Janelle Monáe will use her voice in two ways for the live-action reboot of Disney’s 1955 animated film Lady and the Tramp.
The path-clearing artist has been cast to play Peg, the sassy pound dog from the animated picture. She also has been task to compose two original songs along with revamping “The Siamese Cat Song,” which has been scrutinized in recent years for its insensitive depiction of Asian culture.
Originally performed by Peggy Lee in 1955 for the two Siamese cats, Si and Am, the offensive version featured the lyrics, “We are Siamese if you please / We are Siamese if you don’t please / Now we lookin’ over our new domicile / If we like we stay for maybe quite a while.”
Monáe and her Wondaland partners Nate “Rocket” Wonder and Roman GianArthur are in talks to recreating the recording that will not feature Siamese cats characters.
“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, said at the recent MUSEXPO Creative Summit in California.
Directed by Charlie Bean, the live-action remake will star Tessa Thompson as Lady and Justin Theroux as the voice of Tramp. The adaptation is set to debut Disney’s upcoming digital streaming service, Disney Plus, after its launch in mid-November.
In other news, Monáe is headed to the West Holts stage to play as a headliner at this year’s Glastonbury Festival.