Fun Fact: The introduction of this movie was inspired by Walt Disney giving his wife a puppy in a hat box. For move fun facts about this movie check out "Lady and the Tramp Source".
Although this is a lovely, romantic story, animals are portrayed in interesting ways throughout the movie. Not sure what I want to say about these depictions, but they are interesting choices to make.
All the different kinds of dogs are portrayed differently as are other animals we encounter throughout the movie. Maybe this is a comment on the personality of these types of animals. Let’s look at them.
Lady (Barbara Luddy) is a cocker spaniel. She follows a routine, cares greatly for her little family, and also is a little sheltered. This could be because she is a house dog, but she is the only one that is shown this way. Maybe that is her part in this story: learning about the big bad world, dog catchers and all.
Jock (Bill Thompson) is a Scottish terrier. He appears to be a hoarder of bones, a bit feisty when riled up, and very defensive/protective of Lady.
Trusty (Bill Baucom), the bloodhound, is an interesting character. He appears to be the grandfather of this story. He constantly wants to tell about “Old Reliable”, but everyone has heard the story. He even seems to be losing his senses, literally. Maybe he has lost his sense of smell, and maybe not. Also, the way he talks and sounds makes him seem older than the rest.
And then we have Tramp (Larry Roberts). He is some kind of mutt. He lives a “footloose and collar free” life on the streets, charming whatever family or restaurant he wants for some food. He’s the hero, busting dogs out of the dog catcher’s cart and releasing Lady from the muzzle.
The only portrayal of cats we get is Aunt Sarah’s Siamese cats. These two are sneaky, malicious, and destructive. They cause trouble and make Lady look like the bad guy. Since these are the only cats we see, we must assume all cats are this way, right?
In the Zoo, apes “wouldn’t understand”, alligators are too dangerous, and beavers are gullible. Is this a commentary on the animals or people?
There is a lot to be said about the dogs in the pound, but I’ll briefly talk about them. Dachsie (Bill Thompson), the dachshund, is a digger. Bull, the English bulldog, is a bit insensitive and slobbery. Peg (Peggy Lee), the Lhasa Apso, is a kind, show-girl type dog. Boris (Alan Reed), the Russian Borzoi, “is a philosopher”.
And we must discuss the true bad guy of the story: the rat! This creature has no name and can’t even speak. It just crawls into the house, “in the baby’s room”. Theoretically, the rat would not do anything to the baby. It could be carrying diseases and would probably make a cozy little home in this lovely house. But I find it interesting that this creature doesn’t even have a voice. It is simply the dark, bad thing that might hurt someone.
Again, I am not sure what to do with these portrayals. However, if you have had any of these pets and think these representations are accurate, I would be interested in hearing about it. Please leave a comment below.
There is some discussion online about these portrayals. One addresses how the different characters are stereotyped. Click here to check it out.
There is even a whole site setup for Lady and the Tramp. It’s pretty cool! Check it out!
HP Thursday next week!