Many of the Disney Direct-to-DVD releases feel like they’re stretching the source material way past what it was meant to be. Did we really need a sequel to “Cinderella,” “Peter Pan,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and other classic movies that ended with the phrase “…and they lived happily ever after?” These sequels should carry a tag line reading “… But theeen…”
“Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure” is one of those movies. Revisiting it because of the recent Blu-ray release reminded me how gratuitous it feels throughout a short 70-minute running time.
Lady and the Tramp are the proud parents of three female pups and a scrappy dog name Scamp who has inherited a wild streak from his father. When his chain breaks after being sent outside for tearing up the house, Scamp runs off and meets the Junkyard Dogs. Seeking their approval, he goes through the leader’s initiation process to become a member of the group. Could a spunky young pup named Angel help change his mind about wanting to live on his own away from his family?
The life lesson is definitely “front-and-center” in “Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure.” Everyone needs to be part of a family. Another lesson Tramp gives Scamp is that you’re always welcome home because family loves you no matter what. These are great lessons and do need to be emphasized. However, I start to wonder as I’m watching this movie how many orphanages or broken homes the producers of this movie have been to lately.
This isn’t a bad movie by any means. The story is well-written and the voice cast performs wonderfully. The weakest points are the songs. They’re bland and lackluster. If a Disney film is going to have musical aspirations it has a lot to live up to in the shadow of “Snow White,” “Aladdin,” and countless others.
The high-definition transfer looks and sounds excellent. The picture is clean and polished. It’s so clear and crisp it removes any “classic” feel filmmaker’s attempted to inject into it. Every musical number, line of dialogue, and background sound rings out through a fabulous 5.1 surround mix. It’s too bad the songs are instantly forgettable.
Bonus material for this Blu-ray include “‘The Making of ‘Lady and the Tramp II:’ From Tramp to Scamp” and three bonus shorts starring Pluto. There are sing-along songs, puppy trivia tracks, and more as well. Kids will find plenty of fun things to do after watching the movie.
Parents will find the “Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure” Special Edition Blu-ray needless. Their children will no doubt embrace it as much as they did the original. I’d say they have another success on their hands since that’s why Disney makes these sequels. Just don’t expect older fans of the original to feel the same way.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
Blu-ray Review: “The Aristocats”
Blu-ray Review: “Pocahontas / Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World”
Blu-ray Review: “The Rescuers” and “The Rescuers Down Under” 35th Anniversary Edition