Lady’s the first non-human member of the Disney Princess Series as we continue having a look at other underrated and forgotten Disney Heroines. The Lady and the Tramp is not so much Lady’s film as one that explores both her story as well as the development of the Tramp, a rags-to-riches tail of the loveable rogue that is the regular hero character of the piece.
Whilst the film makes fun of the differences between dogs and cats, different shaped dogs, and the perception of dogs in the human world Lady’s experiences are very much that of any woman thrust into an unknown or uncomfortable situation and forced to make the best of it. She is sweet, naïeve, too kind for her own good. The prejudice Aunt Sarah has against Lady and subsequently the Tramp is fuelled by a general dislike of dogs for no good reason. I’m sure we’ve all seen some of that before.
Lady manages to be a resourceful and strong character, doing what she can to expose the truth and keep those she cares about alive. Given that it’s a 1950s film Lady still doesn’t escape feminine stereotyping: she ends up ‘married’ with kids, she has luscious locks, is cute and ladylike – the list goes on. Whilst she isn’t the most notable butt kicking female in the Disney roster her character progression is the most interesting in the film, and her actions result in most of the major turning points. Lady might not be Xena: Warrior Princess, but she’s a solid Disney character you don’t need to roll your eyes at.