Disney's live-action Lady and the Tramp remake has its first trailer, and it's already clear that it's fixing The Lion King 2019's mistakes. The Lady and the Tramp teaser trailer was revealed as part of D23 Expo, and showcases the new take on the animated classic, with Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux lending their voices to the titular canines.
Directed by Charlie Bean (The LEGO Ninjago Movie) and written by Andrew Bujalski (Computer Chess), Lady and the Tramp will re-tell the story of two very different dogs who end up meeting and falling in love. It's very much in keeping with Disney's remake model, but where this differs is that Lady and the Tramp is actually using real dogs to portray its canine characters, albeit with some CGI augmentations, which means it stands apart from other remakes, and in particular The Lion King.
One of the big problems with The Lion King remake was the fact that all of the animals were 100% CGI. That worked in getting the photorealistic look down, with Jon Favreau managing to create a new version of The Lion King that looked more like the most expensive nature documentary ever made. Where it fell short, though, especially compared to the animated version, was the sheer lack of expression on the faces of the animals. That meant in scenes where Simba, Nala, and others should've been portraying strong emotions, their faces were simply still, and it's a problem Lady and the Tramp avoids.
By using real dogs in the movie, rather than CGI ones, it allows for a much more natural feel. Admittedly using real dogs is harder than just digitally inserting them into the film, but this way Lady and the Tramp can have their genuine expressions. Dogs are supposed to be emotive creatures, and it'd be weird if there was nothing of that in their faces, but having real dogs avoids this. In turn, this will lift the story up when it's time for moments of humor or sadness, whereas The Lion King remake struggled with these aspects because of its (admittedly still great) CGI.
There's not a complete avoidance of CGI in Lady and the Tramp, however. The dogs do need to talk, which means they've had to digitally alter their mouths for speech. This was done in The Lion King as well, and while it's still noticeable here, it does actually look somewhat better and less off-putting. There's also some CGI on the eyes for the poster, but that may just be for marketing purposes. Even with these elements, though, Lady and the Tramp has made some big improvements in its use of animals by having real dogs rather than completely CG ones, thus fixing one of The Lion King's mistakes (and they just look a lot cuter too).
- Lady and the Tramp (2019) release date: Nov 12, 2019