With so many different entertainment options out there for your children, we at PopcornBiz thought we'd take a moment each week to dissect one piece of family entertainment strictly from a parent's perspective, so that you know what parts are appropriate for your loved ones, and which are not. This week's COVER YOUR EYES subject: “Lady & The Tramp.”
It was just over a week ago that Disney's "Lady & The Tramp" ranked at #2 on the DVD sales chart, as in ALL sales of ALL DVD's available here in the United States. That movie is now 57 years old. FIFTY-SEVEN YEARS and it's still raking in cash! Think about what that says about the astonishing long-term value of these Disney properties. There will always be a market for "Lady" because there will always be children, and children will always LOVE DOGS. Seriously, they do. I have two kids and if you stick a puppy in front of them they turn into a pair of Little Richards Simmonses. Just tons of shouting and jumping around. So "Lady" remains a perennial favorite. But is it okay for your little ones? Let's consider a few factors.
The “Will Parents Be Able To Tolerate It?” Factor: It ain't the most exciting movie on Earth, but it's so utterly inoffensive that you can nap on the couch while your kids watch it. And really, I ask for little more from my kid's movies than that. If you're a nice, quiet little movie that doesn't rouse me from my slumber, I'm cool with you.
The Dead Parent Factor: Minimal. We never meet Lady's biological parents, and Tramp is obviously a loner and rebel.
The Animal Cruelty Factor: That mean old Aunt Sarah treats Lady like garbage, which is totally expected coming from an evil cat owner. We also see Jim Dear and Darling treat Lady with a bit of callous indifference because of their new baby, and so "Lady" becomes a treatise on whether or not it's best to live your life alone and "free," or if that kind of freedom is little more than a illusion, and that true happiness is always dependent on those around you. Pretty heady stuff. I could write a terrible 8th grade English paper about it.
The Sexy Sex Sex Factor: Slurping noodles, eh? Seems like a filthy metaphor, if you ask Rick Santorum.
The Scare Factor: There's that mean dog catcher, who's gonna take Lady to the pound (and kill her, though that's not said outright). Ooh! Ooh! And don't forget the evil rat! Otherwise, this is fairly mild peril. Nothing like what the 101 Dalmations were up against.
The Racism Factor: Oh, those Siamese cats. So, so racist.
Age Range: 2 and up. Family movies don't get much more gentle than this.