14 Doggone Adorable Secrets about Disney's Lady and the Tramp

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The sweetest tale of puppy love you ever did hear was inspired by a real-life Springer Spaniel named Lady Nell the Second. 

The year was 1937 and Walt Disney and his team at Walt Disney Productions were off to work on their first feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Character designer and story artist Joe Grant, meanwhile, was adjusting to his new role as dad, discovering along the way that his purebred pup was actually a pretty solid nanny to his non-furry child. 

Inspired, the New York City native has said, “Ideas began to flow in form of drawings and story situations. One drawing in particular was especially poignant and I showed it to Walt. He gave us a big ‘OK’ to develop Lady’s story into a feature, with the addition of Tramp to give the story a touch of romance.”

Well, hot dog!

Except when Walt saw the draft—involving a visiting grandmother and her troublesome cats that attempt to frame Lady for, among other things, eating the pet canary—he wasn’t convinced it was the cat’s meow. 


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