Have you ever watched Lady and the Tramp? You probably already have at some point. It is, after all, one of the most popular animated films made by Disney. In the movies, there are two Siamese cats who are up to no good and create problems for the main characters. Want to know more about Siamese Cat Lady and the Tramp? Just read on.
The draft of Si and Am was created in 1943 during World War II. The characters were created to suggest the yellow peril. Originally, the cats were named Nip and Tuck but changed to Si and Am later on. The novel and film depictions of the character differ slightly. In the novel version, the cat duo expresses remorse due to causing Tramp’s execution. This depiction, however, doesn’t appear in the film.
In the Siamese Cat Lady and the Tramp films, the two are a pair of cats owned by Aunt Sarah. The cats are sinister and naughty as they love to create troubles for others, including Lady. They like to make messes then put blame on others. One example is when they make a mess in the house and get Lady blamed for it.
The cats’ love for trouble doesn’t stop at making a mess in the house. In the novel, they hide a rat body as a joke, which gets Tramp into a huge problem. They do try to make amend for this, but this scene is not included in the film. The cats care for nothing other than each other. They see Aunt Sarah as their protector, instead of a beloved owner.
The Siamese Cat Lady and the Tramp’s first appearance are in the first film, the 1995 Lady and the Tramp. In this film, the two cats are often seen inside a picnic basket carried by their owner, Aunt Sarah. They emerge from the basket once Aunt Sarah is gone briefly. While Aunt Sarah went upstairs, the cat duo sings their trademark song titled “The Siamese Cat Song” as they make a mess in the house.
Si and Am also appear in the Lady and the Tramp sequel. Their first appearance is in the opening of the film, while Darling and Jim Dear are strolling in town. Their next appearance is in Scamp’s fantasy as the dog wishes to be brave enough to take on threats, among them being Si and Am.
The Siamese Cat Lady and the Tramp appear numerous times in the animated series House of Mouse. One of them is in an episode titled “Rent Day”, where the two emerged from their picnic basket and cheer for the Alley Cats and O’Malley. They also appear in Mickey’s House of Villains, along with other Disney villains. They run away with other villains after Jafar is defeated.
Siamese Cat Lady and the Tramp Song: A Problematic Song?
The cats’ trademark song, “The Siamese Cat Song”, is not problematic, at least for the most part. What makes it problematic is how Siamese Cat Lady and the Tramp appearances and how they talk. They look like a racist caricature of Asian people with their slanted eyes and buck teeth. The cat duo also talks in a stereotypical accent with broken English.
Such depictions are, of course, something unacceptable. But back in the day, that was not a problem. Fortunately, Disney acknowledged how problematic the 1955 film was. The company then removed the racist depiction, changing them from Siamese cats to a pair of cats with thin gray fur and dark stripes. In the 2019 film, Si and Am are just characters, not racist caricatures like they used to be.
Back to the song, the Siamese Cat Song is not problematic, although there is a gong sound in the song which surely add the racist caricature of the characters. In the 2019 film, the song that the cats are singing is changed. This time around, the cat duo sings a song titled “What a Shame”.
That’s about it. What do you think of Siamese Cat Lady and the Tramp now? Aren’t they fascinating characters? They used to depict the racist stereotypes of Asian people back in the original film. Fortunately, in the live-action remake, Disney has corrected this mistake. Now they are nothing more than two cats who like to do naughty things. Yes, not unlike real cats would do.