I distinctly remember watching many of these DisneyToon sequels. Growing up in the late ’90s and early 2000s, I was the exact audience that Michael Eisner and the DisneyToon Studios had in mind. Whether it was at my grandma’s house or my own home, there were plenty of VHS copies to go around of not just the classic Disney films, but also the sequels. Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure, released in 2001, was one of them. I watched this movie numerous times as a kid. There were several aspects of it that I loved, from the musical numbers to the junkyard dogs, and that crazy dog catcher.
Having not seen it for many years, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Though I am certainly a nostalgic adult (who isn’t?), I feel that I have a responsibility to judge the films I watch at face value and put aside the memories and feelings they evoke from me during my childhood years. There are several children’s films I have watched as an adult that I loved as a kid and still love, and there are those that I have grown out of. Which one would this be?
Lady and the Tramp II picks up not too long after the original film left off. Lady and Tramp have pups of their own now: three daughters and one son, the titular Scamp. Though he is part of a loving home, Scamp yearns for the outside world and wants to freedom. Before too long, he breaks off his leash and learns what the outside world really is like, for better or for worse. Because the original film was made 45 years prior, the voice cast has been completely replaced. Jeff Bennett voices Tramp and a plethora of other characters, while Jodi Benson voices Lady. Both of these characters have relatively little screen time though as this is Scamp’s film, who is voiced by Scott Wolf. Also included in the cast is an underused Mickey Rooney who voices one of the junkyard dogs.
There are several new musical numbers here, including a couple of genuinely good ones such as “Junkyard Society Rag” and “I Didn’t Know That I Could Feel This Way.” For some reason, Scamp and his friend Angel, have dubbed singing voices. Even crazier is the fact that they are sung by Roger Bart and Susan Egan who were the voices of- that’s right- Hercules and Meg.
As far as the quality of the film, it honestly isn’t anything special. However, it is not anywhere near as bad as some of the other sequels that this studio churned out. Furthermore, the animation is not bad either, which is nice to see. The runtime is short, clocking at a little over an hour, which means it doesn’t feel overlong and has a solid pace. When comparing it to theatrical animated films, it certainly is lacking but when comparing it to other DisneyToon sequels, I recommend it.
Next week, we will be watching the theatrically released sequel to Peter Pan, Return to Never Land.