Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's AdventureOverview -
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?
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
Not to belabor the point or anything, but the world of Disney sequels is a treacherous one. 'Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure' is one of the reasons why. It's an oddly paced sequel that sets about trying to capture younger fans who might find the original 'Lady and the Tramp' love story light on action and general doggie mayhem, and far too heavy on all that lovey-dovey stuff.
This is usually the case with these direct-to-video sequels from Disney. They fail to grasp the meaning of the original and usually end up tacking on a narrative that does nothing but harm its predecessor.
In 'Scamp's Adventure' Lady and Tramp are all settled into the Darling household. Scamp (Scott Wolf) is the only boy in the litter and he has dreams of being a wild, junkyard dog. Much the way his father was before he met the love of his life. Scamp doesn't care much for rules. He barks, chews up hats, tracks mud through the house, and is generally a bad dog. Scamp is chained up outside because of his boorish behavior. He soon escapes and finds refuge with a pack of stray dogs led by Buster (Chazz Palminteri). Buster is a mean dog, but that doesn't deter Scamp from wanting to fit in with his group. Anything is better than a house full of rules.
The movie soon becomes a repetitive dialogue of Scamp exclaiming that he hates rules, then Buster telling him he's got to do different things to be accepted in the group, and then it happens all over again. I can't tell you how many times they repeat the same ideas and scenes over and over, like they're just trying to fill up time. It takes a lot of work to make a 69-minute movie seem long, but somehow 'Scamp's Adventure' succeeds.
They even try to recreate and modernize the original movie's famous spaghetti scene with Scamp and his new found puppy love crush Angel (Alyssa Milano). It's just as cringe-inducing as it sounds.
All of the romance and whimsical nature of the first movie is completely lost here. There are also a bunch of forced musical numbers from composer Danny Troob that feel like Alan Menken leftovers. The musical numbers, especially the opening one, are so over-the-top and wannabe grandiose that you can't help but feel a little embarrassed for the movie. Much like the undersized, un-athletic kid trying really hard at sports. All you can do is grimace and hope it's over soon.
'Scamp's Adventure' never really has a moment where you feel it's worthy of your time. There are a few snippets where you may chuckle once or twice (mostly due to one of Scamp's sisters who is obviously the dumb one). Still, it's hard to shake that nagging question of why this movie was made in the first place. It may not be as flippantly idiotic as 'Pocahontas II,' thank goodness, but it isn't something that you'll sit down and watch over and over again either.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
This is a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack. The Blu-ray is a 50GB disc. It's been packaged in a standard size keepcase with a slipcover that features the same artwork as the case. There is a code inside for Disney Movie Rewards and the release is region free.
'Scamp's Adventure' has one of those clean, yet innocuous animated looks. Meaning that it's very modern animation and everything looks good, but there's nothing really spectacular going on. It almost reminded me of watching an episode of 'Tailspin.'
It's presented in 1080p. The AVC-encoded image, while appearing like generic modern animation, does present itself rather well. Colors are storybook-like. Lightly-colored hues dominate the color palette. Lines are crisp and clear. Blacks are inky.
A few minor technical problems arise in the form of out-dated CGI causing aliasing. Confetti during the 4th of July celebration near the end of the movie provides instances of aliasing. Banding wasn't present though. Overall, the presentation look good and clean. The animation isn't anything special but it's colorful nature and unobtrusive feel will draw younger viewers in. Barring the few instances of aliasing 'Scamp's Adventure' is crystal clear.
Disney's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix does its job without blowing you away. The songs in the movie are given a slightly overbearing sense in this mix. Especially the opening song that seems to pound away at you from every channel. The songs were the most unimpressive aspects of this audio mix, simply because they seemed to be pumped up for no real reason.
The rest of the movie features nice and clear dialogue. There isn't much in the low-end department except when Angel and Scamp have to run away from an oncoming train. Other than the rumbling of the train on the tracks and the echoing sound it makes as it passes overhead, the rest of the movie is pretty silent when it comes to sub-woofer involvement. Rear channels showcase some ambient sound like people chatting at the Independence Day celebration, dogs barking in the distance, and excitement of the Darling household as half a dozen dogs scamper this way and that.
- Audio Commentary — Director Darrell Rooney is joined by animation director Steve Trenbirth and co-director Jeannine Roussel.
- From Tramp to Scamp (SD, 17 min.) — This is a making of featurette of the movie. How it began, and it's evolution from storyboards to the final cut.
- Puppy Trivia Track (HD) — This is an annoying pop-up trivia track where boxes of trivia will appear during the movie obscuring about a fourth of the screen. They aren't even transparent, so they end up covering up crucial faces, objects, and scenes. Not to mention all the information they provide is ridiculous at best.
- Sing-Along Songs (HD, 14 min.) — A brief look at the music in the movie.
- Bonus Shorts (HD, 23 min.) — Well, here's the best part of the entire release. These three Pluto shorts are much better and much more entertaining than anything in the movie. The shorts are, "Pluto Junior," "Bone Trouble" and "Pluto's Kid Brother."
'Scamp's Adventure' is one of those Disney sequels that is best left forgotten. A sequel that shouldn't have been made in the first place. It's only real effect is that it undermines the greatness of the original film and replaces its timeless romance with fluffy kiddie stuff. The audio and video are nice; that shouldn't be enough to cause a purchase though. If you're really wanting to know what this one is like rent it, nothing further.
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