A pretty young dog named Lady lives happily in a beautiful large house where she basks in the affection of her owners, a young couple named Jim and Darling. But a newborn arrives in the family and disrupts Lady's blissful daily life. She is no longer the centre of attention of the owners she adores. Things get even worse when she is chased from the house by the ghastly Aunt Sarah and her two awful Siamese cats. Forced to fend for herself, she makes the acquaintance of a stray dog named Tramp, who decides to look after her. He introduces her to the life of a street dog and the joys of living with neither master nor collar.
Beauty and the Tramp is one of those Disney animated classics from another century that have become unbeatable benchmarks with a dated charm that you can still enjoy embracing from time to time. Unlike with its earlier successes, Disney did not adapt this film from a classic work, rather it was based on a short story that had not yet been published. It is a simple story about dogs, to whom Walt Disney dedicated the film by using a lovely quote from Josh Billings, which we reproduce here just to enjoy it: "In the whole history of the world there is but one thing that money cannot buy…to wit—the wag of a dog’s tail.” That somewhat philosophical thought is a good representation of a film that offers a vision of our daily lives through the eyes of dogs. Considered to be man's best friends, the dogs seem to hold up a mirror to us. This dog story is actually a look at our society and some of its flaws and social inequalities and the barriers that we put up between each other. Thus there is not really a single villain that must be vanquished for the story to have a happy ending. Instead there is just life, with its joys and sorrows, trials and magical moments. The film suggests a variety of ways of thinking about happiness and freedom. This is most notable through the character of Tramp, who prefers to live in the street and be free to go where he pleases rather than live in a home where he would belong to masters. So the use of "Clochard" for "Tramp" in the French version seems like an inadequate translation. It does not capture the connotations of "unleashed", "wandering" and "free". By contrast, the term "clochard" is more evocative of misery and begging. In addition, the film gives us a coming-of-age story through Lady who, having been ignorant of the outside world from which she was sheltered, is confronted by a reality that is sometimes harsh but also has a good side, since it is there that she finds love. When the two main characters fall for each other, the two strands of the story - coming-of-age and philosophical parable - become entwined with a certain romanticism. That is best represented when they eat spaghetti together in a scene that has become so legendary that it has inspired endless parodies. Having two creatures fall in love despite being from different worlds is a nice way of saying that feelings overcome everything and that barriers (social, cultural and so on) only exist because we allow them to. Thus it does not take much to remove them, just a candlelit spaghetti meal.Read more Show less
For the whole family, with absolutely nothing to alarm anyone over the ages of 5 or 6. Even when the film addresses difficult topics such as poverty and death, it does so with great subtlety.