Review: ‘Lady and the Tramp’ Diamond Edition Blu-ray – Historically important, heart-warming classic glows in HD

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The funny and touching Disney animated feature film “Lady and the Tramp” reaches Blu-ray for the first time today in the new HD home release. Not only is “Lady and the Tramp” a classic Disney movie, featuring memorable characters and heart-warming scenes, but it’s also historically important as Disney’s first feature-length animated film released in CinemaScope (ultra-wide 2.66:1 aspect ratio) just a few months before Disneyland opened in California.

“Lady and the Tramp” was in production at the same time Walt Disney and his Imagineers were creating Disneyland, both promoted simultaneously on Disney’s “Disneyland” nighttime TV show starring Walt himself. Disney was proud of all his projects, but looking back on “Lady and the Tramp” it’s easy to see the significance of this particular moment in time in his life.

The film looks fantastic – like new – on the Blu-ray release. Its beautiful HD transfer features colors that pop and crisp lines, showcasing the film’s hand-drawn artwork. Only a few shots here and there seem to have an odd double image problem, but those moments are fleeting. Hand painted backgrounds are works of art, displayed perfectly in HD

New to this Blu-ray release, “Lady and the Tramp” Diamond Edition features a Master audio 7.1 surround audio mix that is entirely unnecessary. It’s often disjointed, particularly during the film’s catchy songs, offering the vocal tracks in the center channel and an attempt to surround viewers with the instruments. But the surround tracks just distract from the main feature, with specific instruments being far too loud in rear channels. I prefer the traditional mix for this film.

“Lady and the Tramp” Diamond Edition comes home with an array of outstanding bonus features, some repeated from previous DVD releases, and some new for this one.

New extras star Diane Disney Miller, daughter of Walt and Lillian Disney, promoting her Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco while sharing personal stories about what life was like around the Disney household when “Lady and the Tramp,” and Disneyland, were new to the world.

In “Diane Disney Miller: Remembering Dad,” she recounts time spent above the firehouse on Disneyland’s Main Street, USA with her family, sharing tales of Walt staring out the window, gazing at his happy park guests.

Video: “Diane Disney Miller: Remembering Dad” – LADY AND THE TRAMP DIAMOND EDITION Bonus Feature Clip

Also included in the new release are deleted scenes (a bit dull) and a deleted song (also rather dull). It’s clear why they were deleted from the film, which was in pre-production for decades.

Older DVD features are still captivating, particularly clips from the old “Disneyland” TV shows with Walt Disney introducing “Lady and the Tramp” to his television viewing audience, sharing a behind-the-scenes look at how the film’s story and songs came to be. Extras like this are common to the Blu-ray/DVD world today, but Disney’s specials were shot more than 50 years ago, still holding up to today’s interested fans. Unlike their original black-and-white airing, they’re presented here in color, with introduction explaining how the color versions were found buried in the Disney vaults.

Who can forget jazz singer Peggy Lee’s unique performance(s) in “The Siamese Cat Song”?

Lee also played the wife “Darling,” the dog “Peg,” along with the two Siamese cats “Si” and “Am.” She was just one of the talented cast members that offered memorable performances to this timeless film.

The new “Lady and the Tramp” Diamond Edition is a must-own not only for fans of the classic film, as it’s never looked better than in this new HD transfer, but also for Disney fans in general, as its extras offer an excellent look behind the curtain of the making of this movie, Disneyland, and life with the man behind the company name, Walt Disney.

“Lady and the Tramp” Diamond Edition is available to order now on Amazon.

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