The features that reference the film specifically are numerous taking us into recording sessions with the legendary Peggy Lee as she lays down “He’s a Tramp” and “We are Siamese” as well as deleted scenes and storyboards of the original film which were drafted in the 1930s long before the version we love hit theaters in the 50s. The commentary track doesn’t feature any recordings laid down specifically for the Blu-ray but rather takes transcripts from the numerous meetings Walt had with his animators while creating the film and uses their content to help guide us through the creation of the picture – which is a rare opportunity that I’d venture to say more cinephiles would kill to have present on most film commentaries.
However it’s the copious features that connect the film to the greater Disney legacy that make the disc more than just a blu-ray with a great movie. Walt’s daughter Diane Disney Miller leads a very personal feature called “Remembering Dad” in which she talks about her father’s life at the time of the film’s release and the opening of Disneyland. The features also include a longer behind-the-scenes vignette that shows how Walt pulled inspiration for the film’s setting from a small town he lived in after his time in Chicago. And the cherry on top is the set of clips from the Disneyland
TV show which for those of us who were bequeathed our Disney affinity from our parents originally aired before our time. Here they’re presented in the highest available quality and given context within the timeline of Lady and the Tramp’s
creation as well as Disneyland’s. Even those Disney fans who don’t count this film in their top favorites should probably pick up the disc just for these special features – yes there are Blu-rays with features so robust they can outshine the film.
Of course the film itself receives a gorgeous high definition treatment bringing out the inherent beauty of the settings – an element often over-looked in a landscape that includes artistic masterpieces like Sleeping Beauty
. And after flipping through the features and learning how fond Disney was of this film it’s no wonder that its Diamond Edition Blu-ray is handled so lovingly. It’s a beautiful film that can stand on its own but the overflowing set of special features honor the lovely story in a perfectly fitting way. Lady and the Tramp Diamond Edition Blu-ray/DVD combo pack hits shelves Feb. 7.