My final coverage for Disney’s Lady and the Tramp live action includes exclusive interviews with Director Charlie Bean and Producer Brigham Taylor. They share the story behind rebooting the classic film.
I was invited as media to cover this event. All opinions are my own.
The Story Behind Rebooting Disney’s Lady and the Tramp
Brigham shares, “We’re really eager at the chance to be able to retell the story. In 1955, this is not based on the fairytale….it’s based on some original short stories that were kind of married together to tell a story about two different characters from the opposite sides of the tracks. It became a classic at that point in 1955. And we knew that the story is really based on our love for our pet dogs. The original film I think was very influenced by Walt’s upbringing in Marceline, Missouri, this sort of Anytown USA feel.”
Charlie’s background is in animation and this film, in particular, is “one of the big ones for me of the Disney films. It just sits in a really, really special place in my memories, nostalgic memory”
The only location they scouted for this film was Savannah. Brigham added, “historically it’s such a beautiful town and it speaks to the period. And Georgia is a very welcoming state.”
They have 16 dogs in their cast, not counting “extras” for certain scenes. When asked about the biggest challenge in working with real animals, Brigham shares, “finding and casting these dogs, ones that we felt would really be reminiscent of the characters that we knew because they’re pretty iconic. We know what these characters look like. We had to find a way to translate that because they’re very stylized, obviously, once they become 2D animated characters.”
He also explained the difficulty in locating a purebred cocker spaniel (Lady) because they’re all different shapes and sizes and have little variations. With Tramp, it was like finding a needle in a haystack. He is a mutt, but the size, color of his coat, his ears, all of that had to match up perfectly.
How authentic is the live action from the original film? Brigham answered, “I’ll put it this way. It’s a very faithful retelling through and through. It’s not moment to moment, there have been adjustments. There have been little tweaks. We’ve enhanced some certain character stories but all within the framework of the story you’re very familiar with. But you’ll see little adaptations.”
Jim Dear and Darling are an interracial couple in this film. Brigham mentioned, “We wanted our cast to be very diverse. This is about an emotional set of relationships between humans and dogs and dogs with each other. So, we felt like why would we be sort of limited in how we cast it.”
About Disney Plus
Both the Producer and Director were very eager about Lady and the Tramp being among the first to be a premier offering on the all-new Disney+ streaming network. Disney+ will be the dedicated streaming home for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more, together, for the first time. Disney+ will offer ad-free programming with a variety of original feature-length films, documentaries, live-action and animated series and short-form content.
“Lady and the Tramp” premieres on November 12, 2019, streaming only on Disney+