Directors – Darrell Rooney & Jeannine Roussel, Screenplay – Bill Motz & Bob Roth, Additional Material – Flip Kobler, Cindy Marcus & Tim Rogers, Producer – Roussel, Music – Danny Troob, Songs – Norman Gimbel & Melissa Manchester, CGI Supervisor – Martin Caden, Special Effects Supervisor – Adam Phillips, Production Design – Robert St Pierre. Production Company – Disney Television Animation.
Scott Wolf (Scamp), Alyssa Milano (Angel), Chazz Palminteri (Buster), Jeff Bennett (Tramp/Jock/Trusty/Dogcatcher), Jodi Benson (Lady)
Lady and Tramp’s son Scamp tires of the rules required of him in life as a domesticated dog and longs to be free. He manages to slip his chain and runs off to join a mongrel gang known as The Junkyard Dogs. There he falls in love with the lovely Angel who desires a life as a domestic pet. However, Scamp soon finds that life under the Junkyard Dogs’ chief Buster is not all that he thinks it is.
Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure is part of an extraordinarily cynical marketing trend begun by Disney in the 1990s – that of relentlessly sequelising most of their modern and classic animated films on video/dvd in the hopes of making more money from children’s memories and the love of characters.
Others among these knockoff video/dvd sequels included have included The Return of Jafar (1994), Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996), Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997), Pocahontas II: Journey to the New World (1998), The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride (1998), Fantasia 2000 (1999), The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (2000), Cinderella II: Dreams Come True (2002), The Hunchback of Notre Dame II (2002), Return to Never Land (2002), Atlantis: Milo’s Return (2003), The Jungle Book 2 (2003), 101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure (2003), Stitch! The Movie (2003), Mulan II (2004), The Emperor’s New Groove 2: Kronk’s New Groove (2005), Lilo & Stitch II: Stitch Has a Glitch (2005), Tarzan 2 (2005), Bambi II (2006), Brother Bear II (2006), The Fox & the Hound 2 (2006), Leroy & Stitch (2006), Cinderella III: A Twist in Time (2007), The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning (2008) and TinkerBell (2008).
The cynicism of the exercise is even more apparent in Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure in that it is not even a Lady and Tramp adventure – the characters are present but merely play supporting roles to their son. The film on offer is only a slight 69 minutes long.
The original Lady and the Tramp (1955) was a Disney classic. The sequel is banal and cliched. Every situation seems yawningly predictable – the train just happening to come along as characters cross a railway bridge and the inevitable race to get to the other end before it comes; the young hero having to venture into an alley guarded by a bad-tempered dog; the hero captured by the pound and then placed in a cage alone with a bully. A frustrating lack of creativity has gone into the film – right down to it even repeating the classic spaghetti-eating scene from the original.
The worst part is the changes that the characters from the original have undergone. Tramp has now been completely reversed from a fun-loving trickster figure into a conservative parent insisting that his son obey the rules. Films like Lady and the Tramp make balanced contrast between the conservative life, which represents family and responsibility, and the street life, which represents freedom, abandon and fun, always seeing that a balance of the two is ultimately needed. However, Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure is lacking in any of that contrast. In fact, there is a distinctly classist undertow to it. It seems that street life is not free and fun but that the only character arc for Scamp is for him to realise that running away from cloying rules and wanting to be free is wrong and that he needs to return home to the authority of his family.