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Site created 12/15/97.

review added: 1/5/00

Lady and the Tramp
1955 (1999) - Disney (Buena Vista)

review by Todd Doogan, special to The Digital Bits

Lady and the Tramp Film Rating: A

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B+/B+/D-

Specs and Features

76 mins, G, letterboxed widescreen (2.35:1), single-sided, single-layered, Amaray keep case packaging, film-themed menu screens, scene access (22 chapters), languages: English, French and Spanish (DD 5.1) and French (DD 2.0), subtitles: English, Close Captioned

One of Disney's most beloved classics has recently been released on DVD, and I have to say I'm sitting on middle of the fence with this disc. The reason I'm not as excited as I should be, is because it's not a special edition. And when it comes to the titles released in the first wave of the Disney DVD animated classics, this is the film that I think should had been done up first class.

First off, it's not anamorphic, and considering that Lady and the Tramp was the first widescreen animated film from Disney -- that's a big disappointment. A full frame transfer of the film is also noticeably absent from the disc. You would think that because Disney realized what they had with A Bug's Life, they'd have made that same effort with Lady since it was originally animated at both 2.35:1 and 1.33:1. It's also missing the "Cavalcade of Song" excerpt featuring Peggy Lee, and the behind-the-scenes recording The Siamese Cat Song that was on the CAV laserdisc edition put out last year. Aside from those oversights (which will most likely be rectified by a future Disney "Platinum" edition of Lady and the Tramp) the transfer is very nice. This colorful film is very nicely represented on DVD. The lack of 16x9 treatment doesn't detract too much from the picture, because the colors are bright, solid and free of any sort of artifacting. The sound is also pretty good, in an unassuming DD 5.1. The French and Spanish tracks are also 5.1, but the dialogue on the foreign language tracks seems more center channel focused, and it gets distracting. There are really no extras, and that's insulting - especially for the price.

I'm excited that this is on DVD, but I'm not ecstatic. And I should have been. For fans of Disney, I suppose this is still a must buy. But I can't help but think a special edition is already planned. There's no one quite as good as Disney at making you re-buy the same films again and again...

Todd Doogan
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