'Siamese Cat Song' Not in New Lady and the Tramp — and It's 'an Improvement,' Says Justin Theroux
The 2019 version of Lady and the Tramp is on Disney+, which launched on Tuesday
The new movie does not include “The Siamese Cat Song,” which is sung by a pair of Siamese cats in the 1955 animated version. The sequence, with a tune originally recorded by Peggy Lee, has become controversial for offensive stereotypes in its lyrics and its depiction of the Asian felines.
“This movie obviously did a big re-work on that, and I think it’s an improvement,” star Justin Theroux said of the removed song, in an interview with Yahoo!. “These are movies that are meant to be watched and enjoyed, and it’s nice to see them updated in several ways.”
“That’s the benefit of them being looked at again with a modern lens,” his Lady and the Tramp costar Tessa Thompson added.
The 2019 version of Lady and the Tramp launched on Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+, on Tuesday.
Besides updating its remakes to remove now-controversial scenes, the service is reportedly also adding disclaimers to many of its older properties.
The descriptions of movies like Dumbo, Jungle Book and the 1955 Lady and the Tramp include a line that reads: “This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.”
Voiced by Thompson (Lady) and Theroux (Tramp), the dogs in the 2019 live-action Lady and the Tramp are actual rescue dogs. Tramp is played by a 2-year-old terrier mix from Arizona named Monte, who was later adopted by one of the Hollywood animal trainers who scouted him. Meanwhile, Lady is portrayed in the remake by a talented Cocker Spaniel named Rose.
“Once we started turning our attention to casting the main dogs, in that same breath we said, ‘We need to rescue as many of these dogs as we can.’” Brigham Taylor, the movie’s producer told PEOPLE in August. “Tramp certainly had to be a rescue.”
The film also features the voices of Janelle Monáe as Peg and Sam Elliott as Trusty — and also stars Kiersey Clemons, Thomas Mann and Yvette Nicole Brown. Monáe even used her famous singing chops to re-record Peg’s original song, “He’s a Tramp,” for the new movie, as well as recorded two new songs.
Lady and the Tramp is available to stream now on Disney+.