The Fox and the Hound

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The Fox and the Hound
Directed by Ted Berman
Richard Rich
Art Stevens
Produced by Ron Miller
Wolfgang Reitherman
Art Stevens
Screenplay by Ted Berman
Larry Clemmons
Story by Larry Clemmons
Ted Berman
David Michener
Peter Young
Burny Mattinson
Steve Hulett
Earl Kress
Vance Gerry
Starring Mickey Rooney
Kurt Russell
Pearl Bailey
Sandy Duncan
Pat Buttram
Jack Albertson
Jeanette Nolan
Dick Bakalyan
Paul Winchell
Music by Richard Johnson
Richard Rich
Jim Stafford
Jeffrey Patch (Songs)
Buddy Baker
Editing by James Koford
James Melton
Studio Walt Disney Productions
Distributed by Buena Vista Distribution
Release date(s) July 10, 1981 (1981-07-10)
Running time 83 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12 million[1]
Money made $63,456,988[2]

The Fox and the Hound is a 1981 American animated movie produced by Walt Disney Productions, first released to movie theaters in the United States on July 10, 1981. The 24th movie in the Walt Disney Animated Classics, the movie is about two unlikely friends, a red fox and a hound dog, who have trouble preserving their friendship because of their emerging instincts.

In the movie, the two main characters, Tod and Copper, become such good friends and play together. However, as they grow up, they become enemies because real hounds hunt foxes for food.

Copper's owner, Amos Slade, wants to kill Tod and will do anything to get him. He even has his other dog Chief to help him. As Tod and Copper get older they start to become more of enemies. They face problems with this friendship and Copper even turns on his best friend when Chief, the older dog and guardian of Copper, is nearly killed on a train, and Copper thinks it was Tod.

The story was loosely based on Daniel P Mannix's 1967 book with the same name. The book had a more realistic story, it dealt with the quest of a hunter and his dog Copper to shoot Tod after he killed the hunter's new dog Chief. The novel was mainly about Tod's life in the woods. While he was raised by humans he was not childhood friends with Copper and none of the animals spoke. The story was changed to make it more suitable for a family movie; instead of a story about the life and death of a fox, it became a parable about how society determines our roles despite our better impulses.[3]

The Fox and the Hound was the last movie which was worked on with animation legends like Frank Thomas, and Oillie Johnston, two members of Walt Disney's original "nine old men" who also worked on this movie, with it being the last movie for both, as well as the first movie for future Disney leaders like Tim Burton (The Nightmare Before Christmas), Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille), and Glen Keane, who animated the bear in this movie, and later worked on other animated movies like The Little Mermaid (1989) and Beauty and the Beast (1991), in which he designed the beast. It was also the final Disney movie to have all the credits in the title sequence instead of having end credits and have the words, "The End. A Walt Disney Production" at the end of the movie, the last Disney animated movie to use the Buena Vista logo, and the last Disney movie in which Don Bluth was involved in its production.

The movie stars the voices of Kurt Russell, Mickey Rooney, Pearl Bailey, Pat Buttram, Sandy Duncan, Richard Bakalyan, Paul Winchell, Jack Albertson, Jeanette Nolan, John Fiedler, John McIntire, Keith Mitchell, and Corey Feldman. A direct-to-video midquel, The Fox and the Hound 2, was released on DVD on December 12, 2006.

The story[change | edit source]

The movie begins when a baby fox is orphaned after his mother is killed by hunters. An owl named Big Mama and her two bird friends, a sparrow named Dinky and a woodpecker named Boomer, arrange for him to be adopted by a widow named Widow Tweed. She names him Tod, since he reminds her of a toddler.

Meanwhile, Tweed's neighbor, a hunter named Amos Slade, brings home a young hound puppy named Copper and introduces him to his hunting dog Chief. Tod and Copper become playmates, and promise to remain "friends forever".

Amos Slade gets angry at Copper for running off to play, and puts a leash on him. While playing with Copper at his home, Tod awakens Chief. Slade and Chief chase him until they are stopped by Tweed.

After an argument, Slade says that he wants to kill Tod and he will do anything to get him. When hunting season comes he takes the dogs and goes on a hunting trip. Meanwhile, Big Mama tells Tod that his friendship with Copper cannot continue, because they are natural enemies, but Tod does not want to believe her.

Months pass, and Tod and Copper are now adults. On the night when Copper returns, Tod comes and asks if they are still friends. Copper says that "those days are over" and "I'm a hunting dog now."

Copper warns Tod that Chief will wake up but Tod says that Chief does not worry him. Chief wakes up anyway and alerts Amos Slade. They chase Tod and Copper finds him. Copper lets Tod go and leads Chief and Slade to go a different way then to Tod, and Tod tries to escape on a railroad track. But Chief finds him and chases Tod, and when a moving train suddenly comes fast, Tod is able to duck under the vehicle, and when the train sails right over Tod, Chief is now struck and wounded when being knocked off the bridge. Copper and Slade blame Tod for Chief's accident and they swear that they will get them if it is the last thing they do.

Tweed knows that Tod is no longer safe with her and leaves him in a game preserve. Big Mama introduces him to a lady fox named Vixey, where things seem perfect, but Amos and Copper trespass into the preserve and hunt the two foxes. But while Slade and Copper are trying to find Tod and Vixey, they accidentally cause an attack from a bear. Slade trips and gets caught in one of his own traps. He drops his gun out of his reach, and Copper tries to fight the bear, but is soon overwhelmed. Against his better judgement, Tod quickly intervenes to save his friend, and he continues to battle the much larger bear and ends up luring him on to an old fallen trunk of a log, which breaks and sends the two both plummeting down the reserve's waterfall.

The bear is killed, and Tod survives, but he is wounded and nearly dead. As Copper approaches Tod as he lies in the lake below, Slade appears and is ready to fire at Tod, but Copper puts his body in front of Tod, and refuses to move away. Slade finally lowers his gun and leaves with Copper, but not before the two former rivals share one last smile before parting. At home, Tweed nurses Slade back to health while the dogs rest. Copper, before resting, smiles as he remembers the day when he became friends with Tod. On a hill Vixey joins Tod as he looks down on the homes of Copper and Tweed.

Cast[change | edit source]

  • Mickey Rooney as Adult Tod
  • Kurt Russell as Adult Copper
  • Pearl Bailey as Big Mama
  • Jack Albertson as Amos Slade
  • Sandy Duncan as Vixey
  • Jeanette Nolan as Widow Tweed
  • Pat Buttram as Chief
  • John McIntire as The Badger
  • John Fiedler as The Porcupine
  • Richard Bakalyan as Dinky
  • Paul Winchell as Boomer
  • Keith Coogan as Young Tod
  • Corey Feldman as Young Copper

Release[change | edit source]

The Fox and the Hound was first released to theaters on July 10, 1981. It was re-released to theaters on March 25, 1988. Its first home video release, on VHS format, came on March 4, 1994 as the last video of the "Walt Disney Classics" collection (it was not included in the "Masterpiece Collection"). On May 2, 2000, it was released to Region 1 DVD for the first time under the "Walt Disney Gold Classic Collection". A 25th anniversary special edition DVD, featuring a remastered version of the movie and a disc of extras, was released on October 10, 2006.

Midquel[change | edit source]

A direct-to-video midquel, The Fox and the Hound 2, was released on December 12, 2006. The movie takes place during Tod and Copper's childhood, in which Copper is tempted to join a band of singing stray dogs, before the second half of this movie.

Soundtrack listing[change | edit source]

  • "Best of Friends" Music by Richard Johnston, Lyrics by Stan Fidel, Performed by Pearl Bailey
  • "Lack of Education" Music and Lyrics by Jim Stafford, Performed by Pearl Bailey
  • "A Huntin' Man" Music and Lyrics by Jim Stafford, Performed by Jack Albertson
  • "Goodbye May Seem Forever" Music by Richard Rich, Lyrics by Jeffrey Patch, Performed by Jeanette Nolan
  • "Appreciate the Lady" Music and Lyrics by Jim Stafford, Performed by Pearl Bailey

Supervising animators[change | edit source]

References[change | edit source]

Other websites[change | edit source]