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. It was 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 of the same name, which 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 Mickey Rooney, Kurt Russell, 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.

Story[change | change source]

When the mother fox is killed by a hunter, owl Big Mama, and her two bird friends, sparrow Dinky and woodpecker Boomer, arrange for him to be adopted by a widow named Widow Tweed, who names the male baby fox Tod, after reminding her about a toddler. Meanwhile, Tweed's neighbor and hunter, Amos Slade brings home a young hound puppy named Copper and introduces him to his hunting dog Chief. Tod and Copper become playmates, and promises to remain "friends forever". Upset at Copper for running off, Slade puts a leash on him. While playing with Copper at his home, Tod awakens Chief who chases him with Slade, but they are stopped by Tweed. After an argument, Slade tells Tweed that he will hunt and kill Tod after months later. That autumn, Slade takes the dogs and goes on a hunting trip. Big Mama tells Tod that he and Copper will become natural enemies after growing up, but Tod refuses to believe.

Months later after their coming-of age and on the night when Copper returns, Tod visits and asks him if they are still friends. However, Copper refuses and replies that he is a hunting dog. As Chief and Amos Slade wake up, they chase Tod, before Copper lets Tod go and leads Chief and Slade to therailroad track, where a moving train hits Chief, who falls into the river unconscious and his leg is severely wounded, and Tod evades the train under the rails. Copper and Slade angrily blame Tod for the accident and vow vengeance.

Tweed sends and leaves Tod in a game preserve, where Big Mama introduces him to a lady fox named Vixey, and the foxes are in love. Later, Slade and Copper trespass into the preserve, where they chase the foxes all the way up to the waterfall, where they are ambushed by a bear, just as Slade feared. Tod rushes and saves the injured Copper, by leading the bear into the bridge of the wooden trunk, which after the bear breaks it and the bear falls down into the waterfall to its death. When the injured Tod survives on the bank of a waterfall-created lake, Copper saves him and prevents Slade from attempting to shoot Tod. Slade lowers his gun and leaves with Copper, who smiles at Tod, before parting. At home while Tweed nurses Slade back to health, Copper happily remembers his past that he befriended Tod, before resting. On a hill, Tod and Vixey watches far away from Slade and Tweed.

Cast[change | change 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 | change source]

The movie was released in theaters on July 10, 1981 and 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 | change 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 | change 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 | change source]

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]