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Lady and the Tramp’s most iconic scene almost didn’t happen.

Walt Disney, the story goes, was not convinced the scene where the movie’s main characters share a plate of spaghetti and meatballs would work. He wanted the dogs to have human emotions, but he didn’t believe a plate of spaghetti was the way to go, says Willie Ito, who worked on the film.

“[Directing animator] Frank Thomas wanted to prove the scene would work,” Ito says, “so without even the benefit of a layout, he took it on his own to animate that scene and show it to Walt. Walt said, ‘Wow, it does work!’ And so it ended up in the picture.”

And the rest, as they say, is history.

The story is among the fond memories of Ito, who was hired in 1954 to work on Disney’s 15th animated feature film.

One of the largest collections of original Lady and the Tramp artwork ever offered is a highlight of Heritage’s June animation art auction. Included are one-of-a-kind production cels, concept art, hand-drawn storyboards, animation drawings and hand-painted production backgrounds.

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