Now that we’ve seen what Disney can do to make lifelike CG animals in the live-action adaptations of their animated films, the studio is taking a rather unconventional step to making their formerly hand-drawn animated animal characters look alive. They will be using real lives ones.
There has been confirmation that director Charlie Bean (The LEGO Ninjago Movie) will be using real, live dogs for the live-action reimagining of Lady and the Tramp. More on the report below.
Thomas Mann, who has a role in the film, spoke exclusively to Collider about the upcoming project, which is set to appear on Disney+, the studio’s new streaming site set to launch in 2019. During the interview, Mann, who will be playing Jim Dear, spoke about his character and how they will be using actual live dogs in the film:
“I really think it’s an enhanced version of the world that you saw before. Obviously, the human characters are a little more flushed out. They’re not these passing faces that you barely get a glimpse of. You get to know them a little bit better. And also, there are real dogs. Who doesn’t want to see two real dogs kiss over a plate of spaghetti? That is the main draw for me. You get the charisma of real dogs in there.”
Now it’s not clear if these dogs will be partially replaced or if animators will help make their mouths move in post-production. Then there is the possibility of that not happening at all and we just hear the dogs communicate amongst themselves like in Homeward Bound. But at least we know that these dogs will be real.
But if you do not believe that they will use live dogs, well, then here’s Mann talking about how there were actual dogs on set. And it looked like he and the rest of the cast had plenty of fun:
“The dogs were there. We shot with the dogs, every day. They were on set and they weren’t even trained. They found these dogs and started training them about three months before. They just wanted to find the perfect dogs. The main dog’s name was Rose, who played Lady. It was crazy because they didn’t know they were working, so they would run off in the middle of a take, and then come back over. You have to be extra patient because you have to be good every time for when they are good once. It was a lot of fun. It was so cute, every day, to just have a bunch of dogs to play with. It made the job a lot less stressful.”
It’s nice to see that Disney is taking it back a bit and using real live animals to tell the story rather than having CG animals. Not that it is bad. Certainly it works for films like Jungle Book and the upcoming The Lion King. Even Pete’s Dragon, Maleficent, and Beauty and the Beast to a certain extent. Those films used CG animation to bring a tangibility to creatures and animals. At least it gives the actors something to work with rather than just a stuffed toy.
Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux provide the voices for Lady and Mutt, respectively, while Ashley Jensen, Benedict Wong, Sam Elliott, and Janelle Monáe will voice other dogs. Kiersey Clemons, Thomas Mann, Yvette Nicole Brown, Adrian Martinez, and Arturo Castro will play the humans.
No word yet on when Lady and the Tramp will be available to be streamed, but you can expect to see it exclusively on Disney+, which launches in 2019.