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One of the remarkable things about making an animated sequel is that actors don’t age. It took Disney 46 years to make a sequel to its 1955 hit Lady and the Tramp, yet the events of this made-for-video sequel take place only six months later. Lady and Tramp are getting along fine with their human family, the Darlings, and they have four new puppies. The three girl puppies take after mom, the boy, Scamp, has a lot of dad in him. Scamp dreams of “being a real dog,” and that means living on the street as a member of the Junkyard Dogs. Despite his dad’s warnings, Scamp (voiced by Scott Wolf) runs off and goes through the trials of a mutt, including run-ins with Junkyard leader Buster (Chazz Palminteri); the dog catcher (Don Knotts); and a fellow stray, Angel (Alyssa Milano). The formula here is the same as other Disney direct-to-video sequels The Lion King and The Little Mermaid, and the justification to return to a classic movie is flimsy at best. To its credit, Disney has made a quality effort in the animation department, adapting sets and characters from the original with great success. But the story is never engaging, the songs are forgettable, and the impact unsustainable (and at 62 minutes, quite trite). Nevertheless, a Disney kid should dig Scamp’s rough-and-tumble adventures and the cute tale of puppy love (Scamp and Angel even revisit the Italian diner). The purist: beware. –Doug Thomas
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