We live in a time where the Walt Disney Company is taking their animated classics and turning them into live-action remakes for a different generation. One of those is Lady and the Tramp, a remake that will only be available on the company’s new streaming service Disney+, which is due out in November. Now, it has been revealed that one of the songs in the animated film is going to be redone due to it being racist and offensive.
Entertainment Weekly is reporting that “The Siamese Cat Song” is going to be redone for this new live-action remake due to it depicting the Asian community in offensive ways. Polygon actually calls the song “racist,” and reveals that it will be replaced by an entirely new song performed by Janelle Monae.
Monae is going to cover another song called “He’s a Tramp,” which was also performed by Peggy Lee in the animated classic. Monae, like Lee, will also voice the dog named Peg in Lady and the Tramp.
While some new songs and changes are expected in the remake of the film coming to Disney+, the song developed for Si and Am is going to be entirely new. It is said that Monae’s artist collective Wondaland is going to be “reinventing” the song for the Siamese cats in an effort to take out the offensive nature of the original.
— Variety (@Variety) May 7, 2019
Lady and the Tramp was originally released in 1955, when the world was a much different place in a truly different time. Some things from the past simply aren’t as accepted in today’s culture and therefore, remakes of movies end up undergoing some changes to make them more politically correct for today’s audiences.
The lyrics of “The Siamese Cat Song” aren’t the biggest problems that people have with the song. It is more about how the song was presented with its music and the way the cats were drawn in the animated film.
The music to the song made use of rhythmic drums and a gong, which are very well known in Asian culture. A lot of people have also had problems with the way the cats were drawn, in which it is believed that Asian stereotypes were used to properly present Si and Am on film.
Lady and the Tramp‘s remake won’t be the first time that Disney has abandoned problematic issues from the past. The live-action version of Dumbo released in March completely eliminated Jim Crow, which was a character that many saw as racist and offensive. Now, Disney+ is going to have a movie in which “The Siamese Cat Song” will take on a whole new feel and look for today’s audiences.