Soundtrack Review: “Lady and the Tramp” (2019)

Disney+ is a gift that keeps giving and one of the happy surprises on November 12th was the release of music from some of the original films and series that debuted that day. The 2019 live-action remake of the animated classic Lady and the Tramp is among them, which includes updates on the memorable songs and a few new ones, in addition to a brand new score by Joseph Trapanese (Tron: Uprising).

The soundtrack to Lady and the Tramp has all of the tracks in the order in which they’re heard in the film, but I’ll start this review with an overview of the songs. It opens with a “Main Title” that features a new choral version of “Bella Notte” that transitions into “Peace on Earth,” which adds new instrumentals to the original Donald Novis recording from the animated film. Novis’ voice is most famous for “Love is a Song” from Bambi and also worked with Wally Boag to create the original Golden Horseshoe Review at Disneyland.

Other songs from the animated film include “La La Lu” sung by Kiersey Clemons, “Bella Notte” by F. Murray Abraham and Arturo Castro, and “He’s a Tramp” by Janelle Monáe. The latter features some new lyrics that remain faithful to the original song’s intentions but make Tramp into less of a womanizer than he originally was. All are fine updates on original classics, although this version of “Bella Notte” doesn’t come close to topping the original.

There are two new songs, one of which replaces “The Siamese Cat Song” with “What a Shame” by Nate “Rocket” Wonder and Roman GianArthur. The song brings the film’s Savannah, GA, setting into the mix with some jazzy bluegrass elements. Monáe’s end credit song, “That’s Enough,” is another jazzy fun track that closes out the soundtrack.

The animated feature’s score by Oliver Wallace is unforgettable with its jaunty, happy themes. Joseph Trapanese had the unenviable task of writing new music that could fit the same story without repeating what came before and I have to say he’s done a remarkable job. He has written some truly beautiful themes that also incorporate jazz and bluegrass elements to fit the new setting. A great example of this is “Another Perfect Day,” which incorporates elements of “La La Lu.”

Lady’s theme is melodic and beautiful, while Tramp’s theme is more gritty and adventurous, best exemplified on the soundtrack as a track called “The Tramp.” The less interesting of the new melodies in the score is the action music that underscores Lady getting caught by the dog catcher, the rat attack, and the chase to save Tramp. My favorite track from the score is called “Carriage Ride,” which marries Lady’s theme with Tramp’s to create a perfect orchestral duet.

The soundtrack to Lady and the Tramp from Disney+ offers some updates on the classic songs from the animated feature, a few new ones, and a beautiful score by Joseph Trapanese. While it doesn’t top the soundtrack from the 1955 animated version, there are some beautiful themes and some worthwhile performances to satisfy the tastes of Disney music collectors.

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Alex Reif
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).