Janelle Monae To Write New Song for Live-Action “Lady and the Tramp” in Place of “The Siamese Cat Song”

A live-action version of Disney’s Lady and the Tramp is coming to the new streaming service, Disney+. While several elements of the story will stay true to the original, there are some things that won’t be featured in this updated version, namely, the “The Siamese Cat Song.” Instead, audiences will be treated to a new track from singer/songwriter Janelle Monae.

What’s happening:

  • Variety is reporting that the live-action Lady and the Tramp movie being developed for Disney+ won’t feature at least one of the songs from the original animated classic.
  • “The Siamese Cat Song” that was recorded by Peggy Lee, won’t be getting a modern update. The original number featured two cats named Si and Am and who sang, “We are Siamese if you please. We are Siamese if you don’t please.”
  • The original has been criticized and as Variety writes, “considered a cringe-worthy depiction of Asian culture.”
  • However, the film won’t be without music, as singer/songwriter and actress, Janelle Monae will contribute to the film’s soundtrack.

  • Monae will reportedly perform two original songs as well as voicing a character in the film.
  • Variety also reports that Monae is working with her artist collective, Wondaland, to reinvent the cat song from the original.
  • She and fellow artists, Nate “Rocket” Wonder and Roman GianArthur plan to feature a different theme for the pair, who won’t actually be Siamese cats in the upcoming film.
  • In addition to reinventing the cat song, Monae insiders have noted that Wondaland might even put their spin on “He’s a Tramp,” another song from the original film.
  • Lady and the Tramp is set in 1910 and will have a blues-ragtime vibe, while also featuring Monae’s unique style.
  • Both Walt Disney Studios and a rep for Monae, have confirmed her musical involvement on the project.

What they’re saying:

  • Kaylin Frank, a vice president in Creative Music and Soundtracks at Disney: “We’re dealing with Wondaland, her team of incredibly creative writers and producers that she works with. So our director has engaged with her in terms of what the storytelling [of] the song needs to be.”
  • Author Marcus Hunter on the cats in the original film: “They have no individuality; their innocent blue eyes bend into a sinister glare as they cave at the slant. They are jaundiced and sly; sick and feral; domesticated, though nevertheless propelled by their mischievous, impish nature to deceive and intimidate.”

Lady and the Tramp stars:

  • Since July of 2018, casting announcements have been made for Lady and the Tramp and include:
    • Tessa Thompson as Lady
    • Justin Theroux as Tramp
    • Ashley Jensen as Scottish Terrier Jackie
    • Benedict Wong as English bulldog Bull
    • Yvette Nicole Brown as Aunt Sarah
    • Arturo Castro as Marco