Some images are hard to shake. People can label you as a slacker, a snob, a bully, a fool, or a phony, and that image can stick to you for years, until it feels like part of your skin. That is, to the point that you start to believe it yourself.
In the film, “Lady and the Tramp”, a lovely dog named Lady is enjoying domestic life with her owners, whom she knows only by the names they call each other: “Jim Dear” and “Darling”. Until “Darling” becomes pregnant and the couple seems to be less inclined to play with her than they used to be. Lady’s dog neighbors assure her that she has nothing to worry about, that nothing will change her owners’ affection toward her.
Then another dog, known as the Tramp, wanders into their yard, having overheard their conversation. He insists that Lady’s life will soon become miserable, as her owners fawn over the baby and leave her out in the cold. The other dogs chase off the Tramp, irritated that he is needlessly upsetting Lady.
But when Jim Dear and Darling take for a few days’ vacation, leaving Aunt Sarah in charge, the woman’s diabolical Siamese cats make a mess of the house, while making it look like Lady is to blame. What’s worse, they sing about it the entire time, in a shrill off-key pitch.
Aunt Sarah soon puts a muzzle on Lady, who escapes her and flees into the street. Fortunately, she is discovered by the Tramp, who chases off some local dogs threatening her. He then cons a beaver into biting off the muzzle to release her, and he takes her out for a romantic dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, amid the garbage cans in the back alley of an Italian restaurant. (For dogs, this is about as romantic as it gets.)
While the Tramp isn’t looking, a dog catcher snatches Lady and she ends up in the dog pound. There, she learns from other dogs about what the Tramp is really like. According to them, he’s a major player who can never get caught by the dog catchers, or by any lady dog, since he’s run around with quite a few.
When Lady is returned home and leashed to an outside doghouse by the aunt, the Tramp returns to see her. He tries to apologize for losing track of her, but she is no longer interested in his version of events. Especially when it comes to the long list of past lady friends he has had. She sends him packing, too angry and hurt to want to have anything more to do with him.
But when a rat sneaks into the yard, out of Lady’s leash range, and up to the baby’s room, she calls for the Tramp to help. He sneaks upstairs and faces off against the rat, finally killing it, though he knocks over the baby’s cradle in the process. Lady arrives, grateful to the Tramp.
But Aunt Sarah is less so. Seeing the two dogs and the overturned cradle, she chases the Tramp out and locks him in a room, then calls the dog catchers to collect him. When Jim Dear and Darling finally return home that evening, Lady shows them the dead rat that the Tramp had killed. The neighbor dogs, Jock and Trusty, overhear this, and feel ashamed at having judged the Tramp so poorly. They chase after the dog catcher’s carriage to stop it and set the Tramp free, as Jim Dear and Darling arrive to clear up the whole matter.
Soon, the Tramp is wearing something he never thought he would wear: a collar. Having lived as a drifter for so long, he had started to believe his own reputation, as someone who could never settle down. But just as others misjudged his character, he had misjudged his own.
The way you choose to see someone can help determine what kind of person they become.
Find more reviews of “Lady and the Tramp” at amazon.com!
Thursday, May 26th, 2011