'Lady and the Tramp' Groomed for Release7 Feb, 2006 By: Stephanie Prange
Talk about a clean-up job.
Technicians scoured 339,552 negatives to remove 30 million pieces of dust and dirt from 1955's Lady and the Tramp for its release to a new generation, said Walt Disney Co. restoration exec Theo Gluck.
He and several Disney alums and executives gathered Feb. 2 for a panel and screening of the restored animated classic at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. The 50th Anniversary DVD streets Feb. 28.
Comedian Stan Freberg (the voice of the beaver in the film) recounted how Walt Disney himself came up with the whistling voice technique for the beaver in the film. The secret: using an actual whistle.
Richard Sherman, who supervised the music in the film, said Disney also helped engineer the involvement of singer Peggy Lee.
“Walt was a fan,” he said. “He saw in her a singing actress. When you think about it, she did two Siamese cats.”
Audience members also were treated to a behind-the-scenes segment of Lee singing “He's a Tramp.”
Lady and the Tramp was the first animated feature filmed in Cinemascope. Because the technique was so new, theater owners asked that a soundtrack be slapped onto the film (cutting out a section) so they didn't have to spend money on equipment. Disney restorers have stripped off that soundtrack so viewers can enjoy the whole picture as it was originally intended to be viewed.