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Lady and the Tramp: The Last of a Breed

At last nights 50th anniversary tribute to LADY AND THE TRAMP at Hollywoods El Capitan Theatre, long-time Disney animator Andreas Deja explained that it was the last of the Walt Disney features to have round, sculpted animation. The studio launched a whole different aesthetic style with SLEEPING BEAUTY.

Showing off a beautiful array of original art from LADY AND THE TRAMP (from the likes of Joe Grant, who initiated the concept in the late 30s, inspired by his own cocker spaniel; Milt Kahl, Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston and Eric Larson), Dejas revealed such nuggets as color separation around Ladys eyes being abandoned and model sheets of wonderful squash-and-stretch.

Joining Dejas on the pre-screening panel were Stan Freberg, who revealed that Disney came up with the idea of having him blow a whistle during his vocal performance as the beaver to lend consistency; composer Richard Sherman, who said Disney thought singer/songwriter Peggy Lee could stretch dramatically with her performances; and Theo Gluck, director, Technology Film Restoration, who explained that the new digital restoration a 4K scan of the Technicolor negative, like BAMBI and CINERELLA finally offers the entire CinemaScope image, and that his team scanned 4.2 miles of film and removed 30 million pieces of dust and dirt.

Serving as host was distinguished animation historian John Canemaker (fresh off his Oscar nomination for his short, THE MOON AND THE SON: AN IMAGINED CONVERSATION).

The special two-week engagement of LADY AND THE TRAMP will be held through Feb. 14 and coincides with the Feb. 28 release of the 50th anniversary DVD edition.

LADY AND THE TRAMP, originally released in June 1955, was the first Disney animated feature to be filmed in CinemaScope. Directed by Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi and Wilfred Jackson, the film follows the adventures of a young cocker spaniel from a respectable house, and her romantic escapades with Tramp, a devil-may-care mutt from the wrong side of the railroad tracks. The film features several enchanting songs by Lee (who voices the conniving Siamese cats, Si and Am, as well as the characters Darling and Peg) and Sonny Burke including "Bella Notte," "He's a Tramp" and "The Siamese Cat Song."

Tickets are available at the box office, by phone (1-800-DISNEY6), or online at

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Bill Desowitz, former editor of VFXWorld, is currently the Crafts Editor of IndieWire.