Since 7th April 2020, Disney + has arrived in France and has breathed a second life into confinement for most Disney fans. Among a rich cinematographic offer, my attention quickly turned to a film I was eagerly waiting to see.
The live-action adaptation of Lady and the Tramp, directed by Charlie Bean, known notably for having directed the Lego Ninjago movie.
The cartoon, although old, cradled my childhood and left me with a tender memory of it. If the movie sometimes disappointed me on certain aspects, its efficient directing and rewriting made me appreciate the work for the most part.
Beware, some comments may contain spoilers!
Aesthetics : 3/5
The wide shots, the clear editing and the cleanliness of the images make it a good quality movie. Even if some special effects leave something to be desired, the whole is rather pleasant and harmonious.
Unlike The Lion King, the production decided to stage real dogs and the two main roles were given to Rose, an American cocker spaniel and Monte, a rescue dog. This gives a real dynamic and authenticity to the images.
The big negative, in my opinion, is the Aunt Sarah’s Siamese scene. For obvious reasons, the cats are computer-generated images and the result is not great… Yet this is an emblematic scene in the cartoon, a real turning point heralding the dramatic turnaround: life in the street. It is therefore a pity not to have a representation that lives up to what one might have hoped for.
Originality : 3/5
Although it obviously has many similarities with the cartoon version, the movie is not a simple transition from animation to real images. It brings a different interpretation and sensibility.
For example, the couple Jim Dear/Darling is a mixed-race couple here and the profession of jazz musician is emphasised for Jim, which does not appear in the cartoon. This gives the characters an aura of modernity and a strong political commitment (mixing and jazz being controversial in American bourgeois circles at the beginning of the 20th century).
Human beings are given greater prominence in this adaptation, preferring an omniscient point of view to the point of view used in the cartoon, namely that of Lady.
Moreover, the film unveils the Tramp’s past and reveals a heavy secret, explaining the animal’s reluctance to become attached to man. On the other hand, it is to be deplored that the entire sequence in the zoo, including the refreshing scene with the beaver, has been removed from the new script.
Songs : 2/5
This is a purely subjective opinion of course! All the songs have been rewritten in a jazzy tune, to be in line with the context of the film. Even if it works for some of them, I was disappointed not to have found the songs that marked my childhood.
Moreover, many of the lyrics have been modified while keeping the same meaning as in the original version, which is a pity because it doesn’t add any aesthetic value.
The movie fulfils its mission perfectly. It does not claim to be one of the masterpieces released in the cinema, but it offers a new interpretation of the movie with efficiency and coherence. It makes for an enjoyable moment and is suitable for all members of the family.
We like :
- the fact that real dogs played in the movie;
- the treatment of the characters;
- the enrichments of the new script.
We don’t like :
- the mediocre special effects;
- the deletion of emblematic scenes;
- the songs.