He’s a tramp, but they love him….breaks a new heart every day…
I’m fairly neutral about the story of Lady and the Tramp. It’s never been one of my favorites, but never a least favorite, either. As a kid, my favorite part was the siamese cat song, but that was more from a Sing A Long Songs VHS I had, not because of the actual movie.
The year is 1955. Business is booming for the Walt Disney Company. Their last three films have been a HUGE financial hit. This also happens to be the year in which Disneyland would open in Anaheim, CA. A big year, to say the least.
The original story of Lady and the Tramp started in the late 1930s, much like Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and of course, Snow White. Joe Grant, an artist at the company (who designed the hag in Snow White) began writing about his Springer Spaniel, Lady. Of course, his personal dog, got shoved aside for his new baby. This story did not contain the Tramp. The movie got put on hold because Walt hated the character of Lady.
Tramp would appear in the 1940s when Walt bought the rights to Ward Greene’s story “Happy Dan, The Whistling Dog.” Joe Grant’s Lady fell in love with Ward Greene’s tramp and a story was made. Walt greenlighted the project yet again. However, like the films before it, Lady and the Tramp got put on hold again because of the war.
In 1953, Ward Greene, wrote a new version of the story, “Lady and the Tramp” (at Walt’s request). This would then become Walt’s source material and would allow the public to get to know the story before the film.
My favorite fun fact about the film is Walt’s personal connection. Walt’s studio was a success. He was building Disneyland. He was out of the house a lot. On one particular occasion, he came home very late (and supposedly very drunk). Lillian, his wife, was upset and locked him out of the house. The next morning, Walt presented her with a puppy in a hatbox. This very scene would be used in the film, Lady and the Tramp.
Other random fact: Walt didn’t want to include the spaghetti scene. One of his animators did it anyway. Walt ended up liking it.
Bill Thompson (as discussed in my previous post) provides the voice of Jock and several other minor characters.
Verna Felton (Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, Queen of Hearts in Alice, etc etc.) plays Aunt Sarah.
Peggy Lee, a famous songstress, provided the voices of the Siamese cats, Peg, and Darling.
Alas, that is all I have for this week. Until next time…