seen it on Blu-ray before and boy did it look marvelous. We’ll get to that below.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.55:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail:  Well, there’s no new transfer on the film to report here and that’s great news. Nobody needed to mess with this unless it was going to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray. The previous Diamond Edition release was a wow’ing bit of perfection. Like previous efforts, such as Bambi, you’ll marvel in being able to see details like brush strokes and such as if you are really seeing a nice capture of each film cell as the film plays on.

Depth:  While a classic, flat 2-D animation, this does have some really nice, true to its origin, fluid motions from its characters.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep and as they say “inky”. Its well saturated and dark, while still seeing some of the strokes inherent in the hand colorization.

Color Reproduction: Colors are strong and bold here in this image. Its really impressive looking at this and seeing how nice and painting this palette of colors appear on the screen. There are scenes at night in the park with these nice pastel colored lamps that get a good pop here and were a bit of a highlight in a rather beautiful looking transfer.

Flesh Tones:  N/A

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics:  Lady and the Tramp boasts the same audio available on the previous Diamond Edition of the film. Its a fun and enlightening experience to hear the carefully done remastered 7.1 track. Its pretty faithful and never oversteps its bounds and goes overboard on its modern advantages. The blend is very nice and has some good, cleaned up vocals, effects and music that have a terrific balance.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension:  The subwoofer primarily patient here, only chiming in for natural areas and helping bump up some of the music in the film.

Surround Sound Presentation:  Luckily, this 7.1 mix doesn’t go overboard. Its very front heavy, with good accuracy in movement between channels. Much of the 4 channels away from the front are ambiance or some nice unique touches out of necessity to correspond with onscreen environments.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Vocals are clear and crisp.

Extras 

The Lady And The Tramp: The Signature Collection comes with the DVD edition and a digital copy of the film. Many of the classic bonus features are available on the digital version only.

Film Versions

  • Original Theatrical Edition
  • Sing-A-Long Mode
  • Inside Walt’s Story Meetings – While you watch, you hear reenactments of Walt’s story sessions with animators and see how their ideas were realized on-screen.

Walt & His Dogs (HD, 8:27) – Archival recordings and photos you hear Walt Disney talk of his dogs that he had over his lifetime. Scenes from the movie as well as video of a real dog wandering the Disney studios and looking at the pictures.

Stories From Walt’s Office (HD, 6:02) – A tour of Walt’s office suite on the Studio (Closed by Roy Disney after Walt’s death) lot that has been done up to look like it was back when he was alive and running the show. Rebecca Cline gives us a breakdown of all the work done on it and the history of the office.

How To Make A Meatball And Other Fun Facts About Lady And The Tramp (HD, 9:06) – Some teen chef and some Disney Channel star teach you how to make meatballs.

Song Selection (HD, 9:59) – “Peace on Earth”, “What Is A Baby/La La Lu”, “The Siamese Cat Song”, “Bella Notte”, “He’s A Tramp”

Classic Bonus Features

  • Diane Disney Miller: Remembering My Dad (HD, 7:51)
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 19:11) – Introduction of Boris, Waiting For Baby, Dog Show
  • Never Recorded Song: “I’m Free As The Breeze” (HD, 1:26)
  • Classic Bonus Preview (HD, :48)

Summary 

I’m not sure if Lady and the Tramp holds as much esteem with kids today as when I was a young lad, but growing up it was super iconic in the Disney canon. That sharing of spaghetti scene seared into my brain as it played with frequency during montages and such. This new edition boasts the same transfer and audio as before with a few new bonus materials that may or may not be a big deal for you. As with most Signature Collection titles, if you don’t already own the film on Blu-ray, this is the one to pick up. If not, hold onto the Diamond Edition.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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