Walt Disney Home Entertainment has assembled a wealth of bonus features to supplement its new, double-disc "Platinum Edition," which celebrates the 50th anniversary of this much-loved animated tale of playful and adventurous dogs set in turn-of-the-century America. As with many Disney releases, Lady and the Tramp -- 50th Anniversary Edition will be available only for a limited time.
Jonathan Takiff, Philadelphia Daily News:
"Music plays a huge part in setting the mood and telling the story of cocker spaniel Lady's birth, growth and romantic coming of age, for which we must thank the great singer and composer Peggy Lee. Together with her longtime collaborator Sonny Burke, Lee wrote most of the film's score, including that most memorable song from an Italian restaurant, Bella Notte, where the uptown Lady and the downtown Tramp suck up the same strand of spaghetti. And yes, that's also Lee singing the snarky, sinewy cat vocals on We Are Siamese, and voicing the worldly wise, femme fatale pooch Peg, who belts He's a Tramp. She is also the dramatic voice of Lady's mistress, who answers to 'Darling'... Too bad she's not still with us, to revel in this glorious DVD restoration."
Los Angeles Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News
New York Times
San Diego Union-Tribune
Peggy's contributions to Lady and the Tramp were extensive throughout its lengthy production. She co-wrote all of the film's songs with her friend and Decca Records colleague Francis "Sonny" Burke, who had previously co-written such standards as Midnight Sun and Black Coffee. The team's most enduring songs from the Lady score were Bella Notte, The Siamese Cat Song ("We are Siamese, if you please..."), and He's a Tramp.
In addition to lending her songwriting talents, Peggy supplied the speaking and singing voices of one human (Darling, the first-time mother, who sings La La Lu), one dog (the saucy Peg, who sings He's a Tramp), and two devious cats (Si and Am, who sing The Siamese Cat Song). Peggy even had a small role in shaping the storyline by persuading the writers to let the bloodhound character Trusty live.
Bonus features of particular interest to Peggy fans include:
* The 52-minute documentary Lady's Pedigree: The Making of 'Lady and the Tramp', which contains a chapter about the film's musical direction (by Oliver Wallace) and song score (by Lee and Burke). Among the many people interviewed are Nicki Lee Foster and Peter Burke, who meet to discuss the songwriting contributions of their parents.
* A brief, separate feature titled 'The Siamese Cat Song': Finding a Voice for the Cats.
* A previously unseen, extended version of the "Arrival of the Baby" sequence, incorporating the songs What Is a Baby? and La La Lu, with some lyrics not heard in the finished film.
* A segment from a 1955 episode of the Disneyland television series in which Peggy and Sonny Burke discuss -- in fact, reenact -- their involvement with the film. Peggy performs The Siamese Cat Song (with Sonny's accompaniment) and He's a Tramp (with the Mello-Men vocal quartet).