Disney / The Fox and the Hound

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♪ You're not even aware, you're such a funny pair...♪

Tod: Copper, you're my very best friend.
Copper: And you're mine too, Tod.
Tod: And we'll always be friends forever, won't we?
Copper: Yeah, forever!

Released in 1981, The Fox and the Hound is the 24th movie in the Disney Animated Canon, very, very, very loosely based on a book of the same name.

The plot features an old woman finding an infant orphaned fox whom she adopts and names Tod. Meanwhile, her neighbor, a hunter, brings home a hound puppy named Copper intent on raising him to be a hunting dog. Tod and Copper soon meet and quickly become best friends, which raises conflict between their respective owners, but the two promise to remain friends forever. Later, once the two are grown up, Copper is actively participating in his master's hunts, and the friendship between the two is put into jeopardy.

A Direct-to-DVD midquel, The Fox and the Hound 2, was released in 2006.

Compare Arashi no Yoru ni (which has been interpreted as The Fox and the Hound with sexual tension).

This film provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: The original book ends with a full blown Downer Ending where Tod, both of his mates and his kits all die, and Copper gets shot in the head by Amos so he doesn't have to abandon him when he's taken to a nursing home. The Disney adaptation alters it into a Bittersweet Ending where Tod, his mate Vixey, and Copper survive, but Tod and Copper are forced to go their separate ways.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • In the novel, Tod intentionally lured Chief to the tracks to be killed. In this adaptation, it was a genuine accident on his part.
    • Similarly, while Copper snaps at Tod at this point in the film, it was out of genuine guilt and concern for Chief, while in the book, Copper was jealous of Chief and was actually happy that Chief died.
  • Adapted Out: In the novel, Tod had two different mates over a period of time and had kits with them. Only one of them (Vixie) appears in the film, and the film closes before Tod and Vixie have time to have any kits.
  • Advertised Extra: Most covers for the film, including the one featured on this site (which is from the first home video release from 1994), feature the bear, even though it only shows up for a few minutes towards the end of the film.
  • Age Lift: Chief was younger than Copper in the novel. It's the other way around here.
  • Animal Nemesis: Tod becomes this to Slade.
  • Anti-Villain: Amos Slade is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold but not a bad guy, and he doesn't see his career of hunting as a bad thing. The only time he actually does anything illegal is out of anger when Chief almost dies thanks to Tod and he's determined to get Tod's pelt even though hunting isn't allowed in that area, but backs off when Copper shows Amos that Tod is his friend.
    • Chief also counts, as the viewer is supposed to care about him even though he is antagonistic towards Tod. It helps that he does have some sort of genuine affection for Copper, even after it turns to jealousy when Copper grows older.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: Foxes learn to hunt and survive on their own from their parents. Widow Tweed leaves Tod, a bottle raised fox who's never learned how to do anything save nap in a bed in front of the fire, in the forest alone minutes before a rain storm. Indeed, his lack of survival skills and brushing off of Vixey's is what nearly gets them caught in Slade's gauntlet of leg hold traps.
  • Apron Matron: Widow Tweed is kind and caring towards her animals, especially Tod, but if you mess with any of them, you will face the consequences.
  • A-Team Firing: It gets a bit narmy after a while when Amos can't get a single hit towards Tod despite all the clear shots he has. Makes you wonder how he became such a good hunter in the first place (if his winter hunt results are anything to go by).
  • Bad Ol' Badger: Mr. Digger has a very cantankerous personality and isn't willing to make friends with everyone else.
  • Bears Are Bad News: The climax of the film says it all.
  • Bear Trap: Amos employs some of these in his hunts. This has some unforeseen consequences later on...
  • Big Bad: Amos Slade, anti-villainy or not.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Tod manages to save Copper in time from the bear near the end of the movie. It's because of this that Copper has a Heel Realization.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Tod and Copper go their separate ways, but they remember what good friends they used to be. And Tod lives happily with his mate Vixey.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Double subverted twice in the bear fight. Amos manages to shoot the bear with visible blood, and Copper bites its muzzle with more visible blood, but afterwards neither of the wounds are visible. Maybe they didn't want to push their luck?
    • Amos should have some blood on his hands from struggling to get the bear trap off his foot, but he doesn't.
  • Butt-Monkey: Dinky and Boomer.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Mostly handled realistically, with one major exception - foxes, especially young kits, are fair game to large owls, yet Tod and Big Mama get along fine. Strictly speaking she might also go after Dinky and Boomer, but owls aren't especially prone to hunting other birds - and in real life, they'd be awake at different times anyway.
  • Cerebus Retcon: When Tod and Copper meet, they bond by playing hide and seek, with Tod hiding and Copper tracking. This takes a dark turn later in the movie when Tod (with his mate) has to escape and hide from Copper who is persistently tracking him down with the intent to kill him.
    • Tod and Copper as pups saying they're going to be best friends forever. For maximum Gut Punch, it's played as a voiceover at the end when we see Tod looking at Copper from afar, knowing that they have to go their separate ways.
  • Chekhov's Skill: While playing hide and seek with Copper, Tod jumps between different objects to scatter his scent and confuse Copper. He does this again as an adult with Vixey to make Copper lose track of them by a waterfall.
  • Children Are Innocent: Tod and Copper as kids, and in the midquel.
  • Convenient Cranny: Employed and failed three times.
    • Tod and his new mate dive into a burrow to avoid the snapping jaws of Copper. However, this cranny proves useless when the hunter finds a way to drive them out.
    • Halfway through the film, Tod hides under a woodpile while being chased by Amos Slade and the hounds. Chief runs right past him, but Copper's keen nose leads him right to his former friend's hiding spot and an act of kindness on Copper's part is the only reason Tod even survives past this point.
    • On his first night in the preserve, Tod crawls into a burrow to get out of a thunderstorm. Said burrow turns out to the home of a very cranky old badger who promptly forces Tod back out into the rain.
  • Cool Old Lady: Widow Tweed, who isn't afraid to grab Slade's gun and blow a hole in his car engine.
  • Corrupt Hick: Copper's owner is willing to hunt foxes in a nature preserve. To be fair, he's only hunting this one fox and for personal reasons.
  • Darker and Edgier: Not so much compared to the original novel by Daniel P. Mannix or to Disney's next animated film, The Black Cauldron, but this film, along with the previous Disney installment, The Rescuers are more serious in comparison to some of Disney's animated movies from 1961 to 1977. The gloomier tone is established right at the start with a series of slow pans through a Bambi-esque forest with no title song, or even any other music for almost 2 minutes. When the music does finally start, it's an ominous underscore that slowly builds until we see Tod's mom for the first time.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Tod the tod.
  • David vs. Goliath: Tod, a fox, takes on a bear.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Amos (with Copper at his side) risks arrest, injury, and death to catch a fox that doesn't even live nearby anymore on the grounds that Chief got a little hurt chasing him.
  • Disney Death: Chief, though it initially appears certain he won't survive, after the train accidentally hits him. Tod counts as well, seeing as he he fell down a steep waterfall. (see below).
  • Disneyfication: The story the film is based on ends with both main characters among others dead.
  • Disney Villain Death: The bear, who falls off the log and down a steep waterfall. Curiously, Tod was also shown to fall and yet was clearly shown to survive. Truth in Television: The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
  • Distressed Dude: Amos and Copper after the bear shows up.
  • Double Take: The chicken looks over to her little chicks, for a second, who are curious about that furry red thing that has its paw reaching up to them, as if to...Cue the chicken freaking out and chasing Tod in the barn shed.
  • Downer Beginning/Dramatic Chase Opening: The film starts with Tod's mother running away from hounds, and ultimately getting shot. It isn't likely that Amos Slade shot her because at that time Chief was asleep and he had yet to come back from getting Copper.
  • Dub Name Change: In the Norwegian dub, nearly all the names apart from Tod and Copper were changed. Big Mama was named Mor Ugle, Amos Slade was named Ola Jeger, Vixey was named Mari, Widow Tweed was named Tante Hilde, and Chief was named King.
    • Todd is also spelled with two D's, and not just one, in this version. In fact, its title is Todd og Copper: To gode venner (Todd and Copper: Two Good Friends).
      • The Danish dub also changes these names, even going as far as to change Tod to Mikkel and Copper to Mads. Thus the movie is called Mads og Mikkel (Copper and Tod) in Danish.
      • In the German dub, the names of Tod and Copper are changed to Cap and Capper. Vixey is renamed to Trixie, most likely because her original name sounds similar to wichsen, a German word for masturbating. Additionally, Tod (pronounced "toad" in German) means death in German.
  • Evil Poacher: Aversion, as Slade only poaches once in the film, but that is out of revenge.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Copper pulls this off after Chief was nearly killed.
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: "Appreciate the Lady".
  • Forbidden Friendship / Interspecies Friendship: Between, well, a fox and a hound.
  • Friendship Song: "Best Of Friends" sung by Big Mama as she watches Tod and Copper play together.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The grizzly that appears in the climax.
  • Go Through Me: At the very end, when Copper positions himself against Tod to prevent Amos from shooting him.
  • Grand Finale: The film is this for the Walt Disney Classics video line, bookending it with Robin Hood. It's one of four video lines, the other three being the Walt Disney Platinum Editions, Walt Disney Diamond Editions, and Walt Disney Gold Classics Collection to have a Grand Finale video release.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Boomer goes full Wile E Coyote after pecking through the branch on which he was standing. The bear at the end of the film gets a similar treatment after slashing through the log on which it's standing, but it's not nearly as comedic.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Chief and Copper's roles are reversed from the original novel; here Chief is the aging hound and Copper the new favorite of whom he becomes jealous.
  • Grumpy Old Man: The badger's shown to be a cantankerous animal who doesn't want anyone entering his den.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It doesn't take much for the badger to get annoyed.
  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: The original story was an allegory for racism separating two friends. The film is sometimes interpreted as depicting an innocent summer romance between two boys torn asunder by divergent career paths and the folly of machismo. Sometimes it is seen as showing how men repress their feelings as they come of age, and lose touch with their innocence.
  • Heel Realization:
    • Amos has this when Copper prevents him from shooting Tod at the end.
    • Copper himself had one after the Black Bear battle.
  • Hero Antagonist:
    • Copper becomes this.
    • Chief may count as well.
  • Heroic Dog: While he serves an antagonistic role at the time, Copper still deserves major credit for trying to protect his master from a giant, ferocious bear. Just as he's about to be killed, it switches to Heroic Fox.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Amos gets caught in his own bear trap. He survives.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Averted with the kind and protective widow. Played straight with the hunters at the beginning and with Amos until the end.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Chief tries to milk his leg injury for sympathy, but later thinks Amos is making too big a deal out of his own leg pain when the Widow is dressing his wounds.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Amos, fortunately for Tod (and Vixey later on).
  • Informed Species: Copper and Chief are supposedly a Bloodhound and Irish Wolfhound, respectively. The two of them have obviously had their breed tweaked a little bit to look more cartoony and "handsome". Irish Wolfhounds are also the largest dog breed in the world, meaning Chief should have been much bigger.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Amos Slade bears more than a little resemblance to Jack Albertson.
  • In-Name-Only: How Walt Disney Studios managed to look at what reads like a fictionalized documentary about the life and times of a mongrel hunting dog and a human-reared wild fox who live through bear hunts, rabies epidemics, and the rise of suburbia among other things and thought it would make a wonderful talking animals cartoon about racism is a mystery for the ages.
  • Irony: Amos and Copper go hunting for Tod but end up running into a giant, pissed off bear. The hunters become the hunted and it's up to Tod to save them.
  • It's All My Fault: Copper blames himself for Chief's accident on the grounds that he let Tod go.
  • It's Quiet... Too Quiet: Vixey is afraid to enter a copse when she realizes it's too quiet, while Tod has no such qualms and narrowly avoids falling foul of Copper, Amos' shotgun and a shitload of bear traps.
    • Copper also falls into this when he is sniffing for Tod up the cliff and picks up a new scent...From a giant bear!.
  • Jerkass: The badger is a jerk to the porcupine and Tod.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Amos and Chief.
  • Karma Houdini: Amos Slade sparks off the end conflict by poaching on a petty vendetta, hunting on a game preserve, which nearly gets Tod, Copper, and himself killed. Yet everyone lives, and the only thing Slade gets out of it is an injured foot. Poaching can get you arrested, hunting license or not.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The huge, dark bear eventually appearing during Amos and Copper's chase.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the book, but for the most part, it avoids the overly child-friendly tone with which Disney films are often associated.
  • A Lizard Named "Liz": Vixey the vixen.
  • Mama Bear: Tweed when Slade tries to shoot Tod for thinking the fox was chasing his chickens.
  • The Matchmaker: Big Mama is this with Tod and Vixey.
  • Meaningful Background Event: As mentioned previously, most covers for the film feature the bear in the background.
  • Meaningful Name: Tod is an old English word for a fox. However, he is named this by Tweed because he's "such a little toddler". Vixey sounds very similar to "vixen" which is a female fox.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Played with - Chief is sort of a father/big brother figure to Copper and is nearly mortally wounded while chasing Tod.
  • Missing Mom: Tod's mom is shot during the opening credits. Who shot her is unknown (it is unlikely that Amos Slade shot her because at that time he is buying Copper and his original hunting dog Chief was asleep in his introduction).
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Copper has two of these:
    • Copper when he blames himself for letting Tod escape, thus inadvertently causing Chief to get hurt.
    • Tod saves Copper from the bear, and barely survives plummeting down a waterfall with it, leaving the fox, weak and exhausted, collapsing at the riverbank. Copper approaches, amazed that Tod—the very fox he tried to hunt—saved his life, despite everything that happened, and now feels genuinely remorseful for what he's done to him. He then steps in between Amos's gun and Tod, causing Amos to come to his senses and lower his gun.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: Played rather accurately in the cases where a character falls from a very high place. Both Chief and Tod survive their respective falls due to being lightweight and conveniently suspended over water. The larger, heavier bear at the climax of the film isn't so lucky and gets a Disney Villain Death.
  • Not What It Looks Like:
    • Much of Amos's vendetta with Tod is caused by the latter framing himself as antagonizing his property. At one point Amos spots him mid chase with Chief after a bunch of chickens have been let out of the coup and are outrunning Tod.
  • A more tragic case happens later on. While chasing Tod across a bridge, Chief ends up getting knocked off by a bridge. When Copper arrives on the scene, he sees Tod on the bridge and immediately believes that he knocked Chief off, thus leading him to declare revenge.
  • Oh, Crap!: Chief gets one before getting hit by the train. Copper gets one when he's sniffing around for Tod and smells a bear. Amos gets one in the same scene when he sees it.
  • Old Dog: Chief.
  • Pet the Dog: Literally. Amos Slade's family-like devotion to both his dogs serves to make him Not So Different from Widow Tweed and brings him closer to Anti-Villain territory.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Dinky and Boomer - and considering how incredibly sad this movie can be, their comic relief is very much needed.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Naturally. When standing up to Slade at the end, Copper gives a defiant but earnest use of this trope. Tod, the more idealistic of the two, gives many of these over the course of the film as well.
  • Raised by Humans: Tod is raised by an old widow woman after his real mother is killed by hunters.
  • Reality Ensues: Despite the obvious child-friendly changes from the original novel that inspired this film, at the end the most Tod and Copper can do is treasure the friendship that they once had, while they'll likely never be together again. It still remains one of the very few animated Disney movies to have a Bittersweet Ending.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Bear has a pair of frightening ones.
  • Revenge: Copper and Slade blame Tod for crippling Chief for a while and try to kill him for it.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Squeaks the caterpillar who becomes a butterfly at the end. Tod and Copper also count while they're little.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Vixey.
  • Show, Don't Tell: Tod and Copper's final interaction after the former saved the latter from the bear. No words are exchanged between them, Copper convinces Amos Slade to finally leave Tod alone, then Tod and Copper simply give each other a small smile to let each other know they're not enemies anymore.
  • Shipper on Deck: Big Mama, deliberately hooking Tod and Vixey up together.
  • ShooTheFox: The saddest scene in the entire film.
  • Sliding Scale of Adaptation Modification: The Disney film lands on the Type 1 (In-Name-Only) end of the scale. It has very little in common with the original novel that inspired it.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Tod, Copper, Chief, and Vixey.
  • Terrible Trio: Subverted with respect to Tod. Amos, Chief, and Copper technically make it up but Copper only actually starts hunting Tod with Amos Slade after Chief is put out of commission. Played straight during their winter hunting trip, though.
  • The End: This is the last Disney animated film to end with these two words, along with "A Walt Disney Production".
  • The Speechless: Squeaks the Caterpillar and the bear.
  • Those Two Guys: Dinky and Boomer. They are also kinda similar to Timon and Pumbaa from The Lion King, Rutt and Tuke from Brother Bear, and Tip and Dash from The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea.
  • Title Drop: After Tod and Copper meet and start to play hide and seek, Big Mama says "My, my! Look it that! A fox and a hound, playing together!"
  • Trailers Always Lie: OK, it's not really a lie, but in [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFwPyqQy9K0 the original theatrical trailer], the announcer says that this is Disney's twentieth fully animated motion picture, when in reality it is the twenty-FOURTH. The Aristocats was the 20th.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The original theatrical trailer spoils the entire outline of the plot, even going as far as to show key scenes and characters.
  • Triumphant Reprise: The last 30 seconds of the movie feature a wistful, instrumental Triumphant Reprise of Goodbye May Seem Forever.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Amos still insists on shooting Tod even after he saved both his and Copper's lives. Thanks to Copper's Go Through Me action however, he comes to his senses.
  • Villain Song: "A Huntin' Man" is a zig-zagged case as Amos sings about his love for hunting, but he also sings about his love for his dogs.
  • Your Size May Vary: Adult Tod has a tendency to shrink slightly whenever he's in a scene where Widow Tweed has to carry him.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Disney/TheFoxAndTheHound