Despite a long line of unnecessary and not-so-great direct-to-video Disney sequels that came about over a decade ago, there were a select few that lived up the original films. Among the better ones is 2001’s Lady and the Tramp 2: Scamp’s Adventure, which finally makes it’s way to Blu-ray with plenty of the same charm and humor that made the original 1955 film so beloved, making this one sequel that definitely barks up the right tree.
I haven’t seen Lady and the Tramp II since it was first released on DVD (and VHS) back in 2001, so it was nice to be able to revisit it with a fresh take on Blu-ray after so long. The films follows the adventures of our puppy hero named Scamp (voiced by Scott Wolf) who has a bad habit of causing trouble for his masters who expect him to follow the rules. His dad, Good old Tramp (voiced by Jeff Bennett) from the original film, knows exactly what Scamp is going through, as he remembers his wild street past all too well, but still wants his son to behave. It’s not long before Scamp is punished by being chained outside on a leash, which he finds a way to break free from and heads to the local junkyard to become the wild and free dog he’s longed to be. He soon befriends Buster (voiced by Chazz Palminteri), a junkyard dog that leads a pack of wild dogs that Scamp wishes to join, but not before he undergoes a series of tests that will decide if he can join. One of the pack’s members named Angel (voiced by Alyssa Milano) quickly takes a liking to Scamp, and wishes she had a family to be with like he does.
Things really start to pick up when Buster claims Angel as his girl, and when his troubled past with Scamp’s father, Tramp, is revealed. After learning who Scamp really is, he plans his long-awaited revenge on Tramp involving a monster-like dog named Reggie to fight him, and the local dogcatcher that’s always looking for new dogs to take away. Between all of that and the catchy songs sprinkled throughout, there’s plenty of fun and excitement that’s nearly on par with the first movie.
I enjoyed the coming-of-age story, as the young Scamp learns the hard way that trying to make it without family or friends on the streets as a wild dog isn’t all he thought it would be, which makes for a good lesson for many younger – and even some stubborn older – viewers. I thought Scott Wolf did a great job capturing that youthful spunk as Scamp, while Alyssa Milano does just as great voicing Angel, as she pulls off being a caring yet tough as nails street dog with no trouble at all. There are some nice songs featured throughout, as songs such as “I Didn’t Know I Could Feel That Way” and the updated version of “Bella Notte” are sure to melt viewers hearts.
As with all of their Blu-ray releases, Disney has done a top-notch job with transferring this movie into high-definition. The picture comes in nice and crisp, which shows off all the high-quality detail and digital animation perfectly. The 5.1 DTS-HD audio is just as great, as every song and bark is heard loud and clear.
Fans of extras are in for a treat, as there’s plenty to check out after the movie ends. There’s audio commentary by director Darrell Rooney, producer and co-director Jeannine Roussel, and director of animation Steve Trenbirth. “Puppy Trivia Tracks” is a fun little extra that can be activated before you watch, which makes pop-up boxes appear during the film that tell facts about dogs and some trivia about the original movie. “The Making of Lady and the Tramp II” features the director and some of the cast and crew discussing the production of the movie. Rounding out the extras are some sing along videos for the songs featured in the movie, and three classic Pluto animated shorts that adults and kids are sure to enjoy.
While most of Disney’s direct-to-video sequels weren’t all that magical, Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure is a surprisingly worthy follow up to beloved original film that manages to stand on its own four legs. There’s plenty of fun, excitement, and nice songs here that make this Blu-ray highly recommended. You’ll be glad you let these dogs out in your home.
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Walt Disney Video