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Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure(2001)
Lady and Tramp's mischievous pup, Scamp, gets fed up with rules and restrictions imposed on him by life in a family, and longs for a wild and free lifestyle. He runs away from home and into the streets where he joins a pack of stray dogs known as the "Junkyard Dogs." Buster, the pack's leader, takes an instant disliking to the "house-dog" and considers him a rival. Angel, a junkyard pup Scamp's age, longs for the safety and comfort of life in a family and the two become instant companions. Will Scamp choose the wild and free life of a stray or the unconditional love of his family?
For more about Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure and the Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure Blu-ray release, see Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on August 15, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Scott Wolf, Alyssa Milano, Chazz Palminteri, Jeff Bennett, Jodi Benson, Bill Fagerbakke
Directors: Darrell Rooney, Jeannine Roussel
» See full cast & crew
Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure Blu-ray Review
Kibbles 'n Bits of the original does not a good sequel make...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, August 15, 2012
Disney has long been one of the more conservative studios when it comes to releasing catalog titles on Blu-ray, especially its classic (and even its not-so-classic) animated films. The reasons are many -- some noble, others shrewd -- but chief among them is the sheer amount of time and level of care the studio invests in the restoration and remastering of its most treasured animated features. There's another big reason, of course; one that requires a healthy dose of corporate cynicism to discuss. You and I know it as the Disney Vault, that vacuous and abstract netherworld designed to drive demand, increase perceived value, provide marketing muscle, and bolster a film's legacy. It's a practice that has continued well into Blu-ray's life cycle, with only a small number of animated films being issued in high definition each year.
Apparently someone left the Vault door cracked open this month. August 21st sees the release of not one but seven animated films spread across five different Blu-ray releases. Included in the sudden, generous deluge: five theatrical features -- The Aristocats (1970), The Rescuers (1977), The Rescuers Down Under (1990), Pocahontas (1995), and The Tigger Movie (2000) -- and two direct-to-video sequels, Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1998) and Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure (2001). And, in what will come as a surprise to no one, Journey to a New World and, more to the point, Scamp's Adventure are the worst of the seven. Scamp's Adventure is particularly doomed, though. Pocahontas II is bundled with Pocahontas. Want one? Pony up for both. Lady and the Tramp II, meanwhile, in addition to being a sequel no one asked for and no one needed, is being released on its lonesome, six months after the vastly superior 1955 original made its Blu-ray debut.
Rather than focus on star-crossed canines Lady (voiced by Jodi Benson) and Tramp (Jeff Bennett), co-directors Darrell Rooney and Jeannine Roussel's DTV sequel scurries after Scamp (Scott Wolf), one of the playful puppies first glimpsed at the end of the original Lady and the Tramp. Scamp's call of the wild is strong; so strong that he can't seem to behave himself like his parents and three sisters. Frustrated and disenchanted with domestication, Scamp runs away and tries to join the Junkyard Dogs, a pack of trouble-making strays that do whatever they want, whenever they want. Before you can say "it's in his genes," the proud pup falls for a feisty young gang member named Angel (Alyssa Milano) and wanders down a path first tread by his father. His love and loyalty are eventually tested, though, as the leader of the Junkyard Dogs (Chazz Palminteri), obsessed with settling an old score, turns on Scamp in an attempt to get back at his old mentor: Tramp.
Did Disney really need to tackle street gangs and their recruitment of young, impressionable children? If so, was a direct-to-video sequel to a dramatically different classic tale the place to do so? Scamp's Adventure is heavy-handed and, worse, almost entirely untethered from the original film. Lady is wasted, Tramp is sidelined, the Dears are ignored... even Scamp's sisters are essentially set dressing. There's love in the air, sure. Even a bit of crammed-in courting that attempts to pay homage to Lady and the Tramp. But most of the ties to the original amount to more of a marketing gimmick than anything more substantial. Scamp's Adventure could have easily been an unrelated cautionary tale about a young pup lured away from his family by a gang of junkyard thugs. Ah, but that nameless mutt wouldn't have sold nearly as many units, making the sequel's connection to the first film even more tenuous. (And surely for some lifelong Disney aficionados, a tad insulting.) As is, the story should have focused on Lady and Tramp's efforts to bring their son back into the fold (as it does throughout the third act), with the worried parents ever at the forefront. Instead, we follow Scamp out of the Dears' house and into a different movie altogether.
Putting all that aside, the standalone film that remains still isn't very good. The music, like most of Disney's direct-to-video-sequel songs, is average at best, disappointing on the whole, and bottoms out too often. The story isn't all that adventurous or resonant, relying on run of the mill family strain and less than compelling peril to generate momentum that doesn't amount to much. The new characters aren't that funny, winsome or memorable either, and the familiar favorites aren't given anything interesting to do. And the voice actors are of the Cartoon Network and third tier celebrity variety; not that the hastily scribbled, one-note dialogue they're given is clever or quotable to begin with. (Fun little tidbit: while taking screenshots, I realized Scamp's Adventure is a much better film with the audio muted. That isn't a shot at the film's lossless track; just its performances, songs and Saturday morning cartoon sound design.) I'm just relieved Disney slowed down the animated direct-to-video train before it careened off the tracks. (Although I'm sure some will argue it wrecked long before 2007's Cinderella III and 2008's Ariel's Beginning came along.) Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure lifts its leg and does its business on one of Disney's most beloved classics. I'm pretty sure Uncle Walt would have been none too pleased with such mediocre cash-ins.
Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure Blu-ray, Video Quality
Scamp's Adventure may soon be forgotten again but its 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer will not. Full of soft pastels, springtime hues and more impressive animation than your standard direct-to-video Disney sequel, Lady and the Tramp II almost looks like a full-fledged feature, barring the random bits of scruffy pup CG sprinkled throughout, some of which is prone to inherent aliasing and artifacting (the bursting balloons and streamers at the Independence Day celebration being one of the most noticeable). The animators' hand-drawn work looks great, though; crisp, fluid and expressive, without any distractions or mishaps worth noting. The backgrounds exhibit plenty of painterly textures, the line art is clean and sharp, and every little nuance in the animation has been preserved. There also isn't any significant encoding anomalies to contend with, making Scamp's Adventure a pleasant, eye-popping sight to behold.
Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Scamp's Adventure may be better on mute, but not because its DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track fails or falters in the slightest. Voices are light and playful, alleyway clangs and clatters ring true, and the sequel's songs, underwhelming as they are, fill the soundfield nicely, without a gnarled lyric or misprioritized bit of orchestration to be found. The soundscape itself is inconsistent -- ranging from flat and front-heavy on the whole to boisterous and enveloping on occasion -- but chalk that up to the film's sound design, not the quality of its lossless track. LFE output and rear speaker support are commendable, dynamics are decent, and every ounce of yip yip yipping and barking comes through with the utmost clarity. Scamp's Adventure may not be an arresting sequel, sonic or otherwise, but its lossless mix works wonders.
Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Lady and the Tramp II amounts to direct-to-video roadkill. It isn't as mangled and bloody a heap as it could be, but it isn't very pretty either. Ah well, its Blu-ray release sure is. With an energetic pup of a video transfer, a well-groomed DTS-HD Master Audio track and a small but healthy litter of extras, it gives fans their money's worth. It doesn't help the film much, but anyone laying down cash for a direct-to-video sequel to a Golden Age animated classic shouldn't be surprised by the trouble they're getting themselves into.
Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure: Other Editions
Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Upcoming Disney Catalog Releases for 2012 (Updated) - June 26, 2012
This year, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment will bring over thirty catalog entries to Blu-ray. The scheduled films span across Disney's different distribution branches, and while the studio has previously hinted at certain titles - such as The Color of Money, ...
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