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Gamer Tuesday

February 14, 2012

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights Lady and the Tramp Week: Finding Lady and the Tramp in Kingdom Hearts

Oh this is the night, it's a beautiful night, and we call it bella notte...

Disney's Lady and the Tramp is, simply put, a wonderful film. It lacks the heartrending drama of Beauty and the Beast and the hopeful ideals of The Little Mermaid, sure, but it is a lush and beautifully told romantic comedic, the type that used to be so common in the early days of film. Not only that, it has forever established itself as a landmark film in all of cinema with just one scene: the Bella Notte scene.

There is a very good chance that even if you have never fully seen the movie, you know what I am talking about. The Bella Notte scene (or the spaghetti kiss scene as some have called it) has Lady and the Tramp enjoying a simple but enchanting Italian dinner, all accompanied by Tony's musical proclamation of their night being a magical one.

Let me elaborate on the scene for those not familiar with it...

After experiencing a terrible day courtesy of Aunt Sarah and the Siamese cats, Lady is rescued by Tramp from a dangerous stray dog attack. At the very end of the day, Tramp takes Lady to Tony's Restaurant. The owners are very happy to see them. So much so that rather than just giving them plain 'ol bones, they cook up an elaborate candle lit spaghetti dinner. To further enhance the romantic atmosphere, Tony picks up his accordion and begins to sing an Italian song, Bella Notte (meaning beautiful night). As Tony keeps singing, Lady and Tramp pick up one strand of spaghetti. They keep eating it until their mouths meet, making it their first kiss ever. Lady turns her head and blushes at the situation, prompting Tramp to give her the last meatball. When the song is ending, the camera zooms in on Lady, and on her face is a clear look of romance, with her eyes literally sparkling with love.

It's a scene with dogs eating dinner like humans, but the wonderful idea of the plausible impossible (as penned by Walt Disney himself) makes us forget about how silly the scene actually is and let's us indulge in our greatest romantic fantasies. THAT'S how effective the scene is.

Right now, you might be wondering 'Pap... since when did Gamer Tuesday become Saturday Matinee?' I know, I have been talking about the movie more than the video game. The truth is that there are no video games based on Lady and the Tramp. The simplistic and romantic appeal of the film just doesn't lend itself towards a loyal video game adaptation. That's not to say that Disney has completely ignored its legacy in video games, though.

The reason I elaborated on the importance of the spaghetti scene is because it has become an iconic image of the movie, and if you were to reference it in any way, shape or form, this is the scene to present. And in what game did the image make an appearance in? None other than Kingdom Hearts for the PlayStation 2.

Now, I plan on elaborating on everything Kingdom Hearts during my on-going retrospective, but to put everything into perspective, Kingdom Hearts set out to pay tribute to nearly every aspect of Disney history, from film to theme parks. Lady and the Tramp, being one of the most popular films in the animated Disney film canon, had to make an appearance somehow. Square Enix eventually put it in the game, but not as a game world. Heck you can't even physically meet with Lady and Tramp as you go around saving the world!

Where are they, exactly? In the game there is a world named Traverse Town. This world serves as a hub world for Sora, Donald, and Goofy to unwind after a long series of battles, as well as elaborate a little more on the expansive story. Players are expected to make several visits as they encounter new threats as well as catch up on old friends like Pinocchio and Winnie the Pooh. Traverse Town is divided into several sectors. On the very last one there is a fountain. In the wall is a gold statue of two very familiar Disney characters: Lady and the Tramp eating spaghetti.

It's unfortunate that we didn't get to see a full appearance of the characters in the game, likely because their film of origin's calm and relaxed nature doesn't allow for a world to be made on an action based game. But it definitely shows that Square Enix cares for the legacy of the film, and gave it a proper tribute for everyone to see. It also further strengthens the presence the spaghetti scene has in people. Even if Lady and the Tramp isn't one of your favorite Disney movies, there is a good chance you enjoy the scene, and its appearance in Kingdom Hearts is a testament of how one simple Italian dinner can be one of the most spectacular scenes ever put on film.


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