Disney / The Fox and the Hound
aka: The Fox And The Hound 2

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

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 feautures 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).

The first 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 Vixie, and Copper survive, but Tod and Copper are forced to go their separate ways.
  • 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: Some covers for the film, including the one on this site, features the bear, even though it only shows up a few minutes towards the end.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Foxes aren't very capable of making threatening faces in real life. In the film, Tod has a terrifying face upon fighting Copper.
  • 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).
  • 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 Vixie.
  • 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 Vixie 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.
    • Todd 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, Todd hides under a woodpile while being chased by Amos 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 Todd even survives past this point.
    • On his first night in the preserve, Todd 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 chases Todd 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.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Tod the tod. Vixey the vixen is a lesser example.
  • David vs. Goliath: Tod, a fox, takes on a bear.
  • Disney Death: Chief, though it initially appears certain he won't survive, after the train accidentally hits him.
  • Disneyfication: The story the film is based on ends with both main characters amongst 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.
  • Dub Name Change: In the Norwegian dub, nearly all the names apart from Tod and Copper were changed. Notably, Chief was named King, Amos was named Ola and Vixie was named Mari.
  • 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 at least two video lines, the other being the Walt Disney Platinum Editions, to have a Grand Finale video release.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Boomer goes full Wile E Coyote after pecking through the branch he was standing on. The bear at the end of the film gets a similar treatment after slashing through the log it's standing on, 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 who he becomes jealous of.
  • 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 a 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 a lot bigger.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Amos 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 musical 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 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!.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Amos and Chief.
  • Jerkass: The badger is a jerk to the porcupine and Tod.
  • Karma Houdini: Amos Slate sparks off the end conflict by poaching on a petty vendetta, hunting on a game preserve, which nearly gets Tod, Copper, and him killed. Yet everyone lives, and the only thing Slate 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 Disney films are associated with.
  • 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: Most of the posters feature the bear in the background.
  • Meaningful Name: Tod(d) is an old English word for a fox. However, he is named 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, nearly drowning in the process and leaving him, weak and exhausted, collapsing at the riverbank. As Copper approaches, he is amazed that the very fox he tried to track down 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' gun & 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 Todd 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: A lot of Amos' vendetta with Tod is caused by the latter framing himself as antagonising his property. At one point Amos spots him mid chase with Chief after a bunch of chickens have been let out and are outrunning Tod.
  • 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 a lot 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 book, at the end the most Tod and Copper can do is treasure the friendship they once had, while they'll likely never be together again. It still remains one of 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: Vixie.
  • Show, Don't Tell: Tod and Copper's final interaction after the former saved the latter from a bear. No words are exchanged between them, Copper convinces Amos to finally leave Todd alone, then Todd 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 Vixie up together.
  • Shoo the Dog: The saddest scene in the 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 book.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Tod, Copper and Chief.
    • TWO mates of Tod and TWO litters of his puppies!
  • Terrible Trio: Subverted with respect to Todd. Amos, Chief and Copper technically make it up but Copper only actually starts hunting Todd with Amos 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 previously mentioned The Little Mermaid II.
  • 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 Todd has a tendency to shrink slightly whenever he's in a scene where Widow Tweed has to carry him.

The second film provides examples of:

  • A Truce While We Gawk: Near the start of the film, Chief stops chasing Tod when both notice Amos on the back of an out-of-control cow with a bucket on his head, and both watch, with Copper joining them, as it gets worse for him; after he throws off the bucket, a bee's nest takes its place. And then he throws that off, only to be thrown into a pig pen. All three say "Uh-oh" immediately before that last one. And it continues for a few more seconds, as they all get "oh, no" expression right before Tweed adds insult to injury:
    Tweed: Well, as long as you're wasting my milk, you may as well have some pie to go along with it. (grabs a blueberry pie from the windowsill)
    Amos: What the dickens are you—(Pie in the Face)
  • Children Are Innocent
  • Demoted to Extra: Tod, where he ends up doing chores, neglected by Copper, and becomes a Woobie just because he wanted to play with his friend.
    • Justified, since Tod was the protagonist of the first film, where it focused on his life before and after his abandonment.
  • Fat, Sweaty Southerner in a White Suit: The talent scout, who ends up being the designated Butt Monkey in the second film.
  • It's Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Can be justified as Cash is a stray mutt that can't be expected to know how to properly pronounce the word, but he pronounces "Entourage" as "Ahn-too-rajy". Though at least he knows it's French.
  • Lighter and Softer: The tone sticks strictly to the sweetly tone of the first half of the original movie, with the comical banter amped to eleven.
  • Motor Mouth: One part of "We're In Harmony" turns out to be a whole verse of this, which eventually gets so fast that by the time they're done the Strays are out of breath.
  • Pie in the Face: Mentioned above.
  • Shown Their Work: Tod can't sing because his species sounds like this.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Cash and Dixie's relationship is mainly like this, as they argue with one another enough that the other three members of the Strays just sit and watch without a hint of looking uncomfortable at the sight, and Granny Rose remarks that if Cash "disliked" Dixie anymore than he claimed they would have to get married. When they're first introduced, Cash also says Dixie has a voice like an angel with the looks to match, and even says "Gosh, I missed you," when he and Dixie finally make up at the end (helped along by a good bit of nuzzling and meaningful looks).
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Dixie and Zelda suffer their fair share of Amusing Injuries.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: "The Singin' Strays". So much focus was removed from Tod because of them (though considering part of the plot is Copper hanging out with them so much Tod feels abandoned, that was likely intentional). Given how much the tone of the Interquel drifts from the original film, it almost looks like the franchise was plastered onto the story of the band as a last second idea.
  • Talks Like a Simile: Evoked, over and over and over again.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Big Mama, Binky and Boomer are no where to be seen.

Alternative Title(s): The Fox And The Hound 2