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Sunday, April 21, 2013
Disney's Lady And The Tramp At McDonald's
Lady and the Tramp is a classic movie about a bad boy from the streets falling for a high society good girl. This one just happens to star cartoon dogs.
Set in turn-of-the-century America, the 1955 film "Lady and the Tramp" featured more voices inspired by dialects from different countries than any other Disney animated movie.
It is fitting that Lady and the Tramp headlined their own McDonald's Happy Meal only in countries outside the United States. This 1997 set is from Europe.
Lady has to spend more time in her doghouse when her human owners have a baby.
Luckily for Lady, her doghouse is pretty big. The Lady toy can be removed from the doghouse, too.
Tramp is from "the wrong side of the tracks" so he lives in a barrel.
Unlike Lady, the Tramp toy cannot be removed from his home.
Assemble Tramp's barrel, flip a switch, and he will bust the barrel apart.
The barrel is also a puzzle. I have to admit that it took me some time to figure out how this toy works.
Si and Am are frequently promoted as major villains in advertisements for "Lady and the Tramp." The only time they actually appear in the film is for "The Siamese Cat Song" sequence.
Peggy Lee voiced the Siamese Cats, as well as Darling (Lady's female human owner) and Peg the Pekingese in the dog pound.
Originally, Trusty was supposed to die while stopping the dogcatcher from taking Tramp to the pound.
Trusty was saved by Peggy Lee, who insisted that the bloodhound's death would be too upsetting for kids.
Push on the back of Lady's doghouse and the doors open and she appears. Si and Am's heads rock back and forth when you touch them.
Trusty rolls forward and sniffs when you push him.
In 2001, Disney released "Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure." The idea of a sequel with these characters wasn't a new thing. They have been appearing in "Scamp" comic book stories for decades.
The "Scamp's Adventure" toys released in Asia are very elaborate, and among the best McDonald's Happy Meal toys I've ever seen.
Lady has plush ears and her head moves back and forth when you use her brush accessory. Lady's tail also wags. And her three daughters are included with her, too.
In Scamp's Adventure, Lady was voiced by Jodi Benson (Ariel in "The Little Mermaid").
The Tramp action figure is incredibly detailed and amazing.
Wind up Tramp, then grab his leash.
Tramp walks forward and wags his tail. Flip a switch and he will stop for you. Good boy!
Jeff Bennett provided the voice of Tramp in Scamp's Adventure.
Lady and Tramp's puppies are a bit older in Scamp's Adventure than they were in the comic books. Scott Wolf ("Party of Five") provided the speaking voice of Scamp. Roger Bart (Snoopy in the 1999 Broadway revival of "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown") was Scamp's singing voice.
Alyssa Milano ("Who's the Boss?" and "Charmed") supplied the voice of Angel, Scamp's love interest.
Scamp and Angel play tug-of-war with a ball of yarn.
To me, it looks like the ball of yarn was supposed to be spaghetti and someone changed their mind at the last minute.
"Scamp's Adventure" is sort of like a cross between "Lady and the Tramp" and "Oliver and Company."
A mean dog named Buster (voiced by Chazz Palminteri) is the leader of a gang of dogs that Scamp befriends.
Buster is interested in Angel, but she prefers Scamp.
The toy of Buster is a wind-up, and he walks and chomps.
The tiniest dog in Buster's gang is Francois (voiced by "Perfect Strangers" star Bronson Pinchot).
Bronson Pinchot had previously played a French beautician named Jean-Luc in the show "Step by Step."
Francois can play the piano. Yes, this is a musical toy.
Wind the toy up, and the French Bulldog moves back and forth on the keyboard.
Sparky looks a bit like Toughy the mutt from the dog pound scene in "Lady and the Tramp."
Actor Mickey Rooney supplied Sparky's voice.
Mickey Rooney is well remembered as Lampie in "Pete's Dragon" and adult Tod in "The Fox and the Hound."
A mobile mattress is Sparky's accessory. Sparky, you dog!
Mooch the sheepdog was voiced by Bill Fagerbakke, known to millions as Patrick the Starfish from Spongebob Squarepants.
The Mooch toy is very animated, with multiple points of articulation.
Wind up Mooch's tire base, then set the dog in place.
Mooch stands up, and his mouth and tail move.
Scratchy has an obsession with scratching himself, naturally.
This character reminds me of Ed the Hyena from "The Lion King" mixed with a bunch of different Hanna Barbera TV sidekick dogs from the 1970s.
I don't think I've ever seen a wind up toy of a dog scratching himself before.
I wonder why there wasn't a dog named "Humpty" in the sequel to Lady and the Tramp... He can be in Lady and the Tramp III.
The Summer 2001 "U.K. Disneyana" report by Neil Kenny in Tomart's Disneyana Update Magazine shows a very different Lady and the Tramp II set in Europe.
Plush toys of "Scamp's Adventure" characters included a plastic accessory that did something special. One "Lady and the Tramp II" character that was not made into a McDonald's toy anywhere is Ruby the Afghan Hound (probably because that character could easily win an Ugly Dog Contest by a landslide).
In the United States, Lady and the Tramp appeared as part of the 1998 Disney Video Favorites McDonald's Happy Meal. Remember VHS tapes? Here, various moving Disney characters appear on clamshell video tape containers that connect together.
Mickey Mouse conducts for "The Spirit of Mickey." Pocahontas dances for "Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World." A Penguin Waiter waddles for "Mary Poppins." Gurgi from "The Black Cauldron" snacks on his munchies and crunchies. The green blob Flubber promotes the Robin Williams version of The Absent Minded Professor.
At McDonald's in the United States, Lady and the Tramp also had their own Sticker Activity Book as part of the 1987 "Disney Favorites Happy Meal." In 2002, Lady and Tramp were among 100 different toys celebrating the "100 Years of Disney Happy Meal" at McDonald's.
One of the first sets of Lady and the Tramp promotional toys were "Pet Statuettes" from Kellogg's. These were available in boxes of cereal and made in different colors. The set includes Lady, Tramp, Boris, Peg, Toughy, Si, Am, Trusty, Jock, Bull, Dachsie and Pedro.
These can appropriately be found at Flea Markets (that is where I found Tramp and Toughy).
The very first Lady and the Tramp merchandise could be found in 1944. How's that? Lady first appeared in a 1944 storybook called "Walt Disney's Surprise Package." This showcased some early versions of projects in development at Disney. The book also featured early work for Peter Pan, Mr. Toad and Brer Rabbit.
I believe the cover art was done by Mary Blair. The early version of "Lady" focused on the "new baby" story and the Siamese Cats. The Tramp character was developed after Walt Disney read (and bought the rights to) Ward Greene's story, "Happy Dan, The Whistling Dog" (for some reason, I love that title...). Disney thought the dog in Ward Greene's story (which debuted around the same time "Surprise Package" was sold) would be a great match for Lady, and the rest is history.