Plot: Scamp is the runt of the litter of puppies that were born of Lady and Tramp, as well as the only male and the only one who takes on the appearance of Tramp instead of Lady. Scamp is sick and tired of being a house pet and longs for the adventure of being a ‘real dog’ out and about on the streets. He meets a junkyard gang of strays and wants to be with them, but the firm paw of his father’s rules are keeping him leashed to his house pet life.
Breakdown: I don’t have much of an opinion on Lady and the Tramp. I never watched it much as a kid, but it’s a pretty decent little flick. Plus it made everyone want to have at least one date where you shared a plate of spaghetti in hopes of getting that cute little kiss when in reality it’s just awkward and usually messy.
Lady and the Tramp 2, sadly, is another of those Disquels that is the original movie in reverse with the child taking the place of the parent. In the original, Tramp longed for a life as a house pet and eventually got his wish when he fell in love with Lady and was adopted by her caretakers. In this movie, Scamp hates his life as a house pet and wishes for a life as a street dog.
This is a Disquel I’ve actually seen several times because it would play constantly on the Disney channel for some reason. I remember enjoying it alright, but after a serious viewing, does that enjoyment still stand up?
Eh, pretty much. It’s a fairly harmless movie. While it may be called Lady and the Tramp 2, there’s a noticeable lack of Lady doing anything, and I mean anything. Tramp’s become an old stick in the mud because apparently everyone does that when they become parents…except Wendy from Peter Pan. He likes his nice quiet life at home with his mate and kids, the three (incredibly obnoxious) girls who look like Lady and the rambunctious Scamp who constantly causes trouble due to his desire to be a wild dog.
Scamp is pretty hard to like. He’s a kid so I can’t be too picky here in terms of his immature behavior, but that doesn’t mean it’s entertaining to watch. He’s one of those kids who acts like a hotshot then always falls on his ass, then he still acts like a hotshot after the fact.
He’s constantly whining about his life back home to the point where it’s just stupid. He actually complains about being told to eat all his food, sleep in a bed and to come in when it’s raining. And for even more confusion, during the song ‘Family’ he says with a happy expression that family’s always there with shelter from the rain.
Our romance angle with him is with the junkyard dog, Angel, who is a little too forward and flirty for a puppy (Keep in mind, we’re supposed to be taking these animal characters more or less like humans, being a Disney movie, so technically she’s the equivalent of a human child. To add to the creepiness, Buster, an adult dog the same age as Tramp, keeps treating Angel like his girlfriend, and Ruby, an even older dog, expresses sexual attraction towards Scamp…so yeah.)
Angel’s the exact opposite of Scamp in that she wants nothing more than to have a family and is appalled that Scamp is willing to give up his loving home for a cold life on the street. She’s a pretty good character, but she does come on too strong.
The romance angle is really a side story here anyway. For those wondering, they do revisit the whole spaghetti thing, but they change it up a bit to reflect the more child-like wild dogness of the two. However, the story here is really about family and Scamp learning a lesson about appreciating what he has instead of glorifying something bad.
Our antagonist in this movie is the aforementioned Buster, leader of the junkyard dogs and pretty much the biggest problem in the movie. Buster was supposedly Tramp’s best friend whom he ‘betrayed’ when he met Lady, fell in love and started a new life as a house dog.
Don’t remember Buster even though he seems like such an integral character to the first movie? That’s because he wasn’t in the first movie. He was completely made up for this movie alone. And given Buster’s intense hatred of Tramp, this is a big problem because they’re constantly drawing attention to the fact that he wasn’t in the first movie.
This can sometimes work. Take Zira from The Lion King 2 for example. She wasn’t seen in The Lion King, but she has an intense hatred of Simba and vice versa. While Simba’s hatred for her and the outlanders, barring their devotion to his evil uncle, isn’t explored very much, you can still believe to a degree that some lioness was a Scar fangirl, despite his suckiness as king, who basically had Stockholm syndrome and grew to hate Simba for killing Scar.
Hell, even in The Little Mermaid 2, despite never seeing or hearing about ‘Ursula’s crazy sister’ it was still a better situation because she wanted revenge for her sister…..the one she hated…Okay bad example. The point is, having a completely unknown character have a grudge based on something from a previous movie really only works if they’re somehow connected to something awful that happened to a character with prevalence in the original movie.
This, however, doesn’t work because the hatred is directly based on something Tramp did to Buster, and Buster never appeared in the first movie making it very apparent that this is a sloppy way to introduce a bad guy. And you know, they could’ve just said that Buster had a bad experience with a family when he was younger and now he hates house dogs, even former ones, with a passion, thus he by default harbors a hatred for Scamp, Tramp and even Angel when her secret gets revealed.
Buster isn’t even a really good villain. He reminds me of the slimy antagonists from old 1950s after school specials, right down to constantly calling the love interest his ‘girl’ only to have her constantly come back with her saying she’s not his girl.
There’s also a very noticeable lack of Buster and Tramp confrontation. They only see each other twice, and one of the those times Tramp barely says a word as Scamp has the reigns for most of that scene. If the main issue with Scamp, outside of being a (former) house dog is the fact that he’s Tramp’s kid, why are there not more of these scenes? Why isn’t the big battle against Buster? Why choose a big bulldog who doesn’t even say anything and has barely been a part of the plot to be the big finale villain?
Bottom Line: Despite the problems, it’s still a perfectly fine movie. It has some pretty good music, with the incredibly sappy ‘Family’ being my only complaint in that regard. The story’s not groundbreaking, and you can definitely lay out everything that will happen from basically the first scene, but that doesn’t mean that the ride’s not enjoyable. The art and animation are pretty good. The colors still have that Disquel overly-brightness to them, but that’s okay. Scamp’s not terribly annoying and the story’s fine.
Maybe I’d feel different if I had a deeper connection with the original movie, but as it stands, it’s one of the more tolerable Disquels that you’d probably have no issue sitting through at least once.
Recommended Audience: There’s some mild violence, and maybe I’m looking too much into the pedo angle, but eh. 6+
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