Disney’s D23 Expo is here, and with the launch of Disney Plus just around the corner, we’re expecting big things from the studio behind Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and Fox. So far, they have delivered. Disney released the first trailer for the live-action remake of Lady and the Tramp, and it’s definitely pulling those nostalgia strings.
As we learned at D23, the new Lady and the Tramp is written by Andrew Bujalski (Support the Girls) and brought to life by director Charlie Bean (Trop: Uprising, Robotboy). It follows the relationship between an American cocker spaniel from a wealthy family and a streetsmart stray mutt. Disney released an image of the two sweet dogs via twitter earlier this month. They were also featured on the cover of Disney’s Twenty-Three magazine. But an image doesn’t quite encapsulate the feel of the film like the trailer does.
The new canine-centric movie will features voices from Justin Theroux (On the Basis of Sex) and the highly sought-after Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok, Creed) as the titular characters. The film also stars Sam Elliot as Trusty, Janelle Monae as Peg, Arturo Castro as Marco, Thomas Mann as Jim Dear, Benedict Wong as Bull, Yvette Nicole Brown as Aunt Sarah, Adrian Martinez as Elliot the dog catcher, and Ashley Jensen as Jackie, a gender-swapped version of Jock.
When it was first announced Lady and the Tramp would be getting the Disney live-action treatment, no one was surprised. And yet, when the studio cast a shelter dog to play the lead, we couldn’t help but smile a little. Disney’s recent live-action remakes have been bending the definition of “live action” a bit by using performance capture rather than the actual animals. Although beautiful, the VFX aren’t necessary to tell the small love story. Instead, Lady and the Tramp seems to be a bit more Homeward Bound than The Lion King, and thankfully it isn’t anything like Universal’s Cats.
Like their newest adaptation of Cinderella, Disney reached deep into the vault for this concept. The original film was released in 1955, before the company was even known as The Walt Disney Company. Released during the time of the “Mousketeers” and their Mickey Mouse Club, The lady and the Tramp stood the test of time. It has been re-released and remastered countless times, even receiving a sequel upwards of 45 years after the first iteration was released. Now, like its fellow Disney Classics, it’s ready to reach the new generation of moviegoers and streamers.
Disney is entering the streaming wars in a big way. As Netflix scrambles to maintain viewers and content, Disney will be releasing a budget-friendly bundle with Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus. Along with the highly-anticipated Star Wars series The Mandalorian, Disney is relying on Lady and the Tramp to pull in subscribers, but we’ll have to wait to see if love-dogs are up to it. Disney Plus launches on November 12th with Lady and the Tramp already in its library.