Disney will revamp the racist 'We Are Siamese' song in 'Lady and the Tramp' remake

Si and Am from Lady and the Tramp (Credit: Disney)
Si and Am from Lady and the Tramp (Credit: Disney)

Like a few things in the Disney canon, the famous ‘We Are Siamese’ song from Lady and the Tramp really hasn’t aged very well.

Originally written and performed by the legendary Peggy Lee in the 1955 animation, the song, as well as the nature of the scheming, duplicitous characters on screen, has been long been criticised as an unpleasant example of post-war stereotyping of Asian cultures.

Read more: Disney accused of trying to edit out racially dubious past

As such, in the new version of the movie, it will be ‘reinvented’, with the characters not even being siamese cats, insiders have told Variety.

Grammy-winning artist Janelle Monae and her Wondaland collective will be on duty for the movie’s songs and soundtrack, it’s been confirmed.

Janelle Monae (Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
Janelle Monae (Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

“We’re dealing with Wondaland, her team of incredibly creative writers and producers that she works with. So our director has engaged with her in terms of what the storytelling [of] the song needs to be,” Kaylin Frank, a vice president in Creative Music and Soundtracks at Disney, told the industry paper.

The new ‘live-action’ movie is led by Thor: Ragnarok star Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux as the upper crust spaniel and her mutt-ish companion.

Meanwhile, the move by Disney follows a number of other changes to its back catalogue to reflect modern attitudes.

Read more: New Lion King isn’t an identical remake says Seth Rogen

The 1946 movie Song of the South, long criticised as racist, will not be streamable on the new Disney+ platform when it launches in November, it was confirmed last month.

Equally, the doo-wop singing crows from Dumbo, a call-back to the racist Jim Crow segregation laws, will also be cut.

However, the Mouse House has received some heavy flack for the decision, with some movie fans accusing it of trying to whitewash its racially dubious past.

The new Lady and the Tramp, with voice performances from Sam Elliott, Ashley Jensen, Benedict Wong and Janelle Monae, as Peg, a Pekingese, will be exclsuively released on Disney+.

It launches on November 12.