Disney's Live-Action LADY AND THE TRAMP Film Shooting with Real Dogs

In a world where technology allows artists to create lifelike, photorealistic animals in CGI, it’s surprising to learn that Disney’s new Lady and The Tramp film is actually shooting with real dog actors.

The reveal comes from actor Thomas Mann, who plays Jim Dear, the owner of Lady, the refined and pampered cocker spaniel who falls in love with Tramp. While talking to Collider, Mann said the film is “an enhanced version of the world” that we saw in the film and the characters are “a little more fleshed out.” He went on to say:

“They’re not these passing faces that you barely get a glimpse of. You get to know them a little bit better. And also, there are real dogs. Who doesn’t want to see two real dogs kiss over a plate of spaghetti? That is the main draw for me. You get the charisma of real dogs in there. Lady and the Tramp came out in 1955. I understand people who are like, ‘Don’t mess with the original,’ but they aren’t re-animating it. It’s a live-action remake. So, why not?”

Mann went on to say that the dogs were on set shooting “every day.” He explained that the dogs weren’t even trained when they were hired!

“They were on set and they weren’t even trained. They found these dogs and started training them about three months before. They just wanted to find the perfect dogs. The main dog’s name was Rose, who played Lady. It was crazy because they didn’t know they were working, so they would run off in the middle of a take, and then come back over.”

As you might imagine, that could make things difficult for the actors and the crew:

“You have to be extra patient because you have to be good every time for when they are good once. It was a lot of fun. It was so cute, every day, to just have a bunch of dogs to play with. It made the job a lot less stressful.”

When talking about the film itself, Mann adds that the movie is going to be more dramatic than the animated film and that it’s “a little more grown up, in its own way, and a little more sophisticated.” As far as the look of the film goes, he said:

“It looks beautiful, in the few things that I’ve seen, from the way it was shot. The production design, alone, is pretty immaculate. Just wait, it will be amazing! These dogs are movie stars.”

I’m interested in seeing how this all turns out in the end. Lady and Tramp will be voiced by Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux. They will be joined by Benedict Wong as Bull and Ashley Jensen as Jackie. Janelle Monáe has jumped on board as Peg, the pound dog who was voiced by Peggy Lee in the original animated film in 1955. Kiersey Clemons and Thomas Mann will play the humans, Darling and Jim Dear, with Yvette Nicole Brown as Darling’s dog-hating Aunt Sarah.

The story follows "a pampered cocker spaniel named Lady whose comfortable life slips away once her owners have a baby. When, after some tense circumstances, Lady finds herself on the loose and out on the street, she is befriended and protected by the tough stray mutt Tramp. A romance begins to blossom between the two dogs, but their many differences, along with more drama at Lady’s household, threaten to keep them apart."

Lady and the Tramp is being directed by Charlie Bean (The LEGO Ninjago Movie) with a script written by Andrew Bujalski. No specific release date has been set, but we’ll probably see it released on Disney+ in 2019.

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