Lady and the Tramp (1955)

Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

Lady and the Tramp is a 1955 animated romance film which is the 15th Disney animated feature film. It is a classic film which is flawed, but immensely charming.

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Now, here you are-a, the best-a spaghetti in-a town

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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The story here is, like most dog pictures, animated or not, pretty straightforward and simple, but it serves its purpose and is a joy to watch. There is sometimes a lack of goal and the pacing can be slow as it drags at some parts, but the protagonists more than make up for it. They are incredible, both their relationship and their evident chemistry. Their romantic sequences are the highlight of the film.

There is the spaghetti scene which is incredibly romantic and simply charming with a wonderful animation and propelled by an outstanding song. It is inarguably the most famous scene in the whole film and one of the most iconic romantic moments in film history. Everything about that scene from the visuals to the setting to the characters to the music is perfect. The movie just stops there and leaves you overwhelmed with emotion and charm.

But the scene where Tramp shows her the town and the opposing theme of life with humans versus life in the wild is greatly explored here and is such a great look at those very different types of lifestyles. It is a standout scene with charming animation that works both as a plot device and a character study.

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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Lady’s interaction with the humans is also very well done. From the moment she arrives, the first night where she does not want to sleep alone up until the changes in her life when the baby arrives, all those things are realistic and done in a great manner. And her intention to save the baby from the rat is very endearing and heartwarming as well as her naming of her owners. The film does dogs really well from the movements to the behavior. It shows why they are so beloved and that is why this film is one of the essential dog pictures for dog owners and why upon more viewings and after having dogs myself, I appreciate it much more than before.

The third act is definitely too bombastic and they did not need to add all that tension when the film’s simplicity was so elegant before. And the rat was ridiculously villainous. But there are some great scenes in there with Jock and Trusty and the finale was beyond sweet.

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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The zoo sequence is definitely a detour as it dragged way too much and it has animals that are all dated stereotypes in their representation. The beaver is typical and forgettable and scenes such as this really weigh the movie down in my opinion.

The characters in this movie are mostly well developed, especially the protagonists. Lady is very kind, romantic, caring and of course, as the name suggests, very ladylike and polite which is thanks to her being raised by humans. Tramp is very friendly, cunning and of course mischievous and laid-back, the qualities he earned from living on the streets. Their juxtaposition is typical of romantic comedies but timeless and with the fun twist that they are dogs.

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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Jock and Trusty are the sidekicks here and their care for Lady and their friendship is very endearing. They can be repetitive and too old-fashioned, but still highly likable. As for the human characters, they serve their purpose, but the dogs are the focus here. But Tony as this Italian guy who befriends Tramp and gives him food is wonderful and I liked him a lot. As for Aunt Sarah, she’s your typical old lady who hates dogs.

Si and Am are the Siamese cats and they are probably the worst part in this movie thanks to their annoying voice and song and very racist overtones. They are clearly meant to be some sort of villains here because the movie has no real villains and that is perfectly fine because it does not need one (and the addition of these two as well as the rat at the end was obviously unnecessary), but those two are awful, especially nowadays because every Asian and of course cat owner could (and should) easily get offended by them.

The animation in Lady and the Tramp is still nowhere near the quality of that of ‘Pinocchio’ or ‘Snow White’, but it is still one of Disney’s best owing to some incredibly beautiful and artistic sequences including a wonderful stylistic opening. It is colorful, but not garish, with great outdoors cinematography as well as excellent character design.

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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This is the kind of hand-drawn animation that is honestly timeless in quality, very artistic and highly effervescent in style which accompanies the mood of the film so well. Bella Notte scene and the night sequences are just gorgeous whereas the winter opening seems to be coming from a beautiful postcard. And the CinemaScope widescreen format definitely led to a different looking, authentic film experience.

The score is overly loud and repetitive for my taste, but the songs are solid. What is a Baby/La La Lu is just a plot device and not much of a song although that scene where Lady is intrigued by the newly arrived baby is definitely one of the film’s most wonderful moments.

Peace on Earth is a solid opening for the film and it has such a charming, old-fashioned Christmas spirit to it. The Siamese Cat Song is very annoying. I already criticized this scene a lot so I am not going to repeat myself, but I will just say that the song itself is also highly annoying in tune and with awful voices.

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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He’s a Tramp is definitely catchy as well as a great plot device. It is a very amusing scene which is pretty risqué for a children’s film and honestly quite funny too. The tune itself is really well sung by Peggy Lee and quite memorable and hilariously seductive with a good use of barking as backup vocals.

Bella Notte is arguably a classic Disney song, beautifully sung and very romantic. It is the standout scene in the movie which I talked about before, but the song itself is gorgeously sung with such a strong voice and I loved the classic opera feel to it. It is the most traditional of all Disney songs and certainly one of the best from this period. A beautiful ballad.

So the soundtrack is solid but more along the lines of the movies from the same decade, notably ‘Peter Pan’, and nowhere near as close to something like ‘Snow White’ or later Renaissance films. But the songs do not matter here as there is no strong emphasis on them which is evident in their small quantity.

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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Lady and the Tramp is weakly paced, but well directed with excellent voice acting and with pretty strong dialogue and although the humor is sometimes repetitive and too innocent, it was mostly solid nonetheless with some amusing moments. The film is simplistic, elegant and the charm is off the roof in this one. It is the kind of movie most suited for dog owners and children and its somewhat limited appeal led to it being one of the better, but not the best Disney films.

Lady and the Tramp is a very flawed, but still immensely charming and wonderfully romantic Disney classic. The pacing is problematic, some scenes felt like detours and the third act employed unnecessary tension and conflict. But the animation is one of Disney’s best with many absolutely gorgeous, even artistic sequences and the soundtrack is pretty solid with He’s a Tramp being amusing and Bella Notte being such a beautiful ballad which accompanies one of the most iconic romantic scenes in film history. In the end, this is a film most suited for dog owners as it is a definitive classic for them owing to its very realistic portrayal of dogs’ movements and behavior and a pretty detailed look into their lives.

My Rating – 4

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Tango (1981)

Tango ReviewTango Review

Tango is a 1981 Polish Oscar winning animated short film directed by Zbigniew Rybczynski. It’s an original film.

The film follows a group of thirty six different people in a house as they go about their daily routines but their paths never intersect so in my opinion this is the same house but set in very different time periods. I found this experiment really authentic as there isn’t anything quite like it either in animation or live-action. Watching these people provides a somewhat hypnotic experience and a highly memorable one.

Tango is not perfect owing to its style. I honestly found its live-action figurines or whatever you could call them very unappealing and the film almost looked like a live-action movie whereas it was supposed to be animation. I would have preferred to have animated characters much more. And the ending should have been more striking. But other than that, the film is intriguing in tone and quality, so well scored and even fascinating.

Tango is a deserved Oscar winner with an authentic premise and an other-worldly feel to it.

My Rating – 4

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Egghead Rides Again (1937)

Egghead Rides Again ReviewEgghead Rides Again Review

Egghead Rides Again is a 1937 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a pretty solid flick.

Egghead is a boy who wants to become a cowboy but fails at every test given to him and eventually ends up getting the job but the job contains cleaning horse and cow feces. This is the first ever introduction of Egghead who would appear in later 30s Merry Melodies as well. I liked him, but I did not love his design or his voice.

The film itself is another one of those entries where the protagonist is endlessly humiliated and the humiliation was excessive for sure, but it was also funny and the ending was of course the hilarious highlight. The first half is not as engaging as the second one and the animation is not the greatest, but the film is interesting in setting and protagonist and it mostly succeeds as a good introduction to him.

Egghead Rides Again is weaker in first half, but stronger in the second one with a particularly funny ending.

My Rating – 3.6

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Porky’s Super Service (1937)

Porky's Super Service ReviewPorky’s Super Service Review

Porky’s Super Service is a 1937 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a very mean-spirited short.

Porky Pig works at a gas station and when one car arrives, the baby in it starts bothering him in various ways. Now I don’t why this film is so mean toward Porky as he is literally humiliated here in multiple manners and the ending seemed overly aggressive and I wanted the baby to pay but he went unscathed unfortunately.

But this entry is still a lot of fun and quite funny at times with its various gags which are definitely mean, but most certainly highly entertaining and some are even really well thought out. I did not like the design of the baby, but he was still a memorable brat and they really conveyed well how awful he is. I liked the mother’s part too.

Porky’s Super Service is one of the most mean-spirited Looney Tunes thus far with many funny and entertaining gags. Poor Porky.

My Rating – 3.7

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Despicable Me 3 (2017)

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

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Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 is a 2017 animated comedy film directed by Pierre Coffin and with the voices of Steve Carell and Kristen Wig. It is a pretty solid, enjoyable sequel.

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Dance fight!

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Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

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This is on par with ‘Despicable Me 2’ and of course much weaker than the first film. But there is no denying that it is an improvement over 2015’s ‘Minions’ as thankfully this entry was restrained with those guys. The plot itself is your typical zany and cartoony Illumination story but mostly done well.

This is a cartoon movie and not an animated movie meaning that it is loud, action-oriented and very comedic. It is best suited for kids but some jokes definitely favor adults and once again Gru’s mother killed it as she was hilarious in the one scene she got. The various 80s pop songs were also funny as was the villain. And some of the childish humor was also quite good and it made me chuckle, but most of it was typical and forced.

The major problem this movie has is the lack of coherence to it. The film tries too hard to be too many things and the filmmakers should have focused on just one or two things and it would have been a much smoother and well crafted movie. So it has the plot where Gru has to capture Bratt, but also the plot where he and Lucy lost their job. He has to deal with his newly found brother whereas she has to learn how to become a mother. Throw in there the unicorn subplot with Agnes and Edith and the Margo boyfriend subplot and you’ve got a really convoluted, super busy film which should have been expected given that it has such a huge, ever-expanding cast of characters.

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Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

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Let’s talk about those characters. First off, our main hero Gru. I found him not as likable or as interesting here as he was in the previous installments to be honest as his role was not the greatest here. But Dru is pretty memorable as his more handsome brother and the relationship between the two is mostly finely done and with some emotional moments. The film is not too emotional which some critics faulted, but I found appropriate this time around.

Lucy got such a typical and cliched storyline for a female character as she needs to become a better mother which was somewhat annoying as she was always better suited as an action heroine. But her scenes with Margo were sweet. Agnes and her pursuit of unicorns was a charming, sweet subplot, but the kids’ roles here were unfortunately shortchanged. Of course the Minions are there, but not too much and they can be quite funny and enjoyable when used sparingly which is exactly what we got here.

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Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

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Balthazar Bratt is a surprisingly solid villain. He is a cartoony villain but that fits with the cartoon style of the entire film. Trey Parker did a really good job in this role per usual and I am so glad to hear him in a feature project. Bratt’s obsession with 80s was a cliched choice for today’s adult audiences, but definitely done really well as he was quite funny at times with his dance movements and singing. I also really liked his TV show backstory.

Despicable Me 3 is expectedly really well animated. It looks polished and stylistically speaking it looks great with the interiors and buildings being very detailed. The character design is as strong as usual with the more cartoony, grotesque look being applied to the villain as well and his overall design is top-notch. It isn’t high art, but it succeeds as a really well animated cartoon.

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Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

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Despicable Me 3 has some good action scenes, but most of it was overwhelming. The highlight for me was easily that tower scene which was so well executed and hugely entertaining. The beginning of the movie is not the greatest and the ending is typical so the middle parts were the most entertaining ones this time around.

Despicable Me 3 is a solid sequel which succeeds as a pretty enjoyable, fun cartoon. Most of the plot points were cliched, some characters were shortchanged here and the film is filled with way too many subplots and thus it felt very uneven and convoluted. But the humor is solid, the animation is excellent, the score is good and Balthazar Bratt is such a good, highly amusing villain. It is on par with the previous installment and an improvement over ‘Minions’.

My Rating – 3.5

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Jungle Rhythm (1929)

Jungle Rhythm ReviewJungle Rhythm Review

Jungle Rhythm is a 1929 Mickey Mouse cartoon. It is such a weak entry.

The only pretty good thing that it has going for it is the animation and how those dances were executed and how the sounds were created using the animals. I liked how it has various different animals in it and they looked fine. But there is absolutely no plot to be had here whatsoever and the film is as slight of a cartoon as you could possibly get.

It isn’t bad, but it is just weak. The music is okay, but repetitive and the entire film was overlong, somewhat dull and exceedingly repetitive in execution. I wished for some songs but I did not get them. Mickey here is interestingly not as mean-spirited as previously portrayed so maybe he is starting to change.

Jungle Rhythm is the weakest Mickey Mouse film thus far with no plot to it and with very repetitive execution.

My Rating – 3.1

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Sweet Sioux (1937)

Sweet Sioux ReviewSweet Sioux Review

Sweet Sioux is a 1937 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a pretty solid short.

This is actually a very solid short despite all odds going against it and more on that later. It follows Native Americans and it has no plot but is just about music as we follow their dances. I am usually against heavy on music and light on plot cartoons but this one benefits from very good score and it is a lot of fun. All of the dance scenes were highly amusing and diverse as we also got Russian music in there too which was interesting. The film is a lot of fun with an infectious energy to it.

However, the Native Americans are portrayed in a very racist manner with their mannerisms and behavior being highly stereotypical. I do not blame the movie so much as it was from a different time, but I blame today’s American society. They are the people who censored most of the Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies about African Americans, but this one does not belong in the Censored Eleven despite it being very racist. I find that hypocritical.

Sweet Sioux is racist and with no plot to it, but it is a lot of fun with a highly infectious energy to it and many great dance sequences.

My Rating – 3.5

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Wild Waves (1929)

Wild Waves Review

Wild Waves is a 1929 Mickey Mouse cartoon. It is a solid entry.

This is another one of those musical episodes, but it isn’t as dull. I do think that the first half is much better than the second half as there we witness Mickey save Minnie from drowning in a rather cool sequence. I also liked the ending and the film’s setting and romance are well realized. It is worth seeing just for these two lovebirds who are so charming here.

Mickey whistling to Minnie was sweet but the animation in lip-syncing definitely still needs some work. The overall animation and especially designs of the animals are not great here. The second half involved excessive dancing and singing in that typical late 20s/early 30s style where it is rather repetitive and boring with the same movements repeated throughout.

Wild Waves features overwhelming dancing later on, but the first half is very good and the romance between Mickey and Minnie is wonderful here.

My Rating – 3.5

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Porky’s Building (1937)

Porky's Building ReviewPorky’s Building Review

Porky’s Building is a 1937 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a standard procedure.

Yes, this is a very forgettable short that is admittedly very well made, but not unlike a number of cartoons I’ve seen before. So it basically follows a building of a building competition and the outcome is expected. That ending was definitely fun, but cliched.

I liked some of the animation in here such as the buildings being built and growing, that was very competently done and the designs were solid. Porky Pig is not as memorable here, but he is still as likable and as heroic as usual. I found the first half of this cartoon entirely uninspired and dull, but the second half is entertaining and more memorable. But still it remains unoriginal.

Porky’s Building is well animated, but very typical and unoriginal in terms of storytelling.

My Rating – 3.4

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The Black Dog (1987)

The Black Dog ReviewThe Black Dog Review

The Black Dog is a 1987 British animated short film directed by Alison de Vere. It is an excellent artistic endeavor.

The story is about a woman who wakes up to find the titular black dog who then takes her on a long, interesting and difficult journey. I won’t describe the entire journey as the film is 18 minutes long, but the highlight for me is easily that tavern which provides the luxuries of drugs, sex and alcohol. That was a really atmospheric scene as is the entire film and it felt otherworldly in quality. I also loved what happened afterwards with the payment, really intriguing.

The film is obviously deep in meaning, it is about self-discovery and it is layered in symbolism and thematic riches that it is quite ambiguous and anyone can interpret it differently. My interpretation is that this is a dream world and her fantasies and the dog offers some sort of salvation which is evident from the moment he appeared as he looked saint-like. It is about the dangers of living a careless life. Not all segments here were as fascinating and the animation is not the greatest, but the atmosphere is palpable and it is such a weird, authentic and unforgettable short beautifully directed by Alison de Vere.

The Black Dog is deep, rich in symbols and themes and so incredibly atmospheric that I would definitely call it a work of art in its own way.

My Rating – 4.5

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