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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lady and the Tramp is one of the milder Disney titles, with no clear villain, so it's an age-appropriate choice for younger viewers who are ready for a feature-length movie. There are a few scenes that are potentially scary, including a climactic scene where the dogs try to protect a baby who's threatened by a beady-eyed rat and an accident scene where a secondary character appears to be dead, but then later appears mildly injured. The Siamese cats are more mischievous than mean, but they can seem creepy to young kids (they also embody some dated stereotypes). Romance is a theme throughout, with the two main characters ending up together raising puppies.
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What's the story?
In LADY AND THE TRAMP, Lady is a pampered cocker spaniel of a couple she knows as "Jim Dear" and "Darling." When Lady's owners have a baby, Lady is apprehensive, but Jim Dear and Darling assure her that she's still important to them. The couple goes away, and Aunt Sarah arrives, with her nasty Siamese cats, to care for the baby. The cats make a mess of the living room and Lady gets the blame. Aunt Sarah puts Lady in a muzzle, and Lady, hurt and humiliated, runs away. She meets Tramp, who finds a way to get the muzzle off, and the two share some romantic adventures.
Is it any good?
This animated film takes the classic romantic story of two individuals from different sides of the tracks and turns it into a delightful musical kids' tale that all ages can enjoy. With memorable songs and sweet characters, Lady and the Tramp taps into issues that will resonate with kids (like being neglected after a new baby arrives) and classic tropes (like love across class lines).
Best of all, with no uber-villian, younger kids will still get the thrill of conflict and resolution without getting too scared to enjoy the movie.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the differences between Lady and the Tramp. What are the benefits of their different lifestyles? What do they learn from each other?
What happened to Lady after the baby was born? Kids: How would you feel if a new baby took away your parents' attention? How could the parents have handled things differently?
Talk about the era this movie is set in. Can you spot any old-fashioned images? How do men and women act in the movie that's different from today?
- In theaters: June 22, 1955
- On DVD or streaming: February 28, 2006
- Cast: Barbara Luddy, Larry Roberts, Peggy Lee
- Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, Wilfred Jackson
- Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Music and Sing-Along
- Character strengths: Humility, Integrity
- Run time: 76 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- Last updated: March 14, 2020
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