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Lady and the Tramp
Original theatrical release poster
Directed byClyde Geronimi
Wilfred Jackson
Hamilton Luske
Screenplay byErdman Penner
Joe Rinaldi
Ralph Wright
Don DaGradi
Story byJoe Grant
Produced byWalt Disney
StarringPeggy Lee
Barbara Luddy
Larry Roberts
Verna Felton
Bill Thompson
Bill Baucom
Edited byDon Halliday
Music byOliver Wallace
Distributed byBuena Vista Distribution
Release date
  • June 22, 1955 (1955-06-22)
Running time
75 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$4 million[1]
Box office$93.6 million[1]

Lady and the Tramp is a 1955 American animated romantic musical comedy film produced by Walt Disney and released to theaters on 22 June 1955, by Buena Vista Distribution. The 15th Disney animated feature film, it was the first animated feature filmed in the CinemaScope widescreen film process.[2] Based on Happy Dan, The Whistling Dog by Ward Greene, Lady and the Tramp tells the story of a female American Cocker Spaniel named Lady who lives with a refined, upper-middle-class family, and a male stray mutt named Tramp. When the two dogs meet, they embark on many romantic adventures. A direct-to-video sequel, Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure, was released in 2001.[3]


On Christmas morning, 1909, in a quaint Midwestern town, Jim Dear gives his wife Darling an American cocker spaniel puppy which she names Lady. Lady enjoys a happy life with the couple and two local neighborhood dogs, Jock, a Scottish terrier, and Trusty, a bloodhound. Meanwhile, across town, a stray mutt named Tramp lives on his own, dining on scraps from Tony's restaurant and protecting his friends from the local dogcatcher. One day, Lady is saddened after her owners begin treating her rather coldly. Jock and Trusty visit her and determine that their change in behavior is due to Darling expecting a baby. While Jock and Trusty try to explain what a baby is, Tramp interrupts the conversation and offers his own thoughts on the matter, making Jock and Trusty take an immediate dislike to the stray and order him out of the yard. As Tramp leaves, he reminds Lady that "when the baby moves in, the dog moves out."

Eventually, the baby arrives and the couple introduces Lady to the infant, whom Lady grows fond of. Soon after, Jim Dear and Darling leave for a trip, with their Aunt Sarah looking after the baby and the house. Aunt Sarah's two trouble-making Siamese cats, Si and Am, trick her into thinking that Lady attacked them with the house a mess. Aunt Sarah takes Lady to a pet shop to get a muzzle. Lady flees in horror, only to be pursued by a pack of stray dogs. Tramp rescues her and finds a beaver at the local zoo who can remove the muzzle. Later, Tramp shows Lady how he lives "footloose and collar-free", eventually leading into a candlelit Italian dinner at Tony's. Lady begins to fall in love with Tramp, but she chooses to return home in order to watch over the baby. Tramp offers to escort Lady back home, but when Tramp decides to chase hens around a farmyard for fun, Lady is captured by the dog catcher and brought to the local dog pound. While at the pound, the other dogs reveal to Lady that Tramp's had multiple girlfriends in the past and they feel it's unlikely he'll ever settle down. She is eventually claimed by Aunt Sarah, who chains her in the backyard as punishment for running away.

Jock and Trusty visit to comfort Lady, but when Tramp arrives to apologize, Lady angrily confronts him about his past girlfriends. Just as Tramp leaves, Lady sees a rat trying to sneak into the house. She barks frantically, but Aunt Sarah tells her to be quiet. Tramp hears her barking and rushes back, entering the house and corners the rat in the nursery. Lady breaks free and rushes to the nursery, where Tramp inadvertently knocks over the baby's crib before ultimately killing the rat. The commotion alerts Aunt Sarah, who sees both dogs and assumes that they are responsible. She pushes Tramp in a closet and locks Lady in the basement, then calls the pound to get rid of Tramp. Jim Dear and Darling return home as the dog catcher departs, and when they release Lady, she leads them to the dead rat. Realizing Tramp's true intentions, Jock and Trusty chase after the dog catcher's wagon. The dogs are able to track down the wagon and scare the horses, causing the wagon to crash. Jim Dear arrives in a taxi with Lady, and she reunites with Tramp, but their joy is short-lived when they find Trusty pinned underneath the wagon's wheel, motionless, with Jock howling mournfully.

That Christmas, Tramp's been adopted into the family, and he and Lady have started their own family, with three daughters who look similar to Lady and a son who looks similar to Tramp. Jock comes to see the family along with Trusty, who's still alive and merely suffered from a broken leg, which is still healing. Thanks to the puppies, Trusty has a fresh audience for his old stories, but he has forgotten them.


  • Barbara Luddy as Lady
  • Larry Roberts as Tramp
  • Bill Thompson as Jock, Joe, Bulldog, Dachsie, Policeman
  • Bill Baucom as Trusty
  • Verna Felton as Aunt Sarah
  • George Givot as Tony
  • Lee Millar as Jim Dear, Dogcatcher
  • Peggy Lee as Darling, Si and Am, Peg
  • Stan Freberg as the beaver
  • Alan Reed as Boris
  • Thurl Ravenscroft as Al the alligator
  • Dallas McKennon as Toughy, Pedro, Professor, Hyena
  • The Mellomen (Thurl Ravenscroft, Bill Lee, Max Smith, Bob Hamlin and Bob Stevens) as Dog Chorus


Story development[]

In 1937 Disney story man Joe Grant came up with an idea inspired by the antics of his English Springer Spaniel Lady, and how she got "shoved aside" by Joe's new baby. He approached Walt Disney with sketches of Lady. Disney enjoyed the sketches and commissioned Grant to start story development on a new animated feature Lady.[4] Through the late 1930s and early 1940s, Joe Grant and other artists worked on the story, taking a variety of approaches, but Disney wasn't pleased with any of them, primarily because he thought Lady was too sweet, and there wasn't enough action.[4]

In the early 1940s, Walt read the short story written by Ward Greene, "Happy Dan, The Whistling Dog", in Cosmopolitan magazine.[5] He thought Grant's story would be improved if Lady fell in love with a cynical dog character like the one in Greene's story and bought the rights to it.[6] The cynical dog had various names during development, including Homer, Rags, and Bozo, before "Tramp" was chosen.[5]

The finished film is slightly different from what was originally planned. Lady was to have only one next-door neighbor, a Ralph Bellamy-type canine named Hubert. Hubert was later replaced by Jock and Trusty. The villainous Aunt Sarah was the traditional overbearing mother-in-law. In the final film, she's softened to a busybody who is well-meaning and the film's main antagonist. Aunt Sarah's Nip and Tuck were later renamed Si and Am.[5] Originally, Lady's owners were called Jim Brown and Elizabeth. These were changed to highlight Lady's point of view. They were briefly referred to as "Mister" and "Missis" before settling on the names "Jim Dear" and "Darling". To maintain a dog's perspective, Darling and Jim's faces are rarely shown, similar to Mammy Two Shoes in the Tom and Jerry cartoons. The rat was a somewhat comic character in early sketches, but became a great deal more frightening, due to the need to raise dramatic tension. A scene created but then deleted was one in which after Trusty says "Everybody knows, a dog's best friend is his human". This leads to Tramp describing a world where the roles of both dogs and humans are switched; the dogs are the masters and vice versa.[4] There was a love triangle among Lady, Tramp, and a Russian wolfhound named Boris (who appears in the dog pound in the final version).[7]

The film's opening sequence, in which Darling unwraps a hat box on Christmas morning and finds Lady inside, is inspired on an incident when Walt Disney presented his wife Lily with a Chow puppy as a gift in a hat box.[8]

In 1949, Grant left the studio, yet Disney story men were continually pulling Grant's original drawings and story off the shelf to retool.[4] A solid story began taking shape in 1953,[6] based on Grant's storyboards and Greene's short story.[4] Greene later wrote a novelization of the film that was released two years before the film itself, at Walt Disney's insistence, so that audiences would be familiar with the story.[9] Grant didn't receive film credit for his story work, an issue that animation director Eric Goldberg hoped to rectify in the Lady and the Tramp Platinum Edition's behind-the-scenes vignette that explained Grant's role.[4]


As they had done with deer on Bambi, the animators studied many dogs of different breeds to capture the movement and personality of dogs. Although the spaghetti eating sequence is probably now the best known scene from the film, Walt Disney was prepared to cut it, thinking that it would not be romantic and that dogs eating spaghetti would look silly. Animator Frank Thomas was against Walt's decision and animated the entire scene himself without any lay-outs. Walt was impressed by Thomas's work and how he romanticised the scene and kept the scene in.[4] On viewing the first take of the scene, the animators felt that the action should be slowed down, so an apprentice trainee was assigned to create "half numbers" in between many of the original frames.[10]

Originally, the background artist was supposed to be Mary Blair and she did some inspirational sketches for the film. However, she left the studio to become a children's book illustrator in 1953. Claude Coats was then appointed as the key background artist. Coats made models of the interiors of Jim Dear and Darling's house, and shot photos and film at a low perspective as reference to maintain a dog's view.[9] Eyvind Earle (who later became the art director of Disney's Sleeping Beauty) did almost 50 miniature concept sketches for the Bella Notte sequence and was a key contributor to the film.[9]


Further information: CinemaScope

Originally, Lady and the Tramp was planned to be filmed in a regular full frame aspect ratio. However, due to the growing interest of widescreen film amongst movie-goers, Disney decided to animate the film in CinemaScope making Lady and the Tramp the first animated feature made in the process.[5] This new innovation presented additional problems for the animators: the expansion of space created more realism but gave fewer closeups.[6] It also made it difficult for a single character to dominate the screen so that groups had to be spread out to keep the screen from appearing sparse.[5] Longer takes become necessary since constant jump-cutting would seem too busy or annoying.[2] Layout artists essentially had to reinvent their technique. Animators had to remember that they had to move their characters across a background instead of the background passing behind them.[6] Yet the animators overcame these obstacles during the action scenes, such as Tramp killing the rat.[2]

More problems arose as the premiere date got closer, since not all theaters had the capability to show CinemaScope at the time. Upon learning this, Walt issued two versions of the film: one in widescreen, and another in the Academy ratio. This involved gathering the layout artists to restructure key scenes when characters were on the edges of the screen.[11]


The film was originally released in theaters on 22 June 1955. At the time, the film took in a higher figure than any other Disney animated feature since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,[12] earning an estimated $7.5 million in rentals at the North American box office in 1955.[13] An episode of Disneyland called "A Story of Dogs" aired before the film's release.[14] The film was also reissued to theaters in 1962, 1972, 1980, and 1986. Lady and the Tramp also played a limited engagement in select Cinemark Theatres from February 16–18, 2013.[15]

Home media[]

The movie was released on VHS and Laserdisc in 1987 (this was in Disney's The Classics video series) and 1998 (this was in the Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection video series). A Disney Limited Issue series DVD was released on 23 November 1999.

Lady and the Tramp was remastered and restored for DVD on February 28, 2006, as the seventh installment of Disney's Platinum Editions series.[16] One million copies of the Platinum Edition were sold on February 28, 2006.[17] The Platinum Edition DVD went on moratorium on January 31, 2007, along with the 2006 DVD reissue of Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure.[18]

The film was released February 7, 2012 on Blu-ray combo pack as a part of Disney's Diamond Editions series.[19] A standalone 1-disc DVD edition was released on March 20, 2012.[20][21]

Critical reception[]

Lady and the Tramp received generally favorable reviews from Rotten Tomatoes. The film received 38 critical reviews, from which 34 voted for Fresh and 4 were Rotten, giving it a positive total rating of 89% and an average rating of 7.6 out of 10.[22]

Lady and the Tramp has become quite iconic in the history of cinema. The sequence of Lady and Tramp sharing a plate of Italian spaghetti – climaxed by an accidental kiss as they swallow opposite ends of the same piece of spaghetti – is considered an iconic scene in American film history.

Lady and the Tramp was named number 95 out of the "100 Greatest Love Stories of All Time" by the American Film Institute in their 100 Years...100 Passions special, as one of only two animated films to appear on the list, along with Disney's Beauty and the Beast which ranked 34th.[23] In 2010, Rhapsody called its accompanying soundtrack one of the all-time great Disney & Pixar soundtracks.[24] In June 2011, TIME named it one of "The 25 All-TIME Best Animated Films".[25]

Yet, despite being an enormous success at the box office, the film was also initially panned by critics: one indicated that the dogs had "the dimensions of hippos," another that "the artists' work is below par".[26]


Year Ceremony Award Result
1956 BAFTA Awards[27] Best Animated Film Nominated
David di Donatello Awards[28] Best Foreign Producer
(Walt Disney)
2006 Satellite Awards[29] Best Youth DVD Nominated
American Film Institute Lists
  • AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies – Nominated[30]
  • AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions – No. 95
  • AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs:
    • He's a Tramp – Nominated[31]
  • AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals – Nominated[32]
  • AFI's 10 Top 10 – Nominated Animated Film[33]


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Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg[34]

The film score for was composed and conducted by Oliver Wallace. Recording artist Peggy Lee wrote the songs with Sonny Burke and assisted with the score as well.[5] In the film, she sings: "He's a Tramp", "La La Lu", "The Siamese Cat Song" and "What Is a Baby?".[35] She helped promote the film on the Disney TV series, explaining her work with the score and singing a few of the film's numbers.[5] These appearances are available as part of the Lady and the Tramp Platinum Edition DVD set.

On 16 November 1988, Peggy Lee sued the Walt Disney Company for breach of contract, claiming that she retained the rights to transcriptions of the music, arguing that videotape editions were transcriptions.[36] After a protracted legal battle, she was awarded $2.3 million in 1991.[37]

The remastered soundtrack of Lady and the Tramp was released on CD by Walt Disney Records on September 9, 1997 and was released as a digital download on September 26, 2006.[38]

Track listing[]

1."Main Title (Bella Notte) / The Wag of a Dog's Tail"2:03
2."Peace on Earth (Silent Night)"1:01
3."It Has a Ribbon / Lady to Bed / A Few Mornings Later"3:53
4."Sunday / The Rat / Morning Paper"1:44
5."A New Blue Collar / Lady Talks To Jock & Trusty / It's Jim Dear"3:17
6."What a Day! / Breakfast at Tony's"1:05
7."Warning / Breakout / Snob Hill / A Wee Bairn"2:44
8."Countdown to B-Day"2:05
9."Baby's First Morning / What Is a Baby / La La Lu"3:11
10."Going Away / Aunt Sarah"1:51
11."The Siamese Cat Song / What's Going on Down There?"2:35
12."The Muzzle / Wrong Side of the Tracks"1:54
13."You Poor Kid / He's Not My Dog"1:23
14."Through the Zoo / A Log Puller"1:59
15."Footloose and Collar-Free / A Night at the Restaurant / Bella Notte"4:22
16."It's Morning / Ever Chase Chickens / Caught"2:51
17."Home Sweet Home"1:30
18."The Pound"1:27
19."What a Dog / He's a Tramp"2:24
20."In the Doghouse / The Rat Returns / Falsely Accused / We've Got to Stop That Wagon / Trusty's Sacrifice"6:05
21."Watch the Birdie / Visitors"2:05
22."Finale (Peace on Earth)"0:31
Total length:48:00


On February 27, 2001, a direct-to-video sequel of the film was released by Disney Television Animation, entitled Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure. Filmed 46 years after its predecessor, the film centers around the adventure of Lady and Tramp's only son, Scamp, who happens to have the desire to be a wild dog. He runs away from his family and joins a gang of junkyard dogs to fulfill his longing for freedom and a life without rules.

See also[]

  • List of American films of 1955


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Lady and the Tramp". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Finch, Christopher (2004). "Chapter 8: Interruption and Innovations". The Art of Walt Disney. pp. 234–244. ISBN 0-8109-2702-0.
  3. "Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure (Video 2001)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2014-02-04.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Eric Goldberg. Lady and the Tramp Platinum Edition DVD, Disc 2: "Behind the Scenes: Story Development".
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 "Lady and the Tramp History". Disney Archives. Archived from the original on February 24, 2007. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Thomas, Bob (1997). "Chapter 7: The Postwar Films". Disney's Art of Animation: From Mickey Mouse to Hercules. pp. 103–104. ISBN 0-7868-6241-6.
  7. Deleted Scenes, Backstage Disney Diamond Edition, Lady and the Tramp 2012 Blu-ray
  8. Walt: The Man Behind the Myth: Pre-production of Lady and the Tramp (DVD) |format= requires |url= (help). 2001.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Lady and the Tramp Platinum Edition DVD. Disc 2: "Disney Backstage".
  10. Jones, Ken (September 1986). "Willie Ito". Comics Interview (38). Fictioneer Books. p. 49.
  11. Lady and the Tramp Platinum Edition DVD, Disc 2: "Behind the Scenes".
  12. Newcomb, Horace (2000). Television: The Critical View. Oxford University Press. p. 27. ISBN 0-19-511927-4.
  13. 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1955', Variety Weekly, January 25, 1956
  14. Newcomb (2001), p. 27.
  15. Wire, Business (February 13, 2013). "Cinemark Announces the Return of Favorite Disney Classic Animated Movies to the Big Screen". Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  16. "Platinum Edition".
  17. "Sales information of the DVD".
  18. "Lady and the Tramp II information".
  19. Liu, Ed (November 11, 2012). "Disney to Release Two Amazing Classics From the Vault in 2012". Toon Zone. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
  20. "Lady and the Tramp DVD Movie". Retrieved December 11, 2011.
  21. " Lady and the Tramp: Bill Thompson, Peggy Lee, Larry Roberts, Barbara Luddy, Bill Baucom: Movies & TV". Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  22. Lady and the Tramp (1955) at Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 2012
  23. "100 Years...100 Passions List of 100 Winning Movies" (PDF). AFI.
  24. 10 Essential Disney & Pixar Soundtracks Referenced July 27, 2010
  25. Richard Corliss (June 23, 2011). "The 25 All-TIME Best Animated Films – Lady and the Tramp". Time. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
  26. "Walt and Education: Part I".
  27. Bafta Awards
  28. Template:It icon Academia del Cinema Italiano
  29. Press Academy
  30. "AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies Nominees" (PDF). American Film Institute. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  31. "AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs Nominees" (PDF). American Film Institute. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  32. "AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals Nominees" (PDF). American Film Institute. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  33. "AFI's 10 Top 10 Ballot" (PDF). American Film Institute. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  34. Lady and the Tramp at AllMusic
  35. "Peggy Lee's Film Appearances". Peggy Lee's Official Website.
  36. Collins, Glenn (November 17, 1988). "Peggy Lee article". The New York Times.
  37. "Stars share royalties victory". BBC News. June 26, 2002. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  38. "Lady and the Tramp [Disney] - Original Soundtrack". AllMusic. Retrieved February 4, 2014.

External links[]