Disney’s classic animated film, Lady & the Tramp (1955), is one of my very favorite movies of all time. It’s one of the first Disney movies I remember seeing as a child, and is one of the first Disney movies to confirm my beliefs that animals can indeed communicate with people. My first pet, a long-haired Chihuahua, was named after another beloved Disney animation, Bambi, and the two of us understood each other. I knew which snarl meant “I’m going to bite you,” and which giggly-sounding growl meant “I love to play with you.” I knew sweet little puppy eyes beckoned me to pick him up, and I knew a fluffy, wagging tail celebrated my presence in the room. But Lady & the Tramp showed the world—much like the Toy Storys did for playthings decades later—that dogs are vivacious, loving, protective, emotional, smart, devoted family members too. And that, I think, is what so endeared me—a diehard dog lover—to this film and to so many other Disney classics.
You’re probably familiar with the story line, in which the Darlings’ infant son and much-adored family pet “Lady” are left in the care of “Aunt Sarah.” Aunt Sarah—a cat lady, uh-hum—misinterprets Lady’s attenpts to protect the child and locks her outside in a muzzle, chained to a doghouse. A wandering minstrel mutt named Tramp stumbles upon her and takes her on an adventure to set her free. Along the way, they fall in love, and end up saving the Darlings’ child from a rat in the nursery. But here’s some trivia (via imdb.com) you may not know:
- Walt Disney originally didn’t want to include the “Bella Note” spaghetti-eating scene, now one of the most iconic moments in the whole Disney canon.
- Before animating the fight between Tramp and the rat, animator Wolfgang Reitherman kept rats in a cage next to his desk to study their actions.
- To maintain a dog’s perspective, Darling and Jim Dear’s faces are rarely seen.
- In early script versions, Tramp was first called Homer, then Rags and Bozo. A 1940 script introduced the twin Siamese cats. Eventually known as Si and Am, they were then named Nip and Tuck.
- The film’s opening sequence, in which Darling unwraps a hat box on Christmas morning and finds Lady inside, is reportedly based upon an actual incident in Walt Disney’s life, when he presented his wife Lilian a puppy to keep her company during his long work hours.
- At the time of its release, this was the highest grossing Disney cartoon since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).
- Hiring Peggy Lee arguably was the first instance of a superstar voice being used for an animated film.
- The film’s setting was partly inspired by Walt Disney’s boyhood hometown of Marceline, Missouri.
Lady and Tramp may not appear in the Parks for meet-and-greets, but their presence is seen all over, from annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival topiaries at the Italy Pavilion to Arribas Crystal figurines and A. Giannelli sculptures for purchase on property or at Downtown Disney.
Hard to imagine Lady & the Tramp without its most famous scene!
Today, celebrate this famous Disney couple over a spaghetti and meatball dinner. For an authentic meal, follow the recipe for Tony’s Town Square Restaurant Italian Meatballs. You will need the following ingredients:
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1/4 cup onions, minced
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Visit The Disney Diner for full recipe and cooking instructions.
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Home Economics
SKILL LEVEL: Elementary (with adult supervision), Middle Grades, High School
©2014 Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, your Disney homeschool resource!
On to more good stuff!
American Tourister and The Magical Blogorail know how to celebrate famous Disney couples! And to prove it, they have partnered to award two lucky winners a Disney Inspired D23 2- piece luggage set valued at $100. Enter today for your chance to win! No purchase necessary to enter. Just read about a famous Disney couple and answer the question in the post. There will be a new blogger posting daily through February 7th so keep checking back for additional chances to enter.
There will be two winners in the giveaway. Each winner will receive a Disney Inspired D23 2-piece luggage set valued at $100. Design winner receives will be chosen at random. Contest begins January 27, 2014, and ends February 14, 2014, at midnight EST and is only open to U.S. legal residents 18 years and older with valid email address.
The Disney Couple Giveaway question is…
Who are Lady’s 2 doggy neighbor friends?
** Enter your answer in the PromoSimple below to receive credit!