Following on Dumbo, Aladdin, and The Lion King, Lady and the Tramp becomes Disney's fourth live-action remake of the year. Fifth if you count Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, the sequel to a remake itself. It's clear Disney sees these productions as a major part of the studio's output, and what makes Lady and the Tramp all the more important is that it's being used as the draw to get people to give Disney+ a look.
Of course, part of Lady and the Tramp's success in bringing people to the new streaming service will depend on just how good the movie itself actually is. This morning Disney took the lid off the first batch of Disney+ movies and TV episodes, and with that comes the first official reviews for Lady and the Tramp. For the most part, the reviews seem to largely find Lady and the Tramp a sweet movie, even if it's one that has a few issues.
I certainly was one who fell into this category. I reviewed Lady and Tramp and I gave the movie 3.5 stars. The animated classic is actually one of Disney's better films in my opinion, and while the remake doesn't quite reach those heights, it's a charming movie that is worth checking out.
As with most Disney remakes, Lady and the Tramp provides the story that fans know, but this remake also offers a bit of additional charm to the familiar formula that both old and new Disney fans are likely to appreciate.
The basic structure of Lady and the Tramp is unchanged. It's set in turn of the century America. Lady, voiced by Tessa Thompson, lives at home with her middle class family, humans she knows only as Jim Dear and Darling. Tramp, voiced by Justin Theroux, lives on the street, and has little time for houses and families. The pair get thrust together by circumstances, and each gets a look at the other side, while also falling for each other.
Details are changed here and there to keep things from falling into the 'shot-for-shot remake" territory, but few of them mean much. IGN overall, still found the remake charming, but since the original is as well, there just isn't much reason given to watch the new version versus the old one.
Disney+’s Lady and the Tramp makes a few key changes to the original’s plot and characters but overall doesn’t do too much different to explain why one should choose to watch this version rather than the original animated classic.
While most reviews at the moment seem to fall into the "it's cute" category, there are outliers on either side of that middle of the road view. Comicbook.com gives Lady and the Tramp full marks, finding that the remake is as magical as anything produced by the House of Mouse.
Lady and Tramp's sharing of a spaghetti dinner is even more charming than you remember, and it's wonderful to see the compassionate side of humanity on full display. You'll find it increasingly difficult not to smile throughout this entire sequence, one that's absolutely full of that wonderful Disney magic.
On the other hand, there are also those reviews that find Lady and the Tramp to be completely without magic. THR, calls the film the "dullest" of Disney's remakes.
Though hardly as disposable as the cheapo sequels Disney churned out during the heyday of VHS and DVD, it is nearly personality-free, suggesting that the studio will save any features with real charm or grandeur for the big-screen before offering them to viewers at home.
Certainly, Lady and the Tramp seems to be running the gamut when it comes to review. Is it magic? Is it dull? Does it fall somewhere in between? Certainly, audiences are likely to have all of these same reactions as critics.
Lady and the Tramp debuts on Disney+ November 12.